How sexual trauma survivors can feel more relaxed during a pelvic exam

Dec 18, 2021
Health Equity

About Norton Community Medical Associates

Welcome to Norton Community Medical Associates, a trusted healthcare provider in the field of sexual trauma recovery. Our dedicated team understands the unique challenges faced by survivors and aims to provide personalized support and guidance throughout the healing process. We offer comprehensive services to help individuals feel more relaxed during pelvic exams, ensuring their physical and emotional well-being.

Understanding Sexual Trauma

Sexual trauma refers to any unwanted sexual contact or experiences that can result in long-lasting effects on a person's physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Survivors of sexual trauma often experience anxiety, fear, or discomfort when undergoing pelvic exams, which can prevent them from seeking much-needed medical care.

Creating a Safe and Comfortable Environment

At Norton Community Medical Associates, we prioritize creating a safe and comfortable environment for all patients, especially survivors of sexual trauma. Our healthcare professionals undergo specialized training to ensure they are sensitive, compassionate, and understanding when providing care during pelvic exams.

Educating Patients

We believe that knowledge is empowering, especially for survivors of sexual trauma. We take the time to educate our patients about the entire pelvic exam process, explaining each step in detail and answering any questions or concerns they may have. By offering this comprehensive information, we hope to alleviate any anxiety or stress our patients may feel.

Establishing Trust and Consent

Trust is crucial when providing care to sexual trauma survivors. Our healthcare professionals prioritize building trusting relationships by establishing clear lines of communication and seeking consent before each step of the pelvic exam. We encourage survivors to vocalize their boundaries and preferences throughout the process, ensuring they always maintain control over their healthcare experience.

Providing Emotional Support

Survivors of sexual trauma may experience emotional triggers during pelvic exams. To address this, we offer emotional support throughout the entire appointment. Our healthcare professionals are trained to recognize signs of distress and provide appropriate reassurance, allowing survivors to feel heard, validated, and understood.

Techniques to Enhance Relaxation

We understand that relaxation plays a crucial role in helping sexual trauma survivors feel more comfortable during pelvic exams. Here are some techniques that can be helpful:

Deep Breathing Exercises

By practicing deep breathing exercises, survivors can engage their parasympathetic nervous system and induce a state of calm. Taking slow, deep breaths and focusing on one's breath helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery involves creating calming mental images to distract from any discomfort or anxiety. Survivors can visualize serene landscapes, peaceful environments, or engage their senses in positive ways to shift their focus from the exam to a more comforting setting.

Muscle Relaxation Techniques

Tensing and releasing different muscle groups in the body can help survivors promote overall physical and mental relaxation. This technique involves progressively contracting and relaxing muscles in a systematic manner.

Preparing for Your Pelvic Exam

We believe that being prepared can significantly reduce anxiety before a pelvic exam. Here are some tips to help sexual trauma survivors feel more relaxed:

Communication is Key

Prior to your appointment, communicate your concerns and needs with your healthcare provider. When they understand your specific triggers, they can adopt techniques to ensure your comfort and ease during the exam. Maintaining open lines of communication can make a significant difference.

Bring a Support Person

If it makes you feel more comfortable, consider bringing a trusted support person to your appointment. Having someone you trust by your side can provide emotional support and act as an advocate on your behalf.

Practice Self-Care

Engaging in self-care practices leading up to your appointment can help alleviate anxiety. This can include activities such as taking a warm bath, practicing mindfulness or meditation, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy and relaxation.

Visualize a Positive Experience

Before your exam, take a moment to visualize a positive and empowering experience. Imagine yourself feeling relaxed, empowered, and supported throughout the process. This visualization exercise can help shift your mindset and promote a more positive mindset before the appointment.


At Norton Community Medical Associates, we understand the unique challenges faced by sexual trauma survivors. Through our comprehensive care, compassionate healthcare professionals, and techniques to enhance relaxation, we strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for all patients. Our goal is to empower survivors to feel more relaxed during pelvic exams and encourage them to prioritize their overall health and wellbeing. If you are a survivor of sexual trauma seeking support during a pelvic exam, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help.

Gerzayn Fuentes
Thank you for sharing this valuable information. It's important to prioritize the comfort and well-being of survivors during such sensitive examinations.
Oct 17, 2023