The post sparked an important conversation about the gender bias in medicine.
Trigger Warning: This story contains graphic details of pain and health procedures that readers may find disturbing.
A recent post in the r/TwoXChromosomes subreddit sparked an important conversation when one commenter asked why many gynecological procedures are done without giving the patient any pain medication. The user, Ancient-Abs, pointed out that this was yet another double standard in healthcare as rarely are the needs, preferences, and bodily autonomy of women — or members of any other marginalized group — respected like those of cisgender men. "I am so fu**ing tired of the discrimination that women face when it comes to medical treatment. From being gaslighted, denied therapy, or misdiagnosed, this discrimination often costs women their lives," they wrote.
There are scores of studies on racial & gender bias in medicine, showing the pain of women is taken less seriously than of men. The pain of people of color is taken less seriously than pain of white people.— Rachel Thomas (@math_rachel) August 12, 2020
Result: longer time delays, lower quality of care, & worse outcomes 6/ pic.twitter.com/8gXdeOHu07
"One particular horrible mistreatment of women is the performance of gynecological procedures without pain medication or anesthetic. If someone were to take a biopsy of the scrotum, you sure as hell know they would numb the area. Hell, often they put numbing medicine in the shaft of male penises for just inserting a foley! The cervix has sensation. Why are cervical biopsies taken without numbing? Why are endometrial biopsies taken without numbing medicine? Why are IUDs inserted without numbing?" the commenter asked. "It is horrific. I’ve had an IUD inserted and I went hypotensive and passed out from the pain. I had to be monitored for several hours afterward. Why is this permitted? How can we change it?"
As the thread went viral on the platform, thousands of commenters shared their personal experiences of having been through incredibly painful procedures while being told that they would feel "just a pinch." Here are some of the most horrific stories shared: