October 8, 2010

Pelvic Exams and Such

Well, Jordan asked how we felt about our husbands doing pelvic and breast exams and I couldn't resist jumping in there. I remember posting this during my husband's second year. We were newly pregnant with our first kid and he had his big pelvic exam day approaching.

I was not very excited.

Luckily, the woman on whom my husband had to perform his first pelvic exam was a rather large, older woman. This made me feel a lot better than some young cute thing, you know? Since then, he's had to do tons of pelvic exams, especially in the Emergency Department. Most of these cases are STD's or infections or bleeding-related. I don't really even think about it anymore. I know that he is nervous, trying to perform well and not hurt anybody. It's just so mechanical to them, you see that there's nothing else happening.

Those are my thoughts- it ends up being not a big deal and you realize that there was no reason to worry. It's work, plain and simple. It's like a car. With an STD. Or heavy bleeding.

YOUR pelvis is the one that he thinks is pretty.

Jordan, I do have thoughts on the studying with/spending time with medical school girls thing, I'll address that in another post. I know, I know...be still, my beating heart.

15 comments:

Wife.. Mom... etc.. said...

YOUR pelvis is the one that he thinks is pretty.,,,

this is very true.. All the others are just... well.. work...

My hubby just finished OB/GYN rotations, and he was never so glad as to be finished. He clearly will not be an OB/GYN. LOL

Anonymous said...

I clearly havent mastered the art of not letting it bother me yet and I feel I need some help. I've been with my partner for 4 years and we are engaged. We started dating in med school and now we are both doctors. It's been an ongoing issue, but all hell broke loose when we were both working in the emergency department. I freaked out completely when he took a really cute young girl into the gyne room to do a pelvic exam... and it has just been ruining my life and our relationship. I feel like he's cheating on me... and it's ridiculous because I am a doctor too and should be able to get over this, but the truth is I hate doing pelvic exams. After I do them I feel likve vaginas are disgusting medical things and find it really difficult to feel sensual/sexual and the thought that this is what my partner sees at work as well is driving me insane. I feel like we are at the brink of breaking up over this, please help if you have any words of wisdom...

Mel and Scott said...

Direct quote from my hubby after ob/gyn rotation: "I don't want to see another vagina again unless it belongs to my wife." Apparently vaginas are a rather smelly area of the body esp. if they are infected.

Maybe I'm just not the jealous type but I take comfort in knowing that it is to my arms and our home that he returns to each night looking for love, shelter and understanding. I can make sure he comes home to a warm and happy place or I can make it hell. That doesn't depend on him it is a conscious that I make daily. Just like I decide to love him every day.

Laura said...

Would love to join this blog! I'm (Laura) a teacher -- and my husband, Jake, is a 4th year medical student -- going through all these 4th year away rotations and interviews now! I have a blog too to contribute!

http://tantalizingtitillation.blogspot.com/

Liz said...

I am so glad it was like "not cool" to practice on your own wife when my husband was in school. Thank goodness. The pretend patients get paid - anyway.

My husband decided OB's are amazingly dedicated because of dealing with that aspect of the body, particularly because of the often not-so-good-smells. Thankfully, some still choose it for a career.

Ashli and Anthony said...

To Anonymous-

It sounds like your jealousy and your reaction in the ER can be attributed to two things- 1. You are super overtired and stressed out, which can cause you to react in ways that are not like you, and

2. It's really not the patients you are jealous of, it's the lack of intimate quality time you have with your partner because you are both crazy busy doctors. Seeing him go into a room one on one with another girl to explore an area of her body that is very private sort of confuses your brain- the primal, stressed out part of your brain says, "Wait a minute! He's going to be alone with that girl for a certain amount of time and he's going to look at her private parts! HOW DARE THEY!!", while the rational, physician part of your brain says, "It is clinical, it is medical", and hopefully the lover part of your brain says, "I trust my partner that they would never betray me and that they love me". When you're stressed, it's hard to hear the rational side.

Hang in there sweetie. I am sending you love. <3

Laura said...

Oh boy -- all these feelings are not NOT normal -- women like to protect the den -- we are the lionesses. This is a normal feeling -- and don't let anyone tell you it's not -- but what's NOT normal is misdirected insecurity when it's you provoking - and no one else is doing anything to necessarily bring about these feelings. Everyone else is minding their p's and q's and you're just looking like the psycho one. Yea, I've been there. HA! The one piece of advice is to admit that your feelings are not BAD -- but they are not rational -- talk to your husband about this insecurity you have - ask for his help in reassuring your GOOD feelings for another. Seeing your husband on the job -- he is naturally having to give attention to someone else in a more "private" way -- but there is nothing sexual there. You are probably wishing that that were you both in there having a moment -- and not him with someone else in the position. Remember -- YOU are the one he comes home to at night. At that in itself is sexy.... :-)

Yes, my husband is in medicine too -- I don't see him on the job -- but I empathize with you!

Samantha and Brandan said...

I am not a doctor in the ER with my husband but have the same feeling (that seems irrational!) that it bothers you to know he's doing a pelvic exam on another woman. I think it has to do with the idea that a husband doesn't stick his hand in another woman's vagina and then make love to you at home later!

Fragrance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fragrance said...

These comments seem very narrow-minded from Ashli and Anthony: "While the rational, physician part of your brain says, "It is clinical, it is medical".

I think doctors try hard to mitigate any emotion in medicine because that is obviously a breach of our medical conduct. But the truth is, just because we wear a white coat, does not mean we become superhuman. That is why I think these comments are also quite arrogant.

We cannot make excuses they are "clinical" or "medical" or "professional" for the sake of sacrificing something important to us, such as true and exclusive sexual relations with our spouses.

Pelvic exams, to most human beings, are extremely sexual. I know many intelligent women who have never had one and vow to never have one while without symptoms because they find it no different than having sex with a stranger.

And I do not think the right way to handle these issues is to listen to others tell us there could never possibly be any sexual thoughts or experiences about lubricating our fingers and inserting them into young female vaginas since that action somehow passes as a highly-respected medical exam these days.

Anyway, I like this post because it frustrates me that all doctors have to pretend they do not see sexual component to these exams. We are primitive human beings, and so this is obviously untrue.

Quote from John M. Smith's book "Women and Doctors" [A male physician was told by the male OB/GYN resident in charge, "During your first 70 pelvic exams, the only anatomy you'll feel is your own."]

Anonymous said...

I think my problem is not so much that I'm jealous of my husband doing pelvic exams or delivering babies, it's more that I feel like there is nothing left that's just ours or sexy anymore. Everything has become medicalised and I feel like when we get intimate he's either examining me or being a pervert (because in my head I cannot fathom how a man just because he has a doctor hat on at work can disengage from his nature). I should say that I am a doctor as well, so I KNOW what he sees and I DON"T understand how he can see those things and then come home and find me attractive...(cause men are meant to be visual right?) this is incredibly frustrating because I just can't seem to enjoy sex with him anymore... unless I think about something else, which makes me feel like a horrible person. I feel like it doesn't work the other way around (ie. women getting turned off by men from having to examine them at work because a) the men that usually need private exams are usually old as opposed to young women that need pap smears etc, and b) women are just not as visual as men)Any thoughts or advice on this?? would greatly appreciate it :(

Bruce said...

As a man I am outraged by men that work in gyneocology,pretending not to be turned on when enterring other womens sexual organs. I do not think it is fair on you either and as you said a perverse CHOICE of work. A doctors hat cannot turn his testosterone off or sexual attraction/desires, at some point a female will press ALL his sexual buttons.

In my opinion if he cares for you, there are many more types of work in the medical profession and if he wants to keep you happy should change his job, he is in the wrong
not you. It is you or the job. Good luck.

Jessica said...

I'm 22 years old and I have a lot issues with this part of medical school. To me this is something that is very intimate and I don't like the way that I found out about it. My boyfriend is a first year med student and last night we were sitting on the couch and chatting. Somehow we got into one of those conversations that just takes a turn for the worst. He asks me if I really want to know what's going on in medical school. I explicitly told him "I don't want to know anything. Just don't tell me anything." To which the reply way "My hand will be in every orifice male or female." I would've much preferred the ignorance is bliss approach. I absolutely hate dating a med student, but I love him. Our relationship was finally starting to get good again and then I find out about this? I had no idea that would be part of his schooling which is hilarious because obviously it's necessary, but my brain never even got to thinking that he would preform a breast exam. Now I'm really depressed and I can't stop thinking about it. I'm more angry that he disrespected my wish to stay in the dark than anything else. I'd really like to get over this and I would appreciate any advice that anyone has.

Anonymous said...

as a husband of a wife that has had to undergo the readed pelvic exam, i can tell you that i am totally against males doing these exams, very little consideration is given as to how this will make the spouse feel psycologically, and it is an issue that should be addressed. i refuse to let my wife have a pelvic exam from another man, i went to appt with her once, and that was all i had to see, i could not eat or sleep for days because it depressed me so much, that my wife had allowed another man to do that to her, it felt like she cheated on me.

Anonymous said...

as a husband of 15 years, i can say that i am completely opposed to any male doing intimate exams on my wife. this issue has caused me a lot of anxiety and stress, and i have done some homework on this issue and found that many men feel the same way i do. i am sure that it must be equally distressful having a mate that does these exams too. i found that this is a very old controversy that dates back to when men first entered the mid-wife field. there were profound objections then, and some very pale predictions if men were to continue this pursuit. turns out their fears are pretty much spot on, as we see the results of 200 years worth of opposite sex inimate care, that has broke down the natural modesty barriers for countless women. read the tract written 1848 entitled, "man mid-wifery exposed and corrected" you may be surprized what you find.