My insurance covers one visit to the gynecologist per year. This is not helpful, because I have been to the see my gyno, who I have in my phone as “Vag 911,” five times in the past six months.
Still, the fact that I am not adventitious enough for casual sex does not slim my chances of getting some sort of crotch gremlin that multiplies if you get it wet or feed it after midnight! I know so many people in monogamous relationships who land STDs.
One of my closest friends got chlamydia from the first guy she ever slept with. So I know that even though I don't frequent the Craigslist Casual Encounters section, my lady parts are still a wet hot breeding ground for all sorts of nasties.
When it comes to general health concerns, I never ever want to go to the doctor. Once my hair was falling out and I still waited months to go to the doctor, who told me I had a severe B12 deficiency. I loathe the doctor and that horrible little finger prick test.
But I am constantly paranoid that my vagina is plotting against me and secretly housing a brothel full of crabs or genital warts just waiting to jump ship onto the sexparts of my adorable blue-eyed boyfriend. And so, I visit, call and email my gyno at any hint of trouble.
Last week, I made an emergency call to my doctor from the bathroom at work. I've had so many “doctor's appointments” my boss probably thinks I am secretly undergoing chemotherapy. The receptionist knows me by now and scooted me into an “emergency” appointment slot and an hour later I was sitting in the stirrups.
This past summer I had three UTIs in two months, because my cervix hates me and is located in a place that makes it susceptible. Also because when you have sloppy vodka-tonic-induced sex and don't pee afterward because you don't want to scuttle naked and barefoot into the grimey bathroom your boyfriend shares with 4 other people, well, your vagina gets real cranky.
I tried all the natural jank first and let me tell you, my urinary tract is like a bridge troll when it comes to herbal remedies. YOU SHALL NOT PASS.
Anyway, eventually I went on antibiotics and that gave me two yeast infections, back to back.
That morning I had woken up to a red, painful raised cyst on the outside of my ladylips and ran around my apartment screaming HERPES, stopping momentarily to inspect myself with a hand-mirror. Repeat repeat repeat.
I pointed to a swampy image of a vagina hanging on the wall that reminded me of an explicit diagram of a half-dissected frog in a high school bio room.
“It's right there!” I told the nurse, pointing to the spot where my lump was lurking. The nurse made a note on her clipboard, which I was read “herpes” or “genital warts” or “hoe fo' sho',” and left the room.
I asked her to please culture it anyway so that I could continue sleeping at night and stop slut-shaming my boyfriend when I get drunk. It's not his fault he is more attractive than me and has subsequently had a ton more one-night stands.
I blame it on the fact that I am mostly Jewish, and although I don't do anything mildly religious, I am not impervious to that hand-wringing worrisome “Are you eating enough?” Jewish mother syndrome that, for some reason, my father -- not my mother -- seems to possess.
I also admitted that the reason behind my paranoia of having an unhealthy saucepot, is the fear of getting cervical cancer -- which runs in my family -- or somehow messing up my dream of one day having my own paranoid, badly adjusted children with daddy issues.
Yet I know I will still purchase pregnancy tests every time my period is 45 minutes late, and hyperventilate when I see the slightest sign of razor burn or get a bit of sweaty crotch itch after a particularly long run. I just can't help it!