Who says you have to leave the comfort of your own home now to get ANYTHING? Now that goes for pap smears as well!
I was intrigued and slightly skeptical, when I heard about Staten Island based Midwife, Jacklyn Salama Lahav, who visits your home to do a routine gynecological exam. However, she’s an affordable $100 (though blood work or pap smears are additional, however she does accept health insurance which covers those costs). After I did some research on this lady, I felt sure enough that she was legit to contact her and talk to her about .
Jacklyn recently started making house calls when she realized most ladies dread their annual visit to the gynecologist. I know I do. It sucks. Most women dislike it so much (myself included) that just put those exams off – sometimes a little longer than we should – because they can be awkward, dreadful and time consuming. Seriously, who really likes going to the doctor and waiting around to be called into a cold room, having to strip down naked, and wait forever for a nagging gyno to shove a speculum all up in there?
As a female, Jacklyn understood those discomforts, decided to change things and took her gynecology show on the road. Like a vagina circus! Her goal is to make that ungodly routine exam more comfortable, all in the privacy of your own home. I set up an appointment, after a friend told me how great her our experience was.
But before I called, I wanted to know what the difference was between a midwife and a standard gynocologist. As I understand it:
GYN’s perform surgeries, and specialize in abnormal and high-risk situations. Midwives are specialists in primary healthcare services and provide these services for women from adolescence beyond menopause which include primary care, gynecologic and family planning services, preconception care, care during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, care of the normal newborn during the first 28 days of life, and treatment of male partners for sexually transmitted infections.
Similar to primary care providers Midwives specialize in the normal, and are well-trained to identify the abnormal. Diagnosing and treating low-risk abnormal clinical issues is well within their scope of care, but when the situation is a high-risk one they do collaborate with a specialist (such as a GYN).
According to the ACNM website, Midwife.org
“Midwives provide initial and ongoing comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment. They conduct physical examinations; prescribe medications including controlled substances and contraceptive methods; admit, manage and discharge patients; order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests and order the use of medical devices. Midwifery care also includes health promotion, disease prevention, and individualized wellness education and counseling. These services are provided in partnership with women and families in diverse settings such as ambulatory care clinics, private offices, community and public health systems, homes, hospitals and birth centers.”
So unless you’re high risk, just about anyone can consider a Midwife visit for an annual exam.
Making the appointment was as easy as ordering off of Seamless Web.
For the most part, my gynecologists experiences have been agonizing, so I was willing to try something new. I did think it was pretty cool that she would come to my house. Kind of like in the old days, when doctors made house calls. I felt a little glamorous and Real Housewife-y at the prospect of having her over.
Jacklyn asked me a few questions via phone a few days before our appointment and what I exactly wanted done, regarding blood work, etc.
Oddly, I found myself concerned with what I was going to wear. I chose a skirt and sweatshirt. I took a shower. I felt like the least I could do for this woman was clean up, since she was coming over. Part of the exam includes a getting to know you medical history discussion. Jacklyn was so friendly that I felt like I was yapping with a girlfriend about my sex life. She wasn’t judgmental or snobby, like a lot of the doctors I’ve dealt with.
There were a few things I didn’t take into consideration. Since we were at my apartment, my fiance, dog and bird were all there as well. Everyone seemed very curious. My fiance kept coming in and out of his home office, “Are you guys done yet?” I don’t think men realize that an annual exam isn’t all about just shoving something up there. He was invited to watch and view my cervix, but he politely declined. My dog, was running around like crazy, so I do recommend putting all animals, and husbands away during the process.
I was worried that it was going to be kind of embarrassing disrobing after our conversation, but it wasn’t. I just yelled at my fiance to stay in the other room unless he wanted to walk into seeing my vagina in an abnormal state. He stayed in the other room.
Everything was done on the sofa, complete with the same kind of sanitized disposable medical paper a doctor would lay out on an exam table. There were no stirrups required, I just positioned my legs according to Jacklyn’s direction. I was so at ease I felt like I had a friend over for coffee, well a friend that gave me a pap smear and a breast exam. It wasn’t awkward at all. She told me the test results would arrive in the next few days, and that she’d call me with them. Like any medical professional, she won’t leave your results on your voicemail. She will wait until she actually speak with you. She even added me as a friend on Facebook!
I asked Jacklyn if she’s had any odd experiences making her house calls.
“Sometimes people will just answer their doors in a towel or robe, which is a little odd, but I can see where they’re coming from.” Basically, if you’re the kind of person who also worries about what to wear, wear what you want, but answer the door fully dressed.
Thanks to my insurance I had a small co-pay, but I was so grateful for her coming over I wanted to just give her the full $100. Then I realized it was weird that I was essentially trying to “tip” her. It was by far the most awesome annual exam I’ve ever had (well, as awesome as you can get considering what an exam involves). That’s mostly because I felt like a human being and not a random object that a doctor just had to squeeze into their day.
Jacklyn’s visits almost all boroughs and takes most insurance plans, all you have to do it simply email her, and ask.
I highly recommend this experience for any woman. Jacklyn is well trained, considerate and has kids herself and is pretty apt to answer any questions. I asked her if I wanted to have a baby if she could help and if we could deliver it in my apartment, but she’s not offering home baby delivery options right now. Bummer. Now that’s something that could really be a good business to get into. In the meantime, I highly recommend getting a pap smear done in the privacy of your own home.
Jacklyn Lahav is a Certified Nurse Midwife. She can be reached at 917-750-0388 and Jacklyn [at] jlmidwifery.com