The Other Side of the Speculum: A Male Doctor’s Point of View

  • Hang on to your knickers and read what a Doctor has to say on the subject of pap smears and pelvic exams.  What follows is a comment from written by a Doctor that uncovers an honest and all-male point of view (Warning: may be disturbing to some readers):
    Apr 07, 2010 at 4:08 am


    I’ve read several of the posts here, and just wanted to get a few things off my chest . . .

    I am a doctor myself, in a smallish town in the midwest. I’m in a specialty where we do not do pelvic exams, but of course I was trained in how to do them while in medical school. It has always bothered me, for a couple of reasons, but the male/female thing has been the main thing originally. I always got a small, secret thrill out of doing a pelvic exam (or a breast exam, for that matter) on an attractive woman. Because we were told that “it’s not sexual,” “it’s just a medical procedure, nothing sexual about it, no reason to have sexual thoughts,” I though I was weird. I didn’t worry that much because I knew I wasn’t going into an area where I would do exams, but…

    Then, during residency, I worked with a lot of doctors in the community, and discovered that, for most of them, it WAS at least partly sexual: they would sit around in the lounges and such and sometimes discuss the anatomy of beautiful women who’d been in, and on two occasions discussed, in front me and everyone else, the sexual anatomy attributes of women who worked in the hospital, nurses and such that were mutual acquaintances. I was horrified! I have to say, too, that many doctors, when I asked (because it bothered me), talked about it like, “Oh, it’s just another test to have to do, kind of boring, really.”

    Still, the inescapable fact is that a guy likes to look at a naked woman. Period. Doctors are no different. They like to look at naked women, too. So, if they get PAID to look–I mean, really LOOK–at a woman’s sexual organs, and even better, they get to touch them, well… So much the better! I’m not saying that doctors do exams just to get a sexual thrill, because the circumstances really don’t allow a full-out sexual experience, but given a choice between doing a lung exam on an 80-year-old guy or a pelvic exam on an attractive 30-year-old woman, I’d say most docs would MUCH rather do the latter. They’re only human. They would flatly deny having any such thoughts (in most cases), but deep down, they ARE men, after all.

    So, I think sometimes part of what prompts docs to urge women to have more testing is, that secretly they kind of like doing it. The money doesn’t hurt (i.e., they get paid to do it). In terms of pap smears being unnecessary for post-hysterectomy women, they also probably often just don’t know–there are several things in my specialty which GPs do wrong, all the time, even though they should know better. The ACOG recommends that even without doing pap smears, women have pelvic exams regularly, to screen for various cancers that are of very little risk. I’m sure part of that is just the “hyperscreening” that we’ve gotten sucked into, part of it is the money, and part is the male domination of women (gives you a great chance to stand there, fully clothed, with a woman who is naked and in a vulnerable position), and the chance to look at and touch naked women.

    My wife (my second wife) and I got married last year, just past age 50 (for both of us). She had a hysterectomy (for benign disease) nearly 20 years ago. Before we married, she got kind of funny one day, then when I asked about what was wrong she admitted that she had had to make an appointment to “get my pap smear,” which she felt guilty for missing for the previous few years. I informed her she didn’t need one any more, and she told me I was wrong, that her gyn had told her she DID need them YEARLY, even though she’d had a hysterectomy. I showed her the research and persuaded her not to go back, ever, to that gyn.

    Later, in looking at her records myself, I find that she had a small cyst removed from her back a few years ago. The surgeon did a complete pelvic exam as part of the physical before surgery. A VERY complete pelvic exam. There was no need for that (he did NOT record anything other than lungs, heart, breasts, and pelvic exam on his H&P report). A couple of years later she had a small cyst removed from her shoulder. THAT surgeon (a different one) did a complete breast exam as part of her H&P. My wife works in the hospital, with all these doctors (she’s in administration). She had her first colonoscopy last year, and the GI doc did a complete pelvic exam as part of her exam. Again, no medical reason to do that. She is not unattractive (not a magazine-model stunner, but attractive–I think she’s the most attractive woman in the world, but realistically she’s average attractiveness).

    In my office, I am now doing a small study. I’ve asked women who come in (either as patients or as family members of patients) who are aged 30-60, who have had hysterectomies, whether they have continued to have pap smears/pelvic exams and whether their doc has recommended they still have them. I rank them as “attractive,” “not unattractive,” or “unattractive,” being aware this is a judgement call and not really PC (but the ones I’ve judged “unattractive,” I think everyone would agree, are really not attractive at all). So far, I’ve had 14 women agree to answer my questions, and the results have stunned me: of the 4 unattractive ones, all were told they no longer need to have pap smears/pelvic exams, because of their hysterectomies (even though for one, the hyst’y was for cancer, meaning she DOES need to continue exams). Of the 4 “not unattractive,” 3 have continued to have paps/pelvics irregularly (not yearly but every few years, at least), and 2 told me their doc told them they needed them, in one case “yearly” (and her doc was the same one who told 2 of the unattractive ones not to bother with exams any more, including the 1 who had had cancer)–the other 2 never asked and were never told anything by their doc. Of the “attractive” ones (all of whom had hyst’y for benign disease), only 2 have continued paps/pelvics, but all told me their doctors have continually told them they need to come in for regular exams, including pap smears and pelvic exams (interestingly, all but 1 had the same doctor who’d told 2 unattractive ladies not to come back). My wife’s (previous) gyn had told one of the unattractive ladies not to have further paps/pelvics, and 1 of the attractive ones she really, really needs them regularly (and she has, until our discussion).

    Make your own judgement there, but that’s one more reason to be skeptical of attempts to get women to have regular exams. If I were a woman, I would not go to a male doc for such an exam, ever.


About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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694 Responses to The Other Side of the Speculum: A Male Doctor’s Point of View

  1. dépaysement says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’m having heart surgery soon and now I’m forewarned in case they try to pull this stunt on me.

  2. Mary says:

    I think as a doctor you would know that your “study” is not by far a clinical study. There are so many reasons beyond just a hysterectomy that would require continuing exams. Im not a doctor just a mom and have had many exams having kids and regular exams or medical problems. One reason a woman would need to continue having exams is the type of hysterectomy she had. Does she still have her cervix? If so she needs exams. And if anybof the so called unattractive women who have been told they dont need exams and still have a cervix then they need a lawyer. I do however think your research should continue but refined clinically with a higher attention to other factors that are very pertinent.

    • Eddie Kester says:

      Pertinent…lung cancer and heart disease kill more women than sex organ cancers. Yet…those check ups and exams are not the hyper focus that sex organ check ups and exams are. Pertinent – mammograms expose breasts to 1,000 more doses of radiation than chest x rays…yet they are still being called for every year starting at age 40, despite the AMA’s recommendation to start at age 50 and not yearly. There has been so much intimidation and fear sold to women, because women are compliant. Women do not tend to question the medical establishment…in fact they tend to get very defensive when anyone suggests they should question the male dominated medical establishment. My wife has stopped all these useless exams, preferring to only go to the doctor, like men do…when she is symptomatic.

      • Penelope says:

        Hello Eddie Kester:

        Thanks so much for commenting on our site. You tell it like it is. I’ve seen you comment once before. It’s refreshing to find men who are on “our side” regarding this sham of an exam. IF these sham artists really were concerned about the health and emotional well being of their female patients, they would push and offer self-testing kits. They would be honest and provide informed consent to their patients – the truth that is – even though they know they know will flatly refuse the “exam.” They know women don’t want to be subjected, but – they’re having too much fun – getting too much profits – having too much of a power trip – female gyno’s included. I think they can reap the same profits with alternative testing that has nothing to do with them going between their patients’ legs and into their sex organs. The person – Mary – that you responded to still doesn’t get that. She’s still – as the ladies on this site refer to – a sheeple. Just as you said – blindly following the male dominated profession of medicine. Every now and again we get sheeple like Mary who think they can undo all of the thousands of comments on this site that are against pelvic exams and pap smears. Truly unbelievable.

        You’ll be glad to know that as of 2015, about 80% of incoming gynecology students are female. But I see they need to be educated even further to not repeat the behavior of the current female and male gyno’s. So, this field is becoming not so male-dominated. There are still too many males though at the top of ACOG who make decisions, but they are feeling the pressure to change. Yes, the sheeple deny the truth. They don’t want to believe the truth – for various reasons, I believe they are afraid of feeling the shame of realizing that they didn’t have to let their male gyno put their hands up in them for 15 years or however long they were going to them. They think that since they were overexposed during natural childbirth and didn’t speak up then that there’s no point in having self respect around male gynos or ob/gyn’s anymore. Then, there are the females who actually like the exam – but won’t admit it. They are self proclaimed upstanding members of their respective communities and wouldn’t dream of revealing such a shameful truth. I guess their doctors’ name is Dr. Feelgood. They don’t mind whoring themselves out every 1-3 years to the attractive doctor. I’ve read at least one story from a male gyno on another site who has a patient like that…she stripped naked and refused the gown…but I don’t think he was getting his jollies from her behavior – he wasn’t attracted to her – so he implies – and he was more afraid of a lawsuit I think. I don’t see too many attractive male gyno’s. Their website pictures range from truly creepy to perverted and arrogant looking. Even if there are attractive gyno’s out there – young and still in residency, maybe or silver haired devils – this makes the women who go to them – whores to their gyno’s – and the gyno’s evidently enjoy their harem. Attractive or not, they are disgusting. So, for the women who keep going – it’s a sad and perverted and – deranged reality.

        Alot of men with significant others – wives, fiances, girlfriends – don’t know and don’t want to know about this sham of a profession. It’s still women’s business to them. Yes, ignorance is bliss, alright. I don’t understand men who are there with their wives in natural childbirth and allow all those cervical checks by the male doctors – or even female nurses. I’ve researched and found that they aren’t necessary or conducive to natural childbirth.

        It is very good that you have educated yourself. Those who find out – find out by surprise and take it very deeply – very personally. Just so you know you’re in good company, there is a site called Topix – How Husbands Feel About Male Gynecologists. Look at the first few years of comments. The current comments for the last how many pages have been dominated by two male commenters at war with each other (the other desperate to get the word out about female doctors and nurses molesting men….it may happen but he picked the wrong site for that…..) and the site administrator needs to get control. But, start from the beginning – the previous comments are from husbands who are devastated, undeniably outraged, and truly heartbroken to learn that for how many years their wives were handled in this way. They see it for what it is – another man in a white lab coat touching his wife’s sex organs. At least one man was ready to divorce his wife when he pleaded with her and he learned that she won’t stop going. He said it was basically like cheating, but she insists on going. A sheeple. It broke his trust with her and their marriage according to him is on the rocks.

        Really, really, really appreciate your wife, then, and her decision to stop going – it means more than you may know. Give her an extra hug and kiss. For this, she’s worth it.

        Please, Please, Please keep up with our site. By how you’ve handled Mary back there, you’re clearly a welcome asset. Be blessed.

  3. Susan in Miami says:

    Male gynecologists do get aroused. It happens when the examination is underway, AND it also happens while an attractive lady is asked questions about her sexual health. Discussing the ability to climax sometimes leads to advice about a woman’s g-spot. In NO way will I discuss this with anybody but my husband. Labeling a husband as “jealous” or insecure is blatant disrespect.

  4. katrehman says:

    Absolutely Susan! I would refuse to discuss my sex life if my doc asked. I have already refused to discuss my menopause when he brought it up!

    • Susan in Miami says:

      Good for you Katrehman! If a woman is married, come on get a grip: this is a matter between her and her husband! A male dr asking you sexual questions before OR after menopause is invasive. I have a good friend that was asked by her male GYN if she needed help finding and understanding her g-spot. Her husband was livid!

      The exam can be done by a female DR or nurse Practioner. If a woman has time, she can do research, locate a female OB/GYN and respect her husband’s feelings, in addition to respecting her own body. You don’t have to be a fundamentalist Christian woman to avoid a male GYN. Any woman who values the intimate bond with her husband can figure this out… And many are changing to female docs all the time.

  5. katrehman says:

    Susan in the UK we don’t have yearly well woman exams. I have refused the smear test for 16 years and last year refused my first mammogram. I refused to discuss menopause in the middle of medication review for something not hormonal related.

  6. katrehman says:

    I’m very much the sort of person, if I wish to discuss it I’ll bring it up. If I’m asked about something not relevant to the issue I have I probably won’t answer. I don’t want details of my menopause typed into a database for everyone to access!

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