Male vs. Female OB/GYN (or you want to put your hand where?)

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February 14, 2015 by kittynh

Many of my female friends, both online and in real life, have mentioned that they would never be a patient of a male gynecologist.  Among many reasons given:

“Because only a man would only want that job if he were a pervert.”

( I’ve countered with “Well what about lesbians? Do you refuse to see lesbian or bi sexual gynecologists also?”)

“Only a woman could truly understand female problems!”

( I’ve countered that with my own personal history with female gynecologists. I have had both male and female and the female ones have been much tougher and less sympathetic than the males.  My male current male gynecologist will say “I don’t know personally what you are going through, but I’m going to try to help you.”)

“My husband doesn’t want another man touching me there.”

(My husband enjoys having another man explain “things” to him.  I find he feels uncomfortable talking with another woman about my private parts, but he also would never ever dictate which doctor I choose to see. He knows if he ever made a suggestion about which doctor I choose to see, he would soon need a doctor himself.)

Two children, delivered safely.  One by male and one be female doctors.

Two children, delivered safely. One by male and one be female doctors.

I’ve had a form of ovarian cancer.  I remember saying to a female gynecologist groping mightily inside me “I don’t have an ovary there, if you look in my files I had a tumor board at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital.”  She gave me a sort of far from understanding look and said “Well, many people DIE from THIS!”  I did reply to her “Well yes,   I just thought you should stop feeling around there for an ovary that you aren’t going to find.”  She then went on and on with questions, which I pointed out she could find the answers to in my file. I also felt that an examination was perhaps not the best time for these questions.  I want to look at the lovely mobile or photographs pinned to the ceiling, not talk, during the examination part.  Finding my happy place in the old calendar photographs of beaches stuck to the ceiling is not helped by “So how large was this tumor?” interruptions.

My current male gynecologist when informed of my tumor replied “That certainly must have been a tough time.  We’ll keep a close eye on you to look out for any recurrence.”  He also always remembers I’m missing important parts and doesn’t go feeling or looking for them.  Also the doctor who found and removed my tumor was a male doctor, who went out of his way to ensure I received the correct treatment.  A sense of gratitude to this male physician and surgeon for saving my life will not allow me to condemn him because he has a penis.

Delivering babies makes both males and female doctors happy.

Delivering babies makes both males and female doctors happy.

My first child was delivered by a female. The delivery was at the Naval Hospital in Groton Connecticut.  My daughter decided to come out elbow first.  Also my doctor suggested that pain killers were just silly, and anyone could with Lamaze handle natural childbirth.  I disagreed, but in the Navy, you were stuck with the doctor you were assigned.  It should be noted this woman was a military officer.  Rumors were she had been a Marine before switching over to medicine.  It was not the most comfortable of births, not just because my husband was at sea, but because she kept telling me I really wasn’t in enough pain for any painkillers.  When my daughter came out elbow first, there were a lot of stitches needed.  This of course had nothing to do with the physician being male or female.  It had to do with the doctor being a jerk.

baby three

Did both male and female storks deliver babies?

Male, female, or transgender, a good doctor is about training, experience and empathy.  It is also about how a patient interacts with the doctor.  A good medical experience is a two way street.  I just get along well with my current male doctor, and so does my husband.  It’s a comfortable fit.

My next baby was delivered by my GP.  Nice doctor and the entire family were patients.  It was a much more relaxed birth, partly because he believed in pain management and also gave me enough sympathy that I felt heard, but not so much as to encourage me to whine more than necessary.  Lovely birth with many happy memories.  This despite the fact my daughter was born during a tornado warning.  My doctor assured me he wouldn’t leave me, at least until he saw a funnel cloud.

My current doctor is the only male at a practice with women. All the other employees from Midwives to full doctors are females.  However, I’m told he’s the most popular doctor.  That’s because he’s just good.  I mean really good. He’s been there with me in the middle of the night, leaning against a wall in weariness, assuring my husband and myself about a medical scare I’ve had.  He returns calls, and counsels wisely.  He was also the first OB/GYN my daughter went to.  Trust is an important thing, and he has earned our trust.

I joke that my likes him as he gets along well with someone that can talk football scores and ovaries at the same time.

So why do men become gynecologists?  I’ve asked a few of the male ones I’ve had over the years, and I’m sure their answers are much like their female counterparts.  Delivering babies is something they enjoy.  Some of the men have had fathers that were doctors or gynecologists.  Many have mentioned a female family member, often their mother, who died young from breast cancer or an ovarian tumor.  There is a sense that by helping their patients they are honoring their mothers.  They all have an incredible respect for women.

I know when I had my second child, my husband looked at me in wonder afterward.  He was so proud but also impressed I had pushed out that 10 pound baby.  Women are strong, and no one knows that better than a doctor that delivers babies.

Life was simpler.....

Life was simpler…..

So, is a female gynecologist BETTER than a man?  It all depends.  While many women feel more comfortable with a woman, I am more comfortable with someone I feel truly cares and does a good job.  Someone I feel confident about, but also is comforting.  Right now that is a very nice male doctor.  I would never discount a doctor because of their sex.  My own personal experiences have been men are a better fit for me, but it is simply because I have been lucky enough they also happen to be excellent doctors.

One FB friend has declared she sees no reason why men are even allowed to become gynecologists, and this young feminist sees this as being a good ban to be enacted.  This would keep the joy of delivering babies a female only preserve, as she believes it should be.  I think, what gynecology needs is more practitioners that are capable, kind and able to afford the huge malpractice insurance bills.

Also to add to the confusion my GP is a female.  We’re friends, recommend books and podcasts to each other, and I wouldn’t trade her for any other doctor.  But I would still probably try a male OB/GYN first, simply because of my past personal experiences.  That is rather a poor criteria for a skeptic to use, but when it comes to medicine the psychological is almost as important as the cold blooded skeptic approach.  If a doctor is a good fit you somehow know it.  If they aren’t, no logic in the world can make it so.

This is why alternative medicine still has such a hold over he public.  They stress the relationship part, without bothering with the hard part like getting an education from a medical school.  Reiki has slightly lower standards than any medical degree.  I even once taught myself foot reflexology online for fun.  I can cure your headache be putting pressure on the top of your big toe, but you have to believe I can for it to work.

The mix of being personable and caring, with skill and mastery of craft from years of education and hard work, is what I want in a doctor.  Penis or vagina, or both, a good doctor is just a good doctor.

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13 thoughts on “Male vs. Female OB/GYN (or you want to put your hand where?)

  1. kittynh says:

    Reblogged this on Yankee Skeptic and commented:

    A question all women have to answer for themselves. Who do you feel comfortable when it comes to being checked out “down there”?

  2. Kitty Lapin Agile says:

    Reblogged this on Two Different Girls and commented:
    What is your choice? Male, female, or just the doctor that is the “right fit”?

  3. JimG says:

    Google doctor sexual assults, rape, or misconduct. You will find the normal number of arrest for these male perverts is between 6-8 a week. In the 6 months I’ve been keeping articles I’ve found one arrest of a female doctor and that was the assault of an anestesized male patience. That is 1 in about 450 to 500 female. I’m not a woman but if I were there no doubt who I’d take my chances with.

    • kittynh says:

      I would say, there is always a female assistant in the room with me when I see my male OB/GYN. It’s odd how many women contacted me that they feel a male is more sympathetic. Also, a male doctor is more open to things like “I’m going to bottle feed…” or wanting more pain medication (a recent study by Harvard shows this… women doctors are more apt to push their own personal choices about labor and bottle feeding and such on their patients). If you want an epidural, the male doctor is faster with it. So, it’s not about playing the odds. It’s about finding a fellow human being you can connect with. I connect with this slightly older gentleman that my husband also gets along well with. I enjoy that he “speaks MAN” in a way that my husband gets things. It’s slightly sexist, but he listens to the male doctor when it comes to things more than the female (who is at the practice very hippy like, and all natural. Actually I listen to the more practical male doctor more also, it’s not his sex, it’s his attitude.)

      • Jim says:

        Who pas this wonderful chaperone you have.

      • kittynh says:

        it’s a law in the state of Vermont, that you need to have a woman in the room with you when you have a male OB Gyn. Mind you, many of the women are lesbians… so you aren’t getting a pass having a woman OB GYN in Vermont

  4. aran says:

    I’ve had issues since I was 18 (I’m almost 38 now) and I’ve moved a few times in the last 20 years so I have had at least a dozen gynecologist. I probably will never go to a female ob/ gyn ever again. The women are usually very dismissive, sometimes rude. If you’re in pain, more than one female has said to me” that’s not painful” or” come talk to me about pain after you have kids” . The procedures I’ve had have been more uncomfortable or painful when a female has done them. I think it’s because most boys are taught from a very young age to never ever hurt a woman and to always respect and be protective of women.

    • kittynh says:

      I have to admit, the few times I’ve seen a woman they are “oh tough it out”… they think their pain tolerance is my pain tolerance.

  5. Donna says:

    Male gynecologists don’t leave their “maleness” outside the exam room. Males sexual arousal system is sight and tactile based, perfect for the male doctor and intimate exams. What difference does it make whether their is a nurse-chaperone present? Because I had a negative experience with a male doctor, I have done some research. Take a look at the article at http://www.modestyxxx.com. It is thought-provoking.

    • Deborah says:

      If a wife has a choice of male or female doctors, and if the husband prefers that his wife not be touched or examined or questioned by a male doctor, that is an easy choice for wives that respect their husbands. Period. I would never subject my husband to the natural agony of his wife revealing her body and her sexual issues to another man. Ever. There are plenty of female doctors for those of use who hold our intimate body regions solely for our husbands.

  6. The overwhelming majority of sex offenders are male. This is a worldwide phenomenon. If a man who is perverted has a preferred victim type for female what better profession than a gynaecologist? How do you differentiate between a prolonged grope and just being thorough? It is a well known strategy that sex offenders choose professions that give them access to their preferred victim type. There have been many cases where gynaecologists have been convicted of assaulting their patients. Often their offending has been occurring for many years with multiple victims. There will be even more doctors who are never held to account for their wrong doing, Why take the risk of going to a man? You can’t possibly tell if they are sex offenders or not.

    • kittynh says:

      most states have laws that a male doctor can not do any procedure without a nurse or assistant there. I mean, my doctor is in Vermont and the two women that practice with my doctor are lesbians. IT’s an area where a large number of lesbians have settled with their families (Much like Northfield MA). I mean this is like saying, all preschool teachers are pedophiles. Sadly, many are attracted to teaching and coaching as it gives them easy access to children. But, we can’t legally say “Oh no male teachers….” In my case my doctor has never seen me without a woman there also, the only time he doesn’t is if my husband is also there and we agree not to have the nurse. BUT… as with everything, I think it is co workers that cover up the most. Thinkign about Austin Jones, the you tuber who has been charged with pedophile video production….the people making money off of him covered. The most important thing is find a doctor (male of female) that has a good reputation and people stand up for. And if you can get that recommendation from someone that works in the office even better. But, around here, it is very diverse. Your doctor may even be transgender. All we want to be sure of is that they are GOOD PEOPLE. Many women do bring their husband along to appointments also, as they feel it is important that their husband be there for such intimate contact, no matter who is doing it! I hate to throw every male under the bus, but the MOST IMPORTANT THING is you have whomever you feel most comfortable with. Seriously, I have a lesbian friend that will only go to a male doctor. She feels weird with a female. No one should ever tell you who you should or should not go to. That’s one thing I hope healthcare and insurance understand. WOMEN SHOULD NEVER BE TOLD WHO THEY HAVE TO GO TO FOR OB/GYN CARE. I really fear being told “well this is the person from your insurance list.”

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