How to Prepare for a Sexual Health Exam if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis ten years ago, I struggled to come to terms with the diagnosis and what it meant for my future. I started this blog to connect with and encourage others living with this condition. I share my personal journey and blog about the lifestyle changes I have made and alternative treatments I have tried over the years, including herbal medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy. You'll also find posts about new treatments that are becoming available and products, such as mobility aids and adapted kitchen utensils, I've tried. I hope you enjoy my blog and find it useful.

How to Prepare for a Sexual Health Exam if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

How to Prepare for a Sexual Health Exam if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

25 August 2016
 Categories:
Health & Medical , Blog


The prospect of a sexual health exam can make women feel uncomfortable, nervous and vulnerable. However, if you have been the victim of a sexual assault, a sexual health exam can cause great anxiety and emotional trauma. Because of this, many women who have been the victim of a sexual assault will avoid appointments with their gynaecologist. However, missing a sexual health exam can have a negative impact on your reproductive and sexual health. Below is a guide to making your next sexual health check up as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Ask for a particular doctor

Women may not feel comfortable having their genitals examined by a male, particularly if it was a male who sexually assaulted them. When you receive an appointment for a sexual health exam, you should request to be seen by a female doctor if that will make you most comfortable. You do not have to explain that you have been a victim of sexual assault. The majority of sexual health clinics have female staff and are quite happy to meet these requests if it will make a patient more comfortable.

Take someone along for support

Bringing along a good friend or close family member is a good way of overcoming feelings of anxiety. You may want them to wait in the waiting room with you and to support you after the exam, or you may wish to have them present in the consulting room. If you wish to have them present in the consulting room, you should check with the staff at the clinic that this is permitted when you book your appointment. If you do have someone in the consulting room to offer support, the doctor will use screens to protect your privacy during the examination.

Enquire about anti-anxiety medication

If your anxiety levels are high, you should speak to your GP and ask about anti-anxiety medication. They should be able to prescribe a low dose of a sedative to help you calm your nerves before your exam. If you do opt to use a sedative, it is important that you have someone accompany you to your appointment. Some anti-anxiety medication can leave you feeling drowsy and lightheaded, so it may not be safe for you to drive after your appointment.

Click here to learn more about sexual health clinics and the services they can offer to keep you both healthy and safe.

About Me
Living With Multiple Sclerosis

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis ten years ago, I struggled to come to terms with the diagnosis and what it meant for my future. I started this blog to connect with and encourage others living with this condition. I share my personal journey and blog about the lifestyle changes I have made and alternative treatments I have tried over the years, including herbal medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy. You'll also find posts about new treatments that are becoming available and products, such as mobility aids and adapted kitchen utensils, I've tried. I hope you enjoy my blog and find it useful.

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