Cause For Actual Pregnant Pause

, , , , , | Healthy | January 30, 2018

(I am a doctor at a local clinic. I read the file for my next patient, a 21-year-old woman, complaining about stomach cramps, sickness, and “private” concerns. People are often shy and refuse to share their symptoms with the nurse. I go into the room and start talking to the patient.)

Me: “Hello, I am Dr. [My Name]. What seems to be the problem?”

Patient: “I keep getting stomach cramps, and I threw up this morning. It was really gross… and, um… ah…”

(The patient is acting uncomfortable.)

Patient: “I haven’t had my period in three months! It’s always been irregular, but I haven’t ever gone this long! I must be really sick! Please help me.”

(Utilizing my $50,000 education and 14 years of experience, I make the first suggestion that comes to mind.)

Me: “Is there any chance that you might be pregnant?”

(The patient looks disgusted by this.)

Patient: “Oh, so, if a woman is sick it means that she must be pregnant. No, she can’t be dying or anything; she must be a slut. You men are all the same!”

Me: “Ma’am, it is just procedure. I have to check things off the list to find out what is wrong. Can you please answer my question?”

Patient: “No. I want a woman doctor. Get me your woman doctor or I am leaving!”

Me: “There are only me and three male PAs.”

Patient: “Humph!”

(The patient walked out of the examination room and out of the office, complaining of sexism and “unprofessional behavior” to everybody in the waiting room. Six months later, I got another patient file for a woman wanting a prenatal exam. Now, guess who it could possibly be? The lesson here is that there are a lot of things that share symptoms with pregnancy, but pregnancy is FAR more common than most of them. When a doctor asks you if you are pregnant, it is not an accusation; it is an important diagnostic tool.)

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