r/TwoXChromosomes Dec 24 '19

The story about labiaplasty you haven’t heard support r/all

She was just 17 when he agreed to perform a labiaplasty on her. Like many naive young women, she thought her labia minora were not supposed to stick out.

She had read online, on surgeons’ websites and in peer-reviewed medical literature, that protruding labia minora were considered “unfeminine” and “embarrassing.” She read they were caused by excess male hormones (untrue) and excess masturbation (preposterous).

He had been recommended by the head of the OB/GYN department as the best OB/GYN surgeon at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. She was confident she was in good hands. They waited until after she turned 18 to do the procedure.

He completely removed her labia minora, performed a clitoral hood reduction without her consent, and cut the dorsal nerves of her clitoris. The glans of her clitoris would never be sexually sensitive again. Cunnilingus would never again be pleasurable.

He had only done a labiaplasty twice before. Like most OB/GYNs who do these procedures, he had not been trained to do them. He never disclosed that anything had gone wrong, but he stopped doing these surgeries after that.

She knew she had lost sensation but didn’t understand what that meant. She assumed everything would work out when she started having sex. She thought it was her fault. She didn’t know enough about her anatomy to understand he had done a separate surgery without her consent. She started seeing a new doctor because she was so uncomfortable. The new doctor was his partner. Upon seeing an 18 year old with completely amputated labia minora, she said nothing.

Later, the young woman worked up the courage to ask her doctor if her surgery had caused her difficulty with orgasm. She could not feel anything without a vibrator, she said. Despite the visible scars reaching well into her clitoral hood, her female doctor told her her surgery could not have affected her sexual function.

The original male doctor meanwhile became president of the Texas Medical Association.

The young woman finally found her clitoris. The glans was not sensitive like it was supposed to be. She went to a new female doctor. The new doctor also told her her surgery could not have affected her sexual function. She suggested she fall in love. Though the new doctor was “horrified” that all her labia minora had been amputated, she did not tell her she could report it.

The young woman started doing research. Eventually she figured out a clitoral hood reduction had been performed without her consent. Given the course of the dorsal nerves along the clitoral body, she figured out they must have been injured.

The young woman did a lot of research. She realized the course of the dorsal nerves was never mentioned in literature on clitoral hood reductions. It was never shown in OB/GYN journals. It was never shown in OB/GYN textbooks. She also learned that the sexual function of the labia minora was rarely described. She thought her doctor must not have realized they were important. How else could he have completely amputated them? She thought he must not have realized the dorsal nerves were at risk. She decided this error must have occurred because her doctor didn’t know the anatomy.

She wrote him a letter telling him what he had done and asking him to help her change training standards to protect other patients.

He responded reminding her that the surgery was her choice. He reminded her that she had requested her labia minora not stick out. He had only tried to give her what she asked for.

He told her he stayed far away from her clitoral hood and frenulum. But there were scars to prove otherwise.

The young woman became emotionally unstable after reading this letter. She wanted to report him but was told the board would likely blame her and take his side. She had never had what happened to her confirmed by a doctor, so she went to see one. It was confirmed. This was what she had needed to give legitimacy to her complaint, she thought.

But it became unbearable. No one around her seemed to understand the magnitude of what had happened. People asked her what the big deal was. People asked her why she needed justice. When she tried to talk to therapists, they asked about her feelings about her mother. It had taken 7 years to finally get it confirmed. She had hoped it was fixable somehow. It wasn’t fixable.

She felt ashamed. How could she have been so stupid to not file a lawsuit when there was still time? She read research on resilience. Based on all the parameters surrounding her trauma, she did not think she could ever be okay. It was like getting horribly raped in a world where rape isn’t considered a crime. She read she needed acknowledgment, support, etc. Most of all, she needed to change the problem of pervasive systemic negligence. But no one was even seeing it. She didn’t like the wreck of a person she was becoming.

One night she set Joy Division “Atmosphere” on repeat, took 60 Vicodin, some Xanax, some Benadryl hoping that would help stop her heart, and as much whiskey as she could drink. Her dad checked on her in the middle of the night. He took her to the hospital.

She was afraid to report after that. She was afraid of getting told it was her fault. She was afraid of people defending her doctor. One OB/GYN she had gone to had said:

“You should have known all surgery carried risk. You can never completely control a result.”

It had been wrong site surgery. That should never happen. But she was afraid of this. She was afraid even doctors wouldn’t understand the difference between the labia minora and the clitoral hood.

She told herself she would report him when she got more stable. Back then there was no statute of limitations. She thought she had time.

When she finally got the courage to report, they had passed a new statute of limitations. She missed it by a week.

So she started coming up with new ideas for how to stand up for herself. She wrote a letter to the head of patient safety at the hospital. He agreed to meet with her. But she was too afraid. She thought if she wrote down everything she needed to say, complete with references, this would help. She started writing.

But she hated writing. She’d never been any good at it.

She wrote what she called, “A Clinical History, Causal Analysis, and Proposed Solutions.” She wrote a background of the anatomy and prevalence of labiaplasty. She wrote a clinical history of herself. Then she broke down all the causal factors accordingly: 1. Motivation 2. Cause of surgical error 3. Failure to disclose or report

Then she wrote a proposal. Solving problems at every error point was important. She got a bit overwhelmed. There were so many problems.

She got very stuck. She kept getting dizzy. She’d get angry at herself for getting dizzy. She was being weak, she thought.

People asked when she was ever going to do anything worthwhile. They told her she was lazy. She didn’t deserve to live in such a nice apartment, they said. She didn’t deserve to wear such nice clothes, they said. She didn’t deserve vacations. She should be ashamed of herself for not having a career like everyone else. They told her she wasn’t dealing with this well. When was she ever going to learn to deal with anything? She mostly kept to herself. When she tried to date, issues would come up. Men told her they couldn’t date her because she was emotionally unstable. One said he’d rather date a barista with a plan.

The worst part isn’t what happened. The worst part is how much I came to hate myself for not handling it better. I’m working on that.

My doctor isn’t some random “bad apple.” He is an extremely reputable OB/GYN. He has been president of the Texas Medical Association and president of the Dallas County Medical Society. Other doctors still talk about his “integrity” and “selflessness,” as they give him awards. He was also featured in Time Magazine for delivering the first uterus transplant baby.

But honestly, the worst part isn’t what happened to me. The worst part has been everything that has happened since in my struggle to get acknowledgment and to address the systemic negligence that continues to put others at risk.

If I could get my doctor to acknowledge what he did, he has the political power to help change training standards to keep other patients safe. Instead, he refuses to acknowledge it. Though his colleague has explained to him that I have visible scars proving what he did, he insists he didn’t do it. He says I must have had a second surgery or that I operated on myself.

Perhaps the worst part is how medical leadership has stood by him and refused to even talk to me about changing curriculums and board exams because of who my doctor was. This happened due to systemic negligence that will not change as long as people refuse to admit there is any problem. Doctors continue to do vulvar cosmetic surgeries (and treatment of hypertrophy) without training.

Even with my dad as the head of the plastic surgery department at the same hospital where my doctor works, we cannot get through to him. The OB/GYN department refuses to speak to either me or my dad. After I asked them to teach clitoral neurovascular anatomy, they called legal to make sure they can’t get sued for not teaching it.

Update: We are publishing a cadaver dissection study of the neural anatomy of 10 clitorises, of which we took excellent photos. There is a new head of the OB/GYN department who wants the residents to learn it. I also got a form letter from ABOG, in which they claim to be working on new board exam questions.

Second update: I have gotten authors of two major OB/GYN textbooks (Te Linde, Williams) to publish detailed clitoral anatomy. I also convinced an OB/GYN to oversee a study published in AJOG. And finally, my study was published in The Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

However, I have not been successful at changing privileging. To this day, someone as equally as unqualified my doctor can still get privileges to do labiaplasties at the surgery center where mine occurred and at many others. USPI, the biggest ambulatory care provider in the US, declined to require training in these procedures. Another problem is many of these are performed in private offices, where there is generally no oversight.

Labiaplasty is still the fastest growing cosmetic procedure, as it has been for almost 2 decades.

If you or a friend has a similar story, please contact me. One expert I talk to believes there are thousands like me. Based on the other stories I have gotten, it is typical for women to get gaslighted in these situations and told their issues are psychological. This happens due to pervasive ignorance of vulvar anatomy and female sexual function in medicine.

I need more women who are willing to be interviewed by a journalist. 🙏🏻

Edit: thanks everyone so much for all the upvotes and supportive comments! I don’t know if I’m allowed to share this, but my Instagram is @jessica_ann_pin. I talk about this and related issues there. This is my latest post showing how cross sections of the penis are always shown in anatomy textbooks but cross sections of the clitoris are shown in 0 anatomy textbooks:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6bnuKSp4Rt/?igshid=kp2hm8adb2oy

Third update: I have gotten 18 medical textbooks to agree to updates. 4 have now been published. I’ve also gotten Medscape, UpToDate, and WebMD to agree to updates.

ABOG now requires urogynecologists to learn clitoral innervation as part of their maintenance of certification. They have made it incentivized learning for gynecologists. They still refuse to make it required learning for gynecologists.

ACOG still refuses to dictate the innervation of the clitoris be taught in all OB/GYN residency programs. Here is my petition to change this. It has 27,000 signatures so far.

http://chng.it/jts9PZLz

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u/PM_ME_NUDE_KITTENS Dec 24 '19

This is the most horrifying thing I've read on Reddit in a long while. I can't express the emotions that go through me, reading your story and knowing how much ignorance and systemic abuse is implied by the actions of others. I don't have a similar tale, but I can share yours and make sure the message is carried to women around the world. There is no shame in our bodies, the way they are made.

I hope very much that you achieve your goals. Your tale is very sad, but you are the hero that women need in an age of persistent myths.

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u/sudd3nclar1ty Dec 24 '19

Gripping narrative and when she transitioned into first person, my emotions electrified. Cosmetic, elective surgery is great if you are disfigured and the surgeon is careful and the facility is patient-centered. But it can so easily be none of the above and the risks are so great.

OP is on a mission and requiring genital anatomy training for those who snip is a reasonable first step in harm reduction. Body shaming to fuel Porsches for surgeons is insanity. Labia are awesome.

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u/wrincewind Dec 24 '19

yeah, this is like if guys were told that sagging ballsacks were a sign of impotence, so someone went to the doctor to get theirs tightened up, and he casually lopped off half their dick while they were out. It's just... how the hell do you do that?

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Yup. That is what it’s like. Great analogy.

In my case, I think it was caused by confusion over what the labia minora are versus what the clitoral hood is, as well as ignorance of the anatomy of the clitoris beneath it.

I talked to one OB/GYN who testified in court that the clitoral hood is part of the labia minora, so a clitoral hood reduction performed without consent was not wrong site surgery according to him.

Much of the clitoral hood is actually clitoral shaft skin. The dorsal nerves of the clitoris are just beneath it. Describing that was the main point of my anatomic study.

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u/[deleted] Dec 25 '19 edited Jan 27 '20

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u/Grandure Dec 24 '19

And cut the nerve for sensation to the rest of it... shit

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u/twir1s Dec 24 '19

I also greatly appreciate how she acknowledges her privilege in this. She is struggling despite having the backing of the head of plastic surgery in her corner. Imagine if you’re just a lower or middle class woman who doesn’t have any connection to that world and someone guiding you on how to fight back. OP is clearly very bright and could and would figure this out on her own; but, imagine how debilitating it would be if you didn’t have that support system. I’m sure there are others like her that are afraid of coming forward.

u/jessica_pin, you should reach out to Wondery, the creators of Dr. Death, which did that podcast on the surgeon who was maiming people at various Dallas hospitals—all while receiving accolades and with the hospital and board knowing his track record.

They may be able to find additional victims where you may struggle.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 25 '19 edited Dec 25 '19

Yeah, honestly I’m a trust fund kid with a plastic surgeon father.

I’ve had my dad to consult in the wake of my procedure. I’ve also had the fact that he chose my surgeon to shield me from all the blame for not doing my research. Generally people want to blame victims for choosing the wrong surgeon.

I’m also smart. I got a 1540 on my SAT. I was pre med majoring biomedical engineering in college, I scored higher on the MCAT than most doctors (but was depressed and am ashamed I didn’t get top 10% so I can’t post it). Sometimes I wish I’d gone to medical school. My father always told me not to. But here I am still stuck on this at age 33. I honestly haven’t done much else. The more time I lose, the more I need it to amount to something that matters.

One reason maybe I seem to see this anatomy better than most also is because I have 99th percentile spatial skills. I also think about problems in terms of systems. It’s how my brain works. So what happened is I needed to understand how my adverse event could have occurred. And the more I looked into it, the more systemic negligence I saw.

Maybe I also think more independently than other people, and I think I have less reverence for authority (got me in plenty of trouble as a kid). I’m not sure what it is, but the medical literature related to female sexual function and vulvar anatomy is often just mind bogglingly fucked up, Its very hard to understand how this persists.

Here’s an example:

https://link.medium.com/WJOUK2OkH2

I got them to change that textbook in the 2019 edition. But why didn’t anyone else speak up?

In my DMs, there are more stories that are related to this. I don’t know what to do with them yet.

I also believe there have to be many more women like me because it’s so clear most female genital cosmetic surgeons don’t know the anatomy well. I know I was very much in the dark in the wake of my surgery - just super confused. It was so, so hard for me to figure out and make sense of, despite all the resources and privilege I had. Right? I had my brain, my father, my medical library access, money, etc. And yet I couldn’t figure out what happened to me.

Doctors basically told me it was all in my head. I taught myself the anatomy with research published in 2008 (Vaze) and then 2011 (Yang). I found a urogynecologist with the help of my father. I sent her the research I had found and explained what I thought happened. She agreed. That’s how I was diagnosed.

So if it’s so hard for me, how hard is it when this happens to other women?

Now I have a friend (well now we are friends) who is in the middle of her lawsuit. And in some ways she was in a better position than me. Bc while I was privileged in some ways, being an 18 year old dumbass virgin who honestly could not find my clitoris was not good. She was older when her surgery happened, so she knew her body and was more confident about what happened not being okay, not being her fault, etc.

But today a woman messaged me telling me she was 15, when her gynecologist recommended a labiaplasty. 15! Her sensation has never been the same. There is a woman on Facebook who was of a similar age (16). It is so hard for her she asks me how I am able to go on because she sometimes feels like she can’t. And I don’t know everyone’s personal lives, but I do know being younger, having less resources, etc would make this so much harder.

So what I believe is there are many many silent victims. I have seen posts on Reddit before actually, which I took screenshots of and put in this article.

https://link.medium.com/KFop2cOlH2

You can see how the women talk about blaming themselves. One says she feels it is her “punishment.”

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u/aksuurl Dec 24 '19

Same! I think my heart skipped a beat.

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u/elysium_or_bust Dec 24 '19

Body shaming to fuel Porsches for surgeons is insanity.

Insanity? It's capitalism, laid bare.

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u/sharishark Dec 24 '19

Very well put. This was a story I didn't know I needed to hear.

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u/SomeRedShirt88 Dec 24 '19

How is this surgery an actual, legal thing that happens?

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u/countryyoga Dec 24 '19

People don't like talking about VAGINAS and how WOMEN CAN LIKE SEX TOO.

We know everything about dicks, but female parts are still imaginary and any time we get "worked up" by anything, it's because we're hysterical and not because of any actual injustice.

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u/oryxs Dec 24 '19

There can be places for procedures like this. Obviously OP's was horrifically botched. Speaking from personal experience, however, I've considered getting it done because one side is longer and sometimes makes intercourse difficult. I've gotten small tears (from my own "activity") and it hurts! Honestly I think OP's account falls under FGM and that surgeon had no business performing that operation. I'd be interested to know what he put in his operative report, which should describe in detail and chronologically what he did during the surgery.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 25 '19

Hey! Read this first.

https://link.medium.com/KFop2cOlH2

All he put in the operative report was “excision of redundant labia.” I have a copy.

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u/OnDateWithCat Dec 24 '19

Reduction of the labia minora can be done very conservatively, only to reduce the size so that it does not protrude, or protrudes less, from the labia majora. If someone wants it done for cosmetic reasons, as long as they’re well informed and go to someone who has done 10,000 of them with good results, that’s they’re prerogative. However a medical reason to do it would be to stop chaffing. The labia minora is made of very delicate skin and can become chronically inflamed if it protrudes enough from the labia minora. Some people have a great deal of protrusion and zero issues. Some people have just a little protrusion and experience a lot of issues. Anatomy is wonky. If done properly and conservatively, it is an excellent procedure that can increase quality of life while not affecting sensation much, if at all. I also think a lot of people have the idea that the surgeon just cuts off what is protruding, which sounds horrific. Instead what they (are supposed to) do is cut out a pie shaped piece of the labia and then sew together the two sides. So you’d get a fairly small scar that goes straight up, edge of the labia to the pelvic bone. This method reduces the overall size of the labia without affecting sensation at the edges and NEVER goes anywhere near the clitoris.

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u/hoodiesleeves Dec 24 '19

Because people want their genitals to look a certain way, whether it be because their partner prefers it, they believe it isn’t ‘supposed’ to look that way, etc.

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u/TheRecovery Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

Politicians shouldn’t really dictate the procedures people can get within a reasonable frame.

Though I personally have mostly negative feelings about this kind of a surgery, that’s inconsequential - if I was a surgeon, I’d learn to perform it to the best of my ability. The OP posted an example of someone who may have been under qualified to do the surgery (in regards to experience with the surgery), which may very well be a commonplace occurrence and may be a serious long term curricular issue in medical education.

But speaking to your point of how this procedure is allowed: in general, freedom of choice is freedom.

Some of these patients come in adamant about the change, despite explaining the silliness of it. The 17 yo will come in saying that she is SURE she wants the procedure and either have to defend her in the same way we (right here in this sub) defend the 17 yo who is “SURE” she wants the tubal ligation because she doesn’t want kids, or we have to make a decision about who is logically capable of making these kinds of decisions and at what age. And that’s what makes the line of “why is this legal” so hard.

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u/serjsomi Dec 24 '19

Me too. And so sad. A century from now, historians will look back horrified about women's healthcare.

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u/Anonymouskittylick Dec 24 '19

Wow thank you so much for the work you have done to fix this for other women.

This doesn't even come close to your pain... but just to add to the discussion on the work needed in the obgyn field...

Several months ago I suffered trauma from a routine pap smear. The exam was very painful (something I never experienced before with a pap smear). I got home and looked to see what was going on, as my underwear and pants were hurting me by just touching me. My left labia had swollen like a balloon!...maybe 4 or 5 times it's normal size. I did some research and found literally nothing!

I went to my primary care doctor and she confirmed that there was definite trauma to my labia and that I should take antibiotics for a likely infection. From there I went back to my obgyn (the same one) and explained to him what happened. He took a look and said that yes there were concerning signs of trauma but that it could not have been from the exam because I didnt complain while the exam was happening (I guess tears dont count).

I knew he was wrong because: 1) the exam was excrusiatingly painful and unlike any pap smear I have ever had. 2) I examined myself as soon as I got home after the exam (15min after) and the damage was there.

Things are back to normal now but it took weeks of soreness, fear, and embarrassment. Everyone knew I was in pain but I felt like I had to hide it... you dont want to tell your coworkers and parents that your labia was scraped up and infected. I did tell my parents, only because I missed my dads birthday due to the pain. My husband and close female friends knew, and they were great support.

I'm in the process of finding a new obgyn. But I still feel shitty that I got no closure on this.

Anyway, this is nowhere close to FGM, but just a small example of how poorly trained some respected OBGYNs are.

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u/Ybuzz Dec 24 '19

yes there were concerning signs of trauma but that it could not have been from the exam because I didnt complain while the exam was happening (I guess tears dont count).

I didn't complain either, but my first smear test was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. The nurse knew it afterwards, I must have been white as a sheet because I was definitely in shock, apologised about 4 times and sent me on my way.

I had flashbacks for weeks, didn't understand what had happened, felt completely broken because people had said 'oh they're uncomfortable and embarrassing, but not painful'.

A bit of research later and I found out that actually, plenty of people are either mentally or physically traumatized by their smear tests, but especially those with a history of sexual assault or abuse.

The original design for the for the speculum was created via human experiments on enslaved women - no thought for comfort or safety of the woman, just the convenience of the doctor. In almost 200 years, the best they've done is to change from metal to plastic. There are plenty of newer designs, but they a) aren't taken seriously because they take their inspiration from the sex toy industry and are made from similar materials like soft silicone, and b) they require retraining doctors and nurses, and that would be inconvenient and expensive.

So, people will continue to have to choose - mental and/or physical trauma, or their health. And plenty will choose not to put themselves through the trauma and take the risk of preventable but awful diseases.

Meanwhile these same people have to contend with patronising pink posters and ads telling them 'not to be embarrassed' or 'the doctor doesn't care if you've not had a bikini wax' and it's taken until now for a lot of people to speak out and say "I am not embarrassed, I am traumatized".

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u/AverageUnicorn Dec 24 '19

Ugh, I'm so sorry you had to go through that!

I had a pap smear some years ago. The (female) doctor asked me if I was in pain (probably because I was twitching and doing breath control) and when I answered that, yes, I was in pain, she just stated that the procedure doesn't normally cause pain and carried on as before...

It's infuriating how little respect some doctors show their patients.

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u/[deleted] Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

Thanks for saying this. I've gone through this too. It took a couple of decades before a new gyno told me my cervix was right front and center in my vagina, did I know?

I did not know, because ai was never told. My exams were excruciating because they were digging the speculum into my cervix! I guess they didn't want to remove it and reinsert in a comfortable way. Just plow through and let me suffer.

I also have sexual trauma, and this treatment didn't make it any easier. I don't get pap smears anymore.

Edit to add: I went to the emerge with what was diagnosed as endometriosis. The OBGYN did a pelvic exam, which was very painful, and I squirmed the whole time. Of course, like a good little patient I apologized for the squirming because of my pain, and he replied "that's OK, not all women enjoy sex".

I shit you not.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Wtf? That is so messed up. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes I think maybe I need to write a book with lots of women’s stories all together to show a bigger pattern.

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u/Sinfirmitas Dec 24 '19

My pap smear was immensely painful and I felt pain for at least a week afterword. Probably the most traumatizing thing to ever happen to me after the sexual abuse from my step father. I'll never go back.

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u/Anonymouskittylick Dec 24 '19

Holy shit, that explains so much. I've had pap smears that didnt hurt because the obgyn was very kind and not in a rush, but I certainly wouldn't complain if it was more comfortable! Better designs might make them less painful too even if handled by careless practitioners.

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u/thefirstnightatbed Dec 24 '19

I think the fact that lots of people raised women (I’m nonbinary) are taught that pain during sex is normal and that they’re overreacting when they report pain contributes to the underreporting of pain during GYN visits. I mean, is local anaesthetic really not an option worth considering for IUD implantation, or does the medical establishement just not care.

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u/Ybuzz Dec 24 '19

Yeah, this experience seems ridiculously common, but we are so often told to just deal with it. Women are expected to suffer in silence about so many things.

I was amazed when I spoke to a doctor, not my normal gp, about how the pill hadn't made my periods any less painful, although it was nice to only have one every three months now, and he said "well, we can prescribe painkillers too, you know? "

No, I didn't know. No one had suggested it before and I'd never thought to ask... I was happy just to make them less frequent, no one said I could also make them less painful!

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u/fishyfishfish1 Dec 24 '19

And in my experience if you post about even wanting to delay a Pap smear until you feel ready and/or are sufficiently prepared by a mental health counselor to do it, you get downvoted and yelled at for “not caring about your health”.

There are even alternatives now, like the at home test. But so many here don’t believe that’s the right way to go. Like god forbid I try to avoid a traumatizing experience.

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u/Ohnokillermustardgas Dec 24 '19

I had an emergency room doctor straight up laugh when he asked if I was sexually active and I honestly answered No. I get it, not everyone is honest with their doctors, but don't then use the biggest fucking speculum (when there's a smaller one right next to it) on a girl who just told you she's never had a pap smear or sex. No warning, no descriptions of what he was going to do just jammed it in.

I almost broke the nurses hand from squeezing it so hard. I sobbed the entire time. He cut me up pretty good and when he was done just exclaimed, "well, that was a waste of time!" Said nothing to me, no directions no advice and sent me home in more pain than before. The nurse gave me a cloth to clean up the blood but I still had to wad toilet paper in my underwear before leaving the hospital.

I didn't go for a proper exam for another two years and the doctor at the youth clinic was absolutely horrified when I described what happened. She walked me through every step and made sure I was calm the whole time. Didn't hurt at all.

I wish there were better doctors out there.

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u/MMMUUUURRRRFFF Dec 24 '19

I've been blamed by a lot of OBGYNs who didn't believe me when I said I felt excruciating pain during attempted pap smears. Wasn't until this year, 7 years after my fisrt failed pap, that a doctor listened to me. Turns out vaginismus is real and requires therapy. So many years of being called a liar and being dramatic.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

I think gaslighting women in medicine is very common. I was told I “just needed to relax” and “just needed to fall in love” after my clitoris was injured. Though there were visible scars in my clitoral hood, I was told my surgery couldn’t have affected my sexual function.

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u/myegostaysafraid Dec 24 '19

I am right there with you. At 16 I went in to an ER for abdominal pain. The doctor asked if I was sexually active, and I answered an honest yes, that I had been with my boyfriend (and ONLY my boyfriend, and we were each other’s firsts). Did the exam, and then diagnosed PID!!! No, I did not have that. Followed up with my GYN to confirm. But he heard sexually active 16 year old and made a judgement then and there.

So it doesn’t seem like it matters if you’re honest or if you lie, some men are just going to assume we’re all wildly promiscuous and treat us poorly as such.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

That’s awful. Thanks for sharing

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u/Anonymouskittylick Dec 24 '19

Wow that fucking sucks! I'm so sorry! It really can be a painless procedure.... pap smears from my old obgyn never hurt. She always walked me through the process verbally and used the smaller size. Then she would always tell me everything down there was perfect and beautiful. It was a very pleasant experience. I only went to a new obgyn because I moved across the state. I'm seriously considering driving the 2 hours to see her for my next check up. I hope you can stick with the youth clinic doctor you ended up seeing.

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u/bazookaboob Dec 24 '19

I went through an exam with some similarities to what happened to you, but I'd say less extreme than your experience. It was traumatizing. I can't imagine being in your shoes... I'm sorry that happened to you.

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u/MagikBiscuit Dec 24 '19

It's honestly sad. But in this day in age it seems the only thing that will change stuff is suing the doctors who intentionally mutilate you :/ but then it is so hard to do that after a traumatic event.

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u/[deleted] Dec 24 '19

Not sure if you know this, but if your gynaecologist is male, you can request to have a female nurse witness the entire exam.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Tbh I always wonder what the nurses in the OR were thinking and why they didn’t say anything during my surgery. Instead, they stood by and let it happen.

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u/Anonymouskittylick Dec 24 '19

Thanks. A female nurse was there just sort of looking away though...

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u/sansvie95 Dec 24 '19 edited Feb 13 '20

Every gyn I've ever seen, male or female, has had a female nurse in the room to witness the exam. I didn't know this wasn't the standard of care until I was well into adulthood. Edit: incorrect word

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u/FTThrowAway123 Dec 24 '19

I strongly recommend patients ask for this whenever intimate procedures are being performed. Some hospitals require it as part of their policy. This is the best way to prevent abuse and malpractice because if, God forbid, a healthcare provider abuses or molests a vulnerable patient like this and a chaperone is not present, it will be the patients word vs. theirs, and that's almost never enough for them to take action. It protects the healthcare provider and the patient, and hopefully reduces the chance of abuse with a 3rd party witness being present.

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u/FloatingSalamander Dec 24 '19

You can request a chaperone if the doctor is female as well. In the US it is pretty much the standard for there to be a chaperone for these types of exams.

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u/thatonegangster Dec 24 '19

You can request a medical chaperone for ANY procedure. Breast exam, pap, general checkup, etc. My university clinic made sure to ask every time no matter the exam, and I expect your normal doctor’s office may also comply.

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u/Arendia Dec 24 '19

I honestly thought this was common practice at this point. I’ve never had an exam without a female present.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Thanks for sharing. I think all of these stories are extremely important to talk about and are part of a larger pattern of misogyny in medicine.

Imo there is systemic negligence where vulvar anatomy and female sexual function are concerned. This would fall under that umbrella because your doctor injured your labia minora likely due to carelessness or ignorance.

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u/clayp11 Dec 24 '19

For a couple years I have seen a NP for my yearly visit. I would dread it every year because she was so condescending and always extremely rough and I would be bleeding and sore for days after getting a Pap smear. She had excellent reviews online, I couldn’t find one bad review! I finally said something to my friends who then informed me a Pap smear should not be that painful and what I was experiencing was not normal. Switched to a different gyno and while a little uncomfortable it was not painful and traumatizing. I am someone who is very on top of my health so even if Pap smears were supposed to be painful I probably would continue to get them, but my experience makes me think of those who are already anxious and reluctant to see a gyno! After an experience like mine I wouldn’t blame them for not wanting to go back!

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u/HeyCB Dec 24 '19

While not at all the same, I had a traumatic occurrence 10 years ago when I gave birth to my son in a teaching hospital.

I had some bad tearing and they cut my left labia off while sewing me up, and never told me. I discovered this the week I came home as I assessed the damage for the first time. I felt violated.

I called the hospital and they agreed to a procedure that would even up both sides, as I was very self conscious of this and just wanted them to make it right.

Days before the surgery, they left a voicemail stating they were cancelling the surgery because the state funded medical insurance I was on during my pregnancy had run out.

I was just a server in a small restaurant at the time, and couldnt afford insurance in my early 20s. I felt violated again, like they washed their hands of me and gotten away with removing a part of my anatomy without my concent or knowledge.

I wish I would have persued legal action. Still very upsetting a decade later.

Loved reading your story and knowing you are making a difference for women. Thank you.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Thank you for sharing yours. It bothers me how they often treat the labia as non functional tissue. They should have repaired yours.

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u/eldryanyy Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

Why didn’t you prosecute?

My father violated a hospital policy by bringing in a licensed professional psychologist specializing in Munchausen syndrome, to a hospital he was weeks away from getting permission to practice in, as a second opinion for what seemed like an incorrect diagnosis by the hospital GP that would ruin my father’s patient’s life if it wasn’t challenged (she would lose her insurance, because it doesn’t cover things caused by Muchausen Syndrome, and she had many legitimate medical issues). My father was right, and she kept her insurance as a result of his breaking this hospital policy, and she could pay her medical bills.

She turned around and sued him for a million dollars in malpractice court, because the psychologist hadn’t been permitted to practice yet in that hospital.

How could you not be entitled to more? This seems absurd.

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u/Faiths_got_fangs Dec 24 '19

Not who you asked, but when you're fairly poor, exhausted and recovering from a major medical issue/procedure, the idea of fighting a doctor/hospital can be utterly overwhelming. They have millions. You dont even have a lawyer and you may or may not be able to afford one. You're already vulnerable and the people in power are telling you that you/it doesn't matter and you giv end up, because you don't have it in you to fight, nor do you have the resources.

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u/VaguelyArtistic Dec 24 '19

This is why I can’t stand “why don’t you just...” statements.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Tbh I was not poor. But my father is a surgeon and was very cynical about how medical leadership handles malpractice cases. I think I explained this in my story, didn’t I?

Even years later, when I had the opportunity to report, my dad said the board would most likely blame me and take his side. My psychiatrist believed the same thing. I wish I had still reported him. Instead I put it off until a new statute of limitations had passed. I missed it by a week or so. I tried reporting anyway, but they dismissed it.

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u/kashiruvana Dec 24 '19

And lawyers are their own whole profession, from whom you get wildly differing advice.

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u/plotthick Dec 24 '19

So few people, especially those who haven't been through the wringer, understand that "not enough bandwidth" is a common and acceptable answer. Nor do they understand that these questions are awful.

Why didn't you:

  • Sue your doctor?
  • Report your rape?
  • Get needed therapy?
  • Just get up and clean your room?

Asking these questions can sound a lot like blaming the victim. Perhaps next time you'll consider saying something like "That guy needs to be sued" instead.

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u/HeyCB Dec 24 '19

I had a newborn. I had no energy or courage to go through what would have been a losing battle with a big name hospital.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

I was barely 18, a virgin, and extremely ignorant and trusting. I knew I’d lost external sensation, but I thought it was my fault and I rationalized it hopefully wasn’t a big deal and would all work out once I started having sex.

Rn I am helping another women with her lawsuit. Her case is much more sympathetic than mine because her surgery was a repair after a sexual assault. She has been struggling with the legal process for 2 years so far. I really need her to win, and I hope, now that it is 2020 and there is more research to support her case, she will.

My surgery was in 2004. I don’t think I would have stood a chance. My dad consulted with a lawyer in 2008. I hate to admit it, but I was too emotional about it to speak to the lawyer myself. He didn’t think I could get around the statute of limitations. This is despite the full extent of my injury not being documented in my medical record until 2011, when I finally found a more knowledgeable urogynecologist who could confirm everything.

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u/Sleiqhtofhand Dec 24 '19

No good deed goes unpunished, huh? Your dad didn’t deserve that.

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u/marinewauquier Dec 24 '19

When she finally got the courage to report, they had passed a new statute of limitations. She missed it by a week.

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u/eldryanyy Dec 24 '19

Lawyers are quite clever. At least consult with one - don’t just report it and pray.

This could be a civil suit, for all of the misinformation she was told - that is ALSO MALPRACTICE. Intentionally Misinforming patients, in order to cover your own ass (or through incompetence), is obviously malpractice.... not just the bungled operation. Regardless of the operation, his continued lying about not doing operations that he really did do is absurd...

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

My father consulted with lawyers in 2008. They didn’t think I had a chance.

I am currently helping another woman with her lawsuit, which got picked up bc her surgery was a repair after sexual assault. Women harmed by cosmetic cases have much more difficulty getting lawyers to take their cases.

Last year, I tried emailing a bunch of law firms as an experiment. They all responded, “We don’t take cases like this.”

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u/PerilousAll Dec 24 '19

It's incredibly hard to win a medical malpractice case in Texas since tort reform. Even if you win there's a 250k cap (per provider - max 500k) for damages like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment.

Add to that, it's expensive to bring the case due to the amount of expert testimony you need.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Yeah that’s one huge problem. The woman I’m helping with her lawsuit was able to claim monetary damages because it has affected her career as a professional dancer. Otherwise it wouldn’t be worth pursuing. It’s been a 2 year struggle for her so far.

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u/jirenlagen Dec 24 '19

So, they just cut it off and left it that way? Disgusting!!!

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u/MaggieSmithsSass Dec 24 '19

It's a pretty common thing. In my country there was a viral thread a few years ago about OB/GYN violence and soooo many of the testimonies (is that the correct spelling?) Were about doctors cutting the tissue for vaginal deliveries and not telling them about it, and doing a patchwork job sewing it back.

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u/Squidiculus Dec 24 '19

Jesus fuck. They either leave it, do a half-assed job, or they put in a "husband stitch", because that's obviously who vaginas are really for.

This entire thread is depressing as fuck. And makes me glad I had a sane doctor who helped with my vaginismus.

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u/Amazon_river Dec 24 '19

God just imagine if you were a man, and they'd accidentally cut part of your dick off. There's no way in hell they'd just send you home without telling you, it'd get on the news as a medical horror story.

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u/tjeulink Dec 24 '19

This is why we need medicare for all because fuck this. fuck this fucking insurance scam.

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u/blondiecommie Dec 24 '19

Medicare for all would be a tremendous improvement for women's health, for tens of millions of women. This is a feminist issue.

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u/Squidgeaboo Halp. Am stuck on reddit. Dec 24 '19

YES!

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u/Treeintheuk Dec 24 '19

Isn't this FGM???

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

He cut the innervation of my clitoris in a clitoral hood reduction. My result I equivalent to FGM, yes. But it’s not legally FGM because I was 18.

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u/[deleted] Dec 24 '19

Pardon? That's outrsgeous. It's called female genital mutilation. Not underage female genital mutilation. Sounds like there's a law that needs some reform.

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u/TyphoidMira Basically Liz Lemon Dec 24 '19

What the fuck. He mutilated your genitals without your consent. You're female. That is FGM. The legal definition is wrong.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

I consented to “excision of redundant labia minora.”

Tbh it’s really hard to establish a clitoral hood reduction performed without consent as wrong site surgery. I’m helping another woman with her lawsuit. Similar thing happened to her in a labia repair after a sexual assault. A clitoral hood reduction was performed without consent.

One problem is some OB/GYNs will testify in court that the clitoral hood is part of the labia minora. But most of the clitoral hood is shaft skin of the clitoral body. So the nerves are really just beneath and can be injured.

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u/chopitychopchop Dec 24 '19

I'd argue that intent probably matters here in terms of FGM (even though the outcomes are similar). However dont get me wrong, this is crazy and he should never have done the operation without proper training and knowledge of possible complications. He was absolutely at fault.

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u/Treeintheuk Dec 24 '19

I'm so so sorry. He did wrong.

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u/vanizorc Dec 24 '19

The surgeon’s defense is that the nerve damage was “accidental”.

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u/tionanny Dec 24 '19

Hell, he didn't even admit to doing it. Doctors don't often seem capable of admitting mistakes. I had one prescribe me so much of a medication, it put me in early cirrhosis. He pulled me in to speak about 'my drinking problem'. I hadn't had a sip in a year at that point. He then pivots to say that I should reduce my medication as well. Because it's obviously reacting to the alcohol. I had the script reviewed by another doc and pharmacist. Both were like, yeah take that much and you'll probably get cirrhosis.

People who play God don't like to admit mistakes.

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u/b0lfa Dec 24 '19

In their eyes, doctors have a lot to lose. They don't realize their patients do too.

There's a reason why medical error is considered the third leading cause of death in the United States (based on what has been reported so far!!) and what's amazing is that we get charged an arm and a leg for it, sometimes literally.

Americans are okay with this. It's astonishing how brainwashed this country is.

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u/vanizorc Dec 24 '19

By admitting a mistake, the doctor risks potential legal liability. So they keep silent and gaslight their patients into believing it’s “all in their heads”.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

I am 13 years past the statute of limitations. My doctor absolutely would not risk liability by admitting what he did now.

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u/bluediamond Dec 24 '19

I dunno. He never admitted to performing the surgery, so couldn’t have stated that it was accidental.

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u/Enilodnewg Dec 24 '19

He said she must have performed surgery on herself when he was told there was evidence, scarring that proved the clitoral hood reduction.

Such horse shit.

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u/Thursdayfriday123 Dec 24 '19

All I can say is go sis go. Don’t give up. Keep making noise, keep writing, keep poking, keep at it.

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u/Write_me_a_love_song Dec 24 '19

I am absolutely gobsmacked something like this is even possible. My deepest apologies this ever happened to you, and I want to commend you for your strength moving forward in this and fighting to keep others from the same fate.

Honestly, I don't know what to say. I want to support you in this fight in whatever way I can, because this is just... Damn. If you ever need texts edited, proofread or copy written on this, don't hesitate to reach out.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Thank you. Honestly this story was first written over a year ago.

I have now gotten detailed anatomy into 2 OB/GYN textbooks and an OB/GYN journal.

I also got this study published.

https://academic.oup.com/asj/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/asj/sjz330/5643525?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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u/jirenlagen Dec 24 '19

I’m so sorry this happened to you but so glad that you are raising awareness. Having it look a certain way is NOT worth the risks which it sounds like weren’t even mentioned to you to begin with. Plus the surgery that you DID NOT consent to. Do all you can!

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u/MaybeYouHaveAPoint Dec 24 '19

Thank you for fighting so hard for this.

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u/Oriden Dec 24 '19

I have now gotten detailed anatomy into 2 OB/GYN textbooks and an OB/GYN journal.

This is something I know Dr Lindsey Doe of sexplanations fame on youtube is working towards. (Just a warning that this video shows explicit pictures of clitoris and vaginas, as it should since its a video about the lack of proper visuals for parts of the vagina.)

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Thanks for telling me! I’ll try to connect with her.

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u/abhikavi Dec 24 '19

I'm so impressed that you've managed to influence textbook publishers and journals-- making any waves in the medical field is hard. This is incredible.

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u/found_object Dec 24 '19

I know it isn't much, but I am so, so very proud of you.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Thank you. It actually means a lot to me. ❤️

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u/167119114 Dec 24 '19

Have you made posts online before about this? When I was searching for a OB to do a VBAC for my second baby’s birth two years ago, I read something very much like this about a doctor I was considering and immediately noped out of that option. I’m so sorry this happened to you, I’m sorry that there has been no justice for what he did.

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u/sinisterpierogi Dec 24 '19

This is absolutely horrific. In a similar vein, you could check out Not Putting on a Shirt and Flat Closure Now. These are cancer survivors who have gone through mastectomies and have had their wishes to be completely flat after ignored. They are also trying to educate people and doctors.

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u/FTThrowAway123 Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

I recently learned about this and was absolutely horrified.

For the unfamiliar, doctors are ignoring breast cancer patients wishes and refusing to honor their desire to go flat after mastectomy. Women who explicitly stated that they did not want implants or reconstructive surgery on their breasts after mastectomy, are waking up with implants and reconstructed breasts anyways. They're being denied the autonomy to make choices about their own bodies.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

That is terrible.

My dad is a plastic surgeon who does breast reconstruction.

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u/mischiffmaker Dec 24 '19

So, we know enough about the horrors of female genital mutilation in third-world countries to know it shouldn't be performed on young girls by tribal elders, but now it's being done in hospitals and called "labiaplasty"?

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

The damage to my clitoris was accidental and due to ignorance.

But the most popular OB/GYN surgery textbook actually promoted a surgical technique that cut the innervation on purpose until this year. https://link.medium.com/ua9zmpc2F2

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u/Jumpy89 Dec 24 '19

Women who will never experience vaginal intercourse again can discover they are able, with education and imagination, to fulfill their feminine role as givers of pleasure if they choose to do so.

What in the goddamn fucking fuck?

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Thanks so much for noticing this! That is from Te Linde. I believed they changed that in the new edition, since I complained.

What bothers me is how no OB/GYNs ever spoke up. And that’s just one of many similar examples in OB/GYN textbooks and journals.

I first started analyzing all the literature and writing about it in 2011. It was so much worse than I ever could have imagined. I got really depressed because it was hard to figure out how to communicate what I had to say. I wrote a 200 page research paper, but I never finished it. I got depressed and gave up.

Sometimes I wonder if I could redo some of what I did back then to paint a new picture for laypeople in some kind of book. My original intended audience was doctors.

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u/mischiffmaker Dec 24 '19

I'm just so very, very, very sorry you went through that. Thanks for spreading education to overcome ignorance.

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u/bee-sting Dec 24 '19

What the SHIT. God this is so infuriating. I'm so sorry you went through all that, and are now battling all this crap.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Many doctors doing these procedure are still ignorant. See these experts describing the anatomy incorrectly.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4Ly1XlnzVX/?igshid=rwmg4ebvkx5w

They don’t know where the nerves are. See?

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u/FTThrowAway123 Dec 24 '19

Wtf, that's absolutely infuriating. Imagine if a urology textbook instructed surgeons to cut the penis head off on purpose, during routine cosmetic circumcision. Then they treat the patient like they treated you--don't tell them about it and insist it's the patients fault for having this voluntary surgery. Absolutely outrageous.

I'd love to hear why medicine thinks it's okay to treat half the human population like this. It's either gross apathy or downright misogyny. Obstetric violence is one of the worst forms of betrayal by the medical industry, and it's depressingly common.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

That textbook advocated cutting the dorsal nerves of the clitoris on purpose. No urology textbook would ever do that bc it would cause erectile dysfunction.

What happened to me is equivalent to doing surgery on penile shaft skin without considering where the dorsal nerves of the penis are and cutting too deep. It’s equivalent to cutting the nerves along the shaft so the distal shaft and glans are insensate.

The reason this happens is yes because of misogyny basically. Women historically weren’t seen as sexual, and medicine is slow to change so its culturally decades behind popular culture as far as recognizing the importance of clitoral function and applying it logically. That’s my opinion at least. One problem is there is so much defensiveness if you ask anyone to change anything.

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u/Brookenium Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

The name labiaplasty just comes from it being the "molding, grafting, or formation of" (plasty) the labia. It's how medical terms work, they're descriptive of the process not just choosen names.

Labiaplasty is not only female genital mutilation it's don't to help women with labia so large that it causes them difficulty and sometimes done on transgender women to give them labia after gender confirmation surgery.

This story is an incredibly sad one on the effects of medicine being male dominated and old doctors being rigid in their ways. Not to mention the ignorance of the variation in the appearance of vaginas and the push that only one appearance is "right" which is complete bullshit.

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u/igbay_agfay Dec 24 '19

Labiaplasty is a procedure that helps a lot of women when done correctly. If the lips are quite long they tend to get tucked up and in during sex or just regular activity and it can be extremely uncomfortable. It doesn't have to be purely cosmetic.

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u/mischiffmaker Dec 24 '19

I knew about the purpose of labiaplasty that you just outlined; I'm just so appalled to learn about the ignorance of doctors that made it so much more for women like OP. It's not something I would have thought could happen in this day and age.

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u/Eva385 Dec 24 '19

This is one of the more horrific things I have read on Reddit. Do you know if this anatomical ignorance is worldwide or US-specific? I'm wondering if the UK has the same problem...

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u/Should_be_less Dec 24 '19

If part of the issue is incomplete textbooks, I would think it would be a problem at least in any English-speaking country. (Or countries that use English-language medical texts)

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u/silkblackrose Dec 24 '19

I am so sorry this happened.

The lack of proper understanding of female genitalia in the medical profession is appalling and I'm so proud of you for your fight.

I dunno if ou know of Dr Jen Gunter - she's an OB/GYN who wrote a book 'the vagina bible' recently

please find her on twitter and get her on board!

Also, as u/Write_me_a_love_song said, anything I can do to help, let me know!

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Thank you!

Tbh this is my experience with Jen Gunter.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2QxTeXHnsB/?igshid=mfznpb9cwkrb

It would be nice to know what she thinks of the 2 textbooks I have changed.

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u/silkblackrose Dec 24 '19

Hi, I'll be totally honest, my knowledge of dissection is completely out of Netter's as my core Anatomy text in med school. I'm not an ob/gyn - gen surgery in fact.

I do agree with Jen on some things such as keeping away from Gwyneth and her crap and not sticking random stuff up there. I will confess I haven't yet read her book - too much of my own reading to get through.

I just read through the very well written article and wanted to commend you on it!

I've recently started to become more interested in female genital cutting and the implications behind the choices in differing communities.

As a profession we do need to be better - I feel like a broken record repeating this over and over but female bodies and complaints aren't as well researched as male issues.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

This is my study.

https://academic.oup.com/asj/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/asj/sjz330/5643525?redirectedFrom=fulltext

There’s also Lepidi and Di Marino’s anatomic study of the clitoris

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u/Lifeisjust_okay Dec 24 '19

As a profession we do need to be better - I feel like a broken record repeating this over and over but female bodies and complaints aren't as well researched as male issues.

Thank you for acknowledging this. Please continue to be a "broken record" in your field with your peers. The more people talk about this unsettling and dangerous issue, the more chances it can get changed.

It's not just the medication industry that ignores the differences between men and women, see the linked article below. After this report, "female" crash test dummies are starting to be used. But that this was an issue at all is fucking scary, you know?

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/crash-test-bias-how-male-focused-testing-puts-female-drivers-at-risk/

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u/0resistance_OBEY Dec 24 '19

TIL the nerves in the clitoris are 2-3mm in diameter.

That honestly shocked me. I'm astounded that it isn't in medical literature.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Well it is. It just wasn’t in OB/GYN literature before this year. What’s in the specialty literature matters a lot. It’s super relevant when the anatomy doesn’t show up in literature on surgeries putting it at risk.

But now look.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5qxtounl9S/?igshid=1a9zy5dh63bsx

I also still think anatomy textbook representation is inadequate and that cross sections should be regularly shown.

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u/[deleted] Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

[deleted]

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

This is the detail I’m talking about. See how the course of nerves in the clitoris is shown. A cross section is also shown. Other previous illustrations are used to show the proximal course and other branches of the pudendal nerves.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5qxtounl9S/?igshid=yh36fqt4pt4d

The course of the dorsal nerves in the clitoris itself seems to be missing from that first image. The course shown in the second image you posted actually isn’t correct.

See if you can access my study. Or dm me for a free link.

https://academic.oup.com/asj/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/asj/sjz330/5643525?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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u/beetrootmac Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

I'm 17 and i have been wanting labiaplasty for years now. But having read your story i'm not sure anymore. I do not live in the U.S.A though

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u/vermhats_worm_hat Dec 24 '19

Oh please please don't. I felt the exact same way at your age and younger, but honestly this insecurity all subsided once I started having sex, especially with the right person. If any dude ever comments on yer "curtains," kick em out.

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u/beetrootmac Dec 24 '19

Well im definitely gonna wait until i am 18 because i would never be able to bring it up to my parents.

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u/vermhats_worm_hat Dec 24 '19

Give it till your early-mid 20s at least. Your body isn't as done calibrating by the "end" of puberty as you think.

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u/FloweredViolin Dec 24 '19

As a a 32yr-old woman (almost 33), this is sooo true.

At 18, I thought I would be stuck with mini-tits forever (I found a perfectly fitting bra that used phrases for sizes, instead of letters. My size was 'barely there'. So demoralizing.) At 19 1/2, I grew 2 inches in every direction over the course of 2 months. And I do mean every. My boobs grew so fast it popped the elastic out of my new bras. I suddenly had hips - not huge ones, but enough that they weren't boyish. My jeans stopped being too long. Apparently this late growth spurt is not all that uncommon.

Really, though, our bodies never stop changing. We need to work more on loving ourselves as we are. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!!

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u/ponderwander Dec 24 '19

One woman to another: don’t do it. There is nothing wrong with your labia. They are perfect as-is. If someone has said things to make you feel bad about your body they are just showing you that they don’t deserve you. Don’t change your body and risk these complications to please assholes.

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u/beetrootmac Dec 24 '19

That's good point. But it's my biggest insecurity. My body is not near perfect in any way but i've accepted it except for my labia. It makes me fear having sex.

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u/ponderwander Dec 24 '19

Don’t be afraid. If they think the shape of your Labia are the deciding factor about whether you are worthy of love and pleasure let me assure you that you are. Let me also assure you that if this happens there is nothing wrong with your body they are just an asshole and are the undeserving one. Check out this woman’s photography project: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/Why_I_Photographed_100_Vulvas

Being your age is hard. Really hard. You are worthy and your Labia are just fine. Promise. ❤️

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u/Requiemiero Dec 24 '19

That article you linked is pretty awesome!

Her photography featuring women of all ages and different races is really cool for showing how there really isn't a "normal" looking vulva.

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u/ponderwander Dec 24 '19

Thanks, I almost edited and took it out because I linked it without reading it first. I knew there was a woman who was doing vulva photography and I trust BBC links as being generally good journalism, but I didn't like the value statements the photographer made towards women that get labiaplasty as being "sad." I saw that u/beetrootmac stated that she has some pain from her labia and if she reads this I just wanted to say that the most important thing is that you are doing what YOU want or need to do for yourself to be happy and pain free. Just make sure you are 100% confident in the decision and give yourself some time to think it through and discuss it thoroughly with your doctors and your parents (so they can be part of your support team, not to weigh in on the decision) if you decide to follow through. And always, always get a second opinion! Lastly, I just wanted to say that I am a lesbian and I've never ever judged a woman's anatomy as anything but beautiful. If I'm with her it's because I love her and if anything, I appreciate the uniqueness of her body as a part of her and therefore part of the person I love.

The photographer is definitely doing awesome work though! I just don't think that women should be shamed or pressured either way. There is also another artist that does vulva drawings from models. Also pretty cool.

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u/Used2BPromQueen Dec 24 '19

I have large inner labia and would never have labiaplasty because they add SOOOO much sexual satisfaction for me. Their ability to move during penetration and help "grip" the penis allows my clitoral hood to shift around allowing me to orgasm during penetration (something that a small minority of women experience). My husband is absolutely crazy about them and has always preferred large protruding inner labia personally. He literally worships them during oral and the feeling is indescribable, they have so much sensation. Sorry if that's a bit TMI but I think it's important for older more experienced women with larger labia to speak openly about their benefits and normal-ness to help combat these ignorant, immature myths floating around on the internet.

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u/dory42wallabyway All Hail Notorious RBG Dec 24 '19

Thank you for this. I hope women with similar anatomy see this and feel more “normal.”

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u/Wookiees_n_cream Dec 24 '19

I used to hate my labia too. I still deal with a little insecurity about it every once and a while. Wishing I could have "cuter" ones. But let me tell you, no one cares what your labia looks like. In fact some people dig large labia. You still have pleanty of time to get used to your body. I'm 27 and just now starting to accept there is nothing wrong with the way mine looks.

I know this sound weird but what really helped me was exposing myself to other vulvas. Not porn ones. All different types. There are so many different kinds of vulvas plastered all over the internet it's pretty easy to see that yours isn't anything to be ashamed of.

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u/Oriden Dec 24 '19

I know this sound weird but what really helped me was exposing myself to other vulvas.

This is one place where a lot of sex education is lacking, even a lot of "good" sex education is still a single picture and a diagram. This does not do an adequate job to show the wide range of what sexual organs can look like.

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u/abirdofthesky Dec 24 '19

You’re young, and these insecurities are fairly normal - I think most women (and probably most men) have at least one part of their body they feared being seen during sex when we were in our teens. If you’re nervous about being normal, go to an OB/GYN and ask about it. (I even have some friends who went to get waxed and asked their beautician if they looked normal!)

Please, please wait until you’re a few years older to reconsider this. Unless your labia cussing you regular discomfort with chafing, for example, they’re not too long. If you haven’t had sex yet, see how you feel after you do so with a loving partner - or even just after getting some more experience! You might find, as many of us do, that once sex becomes a regular life reality so many of those insecurities go away.

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u/dainty_petal Dec 24 '19

You will probably always have insecurities. If it’s not your labias it will be something else. Our bodies change through life so other things pop up all the time. We might get stretched marks later on or shaggy boobs or what ever else you could think off. You’ll have grey hair or no hair or whatever else in between. You could have an accident or get sick and needing surgery and having no say in your bodily changes. You could have more positive changes like having babies or loose or gain weight if that what your body needs. But all those things will change you. You’ll hate to accept the new you all over again.

You don’t have to be perfect to have sex. You’ll find someone who will adore your body. Your scars and stretch marks your labias and your breasts because they are yours. I can almost assure you that one day when your lover is making love to you, your larger labias wouldn’t be in your mind.

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u/Zupergreen Dec 24 '19

I completely understand being insecure about what your partner thinks of your body.

However, your partner will also have insecurities about what you think about them as well.

And there is a very great chance that neither of you will notice or care one bit about what the other feel most insecure about.

So even though it might be hard at first, try your best to feel the pleasure you get from being touched by your partner and by touching your partner once you do start having sex.

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u/Tanagrammatron Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

I'm mystified how women have been convinced that the size and shape of their vaginas is important in any way. I have never heard another man complain about any aspect of a woman's labia to which he has access.

It makes as much sense as saying that earlobes are not sexy, so women with lobes should have them removed.

My only theory is that this is just another thing that is being used to make women feel insecure how about themselves, in order to enrich a third party (in this case, surgeons)

Or maybe it's just to keep women insecure in general so they keep buying makeup, new clothes, and the endless supply of other products that they must buy in order to deserve love.

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u/sassy_artist Dec 24 '19

I ha one last year( at 14) because the length made periods difficult because the period would go everywhere and it would stick out my swimsuit... So it dosen't always have to do something with the looks

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u/Tanagrammatron Dec 24 '19

Okay, that's an entirely sensible reason to have a procedure done, but I have to think that it is a rare exception to all the women who think they have to do it because they look wrong.

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u/JayTheFordMan Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

Dunno if it helps, but as a guy, seriously reconsider doing it. They all come in different shapes and sizes, and all are beautiful. There is no standard, and sure as hell having no labia stick out is actually in the minority. Embrace what you have, and any guy being negative about it is not a guy worth having around

Edit - words matter, and I'm often clumsy with them :)

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u/EyeGod Dec 24 '19

Seconded! The idea that women have to change themselves down there to conform to some guy’s standards of what’s hot or not in the era of internet porn is preposterous. If he doesn’t love you down there he doesn’t deserve you & you deserve better. From a guy who believes that variety is the spice of life.

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u/Jashinist Dec 24 '19

There are too many damn companies making too many billions of dollars by making women hate parts of their bodies that are perfectly natural, and selling 'cures'. Of course you have complete authority over your body and what you want to do with it, but I would gently ask you to reconsider. You're at an age where everyone feels deeply insecure about their body, it just went through puberty and still hasn't finished massively changing. How you feel right now does not necessarily represent how you'll feel in a few years.

As a woman who formerly hated my genitals until I realised they're actually wonderful and the 'porn ideal' does not represent the vast majority of vaginas out there, I would be brokenhearted now if I had surgically done anything.

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u/beetrootmac Dec 24 '19

I will think about it for a few more years, but it's not only the shame tht comes with it, but also physical pain. I can't wear every underwear and i can't ride a bike for too long.

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u/Jashinist Dec 24 '19

Ah, that's very legitimate if it's causing you pain and becoming an issue - I know that some female athletes get it done for the exact same reason.

Please don't feel shame, however - life is so short to waste it on feeling 'shame' for perfectly natural parts of yourself that were delicately crafted through millions of years of evolution, that share characteristics of all the women before you. Why feel shame for something you had zero control over?

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u/Storytella2016 Dec 24 '19

I have a friend with a larger labia and she definitely has to use a specific type of bike seat. It might be worth it to research that before you go under the knife.

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u/Raposela Dec 24 '19

Your pain riding a bike might be a problem with the way saddles are designed rather than a problem with your anatomy. Maybe this article can shed some light into that.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/mar/26/hannah-dines-saddle-research-pain-swelling-female-cyclists

I don't know about underwear. But perhaps they're also not all designed thinking about everyone and their different shapes?

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u/TyphoidMira Basically Liz Lemon Dec 24 '19

It's entirely your body and your choice.

I grew up (on and off, big age difference) with a horribly sexist cunt of a brother who made comments about women's bodies that made me feel like there was something wrong with me. He took my younger sister to a strip club for her 18th and spent the whole fucking time making comments about the "beef curtains" on some of the dancers. My brother is a sexist piece of human garbage, as are the men he spends his time with.

There is nothing wrong with the way your labia look, and, especially at your age, anyone who gets close enough to make a critique should be too excited to care. In fact most adults I talk about sex with were (and are) too concerned about how they look during sex to have any comments about their partners perceived flaws.

I hope you make a decision that makes you happy, whatever it is.

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u/unique_mermaid Dec 24 '19

Don’t do it... too much of society keeps telling women they aren’t good enough... it’s bullshit. Nobody is perfect and that’s okay.

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u/Imanoldie Dec 24 '19

I know someone who had labiaplasty and now suffers from chronic infections bc the bacteria isn’t kept out anymore the way nature intended with labia. Horrible, peeing full blood, trips to the ER infections. They wont stop after years. Just a heads up- no one mentions this risk.

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u/aesthesia1 Dec 24 '19

Everyone's going to smear labiaplasties now, but sometimes it is a good idea to get them done.

It's a minor surgery, but it's still surgery. It's a big deal to get a part of your body permanently altered.

But, if your labia is giving you hygiene issues, or causing you pain on a constant basis, I think it's worth it. Mine was constantly putting me in pain and at risk for infection. My labia skin was severely sensitive, and I could not wear pads, and many kinds of underwear. If I did, the little bits that stuck out of my labia majora would get very inflamed and this would put me at risk for infections if bad bacteria was to enter broken skin and grow out of control. It happened once before I was aware of the issue, and turned into a terrible deep skin infection with abscesses that made walking painful. I also couldnt grow my pubic hair because it would cause irritation and constant itching. Growing it out would only worsen the itching, until every day was agony, and I conceeded that I'd just have to shave constantly forever. Jeans were painful to wear. Sitting hurt too sometimes. It wasnt even a particular long labia minora, just a badly "programmed" one. There are many others who've had similar issues. Labiaplasty works out for people like me.

But it's important to do a lot of research when looking for a surgeon. I mean a lot. Dont settle because it can really cost you in the end.

I also wouldn't get one at 17. If a labiaplasty is for you, you should wait until you're at least older than 25 and until after you're done having children. Your body still develops a lot at your age, and childbirth can also change how your labia is, so theres no sense getting one done too early.

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u/itisagimmick Dec 24 '19

Long time lurker here. But when I saw Baylor in Dallas, I was reminded of the podcast Dr. Death. After hearing that podcast and now reading your story, I question their standards.

I'm sorry this happened to you. But huge congratulations on being published and pushing to change things. You are amazing.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Thank you! My father works at Baylor so I can’t say everything is bad there. Ha

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u/-guci00- Dec 24 '19

What a rollercoaster. Your crusade (for lack of a better word) to change something for the better against all odds is very admirable. You've took a lot of responsibility upon yourself you've decided to make a big issue, your issue because no one else had, and you are not whining about it. You want to fix as much as possible. That's awesome. People will question you, fuck them. You are driven, you have a very admirable goal, and you are going after it not for your own benefit but to help others. If that's not respectable, I don't know what is.

Also what you've described immediately made me think of women's circumcision only with fancier name and it bloody shouldn't be that way.

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u/JibbityJabbity Dec 24 '19

I can't read this all. It made me feel sick to my stomach.

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u/Sarsmi Dec 24 '19

I read it all but it was hard and I cried for a bit. OP is so brave and my heart goes out to her. There is so much truth in when you know something terrible has happened to you and no one seems to think it's a big deal it can be incredibly damaging. Not getting validation for trauma causes so much more trauma.

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u/OisforOwesome Dec 24 '19

What happened to you should never have happened, and you don't deserve anything that happened to you.

I know you know that, but sometimes it helps to hear it again.

Thanks for sharing your story, and you're a goddamn legend for all you've done.

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u/HardRockDani Dec 24 '19

I experienced significant, permanent changes in sensation, sensitivity, and function after a traumatic birth (VBAC of a 9.8 lb. infant via vacuum extraction with multiple, significant tears). It never occurred to me before reading your post that my OB was probably under-qualified to do the repair. At one point, when I realized the stitches were taking a really long time, he looked up at me in tears and said, “I’m so, so sorry.” So there’s that. But I’ve blamed myself, for not being fit enough to give birth properly, for wanting a VBAC instead of a second c-section,.. Hell, for 18 years I’ve even wondered if permanently losing normal function was divine punishment for divorcing during my pregnancy. Thank you for your candor and for your work. I am so sorry that this happened to you, and wish you every success with your mission.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Oh my gosh. Please DM me.

So far I have a woman harmed in a repair for a sexual assault, in a diagnostic procedure, and now this. There have been others, but those are the women willing to be interviewed for a story. I just want to paint a picture of how this all matters.

Maybe your clitoris was damaged in childbirth, and maybe it wasn’t reparable. But OB/GYNs aren’t qualified to repair nerves if there was a nerve injury. Childbirth is very relatable because so many women go through it.

What happened to you was absolutely not your fault regardless.

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u/hey-girl-hey Dec 24 '19

JOURNALIST WHO COULD BE PERFECT:

Please contact Laura Beil, the host of the podcast Dr. Death. She is also based out of Texas and this could be up her alley. This needs that kind of exposure.

If you haven't listened to Dr. Death, you really should. There are many aspects that will resonate with you and many parallels (e.g., gross ignorance of the problem and incredible denial from medical associations, the state board of medicine, the hospitals themselves). It's only six episodes and it's brilliant.

Her reach is enormous. Millions of people listened to her podcast. More women will go public with their stories, guaranteed.

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u/twir1s Dec 24 '19

YOU ARE A FUCKING WARRIOR.

You may feel constantly shut out and oppressed and like doors are shut in your face, but you’re doing amazing things.

I have a lot of friends in Dallas, but I don’t think any of them have had this surgery. However, I wonder if any of them have seen him as an OBGYN. It would be hard to even know where to start.

Take. This. Doctor. Down.

It is terribly frightening that someone shrouded in all the trappings of being a successful, reputable doctor can be an inexperienced butcher in disguise—and then be backed by an organization you thought was there to weed out bad apples.

Best of luck on your journey and thank you for speaking up about this.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Wow thank you such much.

My doctor was Dr. Robert Gunby. Honestly all I ever wanted was for him to acknowledge what he did, apologize, and help me change things for other patients. It’s been really hard how he continues to lie.

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u/twir1s Dec 24 '19

I’ll ask around and get back to you. Might be awhile.

I commented also about contacting Wondery, the podcast creator. They may be interested in an investigative piece like this.

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u/NitzMitzTrix Halp. Am stuck on reddit. Dec 24 '19

This is FGM and it happened in America, under the guise of plastic surgery. We must beat the "roastie" myth before many teens, especially those with little to no experience with how their genitalia function, will fall prey to this notion and get punished for "daring" to want to appear "virginal".

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

Agree. I also think we need to combat what surgeons publish online, as that is what influenced me. They said, “protruding labia are considered unfeminine and embarrassing“ (half of women have them!), “caused by excess androgens” (false), “caused by excess masturbation.”

Even the 2018 Medscape article says they can be caused by sexual activity. Then they go through surgical techniques that put the innervation of the clitoris at risk and never cover where the nerves are or how to avoid them.

I am honestly not against these surgeries in theory. I’m against the ridiculously low standard of care. I’m against the lies. I’m against the lack of informed consent. I’m against the exploitation of ignorance, especially that of young women.

They call these surgeries “rejuvenation,” but the average patient is in her early to mid 20s.

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u/laurenthebrave Dec 24 '19 edited Dec 24 '19

As a young teenager who wanted desperately to get labiaplasty, this hits me hard.

I'm lucky in the sense that money was a huge obstacle for me and I simply just could not afford the surgery. As I've gotten older, I no longer have an issue with my labia.

I'm so sorry that you went through this. I'm so sorry that so many people invalidated your feelings and experience and that many are still outright lying to you.

Thank you for sharing and for using your story to help other girls be spared the same fate. You are amazing and courageous.

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u/PegaArch Dec 24 '19

I want everybody to know that labia can have many different sizes and looks and that you don't need a labioplasty to be attractive. Diversity is great - everybody shouldn't look the same. Love your body.

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u/Comfyanus Dec 24 '19

I feel like I really lucked out with my gynecologist when I was young, after reading all these accounts of medical abuse. I had a nearly imperforate (non perforated) hymen, and my family (especially my mother) was not understanding of this at all, and told me I was just being weak-willed when I tried to explain how I couldn't insert a tampon whatsoever, and how menstrual blood would eject forcefully through the one small hole I had like a jet/waterpik. But when I finally was able to go see a gynecologist about it, he made sure to try and use the smallest speculum, and he believed me when I reacted with enormous pain, and agreed that he couldn't physically insert/use the speculum in a normal way, and got a bright light and actually LOOKED at my hymen up close, and explained what an imperforate hymen was, and scheduled me for a surgery to fix it. For the surgery he had me put unconscious, because partially inserting the smallest speculum the small amount it could go it would definitely tear my perenium, and he made multiple small cuts in the hymen to allow it to open, but he didn't remove anything or cut anything off whatsoever, just made cuts like an asterix in the hymen without removing any of it, and then carefully stitched the torn perenium back up after. He sewed it up very neatly and correctly, with very small stitches so it looked the same as it had before except for a small scar line, and my period came out of me normally after that, and I was physically able to use tampons and eventually to have vaginal intercourse (which was physically impossible before).

He was very kind, and explained how imperforate hymens can lead to repeated severe infections in the vaginal canal/cervix, and in some cases even endometriosis of the uterus, and said it was not so great that my mother tried to prevent me from seeing a gynecologist about it sooner, within a year or two of starting menstruation.

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u/rabbitteeth224 Dec 24 '19

God I am so sorry, this is horrific. You have incredible strength and determination.

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u/jello-kittu Dec 24 '19

So OB/GYNs aren't interested in learning about the clitoris and have no training on it. Well, that's reasonable. /s

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u/Wookiees_n_cream Dec 24 '19

I've had a bump next to my clitoris for 6 years now. I finally found out it's a lipoma but my first doctor, ob/gyn, was so stupid she thought the bump was my clit...

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u/girluoeno Dec 24 '19

This is jaw-droppingly atrocious

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u/NerosDecay13 Dec 24 '19

I wish I was surprised but "Dr. Death" also worked at Baylor and they did nothing to stop him. Fuck Baylors incompetence as well as the doctors who refuse to learn.

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u/ms5h Dec 24 '19

First reddit award I’ve ever given. I’m so sorry all this happened and you’re amazing in the face of it.

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u/tjeulink Dec 24 '19

I have a friend who is probably going to get an labiaplasty. what can i do to help her protect herself from abuse?

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u/Jashinist Dec 24 '19

Aesthetic reasons, or practical (i.e. pain)? She's entitled to have full authority over her body, but my heart breaks for all the women who society has conditioned into thinking their specifically female body parts ought to look a certain way and alternatives are 'wrong' or in need of correcting.

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u/tjeulink Dec 24 '19

pain. but i think a part of it is aesthetic for her too. i for sure know the pain though but now im worried about her bc what iff they fuck up the procedure. i know they're going to "burn" it away with electrodes.

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u/Jashinist Dec 24 '19

Ugh, the thought of burning it makes me feel nauseous. Hopefully she finds someone who has a strong history of performing the procedure successfully, and someone who is invested in leaving her with a good result she will be happy with. I wish her the best.

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u/[deleted] Dec 24 '19

You are a f-ing hero, I admire your courage and trust me, you handled it better than many others would. You kept fighting even though you were hurt, dismissed and hopeless. I am so proud of you and I'm sorry this happened to you but I hope you can find solace in knowing this will in many ways help other young women and more!

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u/emerald8408 Dec 24 '19

I want to share a positive story with you.

My youngest daughter has four birth defects, 2 major, one moderate, and one minor. The minor defect is an excess growth of skin on her left minor and major labia. She also has a strawberry birth mark and a couple of skin tags on that growth of skin.

When she was about 3 years old, we spent some time at a pediatric gynecologist trying to determine if this growth was anything harmful, like a tumor or a hemangioma. Turns out that it's not, it's just extra skin with a birth mark.

In my ignorance, I immediately assumed she'd need surgery to remove this extra skin. To look normal, I thought. Our (female) gynecologist told me in no uncertain terms that it was out of the question. She told me, and I quote, "You may not want to think about your baby having sex one day, but she will. There is a HUGE risk that if we operate on her labia now, she may lose sensation to a large degree in that area, and sex may be unenjoyable or even painful to her in the future. Do you want that for her?"

Of course, I did not and of course we did not have the operation. Our doctor said we could revisit the issue after puberty if we wanted, and that removing the small skin tags could be done as well with little difficulty if we wanted. But she urged me to really think and consider if that risk would ever be acceptable to "look normal."

After reading your story, I definitely feel we made the right decision and I'm so thankful we had a doctor that did not jump straight to labiaplasty. My daughter is 11 now, and well into puberty. I can't say how she may feel about it at 16 or 20 or 30, but now I urge her to accept herself the way she is in hopes that she never feels that kind of surgery is necessary.

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u/Slippitysloppitysloo Dec 24 '19

I had a labiaplasty when I was 23 because the left side labia minora was really long and stuck out almost an inch. I messed with it all the time and would try to stuff it into my vaginal opening. I was embarrassed to let a guy feel around because I was worried it was gross or I was a mutant. I hated fooling around and I absolutely hated oral because I was so self conscious. My obgyn was also the surgeon who performed the surgery. Nothing bad happened, thank goodness! But I remember as I was laying on the operating table before I was put under, the doctor said for me not to worry because they were going to "fix it all up and make it really cute". Cute. I was cool with that, though because I didn't want a gross puss. I didn't know it wasn't gross to begin with.

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u/IllIlIIlIIllI Dec 24 '19

Massive respect for channeling your pain into such practical activism. Your response to your personal injustice will save other people's lives. Thank you for shining light on this story.

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u/leuno Dec 24 '19

So worth the read. Your story sounds like one of a million where people/women are marginalized and their health looked at as a luxury, not a necessity. This is the story of a broken world, that would prefer to break people than to hold itself or others accountable. Unfortunately you will probably never get what you want from your "doctor", few of us ever get closure with those who wrong us, but it sounds like you're choosing to move forward to help prevent this from happening to anyone else, and for that, you place yourself above that doctor in a way that makes him nothing. Worm food. Fuck his acknowledgement. I am so glad you couldn't successfully hurt yourself. Unfortunately some of the most needed change comes from those who have been hurt the most.

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u/Chicken_Chicken_Duck Dec 24 '19

I learned in my anatomy class over the summer that until relatively recently (not sure when) no one knew the clitoris had arms that extend into the the body. Amazing narrative, hope you get the traction you need.

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u/jessica_pin Dec 24 '19

The crura of the clitoris were illustrated by Kobelt in 1844. They are in my father’s 1981 anatomy textbook

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u/digg_survivor Dec 24 '19

He won't acknowledge it happened because then you would be able to sue him.

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u/snaky69 Dec 24 '19

While I am horrified by your story, does the US not have medical boards that deliver permits? Here I’d call these guys up and they would be the ones prosecuting at no cost to me.

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u/rufiohsucks Dec 24 '19

Wrong site surgery is considered a ‘never event’ in the UK, and must be reported. In the past year or so a wrong site surgery was performed on patient where he was accidentally circumcised, it caused policy updates at the hospital it occurred in and the health service to pay damages to the patient.

This doctor, if he were working in the UK, sounds like he would be struck off for failing to report the wrong site surgery, failing to admit wrongdoing when presented with evidence, and for bringing the profession into disrepute.

It’s horrible that the establishment aren’t doing enough about the fact he’s still practicing whilst refusing to admit wrongdoing.

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u/gindonationsaccepted Dec 24 '19

This is terrifying that this form of FGM occurs and I commend you for using your experience to drive change and implement better medical understanding of female anatomy. Your strength is amazing and I hope you continue to be the hero of your life.

I am a woman in Ireland, about to finish my final year of medical school and I am so SO passionate about becoming an Ob/Gyn to advocate and protect my sisters in this world. Your experience just highlights the importance of having women looking after women and bringing an end to the systemic shame we’ve be forced to feel about our beautiful, wonderful bodies.

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u/mugen_no_arashi Dec 24 '19

Please, keep doing what youre doing. There is so much bullshit regarding female anatomy its mind boggling. Hell, the bs i "learned" growing up: peter bellies, chicks toes pointed outward meant shes had a lotta sex, legs crossed with a leg bouncing is a subtle way of masturbating, what the actual fuck?! Something that makes my heart break in retrospect, this chick i was fooling around with embarrassingly said, "her danglies were really dangly", (referencing labia minora). Just, ugh, there really should be be more education. Side note: try n look up stem cell therapy for nerve regeneration. Ive seen some shit about surgically moving nerves to get fine mmotor control on prosthetic limbs, the tech exists!!

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u/ethicalthrowaway2 Dec 24 '19

This is obviously medical malpractice, something which unfortunately happens all the time in the industry. A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with kidneys that function at only 30% (and will degrade to 0% over the next 10-ish years) because a doctor prescribed him medication with kidney failure as a side effect and then neglected to properly monitor kidney function (that's a very abbreviated version of the story).

If I read this correctly, it is unfortunate that OP did not at least get the opportunity to threaten civil litigation to try to get some sort of compensation out of this (not that any amount would make up for what happened) before the statute of limitations expired. I'd like to think that this would have been an easy settlement to obtain for a competent medical malpractice attorney.

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u/jgolden234 Dec 24 '19

This is so sad; that so much ignorance exists, that you werent given the validation or support you needed, all of it! I am a therapist, so I am especially mad at that part of your story. Our job is to listen and help, not be judgey. I hope you have since found someone to to give you good therapy. You are an amazing SURVIVOR. Your strength and courage will save so many women. I hope others have the courage to stand with you and tell their stories. I also hope karma seriously pays this surgeon back on day.

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u/[deleted] Dec 24 '19

I read this and I’m just feeling like screaming inside. Really grateful you are doing all this work to change this.

Doctors and their bloody egos....

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