In my 20’s and 30’s, when I had to go in for my yearly female check up, the nurse or doctor would ask if my periods are regular. Now my doctor asks if I still get my period. I think I was 40 when I first heard that. I stopped for a second to make sure I wasn’t experiencing hearing loss or a serious misunderstanding. It was a shock to my system and I felt like he was being mean. I was insulted by the question. It was on an emotional level and I know it wasn’t meant to be insulting. It’s just that my interpretation was he was telling me I’m old. People say you’re only as old as you feel. I usually feel about 12. That day I felt as old as my eggs.
At my last appointment, he wanted to discuss birth control options. I told him we used the old fashioned come on one of my body parts method. He said since I still get regular periods (I felt 12 again), I should use a more reliable method like an IUD.
Whenever I hear IUD, I picture something like an old tv antenna floating around my uterus, poking my fallopian tubes and ovaries. I know this is completely inaccurate and they are probably very safe. It’s just that I remember a patient when I was working in the hospital whose IUD lodged itself into somewhere it shouldn’t and she was in terrible pain. My best friend told me I’m a scaredy cat and I should get one.
My doctor pitched the IUD like Billy Mays pitching Oxi Clean. He loved the IUD- I wasn’t sure if he got a kickback from the manufacturer. I held firm to my ignorant beliefs and said no thank you. He became more salesman-like and tried to alleviate my fears by telling me that it will only have to be changed once every seven years and by then I’ll have reached menopause and won’t need a refill. I politely declined. I realize he was trying to make me feel better, but it felt like a sucker punch in the gut.
I realize the doctor is just doing his due diligence and normally I don’t read into comments so deeply (don’t ask my husband about that last statement). And I’m even looking forward to menopause (only the not getting periods part – the rest seems horrifying). I just hope the change can at least hold off until I receive my first unsolicited AARP magazine in the mail.