Many women find obstetric and gynaecological examinations traumatic, according to a study of 500 women (BMJ, 24 April 1993). More than 30 respondents said they found the experience “terrifying” or “very distressing” and were assessed by the researc
Comments from the traumatized women included: “I cried and shouted but was held down and told to stop making a noise”; “I felt abused like a piece of meat on a slab”; “It undeniably felt like rape.”
There were important differences between the experiences of these women and those who found the experience “pleasurable” or only “slightly distressing”. The traumatized women experienced more pain, had felt powerless, had been given less information, had felt the doctor was unsympathetic, and thought that they had not given informed consent.