Male Urologic Dilemma

  1. First, let me say that I am not asking for medical advice. I am under the care of my PCP and am paying the big $$ for that. I guess I am just looking for social advice, a shoulder to cry on, words of wisdom, or just to vent.

    Over the past year I have been having a problem with blood in the urine when I go to see my doc. He makes it a point to have a ua done every time I go there. Most of the time there is a small amount of blood, not visible, but enough to be a concern. He wants me to go to a urologist to make sure we are not dealing with cancer. The problem is that all the uros in this town use an exclusively female assistive team. The testing for my condition will probably involve a cystocope, something that usually requires assistants.

    I have nothing against women, trust me I really don't. I just have this mega problem with modesty. The reason for this is due to a horrifying experience I had when I was a teenager in high school when I was a patient in a hospital. It's a real ugly story. As a result of that experience, I have a very serious primal fear of being in a medical environment and being exposed and touched in any intimate way by females. It's absolutely terrifying and beyond my ability to fully articulate just how bad this is for me.

    My doc says he knows how I feel, and that he has had other male patients bring up the problem in the past. He said he has a patient who had decided to just live with a painful condition rather than go through treatment. I guess it would be like a female patient going to her gyno and finding an all male assistive team. Or going to get a mammogram and encountering all male techs. Even without any particlar modesty issues, I think most women would find this uncomfortable at the least, and most likely just plain unacceptable.

    My doc is trying to find a urologist in neighboring towns who might have some male assistants working there. I believe he is really trying, but so far no luck. I went to one of the local urology clinic's website and they had a contact email. I loved how they said "your concerns are our concerns." They never responded to my very polite email. :angryfire I am sitting here with a potentially life threatening condition that I can't get treated for and it's really depressing...

    When you figure that urologists are the primary provider of reproductive health of men, it just makes sense to have some males working there to assist on those procedures that require them. Granted, they treat women too but the patient load for urologists is about 70% male, based on what I've seen in the waiting rooms.

    Please don't think I am anti female because I am not. I just think there are times when men are best treated by other men just to get the comfort level up to a reasonable point where they can accept care.

    Advice, opinions, what should I do???
    •  
  2. Visit 58flyer profile page

    About 58flyer

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 316; Likes: 239
    PoPoAV8tor; from US

    101 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    {{{58}}}

    Unfortunately medicine is a profession where most docs are men and most nurses and ancillary medical staff are women.

    Is there any way you can have the procedure done in the hospital rather than the office, and request an all male (or mostly male) staff? You'd have a better chance in a hospital than in an office.
  4. by   Crux1024
    Quote from TazziRN
    {{{58}}}

    Unfortunately medicine is a profession where most docs are men and most nurses and ancillary medical staff are women.

    Is there any way you can have the procedure done in the hospital rather than the office, and request an all male (or mostly male) staff? You'd have a better chance in a hospital than in an office.
    Tazzi is right! Its not unusual for us in the OR to have staff requested by gender. You can come in (scheduled) and have a much better chance of getting male staff. At the same time, maybe you should talk to someone about your problem?? If you end up in the hospital unexpectedly, the chances for ALL male staff available for you is pretty much nil.. Good Luck.
  5. by   ElvishDNP
    I am sorry that you're going through this right now. And I agree with you that if I were surrounded by ALL men, it would be a bit of a daunting thing while I'm having GYN things done. Having a male gyno is one thing but seeing nothing but men, I think would indeed be strange at best.

    I agree with Tazzi in seeing if you can get something scheduled in the hospital where there is a lot more male staff, and the other posters have said, you can request male staff.

    I don't mean this last bit to sound trite at all. I mean it sincerely. Have you considered therapy/counseling for what happened earlier on? Sometimes it's necessary (been there) and can be REALLY helpful in digging up feelings and healing them. I would, of course, research clinicians and find out what they specialize in. You don't want someone who's going to make it worse.

    Along with this comes my sincere wish for things to start looking up soon. I hope you find what you need on all fronts.

    Arwen
  6. by   pegbord
    58flyer, I am so sorry you are going through this right now. My father has prostate cancer and refuses to be seen by any women healthcare providers. He also has complete confidence in both genders' ability, however, is extremely modest. His procedures are uncomfortable enough without adding the additional psychosocial discomfort of a female participating in his care. He is fortunate to live in a city where having an all male team is not uncommon.

    My uncle has blood in his urine (has been noticable for past 2 months) and was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer, high grade. Please, please do what you can to get yourself checked immediately. The idea about having procedure done in a hospital is good --- or can you travel whatever distance may be necessary to find a medical facility that will meet your needs? Another idea: Would you feel comfortable with a trusted male friend accompanying you as a source of security? This may help to take some of the fear away in the event that an all-male team is not available. Please don't put this off -- it could be very serious and easily taken care of if tended to early enough. I will be sending you warm thoughts.
  7. by   Tweety
    I understand. Personally, I'm more comfortable with male doctors and nurses. I know plenty of females that won't go to a male under any circumstance. It might make sense to have male assistants in a urology practice, but being an assistant is a doctor's office isn't primarily a male profession.

    Any significant other or male friend that can be with you?

    Your statement is "I am sitting here with a potentially life threatening condition that I can't get treated for and it's really depressing..." is not true. You are choosing not to get it treated at the current time. I do hope you find what you're looking for. Come to St. Pete, most of the urologists here are male.
  8. by   futurecnm
    I would do what you need to do to take care of your health. I would search around and try to find males to treat you but if that isn't possible (there will most likely be a female involved) then I'd face your fears and get it over with. It may be difficult to get through but you will feel better knowing if there is a medical problem. I'm sure they can give you adequate medication to help you feel calm for the procedure. Just know that all female nurses and assistants have seen these things a million times and it isn't an issue at all for them. I hope your dr can work with you to make you feel as comfortable as possible and that you can do what needs done. Good luck.
  9. by   VegRN
    Quote from 58flyer
    First, let me say that I am not asking for medical advice. I am under the care of my PCP and am paying the big $$ for that. I guess I am just looking for social advice, a shoulder to cry on, words of wisdom, or just to vent.

    Over the past year I have been having a problem with blood in the urine when I go to see my doc. He makes it a point to have a ua done every time I go there. Most of the time there is a small amount of blood, not visible, but enough to be a concern. He wants me to go to a urologist to make sure we are not dealing with cancer. The problem is that all the uros in this town use an exclusively female assistive team. The testing for my condition will probably involve a cystocope, something that usually requires assistants.

    I have nothing against women, trust me I really don't. I just have this mega problem with modesty. The reason for this is due to a horrifying experience I had when I was a teenager in high school when I was a patient in a hospital. It's a real ugly story. As a result of that experience, I have a very serious primal fear of being in a medical environment and being exposed and touched in any intimate way by females. It's absolutely terrifying and beyond my ability to fully articulate just how bad this is for me.

    My doc says he knows how I feel, and that he has had other male patients bring up the problem in the past. He said he has a patient who had decided to just live with a painful condition rather than go through treatment. I guess it would be like a female patient going to her gyno and finding an all male assistive team. Or going to get a mammogram and encountering all male techs. Even without any particlar modesty issues, I think most women would find this uncomfortable at the least, and most likely just plain unacceptable.

    My doc is trying to find a urologist in neighboring towns who might have some male assistants working there. I believe he is really trying, but so far no luck. I went to one of the local urology clinic's website and they had a contact email. I loved how they said "your concerns are our concerns." They never responded to my very polite email. :angryfire I am sitting here with a potentially life threatening condition that I can't get treated for and it's really depressing...

    When you figure that urologists are the primary provider of reproductive health of men, it just makes sense to have some males working there to assist on those procedures that require them. Granted, they treat women too but the patient load for urologists is about 70% male, based on what I've seen in the waiting rooms.

    Please don't think I am anti female because I am not. I just think there are times when men are best treated by other men just to get the comfort level up to a reasonable point where they can accept care.

    Advice, opinions, what should I do???
    I am female, but I know how you feel! I had some issues last year that required care by a urologist and I specifically requested a female and got one (there is only one at the large practice where I went). I just feel more comfortable with a female provider but if there wasn't one available I would have had to go to a male provider. And if the meds didn't work that she put me on, I would have had to have a male urologist do the diagnostic tests.

    And there have been other times in my life where I had to see a male ob/gyn for "female issues" because a female doctor was not available. It was uncomfortable but I got through it. Women have been dealing with this for centuries because doctors were near all male up until 50 years ago.

    You can't wait on this, your health has to come first. How about calling the clinic and asking them straight out? Ask them for an all male team. I am sure they have had this request before.

    I think the other posters suggestion of therapy was a good idea. You had an incident in the past that caused you to feel the way you do now. Facing the fear, the emotions is the only way you can get through this anxiety.
  10. by   VegRN
    Quote from futurecnm
    I would do what you need to do to take care of your health. I would search around and try to find males to treat you but if that isn't possible (there will most likely be a female involved) then I'd face your fears and get it over with. It may be difficult to get through but you will feel better knowing if there is a medical problem. I'm sure they can give you adequate medication to help you feel calm for the procedure.
    YES, if you explain the issue to them and the anxiety it is causing, I bet they would give you some anti anxiety medication to help you in staying calm for the procedure.

    Doctors prescribe it for people that are afraid to fly and people that are claustrophobic and undergoing an MRI so I don't see why they wouldn't prescribe a pill to help you remain calm for this procedure.
  11. by   Dolce
    I've worked outpatient surgery at three hospitals--all have done cystos under anesthesia in the OR. You are NOT the only person who feels uncomfortable having this done with female assistants. I think that you should meet with the urologist and let him know your concerns and ask him if the cysto could be done in the OR under anesthesia. If he agrees with this tell him that you would like to request male-only staff. I agree with the other posters--the OR is one of the areas of the hospital that usually has a lot of men.

    Hoping for the best.:icon_hug:
  12. by   czyja
    To the OP - I hear you. When I was 17 I had a female doc take a culture from my penis and it was more traumatic then I thought it would be. I prefer to have male healthcare providers for any reproductive health issues. Your situation sucks.

    That said, you really need to get this taken care of. Talk to your doc, medicate the daylights outta yourself if you have to (Ativan or Xanax can work miracles for this sort a thing) BUT get this looked at.
    Last edit by Tweety on May 20, '07 : Reason: edited out deleted reference
  13. by   58flyer
    Thanks to all who suggested the idea of having the procedure done in a hospital. I didn't think of that and I will bring that up with my doc when I see him next week. You have given me hope!
  14. by   58flyer
    Quote from Arwen_U
    I don't mean this last bit to sound trite at all. I mean it sincerely. Have you considered therapy/counseling for what happened earlier on? Sometimes it's necessary (been there) and can be REALLY helpful in digging up feelings and healing them. I would, of course, research clinicians and find out what they specialize in. You don't want someone who's going to make it worse.
    Arwen
    Thanks for the suggestion Arwen. Yes, I have had counseling for this and it helped a lot, probably the best thing I ever did for myself. Given the magnitude of the trauma and the complexities of the issues surrounding it, there is no way to totally erase any fear or discomfort about being a patient. The best solution of course is avoidance, but that may not always be possible, especially in emergent situations. I fear that more than anything as I live a very active lifestyle, and my career choice puts me in a fair degree of danger. I have been in the ER as a patient several times, but I wasn't hurt bad enough to keep me from asserting my wishes, even though it got testy at times.

close