There is a medical gender bias that has been affecting women for ages. Women and their symptoms are often overlooked and dismissed by medical professionals. And when trying to advocate for themselves, they’re sometimes accused of being hysterical or overly dramatic. Then there are other issues, like medical experts who are misogynistic and are constantly overstepping boundaries. That said, it’s no surprise there are countless women with horror stories.
In a recent Reddit thread, women are answering the question: “What’s the most absurd thing a doctor/medical professional has said to you?”
The answers are incredibly eye-opening and range from comments like, “You’re too pretty to be a virgin” to doctors minimizing self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Here are 20 women sharing the most absurd things medical professionals have said to them.
1. Too pretty…
Doctor: “Are you sexually active”
Doctor: “Have you been sexually active in the past”
Doctor: “You’re too pretty to be a virgin”
I changed doctors f–king fast.
2. Boy Trouble!
I was sick with no apparent cause. Tired all the time, weight gain, night sweats, and my hair was falling out. Doctor diagnosed me with “boy trouble” when in fact my thyroid had stopped functioning.
3. On behalf of her mama
Can I answer for my mom? She went to the dr with shingles and he told her they were mosquito bites. When we both protested he drew a mosquito to show us what to look for.
4. Think it and achieve it!
Went to the doctor about not having my period for 2 years and his response was “You should really think about trying to have one.”
5. “You don’t need a pap smear if you’re only sleeping with women.”
Not true doc, an old HPV infection could choose to become cancerous just now, also maybe I don’t want to tell you I’m actually bi and might be sleeping with different kinds of people. Also, you’re just wrong and you’re part of why women who love women don’t go to the gyno enough and you’re clearly not equipped to care adequately for us.
6. “par for the course…”
I called my OB’s office when I was 7 weeks postpartum, telling them that I was nearing a total mental breakdown because of postpartum anxiety, insomnia, and panic and that I needed help.
They responded with: “That’s par for the course. Just wait for the Zoloft to kick in.”
I went to my PCP the following week and she told me I should make a formal complaint- you don’t tell a mother who says she needs help that those feelings are “par for the course.”
7. Prayers up!
Last thing you want to hear when you know you are having a mental breakdown is a downplaying statement.
In my part, I’m having a psychological issue. Went to a doctor and after all the interviews about me, she told me “I will pray for you.” I don’t know, I had an off feeling about it. She continued saying that for three sessions and I’m out of it.
8. Everyone has it…
“Who cares if you have herpes, everyone has it, no need to cry about it”
I was 18 and on the verge of a breakdown over what turned out to just be a ruptured cyst lol.
9. “I’ve never heard of that!”
Ah yes, the old, “I’ve never heard of that”. Clearly, they know every possible condition, symptom, and side effect that exists. Because they are a doctor and you are a silly hysterical woman, and that’s not in their catalog of experiences then it doesn’t exist! I’ve been dismissed like that many times. Sucks.
10. “Aren’t you a bit too young to be sexually active?”
When I was to get birth control. I know I look young but these people have my birth date, so why would they say that.
11. “Never mind your ear…what about your FACE?”
Laughed and said my acute abdominal pain was period pain. I had emergency surgery to remove my inflamed appendix the following day.
Suggested a breast exam – I was 14 years old and complaining of earache.
Different doctor, another earache: “Never mind your ear… what about your FACE?” – I was suffering from acne.
Worst of all, after having suffered from treatment-resistant depression for more than 30 years: “Have you tried mindfulness?”
12. Who even says that?
“Wow, full bush. You don’t see many young women with those anymore.”
Obviously, I changed doctors.
13. Grass-fed beef fixes everything.
I once had a therapist tell me my depression was caused by the fact that I didn’t eat grass-fed beef and only ate shit. Her source? My mother had taken me to Starbucks that morning following my release from the grippy-sock hotel, so I showed up with a Pink-Drink I’m hand.
14. Just stop doing it.
I was hospitalized for suicidal ideation, and I was talking to the hospital psychiatrist about self-harming. He said, “I don’t know why this is an issue for you, just stop doing it?” This man had a whole ass medical degree!
“Are you sure you can’t be pregnant?”
16. Only for poor people.
My uncle who’s a doctor, after hearing that I was still breastfeeding my 2 year old, he laughed at me and said, “Breastfeeding after 6 months is only beneficial if you’re poor.”
17. It’s not you, it’s your husband.
OB/GYN (male) said that my reduced libido wasn’t due to being menopausal and that I just wasn’t attracted to my husband anymore. I mean, WTF?! The idea of having sex with the sexiest man alive wasn’t appealing so the problem certainly wasn’t my husband, who I adore btw. Even if it was true, that’s not something a medical Dr. should say to a patient they hardly know.
18. Another for mama…
Answering for my mother because this is super recent.
She has been having trouble swallowing and has pain in her neck, this started over a year ago. Doctor told her back then it was because “she talks too much” and should get speech therapy. Clearly she wasn’t going to do that as she knew that wasn’t what was wrong.
Turns out she has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, was diagnosed by a different specialist. Saw the same rude doctor from a year ago yesterday, doctor confirmed the thyroiditis but also wrote in her notes that she’s “non compliant” for not going to speech therapy.
19. “Open for business.”
Not my medical professional, but my mom is a nurse. She wasn’t thrilled about me getting the HPV vaccine because then I’d be “open for business.”
So, you’re just going to ignore the family history of cancer and the fact that the person I marry may have a past? Give me a break!
She also wouldn’t let me wear underwire bras because they caused breast cancer. Ironically, she got it despite wearing nothing but wireless bras.
20. Beautiful pelvis.
While being induced to deliver my son the OB said directly to my husband IN FRONT OF MY MOM
“You’re a very lucky man, she’s got a beautiful pelvis.”