18 More Condescending Things Women Have Actually Been Told By Male Medical Professionals
"He laughed at me."
Last week, we highlighted the infuriating TikTok trend where women shared the wildest things they've been told by male medical professionals.
Since women being dismissed in healthcare is clearly a widespread issue, we received hundreds of comments from the BuzzFeed Community sharing their own experiences. Here are the stories that will 1,000% make your blood boil:
1. This woman's doctor accused her of having an STI when she actually had an ovarian cyst:
"A male doctor in the ER told me I had an STI when I actually knew it was an ovarian cyst, because I was prone to them and told him so while I was sobbing in pain. I was also a teenager and a virgin. He flat out didn’t believe me and sent me home. It turned out the cyst was the size of a golf ball and had to be closely monitored in case it popped, luckily, it didn't."
2. This woman's physical therapist told her she might have cancer literally just because he felt like saying it:
"During my freshman year of high school, my hip and lower back started hurting really bad. I went to see specialists and doctors and no one knew what was wrong. I was also doing physical therapy to help with the pain. After a few months of PT, my male physical therapist told me that since I wasn’t getting any better, I probably had cancer. I didn't."
3. This woman had doctors tell her that her abdominal pain was due to pregnancy AND her period (???) — turns out, she had a bleeding ulcer:
4. This woman's doctor made a sexist joke IMMEDIATELY AFTER SHE'D GIVEN BIRTH:
"When I was in labor with my first child, it was progressing very slowly and my water had not broken in the traditional way, so they had me on Pitosin for 12 hours before they manually broke my water. As a result of all the Pitosin, I dilated from 3 cm to 10 cm in about 30 mins. I had opted for natural labor, so without an epidural or pain meds, my contractions went into overdrive and I pushed my son out really quickly. As a result of my suddenly rushed delivery, I ended up with vaginal tearing.
My husband and I were holding our son for the first time as they were sewing me up. During this precious moment, the doctor doing my sutures chimed in that he could 'throw in an extra stitch' for my husband. We were horrified."
5. This woman's psychiatrist told her she was "lucky" to have anxiety:
"I'd put off medication for my anxiety despite the suggestion from multiple therapists, because I've always been able to manage it with cognitive behavioral therapy and some coping mechanisms. Not this year though. I finally made an appointment with a psychiatrist. The doctor told me I was lucky, because my anxiety helped me be more 'prepared for life' and 'be an overachiever.' I didn't feel lucky, I felt exhausted and broken."
6. This woman's dentist defended his shoddy work by telling her she had a low pain tolerance, "like most women":
7. This woman's doctor told her the pain she was feeling in her lungs was impossible — turns out, she had COVID-19:
"I went to the ER after being severely sick for weeks. I was sleeping on an incline, and couldn’t breathe at that point. I remember telling my husband I feared I wouldn’t wake up because I felt like I was drowning. I was so weak that I had to steady myself with the wall getting from point A to point B. When I told the male doctor that my lungs hurt, he looked at me with exasperation and said, 'Your lungs can’t feel anything. They don’t have any nerves.' All he did was test me for the flu, and said I came back negative. He gave me some antibiotics and an inhaler and sent me on my way. Turns out, I had COVID-19. Months later, I’m still struggling."
8. This woman's doctor accused her of faking her abdominal pain so she could get access to medication:
"I had severe abdominal pain and lower back pain all day that caused vomiting and made it hard to move. I went to the hospital near my husband's job. The doctor refused to do any imaging or tests, and stated, 'Oh, I’m just so tired of girls your age coming in for pain medication.' I went to another hospital the next day, and another doctor found a huge cyst on my ovary that had burst."
9. This woman's doctor accused her of sticking something up her vagina and said THAT was the reason her period wouldn't stop:
10. This woman's doctor basically threw a temper tantrum and asked her, "Which one of us went to medical school?":
"I had a doctor ask me, 'Which one of us went to medical school? I know what I’m doing!' before walking out of the room after I told him the prescribed medication wasn’t helping. It took me two more years to find a doctor who listened to what my body was telling me and believed my symptoms enough to run tests and discover I was at risk for thyroid cancer."
11. This woman's doctor laughed at her symptoms and didn't perform a COVID-19 test in the middle of a global pandemic — lo and behold, she had COVID-19:
"Last month, I went to the hospital because I was having severe pain in all the joints in my right leg, difficulty breathing, extreme chest pain, dizziness, and cold sweats. When the doctor asked why I was there, I told him my symptoms and that I was worried I might have a blood clot. He laughed at me. He refused to do any tests other than a D-dimer, and when that came back fine, he tried to push muscle relaxers on me, saying all I needed was to just relax and I’d feel better.
When I refused because I have anxiety about taking certain medications, he got really angry and told me I needed 'serious mental health help,' then told me I was fine and that I had social anxiety, and that was the cause of my symptoms, and then stormed out of the room. The next day I went and got tested for COVID-19. Turns out, I had COVID-19. That's why I couldn’t breathe."
12. This woman's doctor laughed at her and continued STITCHING HER VAGINA after she told him the anesthesia had worn off:
13. This woman's doctor refused to perform a laparoscopy on her because she was "just fat and young":
"I’ve been suffering Endo/PCOS symptoms since I was 16. At around 18 years old, I started actively seeing my doctor about this and pushing her to refer me to a gynecologist. Turned out, her husband was a gynecologist, and also the only one within 160 kms. He told me, 'A laparoscopy is the LAST thing I’d want to do to you. You’re just fat and young. Lose weight and stop complaining, because it’s normal.'”
14. This woman's doctor wrote her off as anorexic when she actually had cancer:
"I was experiencing constant nausea and could not eat. Sometimes, the nausea was so bad I couldn't even get out of bed. I lost weight at an alarming rate. I wanted to eat so badly, and was so upset over it. My doctor told me, 'You're just anorexic' and, 'To just eat something.' It got so bad that I had SEVERE dehydration because I couldn't even drink anything, and was hospitalized. Labs showed my blood counts were off, so they tested me for leukemia. When it was negative, they discharged me with no answers, just 'anorexia.'
A year or two later, I switched doctors and medical groups entirely. My new doctor actually listened and found some pretty big lymph nodes. Turns out, I had stage three and very aggressive cancer. If the first doctor had actually listened to me and tried more than one test, I could have been diagnosed earlier and it wouldn't have been nearly as bad as it turned out to be. Thankfully, I am currently in remission and four years cancer-free!"
15. This woman's doctor told her that her TATTOO was the reason behind all of her medical problems:
16. This woman's doctor told her that her heavier periods were, "Just her body's way of telling her it was time to have kids":
"My periods kept getting longer and heavier, so I made an appointment at the OB/GYN practice I'd always used. I saw a new, older doctor and when I explained why I was there, he told me there was nothing wrong that I shouldn't be worried. That it was simply my body's way of telling me it was 'time to have kids.' He told me to go home and, 'make my husband's night!' I was speechless. I told him if he read my file he'd definitely see somewhere in there that I was gay. Secondly, I had zero desire for kids. His only response was was, 'Well, then you should get used to heavier periods until menopause if you won't do what your body wants, which is birthing a child.' I've never actually wanted to punch someone until that day."
17. This woman's university doctor accused her of faking her anxiety to get special treatment during exams:
"I once went to the doctor at my university after finally plucking up the courage to tell them that I had been experiencing really bad anxiety for a long time. He looked me in the eyes and said, 'I’m really sick of all you students trying to claim anxiety or depression to get special treatment in exams.' That was four years ago and I haven’t opened up about my anxiety to a doctor since."
18. And finally, this woman's doctor told her the pressure she was feeling in her lungs postpartum was because of her "huge boobs" — turns out, she had postpartum preeclampsia:
"I'd just had my daughter via C-section, and was around 48 hours postpartum when I started feeling a pressure on my chest and a drowning sensation every time I laid down to sleep. The doctor on duty was woken up by the worried nurse caring for me, and he came to my bedside grumpy because I'd interrupted his sleep. He said that the pressure was probably, and I quote because, 'You have two huge boobs slapped on your chest that just filled up with milk,' and that I couldn’t handle their new weight! Another doctor said they were sure it was just gas.
Two days later, on my last day at the hospital, my legs were still bloated and I hadn’t slept at all because of the drowning sensation I had every time I’d lie down. They still discharged me and 24 hours later I was in the ER in a very dire condition because, it turned out, I had postpartum preeclampsia. My blood pressure was so high that my body wasn’t able to pump the excess water out of my system, so water was even building up on my lungs and causing the drowning sensation! I almost died that day, and I am still looking for the strength to sue the doctors."
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Medical professionals, especially MALE medical professionals: believe women's pain. We know our bodies, and neglect like this can actually get us killed.
Anywho! If you have any wild stories concerning male medical professionals and the things they've said, share them in the comment below. Or, if you want to leave a message of support to the women who have been through this.
Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.