Ariane Lee, age 17
Syosset High School, Syosset, NY

Gynecologist appointments are feared by many women. Having your genitals examined by anyone, even a doctor, leaves you feeling vulnerable, anxious, and exposed. Every year, eight million American women skip their pelvic exams that screen for cervical cancer. Gynecologists cite “gyno anxiety” as a significant contributing factor. Re-designing gynecologist appointments starts by ensuring patients know their options and what to expect through posters and emails. The re-designed speculum is made of plastic and clear silicone with a detachable light. The seat markings are removable and are dark enough to be visible underneath the disposable paper. The new speculum alleviates the coldness and clanking sounds feared by women and improve the physician’s visibility. Removable seat markings work to further prevent patient embarrassment from “the last scooch.” These designs are all intended to remedy the anxiety and other feelings that deter women from appointments.

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