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Was this pelvic exam inappropriate?

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L

Leia

Hi, I was recommended this forum from a friend. This happened last week.

I’ve been recently experiencing pain during sex. I was with my partner and when she inserted her fingers in me I felt intense pain. However, being a people pleaser I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to upset her by vocalization I’m in pain. Which is another can of worms. it wasn’t until she pulled out and saw blood that I finally explained the pain. This led to an argument about trust. But we agreed that I needed to see a doctor. I know this is all anxiety that’s inducing the pain. I recently came out and this is my first girlfriend.

Regardless, I did what we agreed upon and went to urgent care for a pelvic exam. I should’ve waited for an appointment with my doctor or at the very least brought my girlfriend. I just wanted to get it over with. Everything about the exam was off. She started by rinsing her hands in the sink, saying she has an allergy to the latex gloves, and they were out of latex free. She asked me if it was okay if she could do the exam without gloves, and I said okay but I couldn’t stop shaking. She then proceeded to place a hand on my stomach and insert her fingers. She asked if I experienced any pain. It felt like this intense deep pain which was different from the burning pain I experienced with my girlfriend which I explained to her. She then asked me if it was okay if she moved her fingers. I thought she meant readjusting. But she then started to do thrusting movements inside of me. I didn’t know what to do so I just laid there. She asked me if there was the burning pain now. When I said yes I thought she’ll remove her fingers but she continued. She apologized for it hurting and explained the exam was almost done. The whole time I was looking at the ceiling and not at her so I don’t know if she was inappropriately touching herself or doing anything that would specify this actually being assault. It felt like it took forever for it to end though I could be extending time because I was in pain. She finally stopped and there was blood again. She said she was going to order me transvaginal ultrasound, went to wash her hands, then told me it was okay to get dressed before leaving out the room.

When she finally left I started crying. I just want to know if I’m being dramatic. Is this appropriate?
 
I have no idea if the exam was appropriate or not (in part because no gloves, for me, is a hard no; fingernails are filthy, and if I’m bleeding? That’s just begging for serious infection). I can see how it might be, if she was feeling along the circumference of the canal for abnormalities? But my obgyn always uses a speculum & camera for visual inspection, or ultrasound. So I can’t even hazard a guess if tactile examination is even a thing, much less a common thing. It might be. It might not be.

I would recommend asking your doctor.
 
So I can’t even hazard a guess if tactile examination is even a thing
It’s definitely a thing. Especially if you’re seeing someone who isn’t an obgyn in their private practice (which is what you get here if you see a GP or the ED about pelvic pain).

Which doesn’t necessarily make it any less distressing. Getting me to willingly participate in gyno-anything is like doing 10 rounds with an angry chimp on crack.

I was recommended this forum from a friend. This happened last week.
Was it recommended to you because you have ptsd? If so, I’d be pulling out all the extra supports and self-care because this would absolutely make my stress cup run over.
 
I’m not a fan of the no gloves thing, but it does sound like she had a genuine reason, which she explained to you and did ask you if you consented.
It sounds to me like she explained as she went & did check in with you. Whether or not what she was doing was appropriate you’d need to ask your doctor really. Did she ask if you’d like a chaperone present?

That said, if you have ptsd any sort of gyno exam can be massively stressful. I would go absolutely batshit.
 
I have no idea if the exam was appropriate or not (in part because no gloves, for me, is a hard no; fingernails are filthy, and if I’m bleeding? That’s just begging for serious infection). I can see how it might be, if she was feeling along the circumference of the canal for abnormalities? But my obgyn always uses a speculum & camera for visual inspection, or ultrasound. So I can’t even hazard a guess if tactile examination is even a thing, much less a common thing. It might be. It might not be.

I would recommend asking your doctor.
I mean she washed her hands for a while I don’t know if that’s supposed to make me feel better but no gloves is still a no for me. But I kept f*cking consenting like an idiot.

Tactile exam is somewhat common in the US where I live and in Indiana. But it for me it has always been done with gloves for the very reason you stated.

I have an appointment with my doctor in another week or so, but I’m scared to ask him. What if he says the same thing?? I consented to everything even though I didn’t want it. It’s my fault for not saying no.
Was it recommended to you because you have ptsd? If so, I’d be pulling out all the extra supports and self-care because this would absolutely make my stress cup run over.
I been diagnosed by my primary doctor he’s the one who recommended me seeing a therapist which is an additional long story.

The reason for me being scared with my girlfriend and not men is because I was recently sexually assaulted by a female friend. Which is another confusion thing. The only reason I say sexual assault is because that’s what my therapist labeled it. However, it was a similar situation of not being very vocal.

My friend and I was drunk but I was coherent. We were watching TV at her apartment when a sex scene came on. She then looked at me weird. And asked if she could kiss me. I said I’m not really into you. She knows I came out and that I have a girlfriend. But she asked anyways. She then proceeded to climb on top of me and started kissing me. I kept turning my head to get her off but that only made her kiss my neck. Then she started touching me. I didn’t want to sleep with her. I haven’t even slept with my girlfriend at this point despite being with her for a month. I wanted my first time with a girl to be special. However, I didn’t say anything. It wasn’t until she moved my skirt up then proceeded to try to perform oral sex on me on top of my underwear that I panicked. I started crying and she immediately got off of me and apologized profusely. She kept saying she thought I was into it even though she was staring at me when I said I did not want to sleep with her. Maybe she genuinely didn’t hear me. I left and never talked to this ‘friend’ again. I never told my girlfriend what happened. I didn’t want her to think I was cheating on her.

I also lived in a domestic abusive household where my dad would sometimes hit me. I learned to be quiet to not upset him and to never say no or vocalize my opinions.

I’m not a fan of the no gloves thing, but it does sound like she had a genuine reason, which she explained to you and did ask you if you consented.
It sounds to me like she explained as she went & did check in with you. Whether or not what she was doing was appropriate you’d need to ask your doctor really. Did she ask if you’d like a chaperone present?

That said, if you have ptsd any sort of gyno exam can be massively stressful. I would go absolutely batshit.
Yeah, I’m being dramatic. She did ask me about the gloves and even the thrusting I just didn’t really process it nor object. She didn’t ask for a chaperone though.

This all made my PTSD worse. I don’t want my girlfriend to touch me. And the only reason we initially had sex was because again I was drunk. My mental health has been literal shit and I no longer trust females. Which sucks because I really love my girlfriend.
 
Same name!
Hi, I was recommended this forum from a friend. This happened last week.

I’ve been recently experiencing pain during sex. I was with my partner and when she inserted her fingers in me I felt intense pain. However, being a people pleaser I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to upset her by vocalization I’m in pain. Which is another can of worms. it wasn’t until she pulled out and saw blood that I finally explained the pain. This led to an argument about trust. But we agreed that I needed to see a doctor. I know this is all anxiety that’s inducing the pain. I recently came out and this is my first girlfriend.

Regardless, I did what we agreed upon and went to urgent care for a pelvic exam. I should’ve waited for an appointment with my doctor or at the very least brought my girlfriend. I just wanted to get it over with. Everything about the exam was off. She started by rinsing her hands in the sink, saying she has an allergy to the latex gloves, and they were out of latex free. She asked me if it was okay if she could do the exam without gloves, and I said okay but I couldn’t stop shaking. She then proceeded to place a hand on my stomach and insert her fingers. She asked if I experienced any pain. It felt like this intense deep pain which was different from the burning pain I experienced with my girlfriend which I explained to her. She then asked me if it was okay if she moved her fingers. I thought she meant readjusting. But she then started to do thrusting movements inside of me. I didn’t know what to do so I just laid there. She asked me if there was the burning pain now. When I said yes I thought she’ll remove her fingers but she continued. She apologized for it hurting and explained the exam was almost done. The whole time I was looking at the ceiling and not at her so I don’t know if she was inappropriately touching herself or doing anything that would specify this actually being assault. It felt like it took forever for it to end though I could be extending time because I was in pain. She finally stopped and there was blood again. She said she was going to order me transvaginal ultrasound, went to wash her hands, then told me it was okay to get dressed before leaving out the room.

When she finally left I started crying. I just want to know if I’m being dramatic. Is this appropriate?
I think everyone saying you should ask a professional is right because this is extremely grey area. Yes, it is not normal to not wear gloves but like No More stated the reason was genuine. However, as a doctor if she was going to break protocol I think an assistant should’ve been present. No one really mentioned the thrusting motions but that’s a red flag. She only asked to move her fingers she didn’t explain why. Did she give a reason? If not then there is no reason why she should be thrusting in her fingers in you.

I understand what Friday was saying about checking but even then. That’s feeling not thrusting. Thrusting in my opinion is her trying to stimulate sex. I think you really need to talk to your doctor because this doesn’t sound okay.
 
The last time I had a smear at my GP, she did thrusting motions with the speculum. And made me sit on my hands. It felt like being raped.
I held it together until I got home and had a very distressing time.

Since then, I have gone to a special clinic for survivors.

It sounds unusual.
Like others say, asking a medical person might help?
However, what's clear is the need to build in a plan for yourself for these examinations.
That's what my clinic does. So I devised my own plan (person not to stand over me; tell me what's happening; don't do anything without continued consent; don't talk about something else and act like it isn't happening etc etc etc). Put you in control. You can say no. You can say stop. You are in control.
 
I would have left after she said they were out of gloves. No professional office just runs out. As someone who has worked in the healthcare field for decades, I have NEVER seen an exam done without them.
 
Yeah, I’m being dramatic. She did ask me about the gloves and even the thrusting I just didn’t really process it nor object. She didn’t ask for a chaperone though.
I’m absolutely not saying you are being dramatic at all. Her not asking if you want a chaperone is definitely not right, it should come up early on.
I can’t tolerate gyno exams and so I wouldn’t know the ins and outs of precisely what’s an acceptable exam. That’s why I said speak to your doctor because they’ll know the answers.
 
In addition to what others have said. KNOW this. Deep in your bones, know it.

You ALWAYS have a right to ask for an assistant to be in the room. You ALWAYS have the right to ask for someone else. You can explain you have PTSD if you want, but it's not necessary. And you ALWAYS have the right to stop at any time and/or ask for someone else. Those don't expire once the door is closed.

And definitely talk to your therapist. They can help you come up with a plan, and help you practice speaking up for yourself.

Hth. 😊💕
 
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This is actually how a doctor assaulted me when I lived down in Cape Breton. I shouted "STOP!" and when she didn't, I physically kicked her off of me. Never had a pelvic since. At any indication of discomfort the doctor is supposed to stop and check-in, this is conducive to their training and ignoring it involves a very deliberate, calculated decision to disregard the clear and obvious signs that the patient is distressed (which is easily determined due to the location of the examination and the anatomy involved).
 
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