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To not understand the assault/internals threads?

(464 Posts)
GingerJulep Sun 21-Jul-13 00:04:18

I've never had one so am really struggling to understand how so many women on here (NOT aimed specifically at the other poster on this page, there are lots in different sections!) manage to have internal examinations before/during/after birth that they say they didn't consent to/asked to be stopped?

I mean that physically, don't they have the option to just shut legs/take feet out of stirrups/--kick HCP in face--?

Nearest I've ever come (so far, lucky me!) was someone trying to take blood suddenly... I made an automatic physical reaction (big flinch/jump) and they simply couldn't do it until we'd had a quick cat.

So, how much more difficult is it to avoid/stop internal exams if you really want to IYSWIM?

Carolra Sun 21-Jul-13 00:09:47

Lady I know consented to an internal. She did not consent to having her waters broken and her cervix pushed over the baby's head. Which is exactly what the midwife did during the "internal" without even telling the couple what she was doing.

Cherriesarelovely Sun 21-Jul-13 00:11:37

Well I've never refused one point blank but I did beg a Dr not to during labour. I agreed in the end but it was the 4 th in a few hours and bloody painful. When you are 9 mths pregnant, perhaps strapped to various monitors, in alot of pain it would be very hard to physically resist. Plus you can feel very vulnerable and as if you have no choice even if you do.

iamadoozermum Sun 21-Jul-13 00:12:49

Sometimes the way the HCP phrases it means that you don't realise that you can say no. E.g. "I'll just check to see how far gone you are", rather then "I think it would be good if I could check how many cm you are dilated because of X reason, will you allow me to do that?" I specifically put in my last birth plan that they midwife needed to specifically and clearly ask permission because the birth before that, the midwife didn't.

In the throes of labour, I found that the pain made moving difficult and so couldn't physically have stopped them. I had one internal that was very painful and I asked the midwife to stop and she goes "I'll be finished in a sec but I need to do this right now" and I wasn't in a position to get her out. It is easy to underestimate how vulnerable you feel whilst in labour and just after going against someone who has more power in the situation.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 21-Jul-13 00:13:00

I've never wamted to stop an internal for whatever reason, but I gave birth to ds1 in stirrups; it's not so easy to take your feet out ir close your legs. (That's why they were invented, after all.)

Fakebook Sun 21-Jul-13 00:14:24


You don't realise what's happening and it stuns you so you freeze up. I didn't particularly feel I could shut my legs or run away when there was a hook up my vagina scraping against the walls. hmm.

I had too many internals with my first baby and was told each time it was necessary. It wasn't necessary and I made sure I didn't have any with ds.

Eilidhbelle Sun 21-Jul-13 00:14:53

I'm no expert but I would imagine that during, or after, labour, a person is not physically able to push someone away, or 'kick (them) in the face'.

Not giving consent should be enough. What you're doing here, OP, is victim blaming. And that's horrible.

littlemissshittingit Sun 21-Jul-13 00:16:17

Can be. I had an internal in hospital as part of emergency treatment. The doctor forced my legs apart, over the bed's cot sides and forced a very sore intimate examination and treatment. I was crying, biting a paper towel for pain relief. I ended up bruised and bleeding because she was so rough. I had no choice because I was ill - but I did want her to stop. Difficulty is when you're frightened and in pain it's hard to be assertive, I just wailed that I was sore and wanted it over! .. Plus kicking her would never have worked given the fact that my legs were blimmin wrenched apart. I dont know if that was assault but it hasn't made future examinations/treatments easier to cope with.

In most cases though when I get internals - I've had over 50 - I flinch initally, spasm and pull myself backwards, most doctors instantly stop even if I dont ask them to. At least one refused to go any further. Most doctors are lovely if you explain your worries/fears - either not going ahead or if they must, going very gently and explaining everything, stopping for breaks etc which helps a lot.

Shiraztastic Sun 21-Jul-13 00:17:02

I have had my vagina swabbed by a gp without consent. I consented for a visual external examination. I was looking at ceiling and relaxing, when I felt a cotton bud inside me. I physically jumped.

I was not pregnant at the time btw.

Sometimes things happen so fast, or someone says they're doing one thing and does another. In my case I think it was just the next thing on the gp's checklist, only she forgot I didn't know, nor necessarily agree to her automatic next step.

GingerJulep Sun 21-Jul-13 00:19:50

Eilidhbelle that is absolutely NOT what I'm doing! And I'm slightly offended that you jumped to that conclusion.

What I was doing was asking a genuine (and as I'm now just a little past my due date and have specified no/minimal internals during labour potentially very personally relevant) question about something I know little about and was having trouble visualising.

To the other replies - thank you, that does indeed help me to understand a little!

INeedToKnow Sun 21-Jul-13 00:20:42

So it's my own fault.

A thread about a thread and a fucking vile and insensitive one at that.

Bogeyface Sun 21-Jul-13 00:23:23

I have 6 children. With my eldest (DS1 in 1990) it was done to me, I was told "I am just checking your cervix" and then she was up to her elbow in me, no discussion. I didnt care at the time, but thinking back makes me shudder.

With DD1 (1997) I was "asked" but in a way that made it clear that "no" was not an option.

With DD2 (2001), DD3 (2004) and DS2 (2005) if an internal was needed they would say why, get everything ready and then say "are you happy for me to proceed?" they also asked throughout it I was ok and to to just say if I wanted them to stop. I remember it because with DD2 I was really surprised that they asked. With DD4 (2011) I was at home and only had one internal after me begging the MW to check, as it was my longest labour by many many hours! I think she knew I was happy to proceed!

My point is that that is obviously protocol now at my local hospital, and should be throughout all gynae type exams in all hospitals or GP surgeries. Funnily enough, that same hospital is on the list for investigation for having a high death rate, but that at least, they seem to have got right.

MamaChubbyLegs Sun 21-Jul-13 00:23:34

It's very difficult to close your legs or kick anything when you have an overly determined midwife wrist deep in your fanny with her fingers hooked inside your cervix, actually.

<traumatised> angry

Twirlyhot Sun 21-Jul-13 00:24:55

You are victim blaming.

'Don't they have the option to just shut legs'

Listen to yourself FFS

GingerJulep Sun 21-Jul-13 00:26:34

INeedToKnow please read my second post on this thread before jumping to that conclusion.

Fakebook Sun 21-Jul-13 00:27:24

Ginger, unfortunately it does sound like you're blaming the victim for not jumping up and away. It's a very naive statement you've made. It's good to know that you know you can refuse internals and have had a think about it with your first pregnancy. I knew nothing with my first. I kept taking the midwives advice which left me scarred for life. Not everyone is clued up or in the right physical and mental state to stop the internals from happening.

Bogeyface Sun 21-Jul-13 00:29:15

I dont think the OP is victim blaming at all, she has never been that woman, as I and many of us were that had it "done" to us.

Its like someone saying "If my husband hit me even once I would leave" or "I wouldnt just lie there and let someone rape me". They say that because they genuinely dont understand what it is like to be in that situation and how they would react. They dont understand that if the man you have loved and been happy with for 20 years suddenly belts you one, you want to work out why, make sure it doesnt happen again etc. Or that when you are in real fear for your life, you will let someone rape you if it may mean that they wont kill you.

GingerJulep Sun 21-Jul-13 00:29:51

Twirlyhot likewise.

It was a genuine question about something relevant to my personal situation.

But on the plus side at the moment overly forceful HCPs are beginning to seem rather less scary than some of the MN posters so you have d0one something to alleviate my concern without any of the helpfulness of other posters!

Bogeyface Sun 21-Jul-13 00:31:16

Sorry, submitted too soon.....

So the OP also doesnt understand that when you are in the most vulnerable situation that any woman would ever expect to be in through choice, that it isnt that easy to just "close your legs".
She doesnt know and I pray that she never ever finds out.

Twirlyhot Sun 21-Jul-13 00:31:51

I accept that you asked a question about something relevant to you without meaning to upset or offend. You have phrased it very badly and it is upsetting and offensive.

INeedToKnow Sun 21-Jul-13 00:32:20

INeedToKnow please read my second post on this thread before jumping to that conclusion.

I did and I still think it's vile, insensitive and blaming me however you like to dress it up.

maja00 Sun 21-Jul-13 00:33:35

It's really not that easy to just kick a midwife in the face if they are doing something you haven't consented to. Most people would say no or ask someone to stop first, and expect to be listened to. When you are emotionally and physically vulnerable kicking someone in the face isn't your first thought.

NotYoMomma Sun 21-Jul-13 00:36:27

the OP is in tgeform of a question and she made it clear she had never been in that predicament herself.

if she is pregnant with her first surely after reading some threads on here you would think 'hmm oh my god. how can it happen so often, could it happen to me? I could just shut my legs?'

so asking people with experience when you are worried is not tge same as victim blaming IN THIS INSTANCE imo.

when I had dd I knew absolutley sweet bugger all - I didnt realise you would bleed, I had never heard of anti D (thanks biology you mofo) and I CERTAINLY didnt know about internal examinations or your rights to refuse them etc, found out online!

as many of us do!

wigglesrock Sun 21-Jul-13 00:37:16

Why didn't you just start a thread saying that you were a bit worried, confused re internals? In the title of a thread you specifically referenced a seperate thread where someone was asking for advice and support.

At the very least your opening post was thoughtless and insensitive.

GingerJulep Sun 21-Jul-13 00:39:00

Bogeyface is exactly right. I don't know. Which is why I asked.

If I knew/thought I did I wouldn't have posted the question.

I'd just be quietly and happily "blaming victims" by myself without giving my angry respondents the pleasure of venting. Go on girls (feel free, get angry about the gender assumption/diminutive terminology) enjoy yourselves! Just about cool enough to sleep here now so I shall look forward to your irate replies in the morning.

And to the genuinely helpful replies on here. Again, thank you. It is really helpful to hear other's experiences before contemplating facing something yourself for the first time.

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