Oh Joy Sex Toy is a weekly NSFW comics series that graphically explores sex and sexuality. This week: Erika Moen aims to make pap smears and other pelvic exams a little less scary.
Like I said in the comic, please check out these resources for MUCH more in-depth descriptions and explanations of what to expect at your gynecological visit! Also, you can find a clinic to get yours done by using the “Find a Health Center” feature on Planned Parenthood.
• “Pelvic Exam” on Planned Parenthood
• “Your First Gynecologist Visit” on Scarleteen
• “The Pelvic Exam” on WebMD
• “Do I really need a pelvic exam?” on Scarleteen
• “How do I deal with the results of a medical trauma or abuse?” on Scarleteen (Your doctor needs to listen to you and respect your feedback during a pelvic exam, IT SHOULD NOT BE PAINFUL.)
If vaginal penetration of any kind IS consistently painful, you may have vulvodynia, which is a catchall term for chronic vulvar pain. One manifestation of it is vaginismus, which I covered in an earlier comic!