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What Dr. Drew Doesn't Know About Lady Bits

Photograph by Rex / Rex USA

There’s something you should know about me: I have a bit of a crush on Dr. Drew—25 years my senior. What’s worse, I have had this crush since I was about 12 years old, back when Loveline used to air on MTV. His understanding of all things sexual, combined with his kind and compassionate nature just did it for me.

So imagine my disappointment in realizing that Dr. Drew may not be as all-knowing as I once believed him to be.

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Last week Drew inspired the ire of women everywhere when he poo-pooed all over a few different chronic female conditions. One of those conditions just so happened to be endometriosis—the same disease which stripped me of my fertility and rendered me practically disabled by pain for nearly three years of my life.

A caller was asking a question about his fiancé, a woman who was experiencing pain with intercourse as a result of suffering from a myriad of disorders, including endometriosis and Interstitial Cystitis (IC). Before the man could finish his explanation, however, Dr. Drew stopped him:

These are what we call sort of functional disorders. Everything you mentioned are things that actually aren’t discernibly pathological. They’re sort of – they’re what we call ‘garbage bag diagnoses’, when you can’t think of anything else, you go ‘eh, well, it’s that.” So it then makes me question why she is so somatically preoccupied that she’s visiting doctors all the time with pains and urinary and pelvic symptoms, and then that makes me wonder, was she sexually abused growing up?

Yep. He went there. Cue ire.

There is so much that is wrong with how Dr. Drew went about answering this question. For starters, there is absolutely a discernible pathology to these disorders—provided you are dealing with a specialist who actually knows what they are looking for. Can they be difficult to diagnose? In some cases, yes. Endometriosis, for instance, can only be diagnosed with surgery, meaning that it often takes time to get real answers. But it is still a real condition with a very real physical manifestation. Not a disease created by the hysterical minds of victims of sexual abuse.

For the record, I have never personally been sexually abused. My lady bits fell apart all on their own. And you know what? When you have chronic pain down there, it absolutely makes intercourse more difficult. This is standard knowledge, so for someone in Dr. Drew’s position to not recognize that—it’s a little baffling. I was once prescribed physical therapy for my vagina because of all this. Yep, that’s a real thing. And it's already totally humiliating all on its own, without someone then claiming it’s unnecessary.

I expected more from him.

On top of that, they were talking to this chick’s boyfriend—assuming that he had any kind of real understanding about her condition at all. I have dated plenty in the years since becoming sick, and while some of my boyfriends have definitely shown an interest in learning more about my condition, I have shared only the barest of details with them. Partly because I have always been afraid of being judged as a coo-coo crazy pants with a made-up disease that can’t possibly be real because outwardly, I look fine. So, thank you Dr. Drew, for telling men everywhere that women with these conditions are coo-coo crazy pants with made up diseases that can’t possibly be real because outwardly, they look fine.

To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. Unfortunately, Dr. Drew’s apology didn’t really do anything to salve that disappointment either. Earlier this week he addressed the situation:

I sincerely apologize if I hurt anyone. Endometriosis is horrible. What is almost worse is what we do to women when they get endometriosis. … But I was not talking about endometriosis—this girl didn’t even have endometriosis.

Close, Drew, so close.

Listening back on the original call, endometriosis is clearly one of the conditions listed; but that doesn’t even matter. To have him so quickly brushing off any of the conditions mentioned would be appalling, particularly when we consider he wasn’t actually talking to the girl herself, he had never seen her records, and he had no basis at all for automatically assuming these symptoms were all in her head.

Dr. Drew’s co-host then went on to call all those who had complained “twats” before saying “They can take my balls, put them in their mouth, and eat them,” which, you know … was special. I get that his whole role is to play the resident jackass, but seriously, you're not helping, dude.

The average diagnosis period for endometriosis is seven years. Seven years of crippling pain and dealing with doctors who know very little about this condition and brush you off again and again. I was lucky that my diagnosis only took about seven months, and even luckier in finding a specialist a few years later who essentially gave me my life back, Dr. Cook at Vital Health Institute. It took three major surgeries with him to get healthy again, but two years later—I am still pain free.

As a specialist in the field, he publicly addressed Dr. Drew as well:

I have devoted over 20 years to the successful treatment of women with Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain... These conditions are not "Functional Disorders" as you describe. ... Your statements are inaccurate and hurtful to the vast population of women affected by these diseases. We have clinical data and pathologically proven evidence on thousands of patients supporting these very real diagnoses. Particularly disturbing is your misinformed position declaring "unexplained pelvic pain" as a "somatoform dissociation" resulting from a history of sexual abuse. Though a small minority of patients in my study revealed a history of sexual abuse, the vast majority, 98 percent, did not report a history of abuse. To suggest that 176 million suffering from Endometriosis, IC, and Pelvic Pain need to see a "Trauma Specialist" is not helping women find the needed surgical help for their pathologically proven disease.

RELATED: Why I Never Thought My Fertility Treatments Would Fail

I get that at the end of the day, Dr. Drew is more of a performer than a doctor—one focused on treating teen moms and sex addicts in front of live TV audiences—but still, I guess I expected more from him.

Either way, crush off.

I prefer a man who doesn’t automatically assume I was molested as a child, just because I’ve got killer cramps.

For more information about endometriosis from a real doctor who knows his lady bits, visit vitalhealth.com.

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