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Why so many Chinese women feel invisible to their gynaecologist

The first thing the doctor would say to me was, “Take off your underwear and lie on the table”. Then, she would squeeze some gel on my belly and start rolling an ultrasound probe up and down my skin with her right hand. She would type on a keyboard with her left hand when she spotted something on the screen.

The process usually lasted 15 minutes. The whole time, the doctor never spoke to me directly. She occasionally shouted incomprehensible measurements at her assistant, who recorded them on a diagram of the human uterus.

It was a strange and uncomfortable experience. They were examining me, but I felt entirely irrelevant.

The blogger shared her experience of being at the doctor’s and the discomfort she felt during her appointment, wondering why there haven’t been any improvements.

Many others commented on her post, leaving messages about the pain they had suffered. One said she asked the doctor to be careful when inserting the speculum, to which the doctor apparently replied, “ You’ve had sex before. Just relax”.

Another said that even though modern medicine is so advanced, it is still so painful for women to give birth, because women are rarely the focus of those advancements.

It’s quite difficult for the situation to improve when discussions about women’s health in this context are still scarce in China, if not a taboo subject. Furthermore, at the gynaecologist’s, a woman’s body is often seen as a vessel for carrying children.

During my pregnancy, I was often told by doctors that I should be careful with the kind of medicine I took for fear of affecting the fetus. Epidurals during birth are also not common in China, even though the government has been pushing for this.


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