Reddit user u/anon2217 recently turned to the r/TwoXChromosomes community with a medical horror story painfully familiar for far too many women.
A few weeks ago, Reddit user u/anon2217 turned to the r/TwoXChromosomes community with a medical horror story painfully familiar for far too many women. She recounted how a male ER doctor completely dismissed her concerns even after she'd been through three days of severe nausea, fever, and rectal bleeding. She revealed it was only after she stood her ground and forced him to do further tests that he relented and eventually had to accept that she was really ill based on the test results. Her post inspired several others to chime in with their own horrifying stories of being dismissed by male ER doctors only to have a serious, legitimate medical concern.
Here's what u/anon2217 wrote:
"I woke up at 3 am on Tuesday morning, vomiting and shitting all over myself. No trigger for it, seemingly no reason, absolutely zero control over the situation. I stayed home that day and the vomiting and shitting continued throughout the day. I took meds to attempt to control it but by evening I was running a 102-degree fever and both initial symptoms were still going. By bedtime that night the vomiting had stopped so I took some Imodium and slept on the bathroom floor just in case. Wednesday I felt very nauseous and had to force myself to eat but thankfully the Imodium had worked. Thursday I noticed my stool was black. When I got home I used the toilet and the toilet was full of bright red blood and when I wiped, literal blood clots were on the toilet paper along with a lot of bright red blood. I wiped at my front a few times to make sure the blood wasn’t coming from there. I explained the situation to my husband, and as the son of an RN, he told me to get in the car and we went to the ER. I looked online to see when rectal bleeding is something to worry about and it said if it’s heavy, continuous, or accompanied by pain or fever or vomiting.
So we get to the ER and I showed the doctor a picture of the blood and the clots, and he immediately says, 'that's completely normal for women with PCOS, this is not an emergency issue.' I explained it did not come from my vagina, it came out of my anus. He asked if I was sure. I insisted he do some testing, I said he can do a pelvic exam if he wants confirmation that I'm not on my period. He finally agreed to do a fecal smear test and some blood work, and I gave him a urine sample. He told me to get dressed because 'once the tests come back normal, I’m dismissing you.'
Guess what. He came back a while later and said they were going to put in an IV and do a CT scan because the tests showed blood in the fecal smear. No shit, Sherlock. Long story short I now have to go to a gastroenterologist and get further testing done. But it just pissed me off so bad that this doctor completely dismissed my concerns and if I hadn’t pushed, I would never have gotten the referral I needed to get my body checked out. Just because it is blood coming from the pelvic area of a woman, does not automatically mean it's menstrual blood!"
Here are the equally terrifying experiences of 15 other women who've had their medical concerns waved off by male ER doctors: