For Modest Male Patients
Many times doctors unnecessarily
use female nurses or assistants as chaperones during an intimate
procedure. This practice causes embarrassment for male patients.
In some cases a female assistant stays to observe and/or take
notes while the male patient is undressed. Male patients should
speak up and ask for a private exam with the doctor.
If a doctor or a hospital will
not accommodate your modesty wishes or wishes for male medical
personnel exclusively, you should go somewhere else even if
it means traveling farther. Look at an example of a man
from Maine who traveled to Utah for an Urolift procedure
because he found an urologist willing to do an in-office procedure
with the help of a male physician’s assistant.
Patients whose modesty wishes
are not accommodated should write a letter to that hospital
and doctor explaining that the procedure was done elsewhere
because of this. It’s time for hospitals and medical professionals
to recognize that male patient modesty is as important as female
patient modesty. If male patients speak up for their modesty
wishes and refuse care from female medical personnel, the more
likely facilities and doctors will hire more male nurses, techs,
etc. to accommodate these requests.
We encourage men reading this
article to print the article, How
Urologists Can Be More Sensitive to Men's Modesty? and share
it with urologists.
1.) Find a male
doctor who is sensitive to patient modesty, one who will protect
patient privacy as much as possible. Consider interviewing a
doctor about his stance on patient modesty before allowing him
to conduct intimate examinations. Explain to the doctor that
having female nurses or assistants present for procedures that
involve private parts is not an option. If the doctor has no
male nurses or assistants, ask if he can conduct intimate procedures,
such as a vasectomy without assistance.
2.) Do not be
pressured into having a random genital or rectal exam at doctor
appointments. For instance, if the appointment is for a sore
throat, do not tolerate a doctor lecturing about the importance
of having a genital, prostate, or rectal exam. Remind the doctor
of the purpose for the visit (ex: a sore throat).
3.) Keep in mind that genital exams are often unnecessary
unless you have urological symptoms or a genital injury. You
have the right to refuse genital or rectal exams at any time.
4.) If possible, take along a trusted person
(preferably your wife) for doctor appointments, which require
genital or rectal exams. This mitigates the possibility of abuse
and provides a witness during the appointment to any instructions
and recommendations given. If the doctor refuses to allow the
5.) If anything is uncomfortable
during an exam or procedure, speak up and stop the exam or procedure.
6.) Don't undress or don a medical gown when
it is unnecessary and/or the situation is uncomfortable. Most
procedures and tests—including blood tests; blood pressure
tests; stethoscope heart exams; eye, ear, nose and throat examinations;
as well as throat cultures—can be performed fully clothed.
If the appointment is for an infection or suspicious skin spot,
uncover only the necessary body part. Consider wearing shorts
or other type garments. Think in advance what would be more
accommodating and helpful for the examination, limiting patient
exposure and embarrassment. Be aware that if you must undergo
a venous ultrasound on your legs, you may be ordered to remove
your underwear. This is unnecessary. This can be done with your
underwear on. Be advised that you will be given a sheet to wrap
your groin in. Demand that you be allowed to position the sheet
yourself and that the technician is not in the room while you
prepare yourself. You can also demand that the technician is
7.) Research your procedure. An increasing
number of procedures can be performed in a more relaxed office
setting with only a local anesthetic. Yet some doctors will
not offer patients this option due to the amount of money hospitals
make off surgeries conducted in operating rooms. If
general anesthesia is required, insist that a family member
or a friend be present for the procedure for patient protection.
Patients who are under general anesthesia are extremely vulnerable,
exposed, and defenseless. Many patients are routinely and unnecessarily
stripped naked for surgeries. A patient having hand surgery
had his gown and underwear removed after he was put under anesthesia.
He found this out when he woke up in the middle of surgery.
Another patient who had a venous ablation procedure was horrified
to learn that he had the disposable underwear hospital staff
gave him removed and his groin shaved while he was sedated even
though incisions were made around the knee only. He was also
livid to learn afterwards that his procedure is more commonly
performed in an office setting with a local anesthetic instead
of in an operating room with sedation. Check out Why
You Should Have a Personal Advocate For Surgery?
8.) If hospitalization is necessary, have someone
who is not employed by the hospital to be continually present,
especially when you are asleep or drowsy. Many men are more
comfortable with their wives bathing them than a nurse, so this
should always be an option for them. If a nurse or aide must
assist you with bathing, ask for a male.
9.) Refuse a urinary catheter
be inserted unless it is absolutely necessary. Many unnecessary
urinary catheterizations are done and with serious complications.
If catheterization is required, request a male nurse.
10.) Insist on a male ultrasound technician
for scrotal ultrasounds and other ultrasounds that require exposure
11.) During procedures request that the doctor
put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the
door and/or close the room’s curtain. Sometimes medical
personnel randomly enter exam rooms during intimate procedures.
12.) If you are the parent or guardian of a
boy, do not assume that he is safe from sexual abuse! Always
have a responsible adult not employed by the clinic or hospital,
preferably a parent, with the boy for all examinations and procedures.
Advocate for his privacy as well, regardless of his age. Even
if your child is a toddler, respect for his privacy and his
bodily autonomy must be enforced. If you agree he needs the
procedure, assist the medical professionals to communicate to
him this is necessary in any way you can. Genital / hernia exams
are not necessary for sports