Should pap smear be performed by male doctors?

United States
March 2, 2007 1:14am CST
I know that in medical field there should be no malice at all because nurses, doctors, etc are used to see a human body already. But somehow, being with a male doctor seems to be a little awkward. I wanted to share the last time I did a pap smear check up. That would be my 2nd time and I know the importance of it that's why I'm doing it. As I went on the room, get undress and cover up myself with the disposable cover then lay down on the examination table. I was comfortable enough already then suddenly a male doctor entered the room. As usual, he asked some questions and then he went out again. Suddenly, he came back with a female chaperone (not sure if she's a doctor too or nurse)...then he started the examination. I was too embarassed. I mean it was very unexpected and I don't know if I should refuse him or not. It made me so uncomfortable and helpless. I can't do anything of course so I just have to wait till the examination is over. Any women out there...have you been examined by a male doctor during your pap smear? How did you deal with it? My bf said that I should refuse it since I have the right but I know they are just doing their job. Beside there are no malice at all. It was very humiliating! I don't have a primary doctor through my insurance and I don't know if I should request a female doctor next time.
14 people like this
49 responses
@mom_of_2 (399)
• Canada
2 Mar 07
I think you should definatly request a female doctor. I only say this because you are very clear in this post about how uncomfortable you are with a male doctor. These exams are unpleasent as it is, so if you are unsure about the doctor you're more likely to not get checked at all. Most likely the chaperone was a nurse, I think its manditory now for a woman to be present...I know I feel more comfortable with a nurse there. Where I live majority of the doctors are men, the few woman we have are always booked. My family doctor is a male and it was hard for me at first but now I just focus on the female nurse present and tell myself that my health is more important than my pride. Take care.
@not4me (1713)
• United States
2 Mar 07
What if the male doctor was the only doc available to you? People need to understand the big picture. Paps are done to detect cervical cancer. He brought the female in to protect you and in the US that is the standard now. Yes, I would feel more comfortable with a female doctor but just because she's a female doesn't mean she's a saint. She could be more perverted than the last male doc you saw. The point is to get over your hang-ups if you can to ensure proper medical care is given in a timely basis. If you can get a female doctor next time that's great but don't avoid a trip to the Gyn office if one is not available.
3 people like this
• Philippines
2 Mar 07
i understand what u felt, im a male and i work in a hospital, but you have a right as a patient. the next time ur going to have pap smear exam, request for a female doctor. some male doctors dont show their enjoyment thru facial expression hwile doing pap smear but after the examination and they were in the safety of their lounge, some of them tell stories about it.
3 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 07
I don't have any problem with a male doctor doing my exam. If you do have a problem you really should speak up! You should never feel uncomfortable, scared or helpless when being treated by a doctor. Just take a nurse that works there aside next time and tell her that you would feel more comfortable with a female doctor. Don't worry about it alot of patients feel this way, they will think it normal.
3 people like this
• Canada
2 Mar 07
I have never had this done by a male doctor, and I think if I ever had a male doctor come in to perform this, I'd refuse completely. At the end of the day, we do have the right to ask for a female to perform this test if we feel uncomfortable, but the thing is, it's usually so unexpected. I have had internals performed by a male midwife when I was in labor with my daughter. I can't say I was too bothered at the time - but then I was in too much pain to care LOL - although I did make a point of telling the midwives assigned to me that under no circumstances would I allow students when my labor advanced. As women it's up to us to exercise our rights over our own bodies and of we're uncomfortable with anything we do have the right to ask for a different doctor.
3 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 07
FIRST & FOREMOST: Males who go into gynecology do it for one reason. ONE REASON. Everyone knows what that one reason is.... I have told male doctors that I refuse the exam. You can do that.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Mar 07
I was on vacation and didn't get back to this for a week...but I have more comments to lay out here. Please tell me why a male doctor would study gynecology? Men are men and sexually sick men do become gynecologists. Maybe there are women who are not that pretty or maybe ugly and fat or ugly and thin. What do you think happens with a male doctor and the less than pretty female patient? She is denigrated by the doctor. Otherwise, she is made love to. Obviously, you've never heard the comments that male doctors make before settling on their field of study. I have. These doctors were in their late 20s. Don't be deceived by what your perception is concerning male doctors. They are in it for one thing. I stand by my words. You can stand by yours, but you are incorrect.
@Giggles88 (542)
• United States
2 Mar 07
My doctor was male. Even though he was very nice and polite it still made me very uncomfortable and he didn't have a female chaperon with him. I would prefer to get my pap from another women but I know that is not too easy. There aren't very many female doctors around here so I've accepted it.
2 people like this
@Michele21 (3095)
• United States
2 Mar 07
I always have a male doctor and it doesn't bother me at all. I think it would be weirder having a female doing it =) But it is just what you are comfortable with, if it really bothers you request a female next time..no big deal, I would think women do it all the time.
2 people like this
@mzbubblie (3840)
• United States
2 Mar 07
I am not really uncomfortable getting a pap smear from a male doctor. I can say I do have a female Ob/Gyn now. When I did have a male doctor there was always a female nurse in there with me which made me feel comfortable. If it was only the male doctor in there, I would refuse to be examined. It could possibly go the same way with a man and a woman doctor, They probably feel uncomfortable also but it's their job. If you are that uncomfortable with a male doctor before making an appointment, just make sure the person who will be examining you will be a female. Good luck toyou
2 people like this
• India
2 Mar 07
I know it is a bit embarassing to be examined by a male doctor but he should always be accompanied by a female nurse or another female doctor. I think it is made mandatory. However you can feel free to ask for a female doctor, if there is one to examine you.
• India
2 Mar 07
It is quite unnecessary to worry about this matter. It is quite common now a days.
2 people like this
• Trinidad And Tobago
3 Mar 07
my answer to that is do male doctors delivers babies? if so did you not feel awkward as well
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 07
Well I haven't been pregnant and haven't delivered any babies yet so I guess feeling awkward is normal for me right?
• Philippines
7 Mar 07
My ob gyne is a gay and i dont find awkward because he used to be my personal doctor since then. Besides, it's just their work and i dont find this thing as a personally issue with them. It;s ok no problem at all
• Philippines
5 Mar 07
Since you are not comfortable if a male doctor will perform it on you, then the next time around, specify that you want a female doctor. If there is no female doctor around, ask the informant as to when will be the availability of the female doctor. Tell the information officer that there is no way at all that you will be comfortable if a male doctor performs the process. I believe that they will respect your feelings. This is how it usually works because, you will always have the right to choose.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
5 Mar 07
Since you are not comfortable if a male doctor will perform it on you, then the next time around, specify that you want a female doctor. If there is no female doctor around, ask the informant as to when will be the availability of the female doctor. Tell the information officer that there is no way at all that you will be comfortable if a male doctor performs the process. I believe that they will respect your feelings. This is how it usually works because, you will always have the right to choose.
1 person likes this
@MrsSgtB (289)
• United States
3 Mar 07
Male doctors do not bug me as long as they have a good bed side manner in the medical office and the nurse is in the room. A matter of fact I think they are more gentle then a woman doctor..they seem to be more rough during the procedure. Not sure if that is just my experience or what. Do what is comfortable for you. If you do not feel comfortable with a male ask for a female. Just do it when you make an appointment and they shouldn't have any problems doing that.
@Bangalorean (1283)
• India
3 Mar 07
I do understand your problem, infact this is not just your problem but the universally existig gender-related problem. But one should not only consider this, but also think that you have a problem and need to be cured of it. Dont bring in the gender issues there. I know it would be difficult for the feminine gender, but the masculne gender is ready for everything
1 person likes this
@meljessxena (2319)
• Australia
3 Mar 07
i had a pap smear done by a male, and there was a female nurse in the room as well. but my bf was there and i didnt feel uncomfortable at all and they were nice. and they were talking to me trying to get my mind off it so i was embarased which was good. but i use to worry going to a male doctor, but i ended up sick and had a male specialist, and i found him great. and even my local doctor he is good. but i always make sure my bf is with me whenever going to a doctor for anything like that. it just makes me comfortable and not worrying about anything.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 07
I don't go to male docotors. I feel that a doctor shouldn't specialize in something that they don't have the same system for. I'm not comfortable with doctors in general, and it's why I see a certified nurse mid-wife. And if a male doctor would have walked in to do the pap, I would have told him to walk right back out and find me someone else or to reschedule. I have had male students there while doing a pap, however, I was asked first, and it was the mid-wife who did the exam. I have also had male students present while I delivered my children. Again, I was asked first. To be caught unawares like that seems unfair to you.
@sweetee (423)
• Australia
3 Mar 07
I have to go into the hospital on Monday because there was a problem with a recent pap smear test. The specialist in charge is a male, but he will have a female doctor or nurse present throughout my surgery. I would rather he helped me - especially being the best in his field, than leave it be to get worse.
1 person likes this