Bringing my daughter with me to the gynecologist appointments has helped us talk about women's health without it being an abstract or taboo concept to her.
The first time my mother spoke to me about the "doctor who checks inside your vagina," she told me it was extremely painful, uncomfortable and the worst essential thing you have to go through as a woman. While my mother was not lying — going to the gynecologist is at the very bottom of my list of things I like to do — the way in which she bought up women's health scared me for a very long time.
As a young child, I had images of a scary doctor with a large spoon pulling open my vagina and sticking his or her entire hand inside of me while I laid on a cold cot in a dark room screaming for dear life.
In an effort to not have the same thing happen with my daughter, I began bringing her with me to my appointments to introduce her to an aspect of her health she will have to deal with for the rest of her life. I wanted to show her that the gynecologist isn't the vagina boogie monster that I believed it was when I was younger.
Coming along with me to my appointments has shown my daughter that a gynecologist appointment is just as routine as any other checkup.
Before going to my appointment, we talk about what the process can entail when going in for an annual checkup, why going to the gynecologist is so important and even though the process can be uncomfortable it is an important part of women's health that helps keep our vaginas healthy.
Studies find that mothers have the biggest impact on their daughter's self-esteem. Like most parents, I want my daughter's self-esteem to be high and unwavering. When it comes to her reproductive health, I want it to be even better and based in knowledge and first-hand accounts of what a women's health appointment looks like.
These trips to my appointments together have helped her understand that every part of her body is important, that reproductive organs and systems are as important and normal as any other part of the body and not something that warrants a giggle whenever mentioned.
Part of a healthy life is being comfortable in one's body and being knowledgeable in every part of one's body and especially their vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes.
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