Men not allowed to enter

One day in mid-November 2013 my husband and I go to a women’s and children’s hospital. We haven’t been to this hospital before, but after having been sent to do a blood sample every third day, we have decided to change the hospital and this one was recommended to us by a coworker.

It’s time for the first ultrasound. On all the offices there are signs saying men not allowed to enter. The doctor asks me if I’m taking folic acid and when I say yes, she sends me to do an ultrasound. I have to drink some water before doing the ultrasound and wait for my name to be announced. When they call me out, I walk into the room. There are two beds for doing ultrasounds and curtains which could theoretically be closed, but aren’t closed due to whatever reason. The persons doing the ultrasound are not women, but actually men. This is the first time I see men perform ultrasounds on women.

I: “Can my husband come in too?” I feel that as the father of the child growing in my belly he should be there with me and be allowed to see the ultrasound on the monitor.

Guy doing the ultrasound: “No, guys aren’t allowed to enter the room because of the other patients.”

There’s no other patient in the room and you could close the curtains, is what I think. Instead, I say: “But aren’t you guys too?”

On a side note: In most public hospitals in China you don’t have as much privacy as you’d have in a Western hospital. When you see the doctor, it’s often not only you (and your spouse or whoever might have accompanied you), but a whole bunch of other patients and their family members or friends waiting in the same room and listening in on everyone’s ailments.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? I’d love to read your comments.

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9 thoughts on “Men not allowed to enter

  1. I’ve only been in hospital (thankfully) once. In the UK I was put into a ward, 6 beds in the room, all side by side with a seat next to each and curtains inbetween. That was it. The room was quiet and whenever there were visitors you could hear what they were talking about.

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  2. My Canadian friend, who is male, was refused entry into the delivery room when his wife was giving birth to their baby in Taiwan. However, he refused to take no for an answer and was granted permission to enter the room for the birth of their daughter. He told me that if you really insist, they tend to ‘break the rules’ a little.

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    • In China they won’t allow the father of the child to be in the delivery room either (at least in public hospitals) – my husband was surprised it’s different in Austria. I’ve asked him if he’ll join me and I’m glad he said yes, I wouldn’t want to go through delivery without my husband being at my side.

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      • Are you sure about this? I think it depends on the hospital. I have been told my husband will be allowed in the room for delivery and other Chinese women I’ve asked have had their husbands present. There are no private hospitals (for giving birth) where I live. My husband was allowed in the room for the ultrasound at one of the hospitals I visited but not another. Anyways, a little persistence can often work, especially for us foreigners!

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        • My husband told me that it’s like that here, but he might be wrong or it might depend on the hospital? My husband is usually allowed in if they are talking about medical stuff, but he hasn’t been allowed in for the ultrasounds – but I got them to let him listen to the heartbeat of the baby once.

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  3. The first few times I had acupuncture, we were in the Philippines and the doctor was Vietnamese. All the patients were on beds in the same room. I didn’t mind because you keep your clothes on for acupuncture. I’m having acupuncture again, this time in the United States, and here, even though the doctor is Chinese and trained in China, every patient has his or her own room.

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  4. Last time I went for my gyn check-up in China I saw different doctors for different tests and consultations, most of them were men, even the one that felt my breasts (while people outside the room tried to open the door without knocking!).

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    • Actually the majority of public gynaecologists in Austria is male too. That’s why many women prefer to see a private gynaecologist, because those are often women. All the gynaecologists I’ve been to in China have been female, so it was surprising to see men do the ultrasound – especially since the sign said “men not allowed to enter”.
      It must feel uncomfortable to know that people could come into the room any minute during such a check-up.

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