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I Prepare For The Gyno Like It's A First Date, Sue Me

Few things in the world are more humbling than sitting spread eagle on an exam table in a paper towel dress while a gynecologist inspects your hoo-ha. You know the story: You start undressing in the literal Arctic tundra. You shove your underwear into the depths of your purse because God forbid anyone, especially the doctor, find out you wear underwear. The nurse grills you with 45 painstakingly detailed questions about your sexual history, making you woefully remember every nasty piece of sex you had last summer

Going to the gyno isn’t exactly something anyone looks forward to — “YESSS, I CAN’T WAIT TO GET MY CERVIX SWABBED,” said no one ever, except maybe Gwyneth Paltrow — but it’s a crucial part of a standard health care regimen. While the exclusive goal of these appointments is to assess your gynecological health, there’s one equally important thing I just can’t stop thinking about before my appointment: Not looking ugly as fuck. 

Google “how to prep for the gynecologist” and you’ll find the obvious: Make a list of questions and concerns. Wear comfy clothing. Bring your relevant medical records. Talk through any fears with a therapist or close friend. In fact, several websites explicitly advise you not to “overdo it” on the physical prep. “Don’t worry about shaving!” “Just come as you are!” “It’s what’s on the inside that counts — literally!!!” 

YEAH FUCKING RIGHT. Who wrote that? An AI medical intern? Can’t relate. I prep for the gyno like I’m auditioning for that twisted British dating show where you find love while butt nakey. I’m unapologetically taking a four-hour everything shower, getting a blowout, and booking a mani-pedi before I even step into that medical establishment. And to any gynecologists reading this: I know you literally don’t care, but this isn’t about you.

My prep routine for the gyno, which I have so generously shared below, is a chill 18 pages but has been severely condensed for length and clarity. As for my legal disclaimer: This has obviously not been vetted by medical professionals… or my therapist. 

How I Prep For A Gyno Appointment:

    • Go to Target to pick out new panties so I can wear something less mortifying than my usual full-bottom undies from 2006 with holes in them.
    • Get a gel pedicure and foot scrub. (If my feet are up in those stirrups inches from my gyno’s face, I am, without question, paying $50 extra for that spa green tea treatment).
    • Make a Brazilian wax appointment. No strip. Bald me and don’t forget the asshole. 
    • Have my daily 2:00 p.m. panic attack.
    • Buy 85 men’s razors from CVS and then do gymnastics in the shower to get all those hard-to-reach places my gyno will def see, like the back of my thighs and big toe.
    • Drench my legs with lotion so my calves are baby fucking smooth, just in case the doctor needs to, IDK, grab them for extra support or something.
    • Do my makeup, but keep it “natural” and “like I’m not trying too hard.” In other words, save the smokey eye and fake lashes for your yearly physical, you freaks.
    • Douse the inside of my thighs with some knockoff Armani perfume. (Yes, I know the gyno is probably wearing a surgical mask that blocks their nose. Yes, I’m gonna make a goddamn valiant effort to fill the entire building with my scent, so even the front desk girlies know how hot and not ugly I definitely am.)
    • Another quick mental breakdown haha it’s fine. 
    • Put on light jewelry. Nothing too crazy… maybe just a thin gold necklace to accentuate my collarbone and give that off-the-shoulder medical gown a little bit of a feminine touch. 
    • If time (but not necessary): spray tan.

The gynecologist can clearly be a very nerve-wracking experience, and it’s normal to have fears, hesitations, and weirdly specific pre-appointment rituals. FFS, they open you up with a cold, metal speculum! It isn’t supposed to be fun! If looking and feeling good about my physical appearance is one less way for me to walk away without the irrational guilt of feeling like I traumatized my gyno for life, so be it. Get your upper (and lower) lips waxed if you want to. Get a fresh mani-pedi if it makes you feel better. And above all, get your pap smear!!!!

Katie Corvino
Katie Corvino
Katie Corvino (she/her) is the VP of Editorial at Betches. She first gained recognition after wearing a thong on her head at Coachella in the name of fashion. She's also known very well in the medical space as her therapist's favorite patient. If you are reading this, Leslie, she is fine. Her crippling anxiety is gone. She is cured and totally OK.