My Story: Experiencing Fatphobia after My Miscarriage

Elise shares an experience she had in a medical setting before trying to get pregnant, including doctors focusing on her weight.

Transcript:

OBOS Today: So, I wonder if you could tell me a little bit before this process, how did you feel in medical settings before you started to get— before you started trying to get pregnant, what was your experience then?

Elise: That’s a great question. I think I have experienced sort of consistent fatphobia, and I started to gain weight after college and so sort of the extent to which I’ve experienced healthcare that sort of focuses on my weight and not on sort of the parts of my body that I’m in the office to get seen about has sort of increased over the last decade.

For example, I had a miscarriage last year and was concerned about some—I’m going to say it, because I’m on Our Bodies Ourselves—I was experiencing some like vaginal discharge, and I was concerned about whether that was like the result of an incomplete miscarriage.

And when I went to the doctor at the student health center at KU, I was told to be sure to get my blood pressure and cholesterol checked, and I asked like, does it have anything to do with vaginal discharge? And they said no, but it’s something important that you should do.

So, right? So, sort of a constant presence of medical advice related to my weight that has actually nothing to do with the condition that I’m presenting with.

So, and it turns out I’m—I was okay, but it was you know, coming in, already deeply upset about having had a miscarriage and to be told, right—

Like to address something related to my weight instead of what was happening in my reproductive system was pretty awful.