There has been a long debate on who has better hands, is it the OB/GYN with the same equipment or a male-bodied person with a sensitive touch. At the same time, the question comes up, why would a man choose to care for all things vaginal? To get some perspective, I thought I would ask a male-bodied vag doctor.
A little perspective - he is a tattooed OB/GYN who catches babies in the daytime and at night he’s in a hardcore band. His patients have described him as patient and caring and one described her vbac (vaginal birth after c section) with him as "healing".
As a fellow Gen Xer, he grew up when Porky’s movies were popular and women and girls hardly talked about their period and never about masturbation, yet he choose to become a “Lady Doctor.”
Here are 20 Answers to 20 Questions that might be on your mind about a doc with a cock. Let’s deep dive down into the art, science, personals and politics of the practitioner.
Art and science...
I had absolutely no understanding of the menstrual cycle whatsoever.
1. Why did you choose OB/GYN as a speciality?
I went into medical school with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. The problem wasn't so much finding something I liked but finding something I didn't like. I went through a time where I thought I was going to go into general surgery, but I didn't want to give up the primary care aspects of medicine. Ob/Gyn is that perfect balance between surgery and medicine. Plus I fell in love with delivering babies on day one. It's a unique experience and in a field where there is so much illness and death, it's nice to do something that's uplifting every day.
2. What is the one question/comment you are tired of getting asked when you tell people you are an OB/GYN?
It’s pretty obvious and cliched but about 10-20% of men, when I meet them for the first time and upon finding out what I do for a living, will react in the most childish fashion imaginable. The comments are varied but all stem from the same place; that what I do, in their minds, is sexualized and/or dirty. I get a lot of “wow, you’re so lucky!” and I get a lot of “oh that must be so gross!” paradoxically from the same population of heterosexual men.
3. How do you respond?
It really depends on how I feel at the time. I’ve definitely lost it on some people when I’ve been tired or in a bad mood. I’ve had to have sit down conversations with a handful of good friends who were persistently inappropriate and doing so has helped me understand where the comments come from. A lot of men just don’t understand what an Ob/Gyn does. I’ve asked them to tell me what they think I do over the course of a week. Most of them understood that I deliver babies. However, most of them were surprised that I’m a surgeon as well. That being said, sometimes you just have to laugh it off.
4. What was the greatest misconception you had about the female body before becoming a GYN?
Well, I had absolutely no understanding of the menstrual cycle whatsoever. My medical school training was pretty poor with regards to women’s health. You really had to take it upon yourself to become involved. I didn’t know I was interested in Ob/Gyn until I had my women’s health rotation as a third-year medical student. At that point, I realized that I really didn’t know anything. As far as specific misconceptions go, I can’t remember that far back. I have an impression that I was about as well informed as a kid who hadn’t paid attention in high school health class up right up until female anatomy lab in medical school.
5. What is the most fascinating thing you have learned about a woman’s body?-
I am most fascinated by the capability of the female reproductive system to remodel and regenerate. That’s probably a terribly boring answer. Every month, the endometrium undergoes a complete renovation. Fallopian tubes that we cut to perform elective sterilization procedures re-anastomose (basically reconnect). The vagina can suffer tremendous trauma during a delivery and 4 weeks later it will be completely restored. I am particularly impressed with the cervix. A fully dilated cervix and a non-gravid cervix bear no resemblance to one another. It’s incredible. And if I may tack on one more, under hormonal effects, the pubic symphysis (the joint that connects the pubic crests in the middle of the front of the pelvis) will soften and allow the pelvis to open further to accommodate the descent of the fetus. There is absolutely no analog to any of these things in male anatomy.
You don’t HAVE to do anything, nobody HAS to do anything.
6. People become very vulnerable when they go to the doctor. This becomes more apparent when they have to place their feet in stirrups and you then say move down. What have you learned about this vulnerability, in your practice? -
I think it’s important that women understand why an examination is important, what we’re doing it for and that they don’t have to do it if they don’t want to. I have something I say a lot in my practice, “You don’t HAVE to do anything, nobody HAS to do anything.” For example, you don’t have to have a Pap smear ever. But we recommend it at specific intervals because it is a very effective and minimally invasive way of screening for a type of cancer that can be easily treated if detected early. 7. Has a female-bodied person ever orgasmed while having an exam?
No and I don’t really see how that’s possible. It’s not a stimulating examination. It’s meant to be quick because it is generally uncomfortable. If you’re good at it, you can obtain all the clinical information you need as quickly as possible without causing too much discomfort.
8. You have a chaperone at all times, are there times you wish you didn’t? Do you think that patients are more guarded or at ease with a chaperone present?
I believe that most patients are more comfortable with a chaperone present for the examination. I interview the patient before the examination alone. I feel that there are patients who would rather not speak about certain things with more than one other provider in the room. But when it comes time for the examination, I think having a female chaperone is reassuring that nothing inappropriate is going to happen. I have patients that I have great relationships with who probably wouldn’t mind if I examine them alone. And in an emergency, for example on labor and delivery, I will examine a patient alone if no one else is present.
Ultimately, any patient/doctor relationship is about trust and respect.
Ultimately, any patient/doctor relationship is about trust and respect. But I think that some patients also respond to humor as well. I think the key to making patients feel comfortable and safe during a pelvic examination is to find what they respond to and what they need to hear. I always speak to patients before an examination with them fully clothed and explain what we’re going to do. Also, I remind patients that we can stop whenever they want. 9. Medicated or unmedicated birth?
To be honest, I prefer my patients to have adequate analgesia. I don’t really buy into natural vs unnatural birth because it’s an arbitrary line to draw that anesthesia is “unnatural” but antibiotics, uterotonics (the medication we use in cases of abnormally heavy bleeding after delivery), repair of lacerations, and so on somehow are still considered part of a “natural” birth. At the end of the day, there’s nothing doctors do that is “natural.” We’re thumbing our noses at nature daily. In the natural world, maternal morbidity and mortality is significantly higher, that’s why we do what we do, to reduce the suffering, both short- and long-term, associated with childbirth.
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