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To want to see a female rather than male physio for post natal issues?

(55 Posts)
CoffeeAndOranges Fri 15-Apr-16 08:47:30

Had an appointment to see a (female) physio earlier in the week to help me with some persisting spd after my baby was born 4.5 months ago. I went along to the appointment and they'd cocked it up, making the appointment at the hospital but sending me a letter telling me it was at the community health centre.

They made me another appointment this Monday and yesterday when the letter arrived the named physio was a man. I had assumed it would be with the same woman and it wasn't mentioned when I rescheduled.

I had a difficult birth & was left slightly traumatised. The recurring pain is deep in my groin so there's a good chance he might want to have a knead. Whilst I know he will be nothing but professional and respectful, I feel quite apprehensive about it and am considering ringing and asking to rearrange with a woman. Maybe I feel like a woman might have more empathy.

I feel like I'm being unreasonable and sexist but I still feel quite vulnerable in that area. I still have traumatic memories of a (male) doctor with huge hands trying to tug my cervix opening round while in the throes of a contraction and screaming in pain. I know it's not connected but I'm worried I might freak out a bit and want to feel as comfortable as possible.

AIBU? Please be kind!

curren Fri 15-Apr-16 08:53:23

Yanbu. But presuming this is on the NHS I would imagine they can't always ensure a female is available when there are appointments.

I would have also thought that you would have needed to mention it on booking.

I wouldn't be sure that a woman would have more empathy. I find women who haven't had kids or quite easy pregnancies and labours quite Un Empathetic about pregnancy and child birth.

I suffered SPD that took a long time to correct. Women were the most scathing about pregnancy evening entirely natural and I was putting on the months of pain afterwards.

That comes down to the person not the gender.

I would call them and explain after a traumatic birth you would feel more comfortable with a woman and see what they can do.

dolkapots Fri 15-Apr-16 08:53:36

You are DNBU. Trauma or no trauma, it is your right to ask for a female when one is available. You don't need to justify the reasons either, just phone up and say you want to see the female physio.

Hope you get your issues sorted.

primarynoodle Fri 15-Apr-16 08:58:01

Yanbu but they are professionals and just want to do their job (whatever that may entail that day..)

Fwiw at 16 weeks preg i had a big leak and thought my waters had gone.. i went to the emergency labour ward at the hospital and the doctor on duty was male (specifically a ward ONLY for preg women) and he had to do all sorts of vaginal clamps and swabs and prodding. I would much have preferred a women but he went out of his way to be as empathetic and professional as possible (probably because he was a guy and knew this made an embarrassing situation more awkward)

BitOutOfPractice Fri 15-Apr-16 09:02:47

First of all, you poor women. That sounds very traumatic and, having also been "examined" during a contraction, I know just how distressing it is thanks

YANBU at all to want a women physio. At all. But whether you'll be able to get one without a long wait on the NHS is another thing. Physio services are very stretched. Is going private an option?

Hope you manage to get something sorted

RNBrie Fri 15-Apr-16 09:07:04

There is no harm in calling and asking if it's feasible to swap. The worst that can happen is they say no. If they do say no then give it a shot and see how it goes. My experience has always been really good with male physios.

CoffeeAndOranges Fri 15-Apr-16 09:15:11

Thanks, I thought I was going to be shot down in flames and told I was being massively precious and unreasonable. I will ring shortly and see. I appreciate they were trying to fit me in and if they can't reschedule for ages I will maybe give it a go with him (and try not to be too embarrassed when explaining that my pelvic floor is not what it was).

ClopySow Fri 15-Apr-16 09:20:28

YANBU. I'm seeing a male physio, but was asked first if i was happy to see a male. I would have thought that should be pretty standard procedure.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Fri 15-Apr-16 09:26:56

Any male nurses or doctors I have been treated by have been far more conscious about causing pain than female staff.

Men can get SPD too from injury to the pelvis so the physio may well be great.

I can understand why you might feel self conscious but it's not an internal exam? I'd get the treatment asap rather than wait for a female physio to be honest.

cleaty Fri 15-Apr-16 09:27:00

YANBU, I have done the same.

cleaty Fri 15-Apr-16 09:29:10

And I always think it doesn't matter if the physio is professional. Physios are used to touching strangers bodies. I am not used to strangers touching my body. And my comfort matters, as does yours.

xinchao Fri 15-Apr-16 09:29:56

I have had a lot of problems post-birth (nearly 3 years ago). Have seen multiple physicians (lots of different backgrounds) and felt that it was much easier to explain my pain to another woman. Like you, my pain was deep in my groin and had to 'point at' - I had to describe it. The women I saw understood my descriptions much more than the men and I thought this was because they are women with the same bits as me! I saw a fantastic woman who specialises in post natal physio - if you're able to go privately see if there is someone in your area. Seeing her was the first massive step on my road to recovery.

Good luck! flowers

xinchao Fri 15-Apr-16 09:30:20

*hard to point at

AliceInUnderpants Fri 15-Apr-16 09:35:06

I'd imagine they've fitted you in with whoever they could at short notice. If you don't mind waiting for availability, YANBU to request a switch to a female.

MrsJayy Fri 15-Apr-16 09:38:06

Phone them up and ask if there is a woman available you need to be comfortable yanbu

Fluffy24 Fri 15-Apr-16 09:38:47

I'd give him a chance, my physio is male and I'm sure has seen and prodded everything - he's very good and I'm sure it's more aware of not trying to hurt me too much compared to some of the women. That said I did feel a bit awkward seeing him post-natally because I was worried I'd leak milk if I was lying on my front foot any time and that's probably not something he sees so often. grin

Osmiornica Fri 15-Apr-16 09:45:19


I had the same thing after my last birth and went to see the physio - they just gave me exercises which didn't help. I eventually (after a year or so) went to an osteopath who was more hands on - it was pressure on my hips though not groin area - and that sorted it out. I did have a relapse when I took up running but went to the osteopath again and it's been mostly fine since.

CoffeeAndOranges Fri 15-Apr-16 09:46:18

I rang the hospital and the chap (ironically) that answered was very understanding and within 30 mins had swapped things round so I am seeing a female physio (who is also the senior physio) at the same time. Just hope I haven't now made whoever I've been swapped with uncomfortable...

You just expect your body to bounce back don't you, just another thing they don't tell you about pregnancy and birth!

MrsDeVere Fri 15-Apr-16 09:47:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlueJug Fri 15-Apr-16 09:47:43

If we allow people to pick and choose on the grounds of sex it is a short step to being able to pick and choose on the grounds of race/ religion/culture.

I understand how you feel. I had similar problems - but in the end it was fine. I would hate to think that our sons and daughters will be barred from certain places and professions on the grounds of patient/customer choice.

A Muslim woman - only a Muslim female practitioner
A Muslim man - only a male Muslim doctor
A Catholic woman only a male catholic surgeon
A white woman -only a white Atheist or CofE practitioner

Good reasons for all of these preferences depending on the procedure. If that is how people feel. whether we should accommodate them is another matter.

Hope it goes well OP.

BitOutOfPractice Fri 15-Apr-16 09:51:09

Oh that's a brilliant result OP. Really pleased for you. I hope she can sort you out - I think physios are miracle workers! I cried with relief and gratitude to my physio when he made such a difference to me after just one session. Fingers crossed it's just as effective for you thanks

IceBeing Fri 15-Apr-16 09:52:21

I agree with bluejug. I hope that as our culture becomes less sexist men and women will stop feeling so alien about each other and this issue would stop arising.

A stranger is a stranger and no more or less strange, no more or less likely to sympathise or be professional depending on their gender.

IceBeing Fri 15-Apr-16 09:53:27

sorry posted to soon - for now given the sexism that does pervade our society it is reasonable for people to think the way the OP does and to ask for a swap. Glad it turned out well.

MrsDeVere Fri 15-Apr-16 09:54:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cleaty Fri 15-Apr-16 09:57:48

Less sexist? Well maybe if so many women were not routinely sexually harassed by men they might view men who are strangers differently?

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