Abstract

Background: To describe women’s feelings during gynecological examination, and their wishes and expectations from doctors and nurses as regards gynecological examination. Patients and Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried on women attending the gynecological outpatient clinic of Sohag University Hospital during the period from October 2013 to March 2014. A questionnaire was used that consisted of questions about women’s sociodemographic and reproductive characteristics, the reasons for a gynecological examination, their feelings about it, their preferences for the gender of the doctor performing the gynecological examination, as well as their expectations from the doctors and nurses during the examination.

Results: The most common feelings experienced during the gynecological examination were fear of pain during examination in 254 participants (48.94%), feelings of shame in 181(34.87%) and embarrassment from undressing in 143 (27.55%). Only 57 participants (10.98%) reported worries about cleanliness and sterilization of the equipment. Two hundred and sixty six (51.25%) participants preferred a female doctor to perform a gynecological examination, while 38 (7.32%) preferred a male doctor. Women less than 30 years, nulliparae and those who were having a gynecological examination for the first time were more likely to prefer a female physician.

Conclusions: feelings of fear, shame, and embarrassment from undressing are the most common feelings during gynecological examination. Doctors are expected to provide adequate time to listen, to conduct a thorough examination, to behave in a sympathetic and gentle manner, and to provide explanations before, during and after gynecological examination.