Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some OB/GYNs need sensitivity training

Yesterday, I had the unfortunate experience of having my annual GYN exam. And, it wasn't for the reason you might think. As an infertile, I've had my hoo-haw looked at and poked at more times than most women twice my age. So, clearly I don't mind the exam.

What I do mind, however, is the following:

1. As soon as I sit down in the waiting room, I come face to face with a very cute and very pregnant gal across the way, who proceeds to rub her belly, stand up, walk around and make sure that everyone is noticing how uncomfortable she is.

2. I have major bones to pick with my doctor's office scale. I swear it's at least 15 pounds heavy.

3. The fact that the medical technical asked me what birth control I'm on. Really...

4. The fact that my doctor asked me what birth control I'm on. When I told her it was impossible for me to get pregnant, she actually argued with me a little bit. Note that this is not my fertility doc, just my GYN. "It could happen, Lu." Again, really?

5. That my doctor, who just came back to work after having her second child, complained to me about how difficult it is to parent two children almost the entire time she was in the exam room. Really?

It took all I had not to make a snarky remark about how she should just thank her lucky stars that she has been able to give birth to two healthy kids because some of us have never and will never be able to.

I would like to propose that at OB/GYN offices, any women who are pregnancy virgins or have challenges childbearing, should have bright yellow stickers on their files folders or a flag on the electronic medical record that indicates that we are infertile. I think that would eliminate a lot of unnecessary questioning and awkward answers. Better yet, I would be happy to do some sensitivity training for these docs with a lack of appropriate bedside manner. Truly, it's not that hard. Instead of asking us about birth control and getting pregnant, just discuss the weather or how lovely our cervixes are.

And, visibly pregnant ladies, please don't parade that belly right in front of me.