Women, from the time they begin menstruation until they are way past menopause, all have to go through the dreaded women's pelvic examination. The process is often more invasive than surgery, and every bit as uncomfortable, so why do OBGYN doctors insist on small talk or banter during the whole thing? Well, actually, there are some very good reasons for it.
It Distracts You from What Is Going on "Down There"
Yeah, it is weird to be talking to someone about what you ate for lunch today when your genitals are being prodded, scraped, and examined. However, when you are discussing your lunch, you are not thinking about what the doctor is doing. Talking about mundane things helps you distance yourself from something you would rather not be doing. Doctors know this, and that is why they ask you mundane questions.
You Are Much More Likely to Relax Your Body and Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Let's face it; even women who do not mind their pelvic exams are still a little tense. This is a very personal exam, with someone who is essentially a stranger. By talking to you about your weekend plans or the weather, your doctor is helping you relax just enough to insert the speculum with no pain, no stretching, and no pinching.
If you do not believe it, spend a few minutes thinking about sex with a stranger. Feel how your body tenses up? Now think about something mundane, like housework. You should instantly feel the tenseness in your body dwindle. Your doctor is attempting to guide you into this relaxation technique to accomplish the same reaction.
Your Doctor Has Not Seen You in a While and Does Not Get to Talk to You Much
Most doctors will see their patients regularly for illnesses, check-ups, etc.. Your OBGYN sees you maybe once a year. He or she does not get to talk to you much, and typically does not have a lot of spare time to catch up. Small talk during your pelvic exam is the closest thing to catching up that your OBGYN gets before the exam is over and he/she leaves the room.
This is also the time to find out if you have had any problems with your periods, vaginal fluids, new sex partners, etc., so that these things can be addressed in the same appointment. Your doctor understands that you would rather have an accurate history on file and get your questions answered all in one stop and not have to return. So talking during the exam is how your doctor can update your patient file.