Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Doctor Refuses Hysterectomy for Lesbian Because ‘She Might Find a Man’

Rachel Champ and her wife

A 27-year-old lesbian woman from Ireland took to social media recently after a more than problematic conversation with a physician over a hysterectomy she wanted to have.

Rachel Champ is a sales agent and master’s degree student, studying criminology. For 17 years, she’s had immensely painful periods, she told BuzzFeed.

"I still vividly remember getting my first period and curling into a ball on my bed in the fetal position and crying because of the pain. This became a new routine for me every month.”

Two years ago, she was given her first cervical screening.

"It wasn’t until I had my first pap smear test when I was 25 and spoke to the female doctor who performed it. She told me that it wasn't normal to be in so much pain every month that I couldn’t walk, missed work/college/events, and had to take so many painkillers just to function,” Champ said.

She then went to a gynecologist who found cysts on Champ’s ovaries and what appeared to be endometriosis.

After still being in pain month after month, Champ asked a gynecologist she had visited before about the possibility of getting a hysterectomy.

“After 17 years, and potentially another 20-plus years of this pain depending on when I go into menopause, I wanted to know at what point can I make the decision to have a hysterectomy to improve my quality of life, and put an end to the period pain I have experienced for nearly two-thirds of my life,” she explained.

The doctor refused to discuss it.

He said, according to Champ, that she was too young for the procedure and was letting the pain make the decision.

Champ, who is married, explained to the doctor that she and her wife planned to adopt. He said — with Champs’ wife with her at the appointment — “I don’t want you to have regrets if circumstances change for you. Maybe you leave your partner, your sexual orientation changes, and you meet someone and he wants children.”

Afterward, Champ wrote about her experience on Twitter. She told BuzzFeed, "I wanted to share my experience — as I have with other aspects of my journey — to try and draw some attention to the barriers that women — specifically LGBTQ women — face every day trying to get basic respect and understanding from their health care providers."

Her tweets about the incident have gone viral. Champ said she’s grateful to have had many people support her after she shared her experience.

She also said that her situation is just an overarching problem that women often face when seeking medical care.

"I think it really boils down to the fact that women aren’t treated as if we are capable of making decisions over our own bodies," Champ said. "In this particular circumstance, the problem is the idea that all women must want to have children. In my case, it shows that misogyny is so deeply ingrained in women’s health care, that a man who doesn’t exist is more important to my doctor than me — the very real patient sitting in front of him in tears begging for help to end the pain.

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