Heather Anonymous writes:
I made an appointment with a new gynecologist because I had been bleeding for several weeks straight, and I was new in town. Going to a new gynecologist is always stressful, but this appointment started out fairly well. She asked a few questions, and then wanted to do a physical exam. OK, so far, so good. So I undressed and *ahem* assumed the position. Then she said it:
Did I need to hear that while naked from the waist down, clutching a pale blue paper ‘blanket’ to my nether regions and with my feet up in the stirrups? Was there not a better time to bring that up? Like WHEN I HAD MY PANTS ON?!?! And honestly, did she think I hadn’t noticed? For godssake, I’m overweight, not undersmart. I can understand that she might have needed to bring the topic up. But for the love of all that is good, there is no reason that she couldn’t have done it in a way that wasn’t so humiliating and rude!
That wasn’t the end of it, though. She proceeded to tell me about all kinds of diet options (now with her hand up my hoo-ha) and about how public weigh-ins are good for motivation because the “group pressure tends to keep people from cheating”. As she was doing all this, I lay on the exam table trying not to sob. I literally thought my heart was going to stop — that I would actually die from the humiliation.
I found the whole process so excruciatingly dehumanizing and demoralizing that the very thought of an appointment with a gynecologist raises my blood pressure. And that means that all of my subsequent gynecologists think that I have high blood pressure — I have to bring in recent blood pressure readings from another doctor to back up my claim that they are seeing the results of stress, not hypertension.
Because of my health condition (the one I had gone to this doctor for help with — and one for which weight gain is a SYMPTOM), I cannot have children without medical intervention. After this experience, I find visits to the gynecologist so horrible (even to the point of requiring sedatives), that I have decided that I would rather not have children than subject myself to repeated visits to a fertility specialist.
Thank you for running the Do No Harm blog. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to see that I’m not alone — I’m literally typing this with tears running down my face.