Over on r/AskReddit this week, u/oasqss posed this question to midwives and gynecologists: “What’s the weirdest thing you heard from a pregnant woman or her family that made you think they had no prior sexual/medical education?”
What followed was a cringe-worthy—but not altogether unsurprising—thread of bizarre questions OB-GYNs and other health professionals have been asked by pregnant patients.
While we’d like to think the queries came from anxious mamas-to-be, the current state of sex education (or the lack thereof) is probably partly to blame.
Here are some of the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) entries in the Reddit thread of weirdest pregnancy questions.
We had a woman come to triage one day, in no visible distress, but certain that she was in labor. She denied feeling any loss of fluid, contractions, or pain. When questioned further, she explained that she was already “dilated 4.” She was accompanied by her granny, who explained that SHE had checked her granddaughter at home and she was able to fit four fingers inside the vagina, so she knew it was time. Not in the cervix, in the vagina. —ScrubCap
I once talked to a pregnant woman who had come to an appointment for her mother, who I was seeing. The woman was largely pregnant with twins and chomping on ice chips. I asked her why, because sometimes that can be a sign of anemia and I would have told her to make sure to bring it up with her OB/GYN. She told me she always ate ice chips … because she was allergic to water. Her mother agreed. —blueseastar
I had a girl call the office because she swallowed a cherry seed and was worried that the baby was going to choke on it. —kellywithayy
I had a cousin that had a friend that told her a way to save money was to stop taking her birth control for six months. Friend told her that birth control pills were still effective for six months after taking them. As you can guess, she ended up pregnant. It was the only reason we found out about her genius money-saving plan. —JBSConCarne
Two of my favorites: What day of the week do I need to have sex to have a boy? Do you microchip babies after birth? —bambiscrubs
In medical school, we had a pregnant woman come to establish obstetric care. She said she was using condoms for birth control and was really puzzled why they didn’t work. How was she using her condoms? She was swallowing them as medicine. —Division_J
When my great-grandmother went into labor with her first child at 18, she asked how the baby was going to come out and the midwife said, “the same way it went in love.” —ThePsychicHotline
Not a midwife, but did have an acquaintance who got pregnant while her husband was in the Army deployed. She had convinced her husband that they needed to try and get pregnant. So how do they resolve the issue of long distance and time? They concocted the plan of using a turkey baster, where the husband actually mailed a package of his little soldiers to her and she used the baster on herself to impregnate herself. No doctors were consulted during this time. And this story all came to light in divorce court when someone actually convinced the husband the baby was not his. —Wald0Found
Very young girl (barely 13) came in for symptoms of a UTI. Pregnancy test came back positive. Her and her mother claimed that could not be possible because “you can’t get pregnant until you’re 18.” When asked why they thought that, Mom said “Well, if that wasn’t the case, why would they put warnings for pregnant people on cigarette packs?” And the daughter genuinely thought that “only grown ups can have babies.” —AugustDarling
When I was a medical student on my OB rotation, I saw a young girl who was pregnant but swore that it was impossible. I asked if she was on any birth control and she said that she didn’t need it. She said that her boyfriend was kicked in the balls … a lot. —icjp