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July 8, 2024 20 mins

Going to the gynecologist can be a vulnerable experience, and can really hinge on the gynecologist. We talk about some gendered differences and preferences when it comes to going to the gynecologist.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, this is Anny and Samantha.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
I'm alcome to staff. I've never told your protection of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 3 (00:18):
And welcome to another Monday Mini where I just talk
about personal things.

Speaker 1 (00:23):
Excellent. You't ready for that any I don't know, am I.

Speaker 3 (00:28):
That's a great question. Beforehand, I am going to put
this trigger warning. I am going to talk about sexual
abuse a little bit, and we're going to just talk
about like you know, rus, vagina, all those things. So
if you don't want that to be talked about in public,
or you don't want to have it out loud, you
might want to pass by this one indoor, save it
for a private moment or in your air pods. I
don't know any of those things, because you know this week.

Last week, I realized that my IUD is overdue. So
essentially I've hit my five year mark with the Kylina
and I am not being sponsored by any of these
right now. Just FYI, we've had many episodes about IUDs
on here. Well, you've talked about it personally. I've talked
about it personally. I know. Uh. Previous hosts Caroline and
Kristen talked about it. Caroline talked about her experience and

they actually shared my experience too, which was hilarious because
we had very different reactions to it. My first experience
with IUD was so simple that I went running that
same day because I did not It did not bother me.

Speaker 1 (01:22):
I say, it has a lot.

Speaker 3 (01:23):
To do with like your pain, your period pains in general,
and I grew up with really bad period pains, So
when getting that IUD in, I was like, uh, okay, cool.

Speaker 1 (01:34):
I will say.

Speaker 3 (01:36):
When I got my IUD in, my guide to Collegiest,
who is a woman, played it off really easily, was like, yeah,
you'll be fine, because I was like, I heard these
following things in which UH co host Caroline at the
time talked about it on here that she threw up
and she saw spots and she had this really uh
painful experience versus myself, who I was like, yeah, that's fine, okay.

She literally was like, you want to take some ibuprofen.
Here's a little local anesthetic and done. And it pinched,
and I moved on getting it removed because right as
the Trump administration came in, it was kind of on
the edge of like, this is the time I was
supposed to get it taken out, and she was like, well,
you know, technically the ID I had previously, the Morena

couldn't last up to seven years. So she's like, you
could wait, and I was like, but it's the Trump
administration and I don't know what's going to happen and
what's going to be no longer allowed or banned. So
I was like, let's go ahead and change. It's five years,
let's go ahead and change it. And so I got
my new one. So I've now hit my five year mark.
Since then, Yeah, it was around that time it was happening.
Things were happening. Roe v Wade was looking really precarious.

We were all like, oh my god, Oh my god.
So I got it changed, and now if hit my
five year mark, and I'm like, okay, let's go back,
and I've kept essentially the same guyancologist.

Speaker 1 (02:50):
I really liked her.

Speaker 3 (02:51):
She was a younger, non white person as mycologist. Again,
like I said, her reactions to like, oh, you'll be fine.
These are the things. And that was when I was
initially back and getting a new one.

Speaker 1 (03:05):
It pulled. It hurt.

Speaker 3 (03:06):
Actually getting it changed out hurt a lot more than
either one getting used to It hurt a lot more
because it could be like six months to get used
to it. So like, getting past those marks were a
big deal, and I understand like people like I don't
want to do this, and I get that getting past
that has been amazing because I've not had a period
in like ten years and I am not unhappy about it.
Every now and then again I get the phantom pains

PMS period pains that I'm like, oh, why is this
Because it's not accompanied by actual period blood or blood,
I don't realize what it is, but I'm like, oh,
but these are the symptoms. I do remember this, and
recently it's gotten a little worse, and I'm wondering it's
because I'm at the end of this IUD period, I
like expiration, and so I'm starting to feel a little
more pains. Still isn't still no bleeding, so I'm thinking okay.

But with all of that comes the horror in my
mind of like, what if it's traveled. What is one
of those things that has gone on the wrong place,
It's gone into my uterus and I'm really, really this
is going to be bad, trying to get it out.
What if I'm pregnant and is an ectopic pregnancy and
because of the laws in the state of Georgia. I'm
because they won't let me do what I need to
do and think they're going to like replant it or something,
which is a misconception and not possible. I know I'm

speaking to the like I'm speaking to our audience, so
they know I know. But just just in case people
are work confused, that's not a thing. But all of
that to say it is like, Okay, it's time for
me to go. Last time, when I went to see
my gotten in colleges, she had an intern, someone in

med school that was shadowing her. It ended up being
a man, and I didn't love that. But because I
don't know how to voice anything, and as secure as
I seem and as like bold as I seem, I'm
very insecure and I don't want to rock the boat.
So he came in with her and she's like, is
this okay? And I was like, ah, yeah, okay, And

I again was not a huge fan of this. But
he did some of the examinations and he was fine.
But for many of us who have gone through trauma
with men, didn't love this. I like, it's like see
it in the back of my head of like, oh
my god, this is awful.

Speaker 1 (05:18):
I did not want this.

Speaker 3 (05:20):
Next go round, I ended up going seeing the kind
ofcologist my regular one was not available, so I saw
a different woman, but they initially tried to give me
a man. I was like, no, no, no, that's the
one thing I don't want. Please don't give me a man.
I had a different young woman. She was fantastic. It
didn't have any issues. She was confused because I essentially
used my gynecologist as my primary care physician, because I'm like, oh,
I didn't realize I could do that.

Speaker 1 (05:41):
Okay, let this.

Speaker 3 (05:42):
Makes it easier because I don't want to go to
ten different appointments for all the different things. I went
in with her for a wellness check. Everything was fine
this time around. I was also ready to go, and
they were like, can you come in today? We have
a doctor soul and so I was like wait because
the name was like generic enough that sometimes it's use
for women. I know this, and I was like, is
that a man? Like I had to officially ask. She's

like yes, and I was like, okay, no, I would
rather be like I'm uncomfortable with that. I'd i'd rather
this person that I've known she's not available for a
while because she's now popular and very very booked, and
she's like, well, the next available appointment is in two months,
three months. And I was like, good god, what I'm like, okay, well,
just so you know, I need a new IUD. I'm
having some weird symptoms. I'm a little worried and.

Speaker 1 (06:25):
Like all these things. She's like, Okay, well, we'll put
you in for cancelations.

Speaker 3 (06:28):
YadA, YadA, YadA, and which made me really think about
the fact that there's a chunk of us and this
is historically and factually understood that women typically prefer to
have other women physicians for a gynocologists, like that's been
the statistics. As in fact, here's what health careers dot
com says, is impossible to ignore the fact that many

women want a woman practitioner, says one doctor, that's because
they feel most of the female physicians are more empathetic.
Sometimes it is for comfort level, since patients are in
a vulnerable position during a pelvic exam. Lastly, an exam
maybe gentler since most women have smaller hands than their
male counterparts. The preference for a female isn't just anecdotal,

as a twenty sixteen review in Obstetrics and Guidecology notes,
the authors looked at twenty three studies including fourteen seven
hundred and thirty six patients, and determined that quote, the
majority of women surveyed fifty point two percent preferred female
over a male obgyn, eight point four preferred a male,
and surprisingly forty one point three had no preference. So

very very very small number of women are like, yes,
I would rather have a man. Of course, this continues.
There's no discounting the woman woman potential for a warmer
exchange in the office, and there's no question that it
as better communication between doctor and patience. It goes on,
say this one woman doctor, she's enjoyed those patient relationships
and knows they flourish because women are smart, talented, thorough,

and empathetic to patients. Again, we had that earlier manny mania.
Any broad about patients to women, doctors are more likely
to live, Yeah, it's likely to die in general and
obgyn no exception. I think probably more so. And it

goes on to talk about how specifically like what their
conversations are like, and what it looks like to have
a woman kind of being like a mother figure or
a sister figure being able to talk to you because
they know how this feels. Although there is a reminder
because there's also been horror stories where women doctors do
associate their own experience and displaces them onto their patients,

and their experience may be completely different. So they may,
like me, not had that much pain, and so assume
everybody's like that, which is not true, which is cannot
be true, and there's different levels of pain also also
like with things like indiemitriosis and all those other unknown
even ailments that happened that people have dismissed for years

that they are not often talked about enough. Again, we
also talked about the amount of time that a person
spends with a doctor. I will say my initial doctor,
she was great, but then the second time along, even
though she didn't remember me, it was much quicker, and
maybe because she had like a fuller plate, the newer
doctor that had gone to the young woman.

Speaker 1 (09:23):
She was young and.

Speaker 3 (09:24):
Fairly new practicing, so she was a lot more like
detailed with me, also a lot more confused on some
of the things I requested. I was like, oh, this
is interesting, but all this to say, like this was
a back and forth in my head, like is there
a reason beyond like what I assume? Again for me specifically, yes,
mine is a trauma reaction. And I don't think I

ever told any of my doctors this. And this is
where I'm like, just so ya, No, I have a
vivid memory slash dream like one of the things that
I remember. Again, it may have been a dream, but
it's it's associated with something because this is a young
childhood where I was getting exammed as a five year
old in.

Speaker 1 (10:05):
A room full of men.

Speaker 3 (10:07):
And when I say exammed, I'm talking about like a
literal gynecological exam.

Speaker 1 (10:11):
Why would that happen for a five year old? There's
a lot of questions.

Speaker 3 (10:15):
I just have a vivid, vivid picture of being surrounded
by men in a room while I was being examed.
So like all these things, that is such a vivid
and wild picture for me that scares the living daylights
out of me, even to this age, because I'm like,
these are some of the reasons I have repressed memories.
I don't remember a lot from my childhood. I just

know I have a lot of fear when it came
to men in general, and then growing up, so like
all of that to say, for me, there was a
reason like no, I don't I don't want a man,
And of course with that there's this a level of like,
ok but there is a bias obviously from me because
of that trauma response. And it's not their fault and

it's not my fault. And they're been articles upon articles
honestly saying please choose a man, and these are from
obviously men. In fact, one article written by doctor Lawait saying,
who is a Singaporean opguy.

Speaker 1 (11:17):
N Uh.

Speaker 3 (11:18):
It's like, these are the six reasons you should you know,
come to a man, like he specifically says this, and
then one says they can be easy to talk to.

Speaker 1 (11:26):
So I'm like, okay, so are women maybe more so?
I don't know.

Speaker 3 (11:32):
And then the next one was males can understand female
anatomy too, and I was like, okay, okay, okay.

Speaker 1 (11:43):
So sure.

Speaker 3 (11:43):
The next one was like they are equally experienced, and
that could be true, like when it comes to like
medical practices and learning, they all go through the same training,
they all go through the same uh education, But once
again that that personal experience can be different as well
as we understand that the narrative is that men often
try to go higher up very quickly, so sometimes don't
have that personal understanding. It says men could be easy

to talk to. They said it again. I just realized
they really want so, like, there's actually five reasons, and
then then you just added one more to it to
give you six. They are carrying in humorous and they
broke the common stereotype, and I'm like, no, that's not
actually true because in the different article they talk about
how gynecologists explain why there's so many men in the profession,

and so I'm like, so many maybe in comparison to
they're not saying that it's more men, but they're saying
there's a lot of men. Stanford summary of the study
noted that females typically requested females us, possibly due to the
expectation of kindness and combession, but then after initial awkwardness,
female patients do seem to want male doctors, and in
that article it says at this point, the data shows
that men tend to prefer gynecology, while female trainees lean

towards obstetrics, which focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.
This could also be down to gender based hurdles. Gynecology
is a slightly more surgical specialty compared to obstetrics, and
surgery has always been a slightly more male dominated area,
which comes with its own challenges. A doctor says, surgical
training can be pretty intense with really long days, which

can be tricky if you're trying to juggle training with
having a family and working part time. Isn't always easy.
The same doctor as that women can also still face
sexism in the workplace, though that it's changing, and acknowledge
that the issue she has raises also face women outside
the medical profession. So yes, Obviously that conversation is that
sexism still exists even in a.

Speaker 1 (13:33):
Field that specialized for uteruses.

Speaker 3 (13:35):
So I find that interesting in that conversation because in
another article they do talk about how oftentimes even in
the higher ups in this field is still men, so
it is still dominated by men even though there's lesser
of them in this field. All of those conversations come
into play. I found several articles that I'm not going

to get too much into it about trauma informed care
for obgy ends and what is noted, they do talk
about clinical indicators of possible past sexual trauma in the
which they say not able to feel fetal movement. Some
women have numbed the part of the body, so apparently
that could be a sign. Chronic pelvic pain, missed prenatal appointments,

panic with vaginal exams, extreme anxiety, disassociation, So all of
those things could be signs. But also all those things
could be coming because you were like, this is about
my vagina, and this is awkward, and I don't know
what to do because it's so it's so taboo in general,
like vaginas are so taboo in general, and people are
ashamed of it. They have the shame culture of what

it is, to the point that many people don't go
to the guy in colleges in general when they desperately,
when everybody desperately should do it, and they do tell practitioners,
you know, what they can do to minimize those types
of pain about like, you know, they should be mindful
of the embat lets of power, yes, in this the
doctor type power. And then with that, of course, came
article upon article about different abuse cases that happened that

are all generally men. I didn't see any statistics that
show that there were more cases of abuse in UH
obgyn than any other practice. I didn't see that, but
the ones that I did see were all men, Like
it was a male uh practitioner. And that's again that
that small inkling of like could this happen to me?
Because there was like some of the witness statements work.

I thought this was part of the exam, and then
realizing later that it was actually really sexual, and you're like,
wait what. And again, though I have definitely I know
mal o bg I ns, and they've talked about how
like it's just a body part, just like any other things,
and they have no connection to it, and you have
to disassociate because this is not sexual to them at all,
which is what you want to hear. But at the

same time, things have happened where you're like, hmm, but
is it? And then there was one small article and
I realized this publication was an extremely white, right winged
teen magazine, which I've talked about before and I believe
we talked about them and our Christianity episode. But their
title is mel oeg y Ns are some of the

most prolific predators in society, and they're flying under the radar.
So I don't want to play into that either because
I would say probably more like church priests and preachers.
But okay, we'll just leave it there. But in that
like that, that's that conversation, like that does also maybe

that's a part of what's in my brain. That's a bias,
that's like that fear could be true. I think about
that dentist too though, because I've heard horstories about dentists.
I'm having no time. This has everything to do with
my trauma. But again it comes back to like I'm
interested in why men chose these professions more so than

anything else. Not that they can't, and not that any
profession is not. It should be wide open and should
have open opportunities and equal opportunities, and we've always said that,
but it does fascinate me about why do men want
to be in gynecology?

Speaker 1 (17:12):
Is it for the money? Is it easy?

Speaker 3 (17:14):
Because like we've talked about how like social work and teaching,
it is mainly women nominated fields and then we have
but when a man does come in there get celebrated
a little more so they're the more like celebrity and
it is at that same level like they're like, oh,
you're doing something unique, and not like you really care

about women in this field, or you really care about children,
which is such a feminine thing, or any of those
level that I wonder if that's part of the appeal.
But yeah, I just went down this rabbit hole of like,
how how often do we see this? How do we, uh,
I guess, combat it or ease our nerves? And should
I give this? Should I have given this man a chance?

Because I'm like, now I have to wait three months? Also,
can we talk about the healthier system that like I,
I have these symptoms, I'm a little worried, and they're like, well,
if anything bad happens, go to the er or our
argent care, which is like ten times the amount of
what you have to pay.

Speaker 1 (18:09):
Yeah, our systems, it really is. They're trying to kill
people with uterses and marginalized people. Anyway, Yeah, that's another episode.

Speaker 2 (18:19):
I will say. I know I've told the story before,
so I won't do it again. But I was traumatized
by my first right is it too? A gynecologist And
he was.

Speaker 1 (18:28):
A huge broad man, so it was a man.

Speaker 2 (18:32):
It was a man, huge, and I was fifteen and
he didn't really tell me anything, and then he told
me he was going to call my dad and tell
him I'm pregnant. And if you ever listened to Thirteen
Days of Halloween, the first story I have on there
red velvet is based on the trauma I went through

after I wrote it in school.

Speaker 1 (18:58):
I feel like he should have been reported.

Speaker 3 (19:00):
Is there a statute of limitations on that he?

Speaker 2 (19:04):
He legitimately traumatized me. And when that whole Trump thing
was happening, I wanted to get an ID even though
like I was aming sex.

Speaker 1 (19:11):
But I was just like, just in case.

Speaker 2 (19:13):
But I said, I knew I was gonna I'm too,
I was gonna need some kind of drugs or something. Yeah,
I was going to panic. So I never did it.
But that's I mean, that's the extent of what we're
talking about and why it's important, because yeah, you shouldn't
be afraid to get healthcare, right, to just look after yourself.

Speaker 3 (19:34):

Speaker 1 (19:35):
But here we are. Here we are, and I'll tell
you in two months and everything's okay. Three months.

Speaker 3 (19:41):

Speaker 2 (19:47):
On that grim note, we have heard from so many listeners. Unfortunately,
we love hearing from you, but it's unfortunate how many,
how many of you have had experiences like this. We
appreciate you taking the time to share them because we
do think this is really important to talk about. So
if you would like to contact us about any of
this or any resources or information you can. You can

email us at Steffania mom Stuff at iHeartMedia dot com.
You can find us on Twitter at most of a Podcasts,
or on Instagram and TikTok at Stuff Whenever told You.
We're also on YouTube and onto public and we have
a book you can get wherever you get here books.
Thanks as always too, our super producer Christine, our executive
ducer Maya, and our contributor Joey. Thank you and thanks
to you for listening Stuff and Never Told You. Inspection

of I Heart Radio for a podcast or my heart Radio,
you can check out the heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts,
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Anney Reese

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