If our society facilitated a young female’s search for knowledge about her own sexuality and reproduction, there would much less need for the gynecology specialty. A gynecologist would then be there to diagnose and treat serious illnesses, such as endometriosis, infertility or sexually-transmitted infections.
Even today, if a female uses a speculum to examine her own vagina, she can recognize and treat most problems. She becomes familiar with her healthy vaginal secretions to distinguish them from a unhealthy discharge. Some vaginal discharges require a trip to the doctor, but many do not. For example, a very common discharge, yeast condition, can be easily treated with a home or drug store remedy, and even some troublesome vaginal infections are easy to identify and treat at home in preference to a doctor prescribing a powerful and risky drug. Also, she can use home remedies to deal with uncomfortable problems during pregnancy, and troublesome symptoms of menopause.
During a gynecology visit, a person may bring up the fact that she is sometimes, or even oftentimes, depressed, and the doctor’s response is to prescribe drugs. We have learned from our clients who come to our clinics that many young females are taking drugs to alleviate depression. Ironically, it has been found that depression is a significant side-effect of the birth control pill or an intrauterine device.
Many gynecologist visits are necessary only because the law requires a medical examination before a birth control method is prescribed, such as the birth control pill “the pill”, or an intrauterine device releasing a hormone-like chemical. And, a females’ health history has nothing to do with whether she’s eligible for these types of birth control, because the rare, but extremely serious, side effects can and do happen to the healthy users. Also, barrier devices, such as the diaphragm, must be dispensed by a licensed medical provider. Those of us who demonstrate and practice self-examination with each other have found that fitting a diaphragm is no more complicated than fitting a shoe.