Subject: Sex Ed for Dummies – I know it is impolite to call someone a dummy, but after you have read this encounter, you’ll know where I’m coming from…
Patient is a female of child-bearing age. This is not an isolated case but a fairly commonly encountered experience.
Patient: “ Dr, there’s something wrong with me; my menses is late. It was supposed to come 2 weeks ago. It’s usually very accurate.”
Me: “Are you married?”
Me: ”Do you or your husband use any form of contraception?”
Patient: “Er, no.”
Me: “Do you have symptoms like breast tenderness, nausea, loss of appetite…?”
Patient: “Er, ya, actually my breasts have been feeling a bit tender & my appetite is not so good.”
Me: “Well, you may be pregnant. Let’s do a urine test to check, shall we?”
Patient: “But it cannot be! We just got married last month & we were not planning to have a baby till one or two years later!”
Me: “Err…you don’t use any contraception…?”
Me (patiently): “OK, then you may be pregnant. We can confirm it with a urine test.”
Patient exits room with a doubtful expression on her face…
Pregnancy test comes back Positive.
Me: “Congratulations! You are pregnant!”
Patient: “How did this happen? We were not planning for a baby……..” etc. etc…
Sigh…I sometimes wished that I could have told these patients that mind-control & will power are usually not terribly effective methods of contraception....