Since I could remember, I've always worked with an gynecologist for my well women's care. It made sense through my adulthood and everyone was doing it! I didn't pick an gynecologist to work with solely until I was in my late 20s. I chose a doctor at my local clinic, who took my insurance, and asked who was available. I wanted continuity in my care and one person I could refer to that knew my health history.
The first time I met with my gynecologist, she immediately told me how I should be on birth control. Her reasoning was that I was too young to be a mom and should have my career established first. She was really friendly and sweet about the whole conversation, but I felt a wall building up around me - why is this stranger telling me how to plan my life? I knew that she had the best of intentions and I wasn't planning a pregnancy so I ultimately shook it off as no harm done.
I told her that I didn't really like birth control and never found a good fit. I also didn't feel a need to be on it since I knew my cycles well, charted using the Fertility Awareness Method (sympto-thermal) for over 3 years, by that point, and I only have one partner.
She still insisted that I get a prescription. I told her I'd think about it and didn't call her until my next pap smear was due a year later.
I saw her again, she gave me the same little talk about how I should be on birth control. I politely declined again. I left and didn't see her again for another year.
Same thing happened the third time around EXCEPT I became a doula. I realized that her imposition on my family planning was pretentious - no matter how well-intentioned she was. After declining birth control again, she did my exam, and left so I could get dressed. As I was buttoning up my shirt, with dropped trou', her hand slipped in through the door with an unwrapped NuvaRing and she explained to me how to use it... while I was still half-naked in the exam room.
For me, that was a little much.
I will admit that this mindset comes from a place of privilege. I don't have a complicated health history that requires me to be under the care of a gynecologist and know that, if situations came up that required me to see a doctor, then I would gladly accept the help and weigh-in on the recommendations.
However, when I became a doula, I recognized that birthing people have options for whatever birth they wanted for themselves and it wasn't until recently that I opened up this mindset towards having different options for health care.
Stay tuned for how I researched different options for wellness care!