When Redditor throwRAikook requested a change of doctor at a recent gynecologist appointment—to put her mind at ease during a pelvic examination—it went against her mother’s wishes.
After she was punished for making the decision during her appointment, the teen turned to Reddit’s Relationship Advice column to seek guidance on what to do.
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“My mom is mad at me for refusing to have a pelvic exam from a male doctor.”
“I (17 f[emale]) recently went to have an exam done because I was having some issues.”
“My mom who made my appointment requested a male doctor since she isn’t supportive of me liking girls and doesn’t want me being touched down there by one.”
“I begged her to get me a female doctor as I was uncomfortable with a guy touching me. She told me that if I told the guy to stop and switch to a female to examine me I’d be in big trouble.”
But the issue went deeper than insecurity or modesty.
“During the exam the female nurse that was in the room was trying to comfort me since I was crying uncontrollably since the male doctor touching me gave me flashbacks of something that happened a few years ago.”
“A few minutes after the exam started I told them that I needed a female doctor since I didn’t feel safe with my current doctor.”
The medical professionals understood and were very accommodating.
“He was very understanding and a female doctor ended up finishing my exam.”
“My mom was yelling at me for the entire car ride home and took most of my stuff away (writing this on my junk tablet that she didn’t find). She is very mad at me what should I do.”
Redditors felt horrible for the way the OP was treated by her mother.
“Your mum is abusive. She is homophobic, is dismissing your wishes, minimizing your past experiences (which seem to include trauma and possible sexual abuse from what you hint at), sexualizing a medical situation and abusing you.”
“I am really glad the nurse and doctor listened to you, that’s what any good medical professional would do and MANY women request female doctors.”
“Can you get any help? Does your school have a counseling service?”
“Is your father around or do you have any other family members you could appeal to for help? Are there any LBGT plus support charities for teens that you can access?” – GlencoraPalliser
“Your mom is controlling AF. OP, from your post I assume you’re not yet an adult, but your body is yours regardless of age.”
“It’s you who decides who gets to touch it, you did the right thing by choosing your own comfort over your stupid mother’s rules, I also sense some history.”
“Maybe it’s better if you stay with a friend for a few days and give you and your mom both time to calm down.” – D0ublek1ll
“Your mom is horrid. I am so sorry that you went through this.”
“I’m a straight female and I will NOT let a male doctor look at me or touch me down there.” – elibroall
“Doctors understand this, and this is extremely common. Your mom is awful for making you feel bad for this.” – karolinekite
A doctor weighed in by sharing the protocols involved in their country that the OP could apply toward future appointments.
“Her mom is gross. She’s projecting her hypersexualization of her daughter on to professionals who do this day in and day out.”
“OP- There is nothing romantic or intimate about doing a pelvic exam in anyone’s mind, patient or doctor. And you are well within your medical rights to request a different doctor if uncomfortable.”
“Just give the doctor a heads up the next time before the exam starts, and you won’t have to suffer from the get go.”
“You can even have this added to your medical info- ‘has traumatic response to examination by males, request female doctor’ permanently. And it’ll pop up everytime you are scheduled.”
“They are also not obligated to share your medical info with your mother, if they have reason to believe she’ll retaliate against you or abuse you for it otherwise. At 17, you are considered to have autonomy over your medical decisions.”
“I’m a doctor, and this is how it is in my country so I’m not sure how much would carry over, but it’s worth reading up about depending on where you are.” – DramaticLychee8
Redditors also pointed out the exam is not remotely sexual.
“If this wasn’t such a horrific experience for OP it would be almost laughable that her mother thinks a pelvic exam, possibly the single least sexy experience of my life, could be in any way sexual.” – et-regina
Some Redditors wondered about the OP’s home life.
“What her mom did amounts to abuse. OP I’m so sorry this happened to you.”
“A doctor’s exam is not a sexual or romantic encounter. In fact for many it’s a time of extreme stress and as much should be done to make the patient as comfortable as possible.”
“Do you have any support at home or from another adult?” – Cats-and-Chaos
Options were suggested.
“I would contact a relative as well as CPS possibly. Explain the situation and see if cps can’t help a relative take custody of you.”
“What she did isn’t just abuse …. It could be argued that it was discrimination, emotional abuse and possibly in a way sexual abuse (your mom forcing that on you.)”
“You were perfectly in the right to request a different doctor.”
“Honestly if option A isn’t open then option B is save up, apply for an apartment once you turn 18 and move.”
“If you’re LGBT+ see if there are lgbt+ youth homes. Where I live, 17 you’re legally responsible for yourself.”
“If you do chose that path you may need ask them to help you get enrolled in school.”
“The school may officially require you to be emancipated. I know laws are confusing and dont make sense at time but you’ll pull through.” – Jaysydan91
A verified crisis counselor also weighed in on the situation.
“I’m worried about OP. She has experienced sexual assault, she isn’t receiving parental support for the assault, and if I read her post correctly, she’s an LGBTQ+ teen whose mother is not supportive of her identity.”
“All of those identities and experiences combined place her at pretty high risk for further abuse and exploitation as well as struggles with mental health.” – Ebbie45
Redditors gave alternatives that didn’t involve the mother.
“This is so absurd. Ask her is she ‘gets off’ when she has a pelvic exam done by a male doctor. I’ve never heard something so ridiculous.”
“As a straight 30 year old women, I still will not have an exam done by a male, it makes me uncomfortable.”
“I’m SO sorry you had to go through this. You can go to Planned Parenthood by yourself and request a female doctor.”
“You can get your Pap done and/or be seen for any other female issues you might have. It doesn’t have to be related to getting birth control.”
“Your Mom does not need to be involved in this part of your life at all. If you don’t want to use your insurance (because you don’t want your Mom seeing the bill), just explain this and tell them why when you make the appointment.”
“They will tell you the ‘cost’ without insurance and if you can’t pay, they will make sure you are seen anyway. It is confidential, just be honest like you were here, and they will make sure you get everything you need.” – Nicoleneedsadvice
“I would consider calling your doc office. Explain what’s going on and ask if the male doc could speak to your mom about this.”
“She is being highly inappropriate and she sounds like she might get it better hearing it from a man.”
“Also consider calling CPS or speaking with any sort of mandatory reporter like a school official. They wouldn’t take you away over this but they might shame her a bit and help you get some counselling.”
“Finally, if you don’t have a job already, get one. Put a set percentage of your income into savings with every single paycheck.”
“That way you can move out the day you turn 18 if needed. It’s pretty doable with room mates, even if you’re not making a ton and diligent about saving.”
“I have a lot of lesbian friends and they have a strong community. A lot of them split rent on bigger houses to get out of less than ideal home situations.”
“If you already have a cosigned account, get a new account that’s just in your name at a separate bank if possible.”
“Finally, see what local LGTBQ+ resources are in your area and reach out to them.” – Ashamed_SkirtSuit
The general consensus was that the mother was toxic for her views against the OP’s sexuality and that the OP was well within her rights to request a female doctor for her own comfort and peace of mind.