Question about rectal exam - page 5

I am 18 and recently had my first pelvic exam and the doc (male) said (before the exam started) part of the exam was a rectal exam I asked if we could skip that part and he said it was important to... Read More

  1. by   elkpark
    I'm 47 and I've never had a vaginal exam that didn't also include a rectal. And the docs (or NPs ) didn't discuss it in detail with me in advance, and I wouldn't have refused or questioned it if they had. It's not the high point of my week, but what's the big deal? It's over in a few seconds ... I consider it just part of a thorough, complete screening exam.
  2. by   louloubell1
    I have four children and have had a total of 4 OB/GYNs in my life and have never ever had a rectal exam.
  3. by   Farkinott
    Regardless of whether the examination would not be "proper" without the rectal examination, you sound like you were coerced into accepting it. Don't forget it is your body! You have authority over what happens to it! I am surprised that more nurse in these forums haven't given you any support in your choice! Too many are voicing opinions siding with the doctorl.
    We are always telling our patients to exercise their rights. What about us nurses?!!
    Please don't EVER be coerced into doing anything you don't want to again!
    All the best from Oz.
  4. by   JerseyGirl
    I am 28 years old and so far have had only one rectal, and that was when I was trying to get pregnant and the doctor was trying to feel the uterus. She also stated that I was getting the rectal very early and she normally wouldn't do it until around age 40. It didn't hurt that much and it was over as quickly as it started--no big deal. Every doctor does things a little differently.
  5. by   JWaldron
    I have been getting GYN exams since about 1960 and most, but not all, have included a rectal exam. Same w/ routine physicals - more of them include it now that I am older. as to why exams, and care, are not standardized, well, medicine iis partly an art, not all science, and maybe some NPs and MD's have moe acute hands or senses or something.

  6. by   mitchsmom
    Just another vote in the poll...
    I have three kids and have been to at least 10 different OB/GYN's... only one of them ever did a rectal exam, I was about 24 at the time. I agree with those who feel that it is part of a complete, thorough exam though.
    We covered it when learning exams in my Assessment class last Fall also, as part of a pelvic exam. In my book it makes mention of assessing sphincter tone, and cervix, uterus, and rectovaginal septum for patency. Better safe than sorry- rather the doc be too conservative than too aloof. Even if it isn't formally recommended until 40, it is easy & cheap procedure-wise, and they are already there so might as well do it and get it over with... mine have apparently been too busy to be so thorough. And after three kids they probably should be checking me, I probably have all kinds of things pooching and falling out down there! :uhoh21: LOL Ok, on to my Kegel's: 1& 2&...
  7. by   mshultz
    As far as men being used to rectal exams, my first rectal exam occurred last May in the ED. Prior to that, the most my physicians ever did was to reach into my underwear and feel my groin lymph nodes. All anyone saw of my pelvic region was when a nurse would pull down my underwear just enough to give an IM cortisone injection for seasonal allergies.

    Things changed drastically last May when I regained consciousness to find myself sitting in a huge puddle of blood and fecal matter. In real life, I never go around without a shirt, or sit around the house in my underwear. However, when I found that I could not stand or sit due to blood loss, and could not adequately clean myself up, I decided that not ruining an old bathrobe was more important than my modesty. I was lying on the floor naked in a prone position when the squad arrived. As soon as I arrived at the ED, a doctor, 2 or 3 nurses, and the registration clerk (I think) assembled around me, and uncovered me without saying a word. They then told me their names.

    Once the NG tube was inserted, I spent my free time watching the contents of my stomach flowing through the tube (I eventually figured out, long after discharge, that the light brown floc was digested blood. I had a duodenal ulcer from taking 5 to 6 aspirin a day for headaches, and had lost 4 units of blood). The doctor did not tell me what he was going to do, I was engrossed with the NG tube, and my skin sensitivity was reduced from loss of blood. The doctor was able to squeeze his hand under my genitals and between my thighs without me noticing until he touched my anus.

    I quickly got over my initial surprise (You're putting your finger in there with all that blood and fecal matter!?), and became curious as to what he was doing. I had thought it was a prostate exam, but he did not seem to be at the right location. According to the Merck Manual, he was checking for sources of bleeding.

    Upon visiting the gastroenterologist after being released from the ICU, I reminded him that he wanted to do a colonoscopy due to my age (He did an EGD at the hospital). Prior to all this, rectal exams and colonoscopies were high on my list of things to avoid. However, losing a half-gallon of blood tends to change your attitude.

    Maybe it's just me, but once I got over the initial embarrassment, I was thinking about what an interesting new experience it was to be lying naked in front of the squad and the ED staff. The rectal exam was also interesting, and not at all uncomfortable, unlike the NG tube. I guess there's no limit to my curiosity.
  8. by   Energizer Bunny
    LOL...I love that curiosity. I had a sigmoidoscopy done a few weeks ago and just loved watching!!! (that is until they got the whole 12 inches in...then it was painful) They thought I was nuts, but when I told them I was going to school to get my ADN they understood!
  9. by   mshultz

    Thank you so much for your reply. It's nice to hear that someone else is curious about what is being done to them, even when it is an embarrassing procedure. I posted my colonoscopy experience in the Gastroenterology Nursing Forum, under recent colonoscopy experience. Since then, I have looked at Their description of abdominal compression sounds promising in terms of reducing pain. I intend to memorize the technique before my next colonscopy, so I can do it myself if necessary. It will be an interesting experiment. I would think that keeping the sigmoid colon from looping would also make a sigmoidoscopy less painful.
  10. by   Energizer Bunny
    I am actually scheduled to have a CT scan on Saturday so that is my next "fun" thing to check out! I think i'm a little bonkers! LOL!

    I think it is fabulous to take a lead role in your own healthcare!