Mar 282010

“I’m pretty sure your partner is bigger than this,  don’t worry.” – OB to mother who expressed concern when seeing the transducer that is used for a transvaginal ultrasound.

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 March 28, 2010  OB, prenatal, Ultrasound  Add comments

  20 Responses to “"I'm Pretty Sure Your Partner Is Bigger Than This, Don't Worry."”

  1. How silly of me to be worried! Making love to my husband is exactly the same as having a stranger put some big plastic thing in me!

  2. If any of our doctor friends are reading this, I just want to say that comments like these are NOT appropriate! I just can’t think of any scenario right now where unsolicited comments about the partner’s penis size would be appropriate.

    I don’t understand why some doctors and nurses think it’s ok to make crude sexual comments to pregnant women. Just because we had sex to get pregnant, it doesn’t mean we want to (nor give them the right to) talk about it.

    While I realize vaginal exams are an everyday thing for doctors, they are NOT for us. Laying on a cold table spread eagle while somebody looks at and inserts foreign objects into our private parts can be quite humiliating and uncomfortable for some of us. Doctors and nurses need to be respectful and discreet. Their behavior will make the difference between making an uncomfortable experience a little more bearable, or making it traumatic.

    In the case above, why not tell her that yes, it will be a bit uncomfortable (because it IS uncomfortable no mater what your husband’s penis size), but she will get to see her baby soon! If it was me, the reference to my husband’s private parts would only make me more uncomfortable, and I’m guessing it had the same effect on the woman who posted this. And that’s no way to feel we you’re about to see your baby for the first time.

  3. OW! NOT the same thing at all!
    And EVEN if it is… How inappropriate!
    That’s horrible!
    The one vaginal ultrasound I had had me crab-walking backwards up the table saying, take it out, take it out, while the doctor kept pushing it harder and saying, I just want to make sure it isn’t twins!
    We switched after that visit. Because according to that office, and I quote, “In the labor room, I am in charge, YOU (that wd be me and dh) are NOT in charge and do not tell the doctors and nurses what to do. Oh, ok…

  4. When are these morons going to learn that overt (or even not so overt) sexual humor is NOT appropriate?! It’s not like you’re in the country club locker room talking to one your buddies, dammit!

    Ack. Barfing now…

  5. Putting aside how inappropriate this is for a minute its also inaccurate. Most guys are around 4-6 inches in length. An internal u/s transducer is at least a foot long. The potential to stick that thing in too far is a lot greater than during sex. It doesn’t matter that its narrower. The doctor who did mine was very gentle so it didn’t hurt. But I’ve had Paps that had me screaming in pain and I was really crampy and bled after.

  6. A penis is warm, made of skin, and when used properly is controlled by someone who is very attuned to the woman’s reaction to its use. It is probably inserted gently into the vagina when the woman is ready and relaxed and prepared for it. A penis is flexible (even when erect) and will contour to some extent to the woman’s body. The woman has had some say in when and whether it enters her body and also the manner, speed, and the overall climate of the encounter.

    An ultrasonographer takes the transducer which is firm and most likely cold, puts a latex condom over it and slathers it with something that may or may not have been warmed, and then pushes it into a woman who is most likely tense. The ultrasonographer is interested in getting a good picture and not in the woman’s sensation of having something inserted into her body. It is done at a time of the doctor’s choosing and the woman may or may not be in privacy when it happens (her partner may be there, or another doctor, or a nurse, in addition to the ultrasonographer.)

    So in addition to the comparison being totally inappropriate (and an offhanded insult against the man, since most people would assume the woman wouldn’t say, “No, he’s quite small!”) the comparison is completely inaccurate as well.

    • Jane, I will say this – I remember a few friends of mine (who apparently both go to the same practice) who had them done early on and i thought they sounded extremely invasive. I asked my U/S tech during my last pregnancy (who was a woman) about it and she thoroughly explained the procedure to me, how she often, if they feel comfortable, lets the patient insert it herself. She explained it very well and even though I didn’t need a T/V done, she was very gentle and appropriate in that context.

      So at least some people out there have some manners. LOL

      • Oh, I’m sure there are. But even the most mannerly, gentle ultrasonographer is inserting something that is in no way comparable to male genitalia. For the doctor to dismiss a woman’s concern by saying it is…bleh.

        When this same doctor goes to the dentist, and the dentist pulls out the drill, would the doctor accept it if the dentist said, “Oh, come on — you eat bagels all the time, and bagels are bigger than this” just as he fires up the drill?

  7. “And how, exactly, do you know the size of my husband’s penis? Is there something going on here I don’t know about?”

    • “And how, exactly, do you know the size of my husband’s penis? Is there something going on here I don’t know about?”

      Bwhahaaaa #win i would use that if this situation ever arose.

  8. Wow, I feel really lucky. The one time I had an internal US the Ultrasound tech let me put it in. I guess she trusted that I know what’s comfortable and appropriate and what isn’t.

  9. Wow, how rude to think it was ok to make any such comment about a husband’s genitalia! I personally would never have an internal ultrasound without true medical warrant anyways. I didn’t have one with either of my pregnancies.

  10. I have only had one TV US – it was done for gyn reasons. The tech had me insert it myself, so I thought that was the standard. It was not the most comfortable exam, but they explained every step of the way and explained that the reason they had to push and twist the probe was that they couldn’t see my ovaries (I have a retroverted uterus and scar tissue that caused one of the ovaries to be behind everything, ouch). I thought that I was treated very well, and it appalled me to hear stories like the above from my patients.

    • I had to have A TV US while I was miscarrying and the US tech had me insert it myself and she was so sweet and caring, she told me how beautiful my organs looked and totally put me at ease, which was much appreciated after the experience I had with the ER DR. He was really a jerk.First, he tried to keep my husband out of the room while he examined me(that didn’t happen, much to his dismay). Then he started pulling tissue and blood clots(along with some hair) out of me using forcepts as he acted like it was the most disgusting substance he had ever come in contact with. He insisted that I have the US and insisted on a D&C and when we questioned whether it was necessary he just rolled his eyes at us and said “D&Cs are no big deal. They’re routine. We do them all the time.” Right before that the nurse in the ER tried to convince me to have my husband get a vascectomy! Everyone thinks that your sex life is their business when you come for medical care relating to reproduction.

  11. So, the doctor is saying that this ultrasound will be comparable to having sex? Guess what, doc, I bet my husband is bigger than *you* too — but you’d better keep your pants on anyway.

  12. “And you are a real jerk for assuming that all pregnant females consented to the act which got them pregnant, and/or that all pregnant females are open/curious/uninhibited enough to look so they know what size someone else’s genetals are.”

    Gutter talk in any sort of medical environment is completely inappropriate. I’ve never forgotten my first pap smear, when the OB was talking loudly to the nurse outside the door about how he had no respect for all these girls that come in terrified about Paps. He said most of them are sluts and have had sex, and that’s bigger than the speculum, and they should shut up. My first OB was no better, pushing that wand WAY up in there. As another poster said, I was crawling up the table. Doctors, tech, nurses, and other medical professionals, please be compassionate and professional, and don’t make fun of your patients – at least not where they can hear you.

  13. I must have had around a bout 10 transvaginal ultrasounds in the space of 3 weeks, because the docs could not find out what was wrong with me.. (I had a rare thing). Anyway, the experience was extremely painful, traumatic and humiliating. I felt so degraded after every time I went through it. And it DID affect me psychologically afterwards – I suffered panic attacks for weeks (I think I had post traumatic stress). This technology should be outlawed, its just another form of rape and treating women like an object, as far as Im concerned.

    • 10? I can’t imagine. I would have lost my mind entirely. I had a TV-US when they were rather new in the late 1990s, and I was in menopause. I went in expecting (what was for me) a ‘normal’ abdominal ultrasound. The next thing I knew, I was (in my perspective) being raped by the tech and 3 docs in the room.

      I got out of there, and didn’t go back to a doc for six years, for anything.

      Yes, I do have PTSD as a direct result of that experience. I still won’t go to the doc unless it’s for something blatantly obvious that I already know the answer for…sinus infection, or similar. Oddly, I started my career in nursing, and used to be so relaxed that OB service used me for training interns when I was having my kids.

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