Tips For Female Teenagers
To Prevent Sexual Misconduct By Doctors
Most adolescent girls don't feel
comfortable letting their male pediatricians see certain parts of
their body. Many girls don't even like to discuss personal matters
such as periods and breast growth with their male doctors. There
is usually no need for teenage girls to have pap smears if they
are virgins who have never engaged in any kind of sexual activity.
more information on pap smears for virgins. If you have been
sexually active or were raped, it is probably a good idea to have
a pap smear when you are a teenager. Sometimes, virgin girls have
problems such as abnormal heavy menstrual periods, severe cramps,
or large ovarian cysts that need to be taken care of.
Many teenage girls have been traumatized
by having intimate examinations by male doctors even if there was
no sexual misconduct. Many teenage girls are uncomfortable with
strange men including doctors touching certain parts of their bodies.
Some teenage girls have made a commitment to save sex until marriage
and they also feel that their future husband should be the only
man in the world who can see and touch certain parts of their body.
1.) It is best for a female
patient to never go to a male gynecologist. There are so
many good female ob/gyns you could choose from. If your area doesn't
have any female ob/gyns, you should check into having a female Nurse
Practitioner or Physician's Assistant do your women's health examinations.
You are in a very vulnerable position when you let a male gynecologist
do intimate procedures on you. Having a nurse or an assistant present
in the room with the doctor doesn't guarantee that nothing inappropriate
would happen to you. Remember that the nurse or assistant is present
to "protect" the doctor and will often be on the doctor's
side. There have been cases where female patients felt the male
doctor went too far, but the nurse or assistant felt he was simply
doing thorough examinations. It is certainly not worth the risk
to let a male doctor do intimate female procedures or examinations
on you. If there are no good female gynecologists in your area,
ask your mom or someone else to drive you to the closest city with
a female gynecologist no matter how far it is away.
2.) Even with female
gynecologists, you have to take some precautions. It is very
rare for female ob/gyns to commit sexual misconduct,
but it is possible. Some female doctors are very coercive when it
comes to doing things. You need to speak up about things you don't
want to be done to you. For example, if you don't want any male
anesthesiologists, nurses, or students/residents present for your
procedure (ex: ovarian cyst removal surgery) you should be sure
to make it clear to your female gynecologist and have all of your
wishes in writing. It might be good to have someone who can help
you advocate for what you want. You should ask the female doctor
to tell you in details about what exactly what she will be doing
and if there is anything you don't like, you should speak up.
3.) Don't allow
yourself to be pressured into having a pelvic exam, pap smear, or
breast exam at any doctor appointments. Some female patients have
gone to the doctor for other health concerns and were pressured
into having unnecessary examinations. For instance if you go in
for a sore throat and you think you may have strep throat, don't
spend time listening to a lecture by the doctor about how important
it is to have a pap smear and that you need one today. If something
like that happens, tell the doctor you are not interested and you
only want to talk about the reason you came in (ex: your throat
4.) Don't undress
or put on a medical gown when it is unnecessary and/or you feel
uncomfortable. Most procedures and tests, including blood tests,
blood pressure tests, stethoscope heart exam, eye, ear, nose, and
throat examinations, as well as throat cultures can be done fully
clothed. If your concern is an infection or suspicious spot on your
skin, only uncover that part of your body and consider wearing a
skirt, short sleeves, shorts, and socks or knee highs, to uncover
the area of concern while remaining clothed. You should think in
advance about what parts of your body the doctor should examine
and dress accordingly. For instance if you have a knee problem that
you want the doctor to check out, you should put shorts instead
of pants on so you would not have to take any of your clothes off.
5.) Keep in mind
that it is unnecessary for you to take your shirt off for the doctor
to listen to your heart. You should wear a thin shirt and not a
sweatshirt. It is strange, but many doctors don't even ask men to
take their shirts off to listen to their hearts, but they ask women
to. That tells you something is wrong.
6.) You should
think in advance about what parts of your body the doctor should
examine and dress accordingly. For instance if you have a knee problem
that you want the doctor to check out, you should put shorts instead
of pants on so you would not have to take any of your clothes off
in the doctor's office.
7.) Never let anyone
even your mother or friends pressure you into going to a male gynecologist
no matter how good or well-respected he may be. Many people thought
that the male gynecologists who have sexually abused some of their
patients were wonderful doctors.
8.) Make a firm
decision that you will not let a male doctor or nurse touch any
parts of your body that are covered by a two piece bathing suit.
This is a good way to prevent you from being sexually abused by
a male doctor.
9.) If you are
going to be put under anesthesia, you should insist that you have
a family member or a friend present for your procedure. Check out
Should Have a Personal Advocate For Surgery?
10.) Do research
on procedures or surgeries that your doctor may have recommended
for you to have done before you submit to them. Find out what parts
of your body would be exposed for this procedure.
11.) If you must be hospitalized,
it would be best if you could have someone not employed by the hospital
present with you at least most of the time especially when you are
asleep or drowsy.
12.) Insist that no male nurse
give you a bath or do intimate procedures on you such as urinary
catheterizations. Many unnecessary
urinary catheterizations are done. If you must be catheterized,
ask that a female nurse insert your catheter.
13.) Insist on a female technician
for EKG, transvaginal ultrasound (if needed), etc.