Few words are desigined to fill a woman with more terror than "yearly pelvic exam." Of course, this is not the purview of menopausal women. All women over 18 or so are subject to YPEs. For us menopausers, though, this exam becomes an exercise in torture and humiliation.
First, there is the undressing part. You are given a half gown that ties in back and a cocktail napkin to place over your lower half. I don't know about you, but my lower half needs something bigger than a piece of paper roughly the size of a postage stamp to cover it. Then we lie down on a vinyl mattress and adjust our feet into stirrups. For those of us of a certain age, getting our feet in the stirrups is a feat in itself. Just as my new hip (hip replacement) and I are making peace with each other, we are asked to get in a position that neither God nor nature intended.
I always have a dozen or so questions to ask my doctor. However, I am put off by the fact that I'm addressing someone who has his head between my legs and is talking to my cervix. The questions go right out of my menopausal mind, and I try not to flinch as an ice-cold instrument is inserted right up to my throat.
Doctor: How have you been doing?
Me: Okay, I guess.
Doctor: Any problems?
Me: Well, there's--
Doctor: Good, good. Now let's take a peek and see what we have here.
Let me assure you that he took more than a peek. I venture to say that he got a real eyeful.
Yes, the YPE is not for the faint of heart. But then neither is any part of menopause.