Husbands or S/O's at routine exam

  1. 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 or all of the prenatal / pregnancy visits. But what about the woman's partner attending routine or annual non-pregnancy related gyn exams?

    Does your facility allow it or even encourage it? Are partners encouraged or allowed to accompany the patient to the exam room and remain for the exam? If allowed where you work, have you seen many partners attend the exam? How do your ob/gyn's feel about their patient's partner being present during the exam?

    Thanks for any input. I'm trying to get a feeling for what the norm is.
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  2. 70 Comments

  3. by   sissyboo
    I'm not sure what policy is around here. I would imagine it would be whatever the patient wanted.
  4. by   robynv
    At our office, there really isn't a policy. If the pt. wants it, then they are in. I've had the husband, mom, kids neighbors.........

    Too me, it is waaay to crowded in there, and I feel like I'm tripping over people when I go in to assist.

    Robyn
  5. by   smk1
    Quote from walker shaw
    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 or all of the prenatal / pregnancy visits. But what about the woman's partner attending routine or annual non-pregnancy related gyn exams?

    Does your facility allow it or even encourage it? Are partners encouraged or allowed to accompany the patient to the exam room and remain for the exam? If allowed where you work, have you seen many partners attend the exam? How do your ob/gyn's feel about their patient's partner being present during the exam?

    Thanks for any input. I'm trying to get a feeling for what the norm is.
    I can't speak as a nurse yet, but when I was pregnant and for a short time post-partum, my hubby went to all my OB/GYN appointments, but other than the "perinatal" time, he has no desire to go, nor do I have the need for him to be there. If he "wanted" to go though, I wouldn't care...
  6. by   SaderNurse05
    In my area we do not allow anyone in the room (unless they are brought over by CPS or the jail). It is hard enough to get people to answer truthfully about possible exposures, habits, etc. WITHOUT someone else in the room. If some one is really nervous I get another nurse, we do the hand holding thing and hopefully they learn it can be scary, somewhat uncomfortable and embarrassing but it's not so bad. I assess the patient and if they seem to be afraid of the unknown I walk them through it. Others I do my job while distracting the patient with conversation. Just my HO.
  7. by   lovablelvn
    At my ob-gyn's office, they encourage the S\O to come. My DH has been to very single appt. And considering that we are going through fertility treatments, we see th OB pretty often. DH goes to all sono's, all injections, all paps. Even before we start fertility treatments, he went with me. It was so comforting to know there was someone there just for me and wasn't looking at my vagina. He holds my hand, he hugs me when I don't have any eggs (or not big enough) or just talks to me to keep me from getting nervous.

    I encourage it.
  8. by   santhony44
    My clinic doesn't have a policy that I'm aware of.

    I leave it up to the patient. I've had husbands, mothers, sisters, friends, aunts, and very young or grown children. I haven't had anyone wanting to have a child between toddler age and adult stay in the room (and the adult child a daughter).

    As a patient myself, I am totally uninterested in having my dh in the room while I'm having the exam but as a provider, whatever my patient is comfortable with is fine with me.

    I suppose if there was ever some sort of problem we'd rethink the issue.
  9. by   elizabeth321
    For a gyne exam in the ER everybody out....I make it very matter of fact....and I go get them as soon as it is over...if it is an upsetting situation...I will leave hubby in the room but I do pull curtain around myself and the doc until the exam is over.

    Liz
  10. by   KellNY
    I'd have a MAJOR problem with any ob/gyn's office (medical assistant, nursing staff, MD/CNM/NP, or just a general office policy) that would not allow my SO to be with despite my wishes.

    One of the CNMs in the practice I went to tried to kick my SO out of the room for a post SAB check. It was actually post postSAB hemorrhage (I hemorrhaged about 6 weeks after the SAB), so I wasn't very emotional about it. I didn't need that kind of support.

    I just wanted him there.

    People tend to forget that this is MY BODY. I know it better than anyone else. If I know that having the person I am closest to next to me while someone is jamming a cold metal duck beak into my most private area will make me feel more calm, more relaxed, and thus make the exam more physically and mentally bearable, then I am entitled to that.

    I understand the rationale behind it sometimes--you want to ask about abuse, past pregnancies/abortions, drug use, etc. But you need to look at it this way--some people need a support person. Maybe they're incredibly shy. Maybe they were victims of sexual abuse in the past and can't do a pelvic alone. Maybe the couple is really that close, and share things like that. Maybe according to their religion, the husband has to be a part of the medical decision making process. Maybe she doesn't care one way or the other, but the SO is very interested to learn about his partner's body.

    Compounding that would be the anxiety of an ER visit--those can be scary as all anything. Isolate the woman from every support person she has, surround her with strangers in a strange place, with no one familiar to hold her hand, and then tell her to "let your legs flop open and relax your bottom". Yeah, okay!

    Whatever the reason is--it should be left up to the woman to decide.

    I would not go to a provider that did not respect me in such a simple manor. It's very simple.
    Last edit by KellNY on Jan 5, '07
  11. by   Batman24
    I had a nurse try and kick my mother out of an exam room once after I stated I wanted her there. The nurse got reprimanded as the doctor walked in right in the middle of the discussion. Seemed like she made a practice of doing what she wanted in regards to personal exams versus what the patient wanted. Doctor was livid. He said it was the patient's call. He was right. If my wishes weren't respected I would leave and find another doctor.

    I have gone in with my friends for exams quite a few times as support. Doctors and nurses never said a word about it. All were very kind and supportive in these cases. Sometimes you just get the bad egg.
    Last edit by Batman24 on Jan 5, '07
  12. by   CEG
    If I had a provider who wouldn't allow someone in the room with me I would find another provider, ER or not. If I were in the ER for miscarriage, bleeding, trauma, etc I would want my DH to be there. After all, he is already pretty familiar with the area

    As for past history, exposures, etc, it can be done the same way a domestic abuse screen is done- ask the partner to leave the room, take the patient to the bathroom, vitals area, etc.
  13. by   miss arron
    i had just assumed that s/o's weren't allowed. i had a leep procedure performed a month and a half ago and and i was terrified, but my bf was only allowed in until the procedure started. next time i'll push harder, it would have been alot less scary if he was there to hold my hand.
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    No policy - it is the patient's call.

    Kelly - I love your phrasing "cold metal duck beak" . . .:spin:

    Personally I don't take my dh to routine pap/pelvic appts. I did take my dd to one of my ob appts when she was 12 - it was a good opportunity to talk about those kinds of exams and also HOW THE HECK HER PARENTS WERE EXPECTING A CHILD WHEN SHE WAS 12 YEARS OLD!

    steph

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