Question about my vaginal exam at the OB??? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-01-2006, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had my first appt with an OB today - due to my insurance changing I cannot use my midwife I had with my dd. This is a little embarrassing but I want to know why he did this...He did an anal exam after examining me vaginally. I was shocked - he didn't even WARN me first. When I questioned him he said that was just "the rest of a vaginal exam". There was a nurse in the room and everything but I am still uncomfortable about it. What in the world did he need to do that for? I have never had that done at any vaginal exam - EVER. And I have a history of sexual abuse so not warning me really upset me...Thanks...
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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At one of my early OB appointments with my last pregnancy they said "ok we are going to do a rectal exam now" and I said "NO ABSOLUTELY NOT!" before I could stop myself so they didn't do it. I forgot to ask why, I was so shocked that it would come up. So while this doesn't answer your question, you're not alone and I'm sorry they didn't warn you first. That is totally abhorrent.

I hope you get some answers, I'll be lurking here myself now.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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I think that every, or almost every exam I have have included that. Some doctors have given warning and some haven't. It is uncomfortable, but now that you know that it can happen, if you don't want them to do it, tell them before the exam starts.

I am sorry that it happened the way it did
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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A rectal exam is usually to check for fissures in the rectal wall. Not all OBs and Midwives do them. Unfortunatly some OBs have very bad bedside manners and they aren't all considerate of their language and actions. A quality practitioner not only knows what they are doing, but treats the patient with respect. I am of the personal belief that they should tell what they are doing EVERY STEP OF THE WAY in the exam. Some are just to lazy for that (it would be monotonus to repeat 20X a day I admit), and they would rather chit chat. Or maybe he ususally does discuss as he's going along and was having an off day (doubt it).
I encourage you to talk to the doctor or write him a letter. He deserves to know how to improve is practice, as his patients deserve more respectful care.
Are any other doctors that are covered by your insurance?

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies...unforutnately he is the only one covered by our insurance. No one else wants to accept this HMO...I am stuck with him, I guess. Thanks again.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:04 PM
 
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Ick, in a supposed free market country it's sickening that a woman would have to take care from a doctor that she doesn't really like.
Make your wants known and don't take any crap from him that you don't want. Good luck.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synchro246
Ick, in a supposed free market country it's sickening that a woman would have to take care from a doctor that she doesn't really like.
Make your wants known and don't take any crap from him that you don't want. Good luck.
Well...the bright side of things is that we are plannig a move in July to AZ where my husband's aunt is going to deliver our baby at home. She has been a midwife for like 30 years and I am very happy she is doing this for us as she is no longer practicing since they shut her clinic down (that's a whole other post - she was giving free care to the poor and the government cut her funding...)...I just feel very violated and uncomfortable and I have another appointment in four weeks. At least now I know I am not the only one who has been through this but my goodness - why didn't he tell me? I'm sure I was not the only patient who was extremely uncomfortable and surprised when he did that...
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:27 PM
 
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Do you have to go in? There's not a lot that OBs do that's absolutely necessary in pregnancy.

Have you talked to him about your history? Docs (anyone doing exams) should be nicer and more considerate than that regardless, but a lot will be more careful (y'know, give actually decent care ) if they know they're dealing with a survivor who's willing to stand up for herself.

Sorry you're having to deal with this.

(And ditto what other said on your original question - yes, a rectal exam can be part of a vaginal exam, and is generally taught as part of the "full" exam - even in one of my midwifery textbooks! sorry you got a doctor who was a dick about it. )
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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Great news on the move to AZ and what sounds like awesome care
You know July is only two months away. Are there any tests that you are planning on getting (AFP is the only one that the doc would probably be pushing for your next appt)? If no, and you know what you need nutritionally you should be good to go. Now you definitly have a baseline BP and your dates, so there isn't much you would be getting from prenatal care right now anyway. If you are very uncomfortable with this doc (understandably so) you don't have to go back. Visit the unassisted board, there are a lot of women who do their own prenatal care. You could take care of yourself until you get in your aunt-in-law's hands.

Good Luck

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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I remember when i first got preggo my cousin in Texas told me that that was routine and i thought that was just crazy. That was long before i knew all i know now...i would not let any OB do that to me unless i had had previous rectal problems....i'm sorry that this happens to you and that he was so not imformative about it.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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I have had vaginal exams with my pap smears every year since I was 16 and NEVER had anybody put their fingers in my rectum. Even if it is standard practice, I wouldn't give my business to anybody with that poor of a bedside manner. Anybody with their hands down in that general vicinity should be explaining every move they will make and why, encouraging the women to let them know if they feel discomfort. Ick, if I were you I would totally do my own care for the next two months (as long as you are low risk) until you get to AZ. Maybe rent one of those home dopplers and get some urine strips??
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday with the first time I ever met him and no, I did not tell him my history since I didn't think it would be an issue. I wanted to go because I have lost two babies before and had a "high risk" pregnancy with my dd with 3 months of bedrest, etc, etc...We did have an ultrasound yesterday and the baby looks fine - AND there is a nice, strong heartbeat so I am reassured. I am going to refuse the AFP test like I did last time but what about the diabetes test - don't I have to have that? And I won't ever be seeing him again - they rotate us through the three doctors there so I would see him in a few months but since we won't BE here...

P.S. - OT - he was totally supportinve of me continuing to nurse Kiera during and after pregnancy. When he asked if we were still nursing I was prepared for a war, especially with my history - but he didn't even bat an eye and told me his wife tandemed their two kids and nursed a total of 7 years...THAT was surprising but in a good way!
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:19 AM
 
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I have never even heard of any doctor doing a routine rectal exam, I thought that practice went the way of the dinosaurs.:
The only reason I have ever heard for doing one was after a 3rd or 4th degree repair to check for fistulas.
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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A lot of us refuse the GTT (diabetes test) anyway, because we believe (and the research suggests) that it's ineffectual and unnecessary.

However, if you want to get it done, and go back to that practice, I'd suggest doing a little leg work first: meet the doctor you'll be seeing in your streetclothes, not in a paper gown; talk to him about what happened last time, and let him know that he won't be doing anything like that; and if you're going to do a vaginal exam again, make sure he gives you step-by-step explanations and gets your permission for each step.

Good luck!
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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And there really is no reason for the doc to be doing any more vaginal exams at this point anyway. Refusing them is fine.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all of your help, ladies!!! I really appreciate it!
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Old 05-03-2006, 02:13 AM
 
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So sorry that happened to you and I can't believe he didn't even explain what he was doing or why. Ugh! My brain is a bit fuzzy on this, but I vaguely remember hearing that a rectal exam was another way to check the uterus, maybe to palpate the posterior side, or if the uterus is flexed posterior. ?? I might be totally wrong but I could find out if you were still curious. But it sounds like you will soon get excellent and respectful care.
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:55 AM
 
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You are right, it is another way to check the uterus, and even dialation during labor. It appropriateness is debated among professionals.

~laura
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