Health And Wellness

10 Disturbing Things I Wish People Would Have Told Me About OB-GYNs

Photo: Iryna Inshyna / Shutterstock
woman with gynecologist

I’d like to begin this by saying that OB/GYNs do not have a good track record with me. In fact, I tend to have the worst luck with them and generally avoid them as if my life depended on them. This is often due to the fact that I’ve had horrible outcomes as a result.

In fact, I almost died at the hands of them and almost died by suicide because of the PTSD relating to doctors lying to me about birth control, lying to me about sterilization, and also just refusing to hear me out. No one told me the real rules when going to the gynecologist and dealing with an OB/GYN.

That being said, as bad as my relationship is with them, they could potentially be life-saving. Additionally, not knowing these things can potentially kill you or ruin your life.

Here are some things I wish people would have told me about OB/GYNs before I learned them the hard way.

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1. Most OB/GYNs have their personal prejudices that color the way they treat patients.

I refuse to deal with most OB/GYNs because they refused to sterilize me until after my birth control failed. Had I gotten pregnant, I’m damned sure I wouldn’t have heard “You’ll change your mind.” That being said, my best advice is to never go to a doctor who refuses to listen to your desires about birth control or refuses to let you have your own opinions about birth control.

2. OB/GYNs are legally allowed to turn people away.

Yeah, most OB/GYNs also won’t take new clients when they’re seven months pregnant. Does it matter if the woman might die? Not to them, as it’s a high-risk issue. I found this out when I was seven months pregnant, and that’s how I know. As I said, it’s absolutely crucial to find a doctor that actually listens to your concerns on birth control and similar issues before this comes up.

3. You do have a way to deal out recourse; you can write them up to the local Attorney General if they screw up.

Did you know that the American medical licensing board warns doctors against refusing to administer birth control and sterilization procedures? That being said, most doctors will. You can let others know that doctors refused to treat you, via a formal complaint to the AG, or via Google/Yelp/public forums.

4. There are other organizations that allow you to get birth control pills without going to an office.

Projekt Ruby, for example, allows next-day delivery of birth control pills for members. The first time may take longer, but it does allow for you to sidestep oppressive doctors.

5. Never, EVER go to a Catholic hospital looking for an abortion, even if it’s an ectopic pregnancy.

They will not perform abortions at Catholic hospitals. In fact, most regular hospitals in many parts of the country will not allow for it, even if it will kill you.

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6. Nurses and doctors are legally allowed to lie to you.

They are allowed to lie to you about the services they offer (“Sorry, we don’t offer sterilization here, even if it says so on the site.”), they are allowed to lie about what they are willing to do, (“Sorry, but we have to think about it. We’re willing but we’re low on IUDs.”), and they are also allowed to lie to you about side effects (“Abortion can be reversed.”).

7. A good way to find out how likely they are to listen to you is to read reviews and ask their receptionists via phone whether they’re willing to give you the care you want.

I’ve learned when I was going through sterilization that “You need to book an appointment to find out” means “No,” 99 times out of 100. If I can’t get a yes — and an easy yes — I don’t want them as doctors. I’d suggest you do the same so that you don’t suffer my fate.

8. It’s actually very hard to prove malpractice.

Malpractice tends to require malicious intent or outright negligence, according to the law.

9. Planned Parenthood is great.

No, really, it’s amazing. If you are pro-life and don’t like the idea of patronizing Planned Parenthood, by all means, don’t. There are actually quite a few pro-life healthcare clinics that offer birth control, too. So, realistically, there are options, just not many if you’re pregnant or looking to be sterilized.

10. The women’s health system in America is broken.

If this list sounds scary or disturbing, then good. It should. We currently rank dead last in developed nations for women’s health. So, maybe it’s time to hold doctors accountable for ruining women’s lives with their own prejudice, eh?

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Alex Alexander is a blogger for YourTango who has written extensively on relationships, astrology, and lifestyle topics.