rectal exam as part of a pap smear/pelvic exam?

Discussion in 'Women's Issues' started by lawngirl, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. lawngirl

    lawngirl Member

    i've got a gyn exam this week, and i heard that they sometimes do rectal exams. i had a pap smear/pelvic exam about a year and a half ago (i know they're supposed to be done every year...) and there was no mention of a rectal exam. i'm going to be going to planned parenthood this time, though, and i hear they do the rectal exam as part of the bimanual exam. i haven't had abnormal results in the past, and i'm under 40, so what are the odds that this will be required? if i refuse that part of the exam, can i be denied birth control?

    i'll be able to call in the morning once they're open to find out for sure, but if anyone has any input that would really be nice! thanks :)
  2. kjhippielove88

    kjhippielove88 color + rhyme

    sorry i dont have any input for you but u just reminded me that i have a gyno appointment tomorrow
  3. lawngirl

    lawngirl Member

    good luck tomorrow, then! :D
  4. Ceres

    Ceres Member

    I am over 40, and it is a routine part of my gyno exam. The dr. has one finger in your vagina and inserts another into your rectum. What they are doing is checking for masses. It is not comfortable, but it lasts a very short time. Since you are under 40 maybe they won't do this. You can ask ahead of time. No, if you have a pap I don't see how they can deny you b.c. if you refuse the rectal part of the exam.
  5. ihmurria

    ihmurria fini

    at my last physical (two years ago, yes, I know I should go again) they did a quick rectal exam after doing the pap smear thingy. It wasn't all that bad or uncomfortable, just odd feeling.
  6. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    I have always had rectals as part of a pelvic. You can feel the BACK of the uterus rectally, as well as push the uterus forward, to examine it better. It has nothing to do with your age.

    Most good docs, as distasteful as it is to patients, include a rectal in a pelvic exam.
  7. Super_Grrl

    Super_Grrl Crazy love

    Wow, I've had SO many pelvics in the last 3 or 4 years, and I don't think I've ever had a rectal exam. Is that bad? Is it something I should bring up the next time? Hmmm....
  8. superNova

    superNova Member

    i've had that occur during mine maybe once? it really wasn't a big deal. lasted like three seconds.
  9. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Hmm supergirl. The OBs and Internists I know all do rectals. Sometimes they are not done on younger womyn, just because there is less risk of problems that might be missed, and also because good docs don't want to scare young womyn away from pelvics.

    I know my OB couldn't feel my endometriosis without one of these lovely exams, as my implants (the actual word for endo stuff) was on the back of my uterus.

    You may just want to ask your doc next time, if it just isn't something she thinks is neccesary, or if she only does it when looking for differernt conditions.

    I wouldn't worry about it.
  10. lawngirl

    lawngirl Member

    thank you for all of the input, ladies! :D

    it's crazy -- before yesterday, i had never heard of a rectal exam as part of a pap smear... i was thinking along the lines of what super_grrl said, that perhaps i missed something important. and at the same time, dreading a potentially unncessary part of the exam.

    i hate doctors.. when i had to get emergency contraception, the doc called me a whore (to my face and in front of my boyfriend.. it's kind of hard to be a whore if you're only sleeping with one person) among a slew of other snide remarks and negative things, like giving me expired medicine. so obviously, after that experience combined with another past 'incident,' i'm a bit distrustful of doctors.

    EDIT: i just called pp & asked; they said they only do the rectal exam on womyn over 40. whew!
  11. lynsey

    lynsey Banned

    I won't let them do a rectal exam and they tried to deny me birth control because of this but I informed them that that was against the law and got it.
  12. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    I didn't know it was against the law to do a rectal? Actually, right or wrong, any doctor can deny any patient any drug they want.

    Ask any pain patient about being denied meds. All of us can tell you horror stories about med-phobic doctors. And there isn''t a lot most of us can do about it.

    I agree, though, docs shouldn't be denying people meds they need at all!!!! I think you should have been allowed to refuse any treatment you want.

    You might want to think about the fact that, as icky as it is, a rectal can tell your doc things that a pelvic without one cannot. I think if you are comfortable with your doctor, is isn't all that bad. I don't like them (this should be a thread for Real Kinky LOL) a rectal did help diagnose a reason I was getting unbearable menstrual and pelvic pain.
  13. lawngirl

    lawngirl Member

    oh wow lynsey, that's horrible! although it's awesome that you got your birth control in the end... hopefully they don't try to force that on other patients, especially now that they know they can't.

    and maggie, i don't think she meant the rectal exam was illegal, but moreso that it's illegal to deny someone b.c. for refusing the rectal exam. i don't know, maybe that's a state thing. but like you said, about patients in pain, doctors are allowed to deny much needed prescriptions. i agree with you, that's not right. and i also agree that people should be able to deny any treatment they do not want (especially if doctors are able to deny prescriptions so easily!).

    i came across an article the other day about med students in major hospitals performing pap smears on women still knocked out from surgery... and the women were never told that this was going to be done, let alone asked for permission... supposedly it was 'okay' since the patients signed the mandatory general conscent form when they were admitted.
  14. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    I have heard about this, too. It is disgusting. It is assault, in some areas. I have heard stories of nurses who witnesses these and told the womyn, who then filed assault charges.
  15. Super_Grrl

    Super_Grrl Crazy love

    Lawngirl, you had a doctor call you a whore? That's inexcusable. I hope you called and complained about that, that's completely unprofessional. Not to sound sexist, but that's why I go out of my way to have female doctors - not that they're perfect, but I've had some bad experiences with male gyno-related people. *shudders*
  16. lawngirl

    lawngirl Member

    maggie, i didn't know the women filed assault charges, i hope they win. there are all sorts of awful stories like that.. i read in readers digest a few years ago about a womyn whose anesthesia wore off (she was conscious, but still paralyzed from it) and won a case against a hospital whose staff fondled and commented on her breasts while she was still "knocked out." hopefully that case set some sort of precedent and these women win, too.

    and yeah, super_grrl, i had a doc call me a whore. he also told me that i should start using condoms.. the thing that really burned be up about it was that i was there because of a broken condom (he didn't ask what types of birth control i was using, either)! it was like he didn't even read the files in front of him... kinda scarry. i complained to the nurse about it, but he overheard and then the nurse got all flustered and sided with the doc. i wrote them a letter but i haven't heard anything back. are there any good feminist groups to contact about this? i've 'worked' for a few before, but i'm not a member of any, so i don't know which will take a complaint from a non-member... any ideas? that's definitely part of the reason i'm also all about having a female doctor.

    ps: i made it through the exam without the doc so much as mentioning my bum. :D
  17. sugrmag

    sugrmag Uber Nerd

    I've known my obgyn for 7 yrs...she delivered both of my girls and I had never had a rectal done. Until, I went to the ER for appendicitis. Not only did the big strange male doctor have to give me an internal (to rule out anything else) I had to have a rectal, too! I wouldn't have minded had it been my very nice, comforting obgyn, but some big guy that I have never met! Of course, I was on the morphine for the appendicitis, so I didn't mind too much at the time!
  18. I've had a rectal exam once. It was gross just cuz they lube ou up everywhere & you feel probed by aliens. Lol, anyway, good luck & it'll be short.
  19. Booty.Man

    Booty.Man Banned

    If they attempt to put you under, then that may indicate a potential problem.
  20. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Lawgirl, did you write to the hospital the doctor is on staff at? You can also look into the Licensing Board in your state, they all take complaints about doctors. Sadly, doctors have a LOT of influence on what happens to these complaints, BUT if someone has complained about this guy in the past yours will be taken more seriously (I am not implying it isn't serious, I think it is, but one complaint about a doc is rarely taken alone) or in the future, anyone else complains about him, your complaint will be on file. I am sorry this dude treated you so badly.

    I had surgery on my urinary tract when I was 21 and the doctor said my UT was messed up was "because" I was sexually active,(yeah, sure, I had my first UTI when I was three!) and that I was "too young" to be having sex, and he wanted me to promise him I would stop. I told him it was really none of his business. I was 21!

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