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male doctors

(24 Posts)
qqquavers Sat 12-Feb-11 14:48:49

Anyone else scared of getting a male doctor? Sometimes I feel I'm the only one not comfortable letting a complete stranger see and touch my most private areas. I know they are there to help, but it just creeps me out to say the least. No matter how nice they are, I would just not be able to trust them. Anyone else feel this way? how did you deal with it? I'm terrified.

Samvet Sat 12-Feb-11 14:57:22

I felt the same but at the birth had several males and a male doc actually delivered baby. Believe me I didn't care. An alien could have done it for all I cared as long as baby was safe. Honestly I couldn't let a male doc examine me in pregnancy but in labour I was not bothered, there is more to worry about then!

QTPie Sat 12-Feb-11 17:55:40

I try not to think of them as a man, but just as a doctor.... As I hope he sees me as a patient and not a woman (if that makes sense).

When I was pregnant, I had a bleed at 9 weeks (following an early miscarriage the cycle before last). Went to early pregnancy clinic to get it checked out and - before I knew it - a male obs inserted a trans-vaginal ultrasound probe.... Was so relieved that baby was still ok (and now just over a year old), that didn't really feel violated (it sure was odd, but was "all business). After that, externals (male or female) didn't bother me much (unless they were uncomfortable). Yes, I felt like a slab of meat or a pregnant cow, but anything sexual was far from my mind (and I hope there's!).

Good luck in separating your thoughts. If I focussed on "whatever is best for the baby and me" (and having my husband there for moral support) it was ok

QT

qqquavers Sat 12-Feb-11 18:06:41

thanks samvet and qtpie qtpie, thats what I worry about, how do you know what is on their mind? I know its what they do all day everyday, but I would feel so much more trust in a female doc (even a lesbian)that their mind is on the job and that alone. How do you know if you get the bad egg so to speak? its just scary, and I'd feel pretty violated.
I would certainly have my partner there for sure too, but thats a whole other weird thing, him seeing that... hmm

QTPie Sat 12-Feb-11 19:37:58

I think that the best thing is to assume that you have a good egg and use "mind over matter"?

I am not a man (and they can think weirdly!), but I can't see how women's bits - in an obstetric/gynae situation - can be vaguely attractive/sexual.... (but men are quite odd some times). Sometimes it isn't what other people think or don't think that is important, but what importance we give to what they think or don't think - if that makes sense...

Trust your partner - pregnancy/childbirth is hard work and emotionally tough, but it should bring you closer together.

QT

squiggleywiggler Sat 12-Feb-11 20:18:32

qqquavers if you are having a 'normal' pregnancy you'll probably be offered midwife-led care. Most midwives are women and you can specify that you don't want a male midwife - it's a reasonably common request and you can put it on your birth plan and remind them when you ring up when you are in labour.

If a doctor needs to get involved you can again ask if a female doctor can attend, but as there are less doctors around there it could end up being a man.

Perhaps you could talk your partner about how you feel about this in advance? Maybe the two of you can work through why you are so worried about this and put a plan in place in case you do need to have a male doctor present (maybe your partner could let the doctor know you might be uncomfortable so that they can be extra careful to explain everything to you).

If the idea of home birth appeals you can safeguard your own space a little more. Find out more about that here: www.homebirth.org.uk

Finally, have you thought of having a doula with you? She's someone who'll get to know you both, can help you work through your anxieties, allow your partner to take a less 'business end' role if that's what you both want and help protect your privacy on the night. Trainees cost less than £200 and you can find doulas here www.doula.org.uk or message me and (as I am one) I'll see if I can find you someone local who you could talk to on the phone to see if it might be for you.

qqquavers Sat 12-Feb-11 20:48:57

Sorry, I meant having my partner there watching a male doc do his thing (haven't yet asked him how he'd feel about seeing that tho). I'm certainly not shy with him seeing or touching me even during childbirth. I think he'd make me feel safer and loved no matter what end he's on.

My first gynae experience was so bad that smear tests (the two since Ive been able to go through) were an absolute ordeal for me, even with a woman doing them.
Yes, I am considering homebirth if all is well!

thank you!

Hassled Sat 12-Feb-11 20:52:16

You really really won't care at the time. Chances are you won't see a male anyone (I had a male medical student stitching me up after DC1, but I think that was the only time - 4 DC), but if you do just remember they do this all the time, it means nothing to them.

NorthernGobshite Sat 12-Feb-11 20:54:10

Wasn't bothered at all. Has wee on bed pan in front of 5 med students during labour, various midwives elbow deep in my fanjo during labour..a male doctor least of worries!

SnailWhaleTail Sat 12-Feb-11 21:05:04

I work in an operating theatre and as part of my job see a LOT of genitals for various operations. I can say 100% that it is all business and no thoughts of anything else whatever the sex of the practitioners and doctors.

On Thursday morning I scrubbed for a D&C which meant I had to position the patient and prep the vagina, and in the afternoon I did a laparoscopic prostatectomy which entailed me holding a penis in gloved fingers for several hours on and off. None of this was at all suggestive or sexual, it just doesn't occur to us really.

I appreciate its embaressing having someone up your bits whilst you're awake but it's a means to an end for you and for them its something they do several times a day.

Good luck with your birth.

cookingfat Tue 15-Feb-11 05:35:28

Gave birth in mw-led unit with 4 women mws (shift change, plus 2 students), but had to go to theatre for spinal block as the mw fucked up my stitches. 3 of the women were great, one was awful and I was incredibly happy to meet the male doctor, anaesthetist & OT technician - all 3 made me feel safe, calm and it honestly didn't cross my mind about what they were doing or seeing. What I'm trying to say is that gender isn't important, personality and communication skills are. Sorry if waffly - birth was 3 days ago!

mathanxiety Tue 15-Feb-11 06:21:40

Doctors are not half as interested in your nether regions except for medical purposes as you think they are. They are really busy and honestly have more things to think about than the sexual aspects of your bottom while you're delivering a baby through it, which is apparently not the kind of thing that makes most men think of sex anyway. Plus it's probably the 55th fanny they have seen that day.

Assuming all men might be out to molest you is a very unhealthy way of looking at 50% of the population. Are there some problems you have encountered that have led you to the beliefs you hold about men?

If you really think your partner might be freaked out by seeing a male doctor working on you, you're probably married to a twat.

Bucharest Tue 15-Feb-11 07:00:38

What everyone else has said.
It's just fancy plumbing to them isn't it?

To actually presume any man is going to want you in that way just because he's a man is actually a bit presumptuous no?

My gynae is now an MP, and every time I see his bouffanty hair and permatanned face looking down at me from a poster on the street I remember where I last saw that head, poking out from between my legs....

It'll be fine! smile

VivaLeBeaver Tue 15-Feb-11 07:48:35

Ditto what others have said. Also a Dr will always be chaperoned by a midwife when doing examinations - for their protection as well as yours.

I honestly believe that male Drs view vaginas in the same way a male dentist would view a mouth. Its something they have to see/deal with every day - but from them its just a problem/question that needs answering. How many cm dilated? What way round is baby facing? Can I get the baby out with a ventouse or will it be forceps or is she going to push baby out herself? Believe me there is nothing remotely sexy about a woman in labour. smile

Squitten Tue 15-Feb-11 10:40:29

I had a male registrar the first time around and I agree with others - did not care in the slightest. He was a really lovely man though - nicer than any of the female midwives I have met!

Strangely, the only time the pain stopped for me in that labour was when he was doing an internal and I remember joking to DH whether it would be innapropriate to ask him to keep doing that

Louii Tue 15-Feb-11 10:47:27

Bucharest laughing about your pema-tanned MP/ gynae.

PukeyMummy Tue 15-Feb-11 21:41:17

Had a male doc manipulating DD during labour (yep, he had his hand up my fanjo!) and I did not care in the slightest.

I know a couple of male obstetricians and they honestly don't care.

Only awkwardness would be if you encountered a doc you know IRL. Which is one very important reason why I'm changing hospital for birth of DC2, as we know one at my booked hospital!

gloyw Wed 16-Feb-11 13:59:12

It's worth bearing in mind that an aversion to or genuine fear/phobia of being intimately examined by a male doctor can happen because of previous traumatic encounters, like sexual assualt/abuse/rape etc.

It was for me, and it means that my reactions to certain situations like being exposed or examined, especially if I was in pain, aren't always something I can control.

This may or may not be the OP's problem, but it is a different issue to the (slightly odd) idea that male gynaes get their jollies from touching female genitals as part of their jobs.

That said, I think it's fair enough to feel awkward or uncomfortable about VEs or birth procedures - there's often a lot of pressure to feel that you shouldn't mind who's touching you, or how, around the whole business of reproduction and birth. Fair enough, if you genuinely don't mind! But for some of us, it's a more complex issue, and just being 'jollied along' isn't very helpful, even if kindly intended.

TheRealDeal Thu 28-Jul-11 04:27:35

The importance of having female doctors attend to female needs is due to the invasiveness of the examinations and the association of male-female interactions. Doctors and scientists are people to, they are not morally above others simply because they have credentials, (I would certainly never admit to being so).
I’m a scientist, so I’m a fan of hard science rather than opinion, so here is some useful information:
http://article.wn.com/view/2011/05/01/Male_doctors_more_likely_to_misbehave/

http://www.ninemonths.com.au/a-father%E2%80%99s-presence-during-childbirth-not-always-best-option/
(Actually women respond with anxiety to male pheromones which they register subconsciously as threatening in a vulnerable situation in which they have no intention of engaging in intercourse – e.g. male doctor doing exam).
Additionally, vaginal massage during childbirth can help relieve pain as can masturbation.

You can choose who you see. You are in charge. If you want a doctor rather than a midwife (and some truly are miserable) then ask for a female doctor. If there is not one ‘within the service’ go to another hospital. Planning makes simple!

Just to let you know.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 28-Jul-11 05:39:42

Six months old

exoticfruits Thu 28-Jul-11 07:45:18

I have had a look too Tortoise and TheRealDeal has had to go back months to find all these threads. If she has comments to make about childbirth she should start her own threads.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Thu 28-Jul-11 07:53:29

Have to say I've never sat down and thought about this. The only time a male doc has been at that end has been for what I class as pretty serious reasons. It did not bother me. In fact was probably more bothered about having to get my fat belly out for scans and an amnio blush

it is very telling that you actually say you would prefer a lesbian to a male doc.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 28-Jul-11 07:54:44

And they're not all in the same sections, exotic, some were from AIBU, etc. So she's clearly done keyword searches and everything.

Baffling.

exoticfruits Thu 28-Jul-11 07:59:06

Utterly baffling.confused

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