General chatter - I'm done with my gyno (possible TMI)




novangel
03-20-2014, 11:37 PM
It's such a humiliating experience and to top it off I know they judge me because I'm not married, have a child, and tattoos.

I'm over 35 and at first I was hounded about birth control as if I don't know how babies happen. What do they care if I got pregnant? One time handed me a pamphlet on different types of BC and how they work as if I didn't know. I guess I look 17 or something. He inquired at two separate appointments (in a nonchalant way) as to how many men I've been with since my last appt, I informed him I've been with the same man for 6 years. I always left there feeling upset.

Today I saw an associate and as I was about to get my pap she asked if I wanted to be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea. What!? Never in my life. I didn't complain about symptoms of anything I'm just there for a routine pap. I highly doubt they would ask a married woman if she wants to be randomly tested for STD's. Whatever, blew it off..

I go to the front desk to pay and found out she ordered me to be tested for HPV. Umm...I didn't consent not to mention it's a $200 test. I'm self pay right now. The lady at the front desk nervously got the nurse who informed me that HPV testing is now routine. Yeah okay...I haven't been there for a year so it's their job to inform me of routine changes. I call BS but whatever again.

Instead of arguing to drop the HPV test I paid and left pissed off. After 5 years there I'm done. I feel judged every single time. I never felt this with previous doctors.

I'm getting married in November so maybe my next gyn will look at me in a different light.

ETA: I got Paragard IUD a few years ago. I told her it causes spotting sometimes which she said was common but told me I should be tested for endometriosis. I don't have endo FFS. I just wanted a round of BC pills to regulate and she wants to give me a $400 test.


alaskanlaughter
03-21-2014, 12:42 AM
definitely find a new doctor who has a better manner than this one and will actually listen to you and your concerns

anywhere I've been over the years up in this state, I've always been routinely asked if I want my annual pap to be also tested for a slew of STDs etc....you can either opt in or opt out of that but I think they are required to ask me that...at least that's the impression I get...

I've been with the same partner for 11 years now and the doctors up here don't seem to judge me, although i'm still asked if I want that option of testing

but I agree....find a new doctor...if any of mine were like that, i'd be finding a new one too

Pattience
03-21-2014, 12:48 AM
I think you are projecting. Their behaviour is not about you. They would do that with every patient. Sexual diseases are still rampant and HIV is rising. Being married is no protection.

None of those questions would have bothered me.

The only thing that would have pissed me off is the $200 routine test. I would not have done it if i knew i hadn't been sleeping around since the last test. $200 is a lot of money.


Pattience
03-21-2014, 12:50 AM
Oh btw, i don't know if things have changed but when i had an IUD many years ago, they should be removed after two years. I had mine in for four years and although i didn't get pregnant, it did have a negative effect on my cycle so that i was bleeding every two weeks.

If i were you i'd get it removed and either get a new one of the same or different brand.

amandie
03-21-2014, 12:59 AM
Wow. Not cool at all especially the HPV test. Fingers crossed for a better gyro as well as their front desk employees!

kaplods
03-21-2014, 02:17 AM
I've been asked all those questions and given all the same bc and std screening recommendations and brochures when I was single, an admiyyed virgin, wiith no man in sight.

That hasn't changed now that I'm married (almost 12 years), either. I have no kids, a master's degree (and my doctors know it) and I've always looked about as vanilla as they come.

My doctors office has also recently added hpv as a routine part of a pap (though they did remember to tell me about it. Because hpv causes cervical cancer, and because there's now a vaccine for hpv, an hpv screen seems prudent.

I never assumed my doctors were singling anyone out, or assuming anyone was stupid. I just figured the routine was mandated by the clinic's administration either because of health department or insurance regulations.

PatLib
03-21-2014, 06:54 AM
Yeah, once I got a bad kidney infection when I was 14 and I got asked all those questions and the doctor kept asking if I was pregnant. I hadn't even kissed a boy yet!

But they have to ask those question, they don't know you. You could be having an affair for all they know and they don't care if you are having an affair they just need to know the facts to treat you.

BettyBooty
03-21-2014, 08:18 AM
I think a lot of those questions are routine. I recall being asked how many sexual partners I've had since the last test (been married for almost 13 years now and have only been with him for at least 17 years) and was asked if I wanted to be tested for various STDs as well. I don't think marital staatus plays into that at all.

I also get asked if I practice birth control and if so, what do I use.

The only thing that would bother me about your experience is the $200 test. You should be able to opt out, especially if you are self-paying.

nelie
03-21-2014, 08:49 AM
I think it does differ on the gyno. My last gyno, she was amazed by my loose skin, I didn't really mind but yes I have loose skin, get over it. She also didn't understand why I didn't want children and I told her that I know she was just trying to expand her services to me but it wasn't happening. I switched shortly after that.

Wannabeskinny
03-21-2014, 09:09 AM
It's such a humiliating experience and to top it off I know they judge me because I'm not married, have a child, and tattoos.



Ok hold on. How is it a humiliating experience? It's just an exam, I understand it's a little invasive but humiliating is a strong word imo.

How do you know they judge you because of these specific reasons? Unless you live inside the compound of the westboro baptist church then I can't possibly imagine a scenario where you are discriminated against for those specific reasons. A tattoo? Big whoop. You have a child? You're not married? Are these biblical times or do we live in america? IMO you're blowing up something that is not a big deal. Unless you were specifically judged out loud for having a tattoo then I'd say it's all in your mind.

I have childless unmarried girlfriends who say their doctor talks to them about freezing their eggs. At the end of the day gynocologists are supposed to care about your reproductive and general health. HPV testing is routine now, I still get tested for it eventhough I'm married. It can cause cervical cancer and fertility issues. Paps now are only every 5yrs.

This whole thing reminds of the Mad Men episode where Don Draper's secretary goes to the gynecologist and is met with such disdain. Surely we've progressed a little since the 1950s?

Song of Surly
03-21-2014, 09:19 AM
I think it does differ on the gyno. My last gyno, she was amazed by my loose skin, I didn't really mind but yes I have loose skin, get over it. She also didn't understand why I didn't want children and I told her that I know she was just trying to expand her services to me but it wasn't happening. I switched shortly after that.

I have PCOS, and I went to a gyno that was just amazed at the amount of hair on my body. I'm hairy; I know this. I have hirsutism that I have been struggling with since high school, but she made me feel like a freak show. She kept using the words "severe" and "exaggerated," while my previous gynos acted like it was par-for-the-course for PCOS. She then told me that I needed to go ahead and get pregnant (I was a young college student) because it would help with the hair. Yeah, that's a good reason to have a baby. I also switched shortly after.

ETA: Whether your gyno is actively judging you or not is irrelevant. If you are uncomfortable with your doctor, find one you are more comfortable with.

ReNew Me
03-21-2014, 09:27 AM
If it made you uncomfortable, it's inappropriate. And ordering tests without informing you is totally out of line, absolutely find yourself a physician who treats you with respect!!! You're paying for a service and you have a right to make the call on what services you get, especially when you're self pay. Expensive tests when you're out of pocket!? I'm informed by my doctor's if they're performing extra tests and I have insurance.

Of all the professional places on this planet you should feel safe and respected, the gyno's office should be at the top of the list.

I mean, I'm 49 and monogamous for 20 years and they asked me all those questions, too, about partners and STD/HIV testing and so forth. However, I hadn't been to a gyno in 28 years.

novangel
03-21-2014, 03:37 PM
It's humiliating for me because I have hang ups from past sexual assault.

Perhaps I'm paranoid, however I never felt bad vibes from previous gyno docs and their bedside manner was a bit less brash. They talk to me there as if I'm stupid and something never sits right with me after a visit. I go with my gut feeling. Reason enough for me to leave.

3rd, I should've been asked if I wanted to be tested for HPV. Period. That was my final straw.

The group that delivered my son never made me feel in any way uncomfortable and I regret ever leaving that practice.

Wannabeskinny
03-21-2014, 04:33 PM
I didn't realize, that must be very difficult. You're right, you shouldn't be made to feel uncomfortable and you should trust your intuition. I also didn't realize they conducted a test without your permission.

You have the right to seek out a doctor who you are more candor table with. However, I don't think you should automatically assume someone is judging you for those initial reasons you gave. Lots of people are single moms, have tattoos and are not married. Nobody can make you feel uncomfortable about that without your permission.

kisskiss
03-21-2014, 04:50 PM
I just recently went to the gyno and had a similar experience. It was my first time and they asked me the same exact stuff, so I'm guessing it's routine. I also got a pap, and they tested me for some std's and HPV, and the nurse after said it was routine when I asked her about the extra tests. Luckily my insurance covers it completely, but I'd be mad as heck if I had to fork over $200 ... I'd suggest you change your doctor if you really felt they were judging you/treating you differently.

novangel
03-21-2014, 05:56 PM
Nobody can make you feel uncomfortable about that without your permission.

Correct which is why I'm not going back. :D

It is 2014, there's lots of single moms with tatts but I worked in medical 15 years up until last May and believe me when I say doctors judge. I can't tell you how many times a doc pulled me aside after an appointment to talk/joke about a person's weight, appearance, or how much of a "loser" or "scumbag" they are. I have worked in several offices and this happened at ALL of them. Highly, highly inappropriate comments.

I'm not entirely paranoid here.

Arctic Mama
03-22-2014, 03:45 AM
If it makes you feel better, I'm completely monogamous, happily married for almost a decade, and have a gaggle of children. I STILL get asked if I need information or screenings for STDs and have to tell them every time that no, there's no possibility I have HPV, as I've had an extensive, wet mount pap done to eliminate that as ever being possible. So unless I cheat or he does, we're good.

It might feel like they're singling you out, but I'm believing more and more this is fairly standard practice. They always ask me about birth control, too, usually moments after we've had a discussion on the fact that I have moral compunctions about preventing pregnancy. It's on the list of questions they ask, no matter what I seem to say.

As a cash payer I'd be furious about being charged for a screening if I hadn't specifically opted into it, though. Like - I'd refuse to pay on the condition that they didn't inform me they were doing it and thus allow me to opt out.

It's such a humiliating experience and to top it off I know they judge me because I'm not married, have a child, and tattoos.

I'm over 35 and at first I was hounded about birth control as if I don't know how babies happen. What do they care if I got pregnant? One time handed me a pamphlet on different types of BC and how they work as if I didn't know. I guess I look 17 or something. He inquired at two separate appointments (in a nonchalant way) as to how many men I've been with since my last appt, I informed him I've been with the same man for 6 years. I always left there feeling upset.

Today I saw an associate and as I was about to get my pap she asked if I wanted to be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea. What!? Never in my life. I didn't complain about symptoms of anything I'm just there for a routine pap. I highly doubt they would ask a married woman if she wants to be randomly tested for STD's. Whatever, blew it off..

I go to the front desk to pay and found out she ordered me to be tested for HPV. Umm...I didn't consent not to mention it's a $200 test. I'm self pay right now. The lady at the front desk nervously got the nurse who informed me that HPV testing is now routine. Yeah okay...I haven't been there for a year so it's their job to inform me of routine changes. I call BS but whatever again.

Instead of arguing to drop the HPV test I paid and left pissed off. After 5 years there I'm done. I feel judged every single time. I never felt this with previous doctors.

I'm getting married in November so maybe my next gyn will look at me in a different light.

ETA: I got Paragard IUD a few years ago. I told her it causes spotting sometimes which she said was common but told me I should be tested for endometriosis. I don't have endo FFS. I just wanted a round of BC pills to regulate and she wants to give me a $400 test.

Wannabeskinny
03-22-2014, 07:36 AM
Correct which is why I'm not going back. :D

It is 2014, there's lots of single moms with tatts but I worked in medical 15 years up until last May and believe me when I say doctors judge. I can't tell you how many times a doc pulled me aside after an appointment to talk/joke about a person's weight, appearance, or how much of a "loser" or "scumbag" they are. I have worked in several offices and this happened at ALL of them. Highly, highly inappropriate comments.

I'm not entirely paranoid here.

It's not hard to believe. But people think crazy mean things all the time. They make judgements and we can't control that. I don't think you're paranoid, I just think you're letting it affect you to a degree that's making you terrorize yourself over it. You can't change stupid people, you can't be someone else so that stupid people will not judge you. And even if you didn't have tattoos, and were married and didn't have kids you'd still be judged for something or other. I think of you as a strong bad-*** person, this is one of those times where your internal middle finger needs to flip them off lol, who cares if you have a tattoo?

And off on a tangent for a moment, I find that when I'm making judgements it's because I have my own internal struggles with myself. The more judgy I am the more unhappy I am and vice versa. So really, people who are passing judgement on you and your life choices are just miserable boobheads.

Pattience
03-22-2014, 08:16 AM
I think there's another way of looking at it.

Ok the people at that practice don't have a good bedside manner and they seem to assume that everyone is covered with health insurance. So that's all wrong. Lazy probably. Just lazy doctoring/nursing.

But that doesn't mean one should think they are judging you. They probably treat everyone like that.

Still as others have said, if you didn't feel good about being there, you are better off finding a place where they treat you more sensitively.

Not so long ago i had to go to a breast clinic. I booked my appt with them and had a referral from gp. It was only when i was at the clinic that i found out that the test was going to cost me $300!. However i was one of the special cases and with a bit of quick admin work, they got the referral for bulk billing (which means free treatment) from my gp.

The thing is at this practices it the receptionists job to tell me on the phone when i booked that it would cost money. I think my gp should have told me. The only reason i found out ahead of the procedure was because they had a sign on the front desk and i had time to read it. Clearly it has happened numerous times before that patient hadn't been told about the cost involved and the need for a special instruction from the referring GP. If i had only found out after the procedure i would have had to pay the money. That would have been really shitty.

PatLib
03-22-2014, 09:46 AM
I have several doctors in my family and friends and they all say the same thing:

Most patients lie.

Now, I know you are not lying but a lot do. From what they eat to who they are having sex with to many partners they have had etc. Sometimes it isn't a lie per se sometimes it's the patient not wanting to be bother or they are scared so they downplay their issues. Then there is the opposite of the spectrum where they exaggerate every issue.

And because of the litigious nature of America towards doctors most are aggressive in trying to get the truth out of patients which sucks for those of us actually telling them the truth because it make US uncomfortable.

I also think it is rare to have a doctor with a good beside manner. My current doctor is an *** but I can tell that he cares. He sort of is like the Jillian Michaels of doctors! Haha

novangel
03-22-2014, 11:35 AM
I have several doctors in my family and friends and they all say the same thing:

Most patients lie.

Of course they lie, and I'm sure they think I lie too. lol When I was quitting smoking he asked how many packs a day. I told him only 4-5 cigarettes per week which was 100% truth. He rolled his eyes and said NOBODY can smoke ONLY 4 cigarettes a week! and then proceeded to write in my chart. I hate to break it to him but I was able to have a few cigarettes and then not have any for months even with a pack in my possession. Not everyone is all or none.

Fact remains: He didn't listen to me as a patient.

The man I saw for 5 years is rude and the woman I saw only once that performed my HPV test the other day without my permission was in the wrong. There's no arguing that.

*washes hands of that place

BTW, I love tatts. :)

GlamourGirl827
03-22-2014, 01:19 PM
Novagel, Its obvious you are done with that doc. I was going to say, regardless of what happened, if you don't feel comfortable, its time to leave their practice. I did notice you said you regretted leaving your other gyn...do you mind if I ask why you left them?

Patients do lie A LOT! And healthcare professionals do judge! I think in that field of medicine we see some of the worst of the worst. But tattoos and single unmarried moms...don't even make the list! Someone posted something similar here a while back, about being judged for tats at the docs. I REALLY think a lot of this comes back to you believing you are being judged. Tattoos are so mainstream, its not like it was years ago. Heck one of the docs my DH works with has sleeves, but they are under his lab coat so you would never know it! I wonder how many patience accused him (in their minds) of judging their tats without knowing about that! lol
And do you think every doc and nurse is married with kids? Also doctors are in a profession known for infidelity, how many of them do you think sleep around?

If you don't feel comfortable you should absolutely leave, but you should really examine if this might partly be related to your own feelings. Only because you may find yourself going from doc to doc not feeling comfortable and finding something you don't like. If they really were just a crumby group then I'm sure you will find better care else where. :)

DrivenByAmbition
03-22-2014, 01:21 PM
I guess I'm just not educated about this subject, but I thought that was the whole reason for a pap smear... For a doctor to see if there are any abnormal cells? If not, then what is it for?

carabelle11
03-22-2014, 02:02 PM
I just had a baby in January and am married and when I went back for my six week they asked if I wanted tested for STDS. I guess that is routine but I was a little embarrassed too.
Also, I wish my doctor would test me for HPV. I have abnormal cervical cells and have to get a LEEP procedure. I asked about the type of HPV I had and they said just assume I have one that causes cervical cancer. I don't like to assume when it comes to cancer!

novangel
03-22-2014, 05:01 PM
I guess I'm just not educated about this subject, but I thought that was the whole reason for a pap smear... For a doctor to see if there are any abnormal cells? If not, then what is it for?

To check for cervical cancer. I guess now it's routine to check for HPV also but I wasn't told or asked for permission in advance.

novangel
03-22-2014, 05:04 PM
I did notice you said you regretted leaving your other gyn...do you mind if I ask why you left them?

I moved.

Thanks everyone...I think we've beaten a dead horse. :)

midwife
03-22-2014, 07:42 PM
I always offer gonorrhea and chlamydia testing with paps. Also the new recommendations are for women over 30 to have HPV co-testing, as a negative pap and negative HPV test indicates that a woman can have a longer inter-pap period (3 to 5 years depending who you ask). They dropped the ball explaining all this to you and getting your consent for each test. It's possible to discuss these things without offending women.

DrivenByAmbition
03-23-2014, 08:52 AM
To check for cervical cancer. I guess now it's routine to check for HPV also but I wasn't told or asked for permission in advance.

Okay, I just assumed they had went hand in hand since HPV does cause cervical cancer. That is rather upsetting that you weren't asked to consent. I hope you find a better gyno soon.

:hug:

novangel
03-23-2014, 09:35 AM
I always offer gonorrhea and chlamydia testing with paps. Also the new recommendations are for women over 30 to have HPV co-testing, as a negative pap and negative HPV test indicates that a woman can have a longer inter-pap period (3 to 5 years depending who you ask). They dropped the ball explaining all this to you and getting your consent for each test. It's possible to discuss these things without offending women.

The nurse did explain this to me after the fact. I was mad because I'm self-pay at the moment and the test is $200 but I will get over it. I did complain but didn't want to make a scene.

Even if I don't have HPV I'm not comfortable not having a pap for 5 years..after having it beaten into my head to have one every year since I was about 15 I keep thinking A LOT can happen to your body in 5 years when we're talking cancer. I was nervous about waiting the 3 years this time considering my last was 2011.

The HPV test for me was kind of pointless since I would never wait that long to have a pap anyway, and that's what I told the nurse. Oh well.

Pattience
03-23-2014, 09:46 AM
I just had a baby in January and am married and when I went back for my six week they asked if I wanted tested for STDS. I guess that is routine but I was a little embarrassed too.
Also, I wish my doctor would test me for HPV. I have abnormal cervical cells and have to get a LEEP procedure. I asked about the type of HPV I had and they said just assume I have one that causes cervical cancer. I don't like to assume when it comes to cancer!

Well you are in charge ultimately. If it was me and i wanted to know , i would press the doctor. I would also ask for the hpv.

novangel
03-23-2014, 09:49 AM
Well you are in charge ultimately. If it was me and i wanted to know , i would press the doctor. I would also ask for the hpv.


Yeah, in her case (history of abnormal cells) I'd absolutely want to know.

Coffeelover64
03-23-2014, 10:36 AM
I just wanted to mention that at my former gynos office, there was a little sign on the wall in the lab room that their standard procedure is to test for STDs but if you didn't want that to let them know. I asked the nurse why they do this and she said that they find an incredible amount of STDs among married women and those who are in (supposed) monogamous relationships. I've since moved, and not sure about the new one I go to.