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You Asked It: A (Not So) Pregnant Pause

Why did my doctor do a pregnancy test even though I told her I’m gay and couldn’t be pregnant?

Great question! First, it’s good to hear that you’re open and honest with your medical provider. Many people feel uncomfortable coming out to their doctors—even though that’s important information for health care providers to have.

It makes sense that you’d feel confused (and maybe even a bit betrayed) that your medical provider wanted to do a pregnancy test AFTER you explained you couldn’t be pregnant. Trust is a really important part of the relationship between patients and their medical providers. Feeling like your medical provider didn’t trust you can’t have felt good.

The good news is that your provider’s decision wasn’t personal. Most medical providers do routine pregnancy tests when a patient comes in with any symptoms that could be a sign of pregnancy. This isn’t necessarily because they think you’re pregnant. Pregnancy is very easy to test for—unlike many potential illnesses—so they feel like they might as well rule it out.

Medical providers also want to test for pregnancy before prescribing any medicine that could affect the fetus. If they didn’t, it could mean serious health consequences for the fetus, and legal consequences for themselves.

In addition, many people feel uncomfortable talking about sex. Unfortunately, this means that patients are not always honest with their medical providers—even though sexual health is a really important part of overall health! Plus, abstinence-only sex education leaves many teens uncertain of their own pregnancy risk. As a result, they may not be able to give their medical provider the information they need.

Going forward, consider asking your medical provider to explain their decisions to you. This keeps the lines of communication open, and can help you take charge of your own health.

If you have more questions about your medical care, you can make a free, confidential appointment at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. We provide comprehensive, non-judgmental health care to teens and young adults.

ABOUT YOU ASKED IT

You’ve got questions.  We’ve got answers. At the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, we answer a lot of questions. Topics range from nutrition to pregnancy prevention, and everything in between. Now, we’re bringing these questions back to you with our weekly advice column, You Asked It. Got a question? Holler at us in the comments, send us a message on FacebookTwitter or Instagram, or email us at teenhealthcareorg@gmail.com. This column is not intended to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual, only general information for education purposes only.

Missed a “You Asked It” post? Click on “You Asked it” under Topics.

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