I had a hysterectomy in 1980 due to fibroids and endometriosis. I was 41 at the time and my ovaries were removed also. Then in 1997, I had breast cancer (DCIS) and had a lumpectomy. In 2004, I had a second breast cancer and opted to have a double mastectomy. Now no doctor wants to do an exam because they say I have nothing left to examine. I still have recurrent UTI's and yeast infections and frequent groin discomfort. Should I be having vaginal exams under these circumstances and if not what measures should I take to be more comfortable?
It’s imperative that you receive the appropriate care that fits your health care needs. If you’ve talked to your doctor about your concerns and they still refuse to do an examination, we encourage you to consult with another doctor.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a pelvic exam may also be useful if you’re experiencing urinary problems, transmitted infections, early-stage cancer such as cervical cancer, abnormal vaginal discharge, and/or pelvic pain. The exam may help your doctor understand why you’re having these symptoms and how to treat them. If you decide against a pelvic exam, there are alternative ways to confront recurrent UTIs and yeast infections. It is common for a person to have more than one UTI. The Department of Health and Human Resources reports that around one in five women who get UTIs will have another. However, if you’re prone to UTIs and have three or more annually, consult with your doctor for other treatment options such as a daily dose of medicine to prevent infection. Additional steps to help prevent UTIs can be found here.
While yeast infections are commonly treated with over-the-counter antifungal medication, your doctor may prescribe regular doses of medicine for a longer period if you have more than four vaginal yeast infections annually. To learn more, view the Department of Health and Human Resources’ vaginal yeast infection fact sheet. Frequent groin discomfort can derive from a variety of reasons. Therefore, we urge you to consult with a trusted gynecologist or primary care physician to fully address your health care concerns.
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