1. The waiting room is filled with pregnant women who are about to embark on a magical journey of motherhood, and you, who’s just mentally praying that everything is fine down there.
2. You stare daggers at any men who are in the waiting room too. They don’t even know how hard it is to be a woman. Your cervix is about to get punched in a couple minutes.
3. The nurse takes you back to one of the rooms and gives you a gown to put on. First of all, the room is painfully bright — and you get, obviously, why that is the case, but you’d still really prefer some kind of mood lighting or candlelight instead. There is maybe a framed photo of a newborn baby to make you feel safer, but overall everything about this is absolutely awful and you know you have to do this for health and whatever but honestly why can’t there be a way for you to be entirely unconscious during the whole ordeal?
4. You are never 100% confident about how to put the gown on. Literally every time you come in here the gynecologist kindly smiles at you and says you put it on backwards. But why can’t you ever remember how you did it the last time???
5. You sit in the room for an obscene amount of time. While medically unproven, you are sure that this alone time is supposed to be spent thinking about all of your sexual partners.
6. The doctor knocks loudly at the door, just in case you are still standing in the middle of the room naked and silently screaming about how to put on the hospital gown.
7. Does it really make sense for her to give you a head’s up in case you’re naked? She is literally about to look inside of you.
8. When the OB walks in, she tells you that your gown is on backwards.
9. The gynecologist starts off with the breast exam. You immediately start babbling about what’s going on in your life, completely unprompted, because you truly cannot think of a greater horror than sitting in this asylum-style room in total silence as the doctor feels around your chest with cold medical gloves.
10. The doctor then sits down by your legs and pulls out your file and asks you about your recent sexual history. You really wish you could read her mind when you answer the questions. Also, do you sound braggy when you talk about your sex life? And what is the official appropriate tone to use when answering: “Do you experience unusual genital discharge after having sex?” Also, what the fuck, is that something you have to pay attention to now?
11. Maybe if there were, like, music playing or perhaps a TV on the ceiling that could play a movie at full volume, you could pretend nothing was happening. Instead, you continue filling the silence with nonsensical, hysterical small talk about the weather.
12. The OBGYN asks you to put your feet in the stirrups, and then asks you to scoot down in the chair about 17 times.
13. When you’ve reached peak discomfort and the doctor is effectively satisfied with how miserable and embarrassed you are, the OB begins to beg you to “please relax your legs”—a request that will be made repeatedly throughout the appointment.
14. Seriously, you really thought your legs were relaxed, but your OB is acting as if she needs hydraulic rescue tools to get them apart.
15. Once the medical gloves are slapped back on, you begin to vaguely remember how in your very uninformative sex education class in high school, you were told that STDs sometimes don’t have symptoms.
16. You’re sure you don’t have anything.
17. But…Maybe you should give her a head’s up? The last thing you need is for this woman—the woman who just told you you put a hospital gown on backwards—to apologetically inform you that you have an STD.
18. Weirdly, you have never cared so much about another person’s opinion until right this moment.
19. So you make yourself seem open to the possibility. “Uhhhh,” you say as you look down at this stranger examining the most intimate part of your body that you yourself have barely seen. “I thought I might have, like, an ingrown hair or something down there if you could just double check that?”
20. Perfect. You seem really aloof and really on top of your sex health game. The OB is probably really impressed.
21. There is actually no bigger lie told on a regular basis than an OB saying: “Just relax for the Pap, you will feel a tiny bit of pressure.”