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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Is it normal for a GP to rectally examine a small child?

(19 Posts)
jamie000 Wed 17-Dec-14 10:04:28

Before I go on, I am not part of the Yewtree which hunt... but it has got me thinking about an incident that was quite traumatic (tho I don't know whether it was 'bad' or not).

When I was about 7 my mum took me to the GP. I cannot remember the reason, but childhood constipation could have been the issue as that is pretty common. He asked her to leave the room and wait outside. He then asked me to lie face down on the examining bed. He drew down my trousers and stuck is finger in my bottom for a certain time (this is hazy). It was painful. The next thing is he drew back the curtain and went to the basin to wash his hands (no gloves?... I don't recall). Then he called mum back in.

Ever since that time I was very frightened of the GP, but this could have been perfectly normal - I'm asking here because Googling this event is not helpful.

Can anyone, especially a GP, shed any light? I'm not saying he was wrong, or that he was a perv, I just don't know... it was early 1980s

IndiansInTheLobby Wed 17-Dec-14 10:08:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Dec-14 10:10:16

yes can you ask her if she can remember why you were there?

jamie000 Wed 17-Dec-14 10:19:01

I don't speak to her, for other reasons

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Dec-14 10:20:19

what reasons if you don't mind me asking.

Hobby2014 Wed 17-Dec-14 10:22:13

A doctor did this to me when I was young. Probably similar to your age. My mum wasn't asked to leave the room though. Was due to constipation too. She was a female doctor, and the doctor I always went to for any issue. So I don't think it was necessarily anything iffy.

Hobby2014 Wed 17-Dec-14 10:23:04

Mine was late 90s.

originalusernamefail Wed 17-Dec-14 10:23:44

It's not unusual to do a rectal exam for constipation as it allows them to feel for impacted stool or if the blockage is further up. I would wash my hands after such a procedure gloves or not. The only thing out of the ordinary is your mum being asked to leave as a HCP I would prefer a chaperone and a parent could comfort the child through an unpleasant procedure.

Micah Wed 17-Dec-14 10:27:09

It's tricky. I don't know how old you are, but when I was a child doctors were all knowing and all powerful and my mum would have done anything they said. If a gp had asked her to leave the room while he did a rectal examination she would have.

In fact I remember thinking my mum was (is) quite obsessed with dr's looking at bums as any stomach pain visit was usually accompanied by a whispered warning that the Dr might want to look "down there"

I know my sister had quite a few rectal exams and a bowel wash out for "constipation". The bowel wash out my mum definitely wasn't present as I remember sitting in the waiting room with her.

That isn't to say some dr's might not have taken advantage of situations. But I do think it's far less acceptable now- I wouldn't let anyone near my dc unless they could give me a very good reason, I was present, and the dc knew and had consented as best they can.

willitbe Wed 17-Dec-14 10:27:21

Sounds a bit odd.

I had rectal exams as a child, but nurse and my mum were present and I was on my side laying on the exam table with my knees bent (fetal style position).

So I would say bending over table is also a bit odd way of doing exam too!

But it seems feasible that it was just the way that the doc chose to do exam??????? But it was a stupid thing to send out parent.

SirChenjin Wed 17-Dec-14 10:28:27

DD has recently had a rectal examination. She's 15, it was specifically carried out by a female Dr, and I was asked to stay in the room.

ItIsSmallerOnTheOutside Wed 17-Dec-14 10:31:21

I had stomach issues as a child and was given a rectal examintion at about the sa

ItIsSmallerOnTheOutside Wed 17-Dec-14 10:35:36


At about the same age as you. However, mine was like willitbe described and there were others present, including my mum.

It does sound odd that she was asked to leave but it might be how things were done then depending on when it happened? Mine would have been approx 1995

SweetsForMySweet Wed 17-Dec-14 10:44:09

It sounds odd but if part of your complaint was having a sore bum I presume he was checking if you had piles or bleeding or checking for signs of possibly child abuse.

funambulist Wed 17-Dec-14 10:47:32

Perhaps you could ask to see your medical records? Then you would at least know why you were taken to see the doctor, which doctor you saw, whether it was the same one each time and whether the examination was recorded.

jamie000 Wed 17-Dec-14 10:48:14

OK. Sounds like it could have been perfectly normal. Though pretty frightening to me at the time (I only remembered it as a flashback - which made be suspicious you see).
I wanted to sound it out as there are other weird memories, and I just wanted to put this one aside.
FYI I don't talk to her (well, as little as possible to be precise, and I'm not unkind or rude, I just avoid her as much as possible) as she is not a mum, she is the person who gave birth to me. I don't hate her, I just don't want to love her or be loved by her, it's far too risky a thing to do. I'm much much happier (genuinely! smile) on my own.

jamie000 Wed 17-Dec-14 10:55:13

Some confusion...I meant he was painful!

jamie000 Wed 17-Dec-14 10:55:46

Thanks, not thought of that. Will investigate.

prankormistake Wed 17-Dec-14 11:08:42

i would also ask for medical records

sounds ok on the face of it
but sounds like you've had quite a hard time of it with your mum

I hope you will be ok

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