The magical mystery land of community health

I don't make this stuff up!…but I do change identifying information.

I think the word you’re looking for is “possible” March 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lesbonurse @ 2:34 am

The scene: a 22 year-old female patient, in the office for a school physical.  She mentions that she had an episode of sharp, midline suprapubic pain earlier in the week.  During the questions about the pain, we had this exchange:

Me: “Do you think it’s possible that you could be pregnant?”

Patient: “Oh no, that’s impossible!”

Me: “Impossible because you’re not having sex?  Or impossible because you’re using birth control? Or…?”

Patient: “Well, neither.  I just can’t think about it.”

Me: “Are you having sex with anybody?”

Patient: “Yes, my boyfriend.”

Me: “And are you using any form of birth control, or condoms?” (I ask it this way because a lot of patients seem to think condoms don’t fall into the regular birth control category)

Patient: “Well, sometimes, but not all the time.”

I took this moment to share an important statistic about conception: 8 out of 10 women having unprotected sex (with a man) will be pregnant within a year.  That usually gets a fearful look out of women who don’t desire a pregnancy, which enables me to jump in with a discussion about birth control.  In this case, the patient wasn’t ready to start a hormonal method, but agreed to talk to her boyfriend about more consistent condom use while she considered her options.  I also advised her to return to the clinic for a pregnancy test if she doesn’t get her period by the expected date.

“Impossible,” eh?


19 Responses to “I think the word you’re looking for is “possible””

  1. eviejane Says:

    OMG. As a teacher, I LOVE these kinds of parents. Honestly–they keep me in my job while at the same time providing fodder for my ever present soapbox rantings. I like to say they put the ‘Duh’ in Dumb. Have a good day!

  2. shoutabyss Says:

    I’m amazed she made it to 22. Congratulations on surviving your encounter with your garden-variety American! 🙂

  3. foolsprints Says:

    It’s interesting because when I was at school we were basically taught that if you don’t use some form of contraception you WILL ALWAYS get pregnant. I guess in the UK with teenage pregnancies so high, the scare tactics are used more. What do you think?

  4. How could a 22 year old be so clueless?

    • lesbonurse Says:

      Denial is pretty compelling for people, especially when paired with a poor understanding of how the body works. I’ve had “clueless” patients of all ages.

  5. csjensen Says:

    Wow, I mean any kind of unprotected sex can lead to a child! Whether you are planning on it or not.

  6. syaiful Says:

    hello from Indonesia

  7. Lakia Says:

    I think a lot of teen girls need to read this material that you have shared today.. thanks, I will be spreading this to them.

  8. Daphne Says:

    Great Post…love the design of your page, I have the same one.

    Often people tend to avoid the topic at hand and live in denial; its not cool, but its what they do.

    Keep up the great informative post. I will continue reading.

    Also check out my rants, writings, blogs at

  9. This kind of quote confuses me always who is lucky and unlucky. It’s a kind of social paradox. Hearing only around myself as well there are loads of ladies who want to have a baby, of course having sex, but somehow they cannot succeed to have one. There are ladies don’t want to have a baby but they get pregnant. The nature is weird or even cruel …

  10. Thats sad Lesbonurse. Why is that people are quick to point out peoples ignorance? I guess this is a learning situation for all those people more ignorant than the above patient. Can you do any better?

    • lesbonurse Says:

      I *do* think it’s a learning situation. Also, if I didn’t laugh about my job I would burn out, and then I wouldn’t be a good NP for anyone.

    • Jim Hagen Says:

      I think we are all just confused at how a 22 year old woman could not know that sex will get you pregnant.

  11. […] I Think The Word You’re Looking For Is “Possible” from The scene: a 22 year-old female patient, in the office for a school physical.  She mentions that she had an episode of sharp, midline suprapubic pain earlier in the week.  During the questions about the pain, we had this exchange: […]

  12. theaveragepoet Says:

    Interesting story. As they say, “Knowledge is power.”

  13. StanleyRN Says:

    My dad sent me the link to you blog, and I am super stoked to read it!

    I am about to graduate from the RN BScN program at the university of Windsor in Ontario. (your chilly and awkward neigh bour to the north). Keep up the sass!!! if we can;lt share our stories we would crash and burn well before our time.

    And congratulations, your blog has been made my new homepage.

    Good luck!

    P.s Just to clear things up, we don’t ACTUALLY have death panels here. Those silly republicans!!!

  14. How strange that some schools provide extensive sex education and some don’t. How sad it is that so many kids do stupid things when they don’t understand. It’s not their fault – they just don’t know! My 31 year old friend recently got pregnant because she just figured she was too old to have a baby, so they didn’t use birth control. How crazy is that?

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