Skip to content

Women's Health

Many Women Want Female Doctor for Colonoscopy

Embarrassment Is the Most Common Reason, Study Shows
Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Health News

Aug. 3, 2005 -- Many women prefer to have colonoscopy performed by a female doctor, new research shows.

In colonoscopy, a doctor guides a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera through the colon to check for cancer or polyps -- a benign growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum that could become cancerous.

Colon cancer is third most common cancer and the No. 2 cause of all cancer-related deaths in the U.S., write the researchers. They included Stacy Menees, MD, of the gastroenterology division of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The researchers asked about 200 women about colonoscopy. Nearly half of the women replied that they would prefer a female colonoscopist. Many of them said that they would be embarrassed to get the test from a male doctor.

The study appears in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Test Can Save Lives

Early detection can make a big difference in surviving colon cancer.

"If everyone aged 50 and older had regular colorectal cancer screening tests, more than one-third of deaths from this cancer could be avoided," states the CDC's web site.

The CDC recommends colon cancer screening starting at age 50, or earlier for people at higher risk of the disease. There are several ways to screen for colon cancer. Colonoscopy is one of several methods to screen for colon cancer (though no test is perfect).

Does a Doctor's Sex Matter?

The study included about 200 women who were waiting in their doctors' offices for primary care appointments. The women were about 53 years old, on average. Most were white, employed, had attended or graduated from college, and had high incomes.

In anonymous surveys, 43% indicated they wanted a female colonoscopist. Of those women, 87% stated that they would wait more than 30 days for a female colonoscopist, and 14% stated that they were willing to pay more for a female doctor.

How much more were those women willing to pay? Up to $200 as an out-of-pocket expense, write the researchers.

Of the women who preferred a female colonoscopist, a few (5%) declared that they wouldn't get a colonoscopy unless they were guaranteed to get a female doctor.

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
 
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
insomnia
Is it menopause or something else?
 
woman in bathtub
Slideshow
Doctor discussing screening with patient
VIDEO
 
bp app on smartwatch and phone
Slideshow
iud
Expert views
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
Slideshow
hot water bottle on stomach
Quiz
 
question
Assessment
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
Quiz