Husbands or S/O's at routine exam - page 3

Wondering what your experiences or facilities policies are about husbands or significant others attending their partners routine gyn exams? I know it is fairly common for the husband to attend some... Read More

  1. by   Lovely_RN
    My Ob/Gyn did take the time to interview me during my initial pre-natal visit. He was a great doctor and I wish I could have had another like him for my second pregnancy. Too bad that providers have gotten so busy that can't spare ten minutes to build a relationship with their patients.

    Quote from walker shaw


    I find it rather absurd to think that a busy ob/gyn is going to ask the patient, prior to doing the exam, if the patient wants their partner in the exam room during the exam. Most ob/gyn's that I'm familiar with are far to busy to delay an exam while the patient runs out to the waiting room to get their partner so the exam can begin; rather, most ob/gyn's I've seen will assume that if there isn't a partner in the room with the patient initially, that the patient doesn't want anyone in the room.

    I asked the initial question based on the above, and based on what I've found most ob/gyn's practice to be.
  2. by   KellNY
    Quote from elizabeth321
    ....if someone is comforted having their husband at the top of the bed with them during a routine pap then it wouldn't be a huge problem....
    [EVIL]I'm going to be a radical voice here [/EVIL] IMO, The partner's "place" should not be regulated to the 'top of the bed', it should be wherever he (or she) and the woman are comfortable with--as long as it does not impede the practitioners work or harm anyone. Yes, that includes by the foot of the bed, getting a birds eye view of the cervix during a speculum exam. (refer to above underlined disclaimer)

    Oh yeah, I'm all types of crazy with my wacky hippie talk.


    And what did you mean by "...a fight or issue which so many are willing to create"?
  3. by   walker shaw
    I've been thinking about the responses from everyone which I appreciate, even if I disagree w/ what some have said. Now for MY DISCLAIMER: My original question asked about ROUTINE exams. Some responses dealt w/ abuse, which if present, definately could come from the patient's partner. Other responses seemed to deal w/ rape, or sexual assault, WHICH FOR PURPOSES OF WHAT I'M ABOUT TO SAY I WILL ASSUME WAS NOT PERPETRATED by the patient's partner. For an assault or rape exam, I definately believe that if I want my DH to be present for the exam, then he darn well better be allowed in with me! It's my body, and I'm not gonna have doctor's poking and prodding me, and gathering evidence for law enforcement, without my DH present to comfort me, especially after an assault or rape. DISCLAIMER: again, I'm saying DH was not the rape/assault perpetrator.

    Now, BACK to my ORIGINAL, routine exam question: I very much appreciate the open minded-ness of KellNY in her recent post where she said she doesn't believe the partner should be regulated to the head end of the bed, but should be allowed at the foot end, "in full view of the cervix," if the patient and partner want it, AND PROVIDED the partner is NOT in the way. Thank you KellyNY for your breath of fresh air!

    I don't know about your exam rooms, but all exam rooms I can ever remember being in are large enough, have the doctor's stool, (even perhaps a doctor's chair), and two chairs for patients/partners. So, I'm not talking about having an exam done in a shoebox closet where you have to back out to get out of the room. It's not like the partner has never seen that end of the patient before. Further, maybe as KellyNY first posted, the partner IS that interested in his partners (the patient's body and med care). I'm not suggesting that the ob/gyn give the partner a medical course in gyn care. I'm simply saying that if the partner wants to watch the exam from the foot end of the bed where the doctor and assistant are, room permitting, and as long as the partner doesn't get in the way, this should be allowed.

    From my own perspective, I would have no problem with it, and my DH would actually like to observe from the foot end, rather than sitting in a chair near he wall. There is room, so don't go there, and my DH isn't rude, obnoxious, etc, and won't get in the way (he's good at being a fly on the wall), so don't throw those things at me. This said, should I feel comfortable asking my ob/gyn to allow my husband to observe from that end? (I'm not trying to ask for medical advice here, just trying to see what other's would do or be comfortable with).
  4. by   KellNY
    Quote from walker shaw
    From my own perspective, I would have no problem with it, and my DH would actually like to observe from the foot end, rather than sitting in a chair near he wall. There is room, so don't go there, and my DH isn't rude, obnoxious, etc, and won't get in the way (he's good at being a fly on the wall), so don't throw those things at me. This said, should I feel comfortable asking my ob/gyn to allow my husband to observe from that end? (I'm not trying to ask for medical advice here, just trying to see what other's would do or be comfortable with).
    Yes, you should be comfortable

    Sexuality, especially in the US is so taboo. Why? It's a vagina. Most women have one. It's a body part. (An intimate body part, yes. But we're also talking about an intimate relationship between a husband and a wife)

    What harm could come from educating someone about their partners anatomy? You're not asking to let him perform the pap or culture, nor are you asking for anything obscene or inappropriate to take place.

    Thank you for the compliments, I appreciate that. I try to be very open minded, am a big patient advocate (not physician/nurse comfort advocate) and snatch up any opportunity for education and enhancing understanding-esp when initiated by the partner.
    Last edit by sirI on Feb 4, '07 : Reason: referred to deleted post
  5. by   Batman24
    My best friend had a ton of trouble getting pregnant and spent a lot of time in the doctor's office with her hubby present. He always stood at the foot of the bed as my friend felt more comfortable with him seeing what was going on at that end. Not one doctor ever complained and if she saw one she saw 20 of them. The medical staff were always respectful of their decision. It was never treated like a big deal because it isn't.
    Last edit by Batman24 on Feb 4, '07
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Moderator Note: This thread has opened up some interesting dialogue. I am sorry if the OP or others may not have not gotten the exact input desired, but please don't discount the replies and discourse going on here. It's of value to others, as well. Often, we have to take what we can use and disregard what we can't, but we can do this and remain friendly. Thanks.

    Enjoy the thread.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 4, '07
  7. by   walker shaw
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Moderator Note: This thread has opened up some interesting dialogue. I am sorry if the OP or others may not have not gotten the exact input desired, but please don't discount the replies and discourse going on here. It's of value to others, as well. Often, we have to take what we can use and disregard what we can't, but we can do this and remain friendly. Thanks.

    Enjoy the thread.
    I assume that i'm the OP (original poster???) and I DO appreciate the various views that have been presented. In prior posts, I did want to clarify the assumptions/circumstances behind the "routine" exam that I was referring to in the original post, but I hope in my "clarification" that I didn't discount anyone's views, as that was NOT my intention - I know that there are many reasons for an exam, and my original question was aimed at a "routine" exam, not any others. That said, again, I DO appreciate the views and comments of everyone who has posted, and I'm sorry if I came off hot. I really appreciate having a Forum to discuss this on.

    Batman24 - for some reason to me, not sure if I can really explain why, there seems to be a difference (at least to me, maybe it's all in my head)between DH standing at the foot of the exam table for a fertility related procedure vs. DH standing at the foot of the exam table for a "routine" exam - and again, I don't mind, and DH would like to stand near the end for the routine exam -

    maybe it's because DH is supposed to be near "that end" for "fertility purposes" - maybe it's cause it seems that more DH's or S/O's accompany their partner for fertility / pregnancy procedures/exams than for routine exams - and maybe (again, it's possibly all in my head) it seems like Doc's expect/anticipate DH / or S/O to be at a fertility/preg exam, but it's more uncommon for their presence during a routine exam - this make sense?

    For instance, look at the number of Forum members who have visited this thread, but not posted - I'm assuming that some who have viewed this thread, but not posted, have a S/O who is not interested or who has not accompanied their partner to a routine exam - (I'm not knocking the non-posters, PLEASE don't get me wrong) - even some posters here seem to indicate that their S/O doesn't want, or they don't want, their S/O to attend their exam - Point is: I'm guessing that the one's who want their S/O to attend a routine exam are the minority - this shouldn't make a difference, and maybe it doesn't - that's what I trying to discover and get a handle on in this thread I guess

    KellNY - your open minded-ness is a breath of fresh air - that said, I just can't decide what sounds "right" and not perverted for me or DH to ask the doctor:
    -Dr. John, may I observe from that end?
    - Dr. John, would you mind if I observed from that end?
    - Dr. John, would it be alright if I watched from that end?
    - Dr. John, would you mind / would it be alright, if DH observed from that end? For some reason, "watch" or "observe" just sound out of place and perverted when used like that - Again, maybe it's all in the mind, and maybe it's no big deal to ask - but there is that inner voice that says "if I or DH ask the question this year, that perhaps next year the doctor will change his policy and not allow anyone to accompany me to the exam" - then I suppose there is the uncertainty that the doctor will say no, for whatever reason - then do you have "egg on your face" for asking? Any suggestions for "phrasing" the question?

    Thanks for EVERYONE's input - hope I'm not beating this to death. I'm going to assume I haven't since SmilingBluEyes states that this thread has "opened up some interesting dialogue"
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I thank you for your understanding. Remember, when you open a thread and ask questions, you are asking for general opinions and need to be open to receiving all kinds of varying input. Take what you can use and discard the rest; that is all that needs to be done. The beauty of these boards, is we do get a lot of interesting opinions, and can nearly always learn something in the process.

    Thanks and continue to enjoy the thread!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 5, '07
  9. by   Batman24
    Walker-I should have explained better. Her hubby was in the room for routine exams. He wasn't in there for any of the actual procedures done as she was put under. My main point was that they did this at doc after doc and never had a problem. I wanted to you to see how common a S/O or hubby in the room really is.

    I wouldn't get too stressed about asking your doc because chances are he won't even get it a second thought. When you are called for your exam bring him back. If the nurse says anything say he will be staying for exam. If they continue on just say you will discuss it with the doc. When the doc comes in you can just simply state he would like to view from the doc's end. That isn't weird or pervy sounding. Don't be afraid...it's your body and this is your preference. My guess is in a routine exam you won't be told no. Most docs are just happy you are taking care of your stuff. lol
  10. by   CrunchRN
    You don't need to ask. Just state that I would prefer that my sig. other remain with me for the exam. That is your right. I was a gyn office nurse for many years and would never think twice about it. Except the occasional person who would stand down by the stirrups for some strange reason and i would just ask them to move to the head of the table.

    If they wanted to "see" then they could just let us know so we could put them somewhere that wouldn't be in their way and we would just explain what things were for.
  11. by   walker shaw
    Thanks for the replies Batman 24 and CrunchRn - it's reassuring.

    I should add that DH has been allowed to accompany me to routine exams and has been with me in the exam room during exams in the past with this doctor, and it has not been a big deal. However, DH has always sat in a chair by the desk, and not observed from the foot end of the table - This year though, he would like to observe from the foot end of the table

    Batman24, I kind of assumed from your recent post that your friend who did the fertility appointments had more than one doctor, and that none of the doctors made any fuss about her DH's attendance - that's reassuring to know that not just one, but numerous doctors did not make an issue of it -

    Unless the question is asked and gets feedback on a Forum like this, a person never knows whether others are bringing their DH or S/O to routine exams - therefore, I've started to wonder if it's common, and what the docs think; hence the post - also, I suppose??? the docs experience DH's or S/O's attending routine exams more than we are aware, but our routine appointments are yearly, at best, so we are not that familiar w/ what the "norm" is, or what doctors to or don't permit - therefore, some anxiety exists.

    CrunchRn, I REALLY appreciate a former gyn office nurse posting here - THANKS - can you provide more insite into how often you saw DH's or S/O's accompany patients for routine exams? - also, you mention something about the "occasional person who would stand at the stirrup end," and having that person stand by the head - in your former gyn office nursing experience, would you or your doctor have had a problem or thought it unusual if a patient or their partner FIRST asked to stand at the foot end - ie: instead of the partner just assuming a position at the foot end, if the partner first asked to stand down there, would that have been alright? - maybe that's what you were trying to say about the person wanting to "see" and you putting them somewhere where they wouldn't be in the way and you could explain things, but I'm unclear.
  12. by   KellNY
    walker, I agree. Don't be timid about it, you're not really asking for special treatment.

    "Dr. John, my dh was curious about what my cervix looks like. He'd like to watch while you perform the pap."

    or something lighter: "Dr. John, actually my DH wants to see what all the fuss is about down there"

    If there is any resistance, ask why. Assure him that your dh won't get in the way, touch anything, contaminate a field, etc. If it's against protocol, ask why. If there's no good reason, consider switching providers.

    I used to work for an OB/GYN who was so hard headed and restrictive, and I'm sure that helped shape my views. We would have to ask permission to have a SO in the room for a PRENATAL exam! And for the sonos (he did them in office), if they were vaginal, he'd have to insert the wand, then I'd go get the SO from the waiting room, and bring him into the sono room, so poor mom had to lay there with the wand up her vagina while we did this. Because heaven forbid dad be in the room when a sono wand was inserted-even at the head of the bed or behind a curtain (where he made the dad go when he removed the wand). NO ONE was allowed in during LEEPs or Colpos-even a sister or female friend to hold a hand, because it's nothing the "nurse" couldn't do.
  13. by   bopps
    I personally wouldn't want my S/O in with me, but I totally understand that it is the pt's right to have whoever she wants in with her during the exam. I get to assist with quite a few pelvics in the ER, and usually the Docs don't care who is in the room unless it is a rape or heavily expected abuse. The only time it left me slightly uncomfortable was when the pt's S/O got excited that she was going to get a pelvic exam. He made sure he sat at the end of the bed and he certainly got himself aroused too. Heavy breathing, etc! The pt didn't mind, and the doctor either didn't notice or pretended not to notice. I was just like, whatever that's life, although my virginal self was a bit:chuckle uncomfortable!!

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