When one Reddit user began a thread asking why so many gynecological procedures are done without pain meds, fellow commenters flooded the post to share their own harrowing experiences
By now, you don’t need us to tell you that when it comes to healthcare, there’s a double standard when it comes to women and men having their needs, preferences, and bodily autonomy respected — and that misogyny only becomes further amplified if you’re queer, disabled, or part of any other marginalized group.
One Reddit user recently shared a thread in which they asked why so many gynecological procedures are done without pain medicine, and fellow commenters flooded the thread to share their own harrowing experiences facing medical discrimination. The user, Ancient-Abs, earned all the slow claps by noting, “I am so fucking tired of the discrimination that women face when it comes to medical treatment. From being gaslighted, denied therapy or misdiagnosed, this discrimination often costs women their lives.”
“One particular horrible mistreatment of women is the performance of gynecological procedures without pain medication or anesthetic,” they continued, sharing, “I’ve had an IUD inserted and I went hypotensive and passed out from the pain. I had to be monitored for several hours afterward. Why is this permitted? How can we change it?”
As the thread began to go viral, thousands of other women shared their own experiences, from being told that having a literal piece of your cervix removed will feel like “just a pinch” to the frequency with which women pass out from the pain of an IUD insertion only to be told most women only feel “mild cramping.”
Naturally, there were plenty of stories of men having no such issues, like the woman who revealed a nurse snapped at her for complaining of pain during childbirth — when her husband went to get a vasectomy later on, he was given Valium to take the night before the procedure, another one for that morning, and then pain relief during the 5 minute procedure. He was given another script for afterwards and told to “go easy for a few days.” She asked, aptly, “Are women seen as tough, or subhuman?”
Check out some of the most horrific of the stories shared, and prepare to wince at some of these nightmare-inducing scenarios that women are just expected to deal with on the regular.
Even though you probably don’t need a Reddit thread to understand the myriad ways in which women’s pain and discomfort is downplayed, ignored, or dismissed, it’s still incredibly maddening to know how frequently it happens and how many medical professionals remain so callous to their patients’ needs and comfort levels. No matter what you’ve been lead to believe, your feelings — physically and emotionally — are always valid.