I’m 41 and have never had a cervical screening test. I have deep rooted trauma surrounding examinations, caused in part by a consultant during a routine procedure years ago. I was humiliated and violated and I have never recovered from it. This, alongside another historical incident has affected me to the point that my husband and I no longer have a physical relationship.
I have for the past year been experiencing lower back, pelvic and leg pain during my menstrual cycle. I have always suffered with sciatica and so put the pain down to this. But in the past 5 months, I have been having periods every 2-3 weeks. They are no heavier than usual, just more frequent. I’m not suffering with pain at any other point in my cycle, just for the couple of days leading up to and into my period. I wonder if I’m perimenopausal, I have had what I’ve thought was the odd hot flush recently, and I’ve definitely had heart palpitations in the past few months.
I’m beyond petrified to go to the dr about this. I have actually avoided seeing a doctor for any reason over the past decade, because I know my lack of screening attendance will be flagged. My last interaction with a dr was for my 6 week check up after having my son 11 years ago, which did not include a physical exam. I feel shame and guilt for not having myself checked for the sake of my son and partner, but the thought of being examined is deeply, deeply traumatising for me.
Does anyone have any advice on how to move forward from this? I know that on the whole, the nurses and Drs who deal with these issues are respectful and understanding of anxieties, but after the incident with the consultant, I don’t know how to get through it again. I’m so deeply afraid.