Hi, I’m Doctor Rich — board-certified urogynecologist and passionate women’s healthcare advocate. [To his guest and fellow OB/GYN Dr. Nicole Hawkins-Koch] Well, thanks for coming on to help us do this video. Did they tell you what it’s about?
No, not at all!
Okay. So in the past we did a video review of The Stokes Twins hooking each other up to a period pain simulator, which you can check out here. Today, you’re going to do that to me!
[Dr. Hawkins-Koch grabs the simulator in excitement. Animated devil horns and dramatic music play]
Doctor Rich [laughing nervously]:
That took literally no convincing! And stick around to the end to find out what lessons were learned from the male OB/GYN having period pains!
Don’t have time to read this post? Watch the video here instead!
For me, it’s that time of the month! Let’s not put this off any longer! I’m actually just a *little bit* nervous about being shocked…
[Dr. Koch attaches electrodes to Doctor Rich in a sped-up video that looks like a vintage film reel with old-timey music. Dr. Koch readies herself to turn on the simulator]
Whoa, don’t get so… Not yet! The Stokes Twins had… like, a safe word or something. Wasn’t it like “pineapple juice” or something like that?
So what would you like your safe word to be?
Doctor Rich [to the video producer, offscreen, and laughing]:
Uh, “Ruben, I’m going to kill you.”
“Turn the damn thing off?”
Doctor Rich [laughing]:
How about “namaste?”
Namaste! That’s a good one!
Yeah… I don’t think I’m gonna remember it. Okay! [Dr. Koch moves to start the machine] So wait, wait, wait! How does this work? Is this like a scale of one to ten?
If you’re up to three, that’s like a normal period — not too painful.
Six is “I’m laying in bed. I can’t get up. I need more than Midol.”
And then ten is “You wanna die” and just wake up the next day.
I don’t wanna die! All right — I’m about to have my first period! Alright, let’s get obliterated! [Pointing to Ruben, offscreen] You owe me a drink! Alright, let’s crank up the juice!
Doctor Rich [groaning in pain]
Ahhh… ahhh!. Oh, that’s like a real strong workout right there!
|Levels 2 and 3|
Doctor Rich [breathing sharply]:
You…you have this every month?!
Doctor Rich [squirming in pain]:
Like… for more than a minute?!
Yes — and this one’s very mild!
Doctor Rich [laughing through the discomfort]:
Owww… Okay — off! Yeah. That’s pretty tough! I started feeling sh*t in my back.
Dr. Hawkins-Koch [laughing in acknowledgment]:
Okay — well that was enlightening! I think if that is like the monthly pain you get all the time (for no freaking reason!)… I understand why I have a job!
Yes. Are you ready to go up to the next level?
Doctor Rich [laughing, but scared]:
No… but let’s do it!
Doctor Rich [tensely stamping his feet and wincing]:
Oh my God!
Oh my God! Oh my God! Ahhhh! Give something to bite on — I’m serious!
|Level 6: Endometriosis pain|
Doctor Rich [still laughing, but in obvious pain]:
Ahhh! I’m cool… I’m cool. I’m cool. I could do this… I could do this all day! [slouching down on the couch tensely] Turn off, please. Turn off. Turn off!Turn it off! F*$k!
[Dr. Koch turns the machine off. Doctor Rich breathes in relief]
Was the code word, “I’m cool, I’m cool?”
Dr. Hawkins-Koch [laughing]:
You’re supposed to say, “namaste!”
Oh no! I forgot — I was about to say “pineapple juice!” Oh, wow! That SUCKED! Okay. So what… that’s like when you’ve got endometriosis pain?
When you have endometriosis pain…
Doctor Rich [amazed]:
Can’t get out of bed, can’t go to work…
Doctor Rich [laughing in shock]:
Okay… I don’t think I’m gonna go to work tomorrow. That was terrible! I can’t believe you guys go through that!
It is — very horrible. Okay, ready?
Doctor Rich [hands on his temples]:
I can’t wait for this to be over…
|Levels 7 and 8|
[Doctor Rich writhes and breathes sharply, shaking in pain]
[looking over at the simulator]
We’re not even there?!
|Level 10: “You wanna die”|
Ahhh! This is not fun!
[removing the electrodes]
Okay. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope! I’m done. I’m out [leaves the room].
Doctor Rich [returning with a bottle of water]:
Ahh… oh my God!
Dr. Hawkins-Koch [sweetly putting her hand on Doctor Rich’s shoulder]:
Are you mad at me?
Doctor Rich [laughing and gesturing to the camera]:
Can you turn that off?
[Doctor Rich lifts his shirt to show the red marks where the electrodes had been]
That’s not cool! It felt like someone was f*@#$Ing stabbing me!
So it wasn’t like… like, your muscles contracting?
Yeah — I mean, it’s just… it was terrible! I have a little bit more appreciation for the pain that women are in — and the desperation at times that people have to want to get better!
Right! And just think — you were able to pull these off…
Hmm. That’s true!
…and we have to live with it on a daily basis.
Mic drop! [Laughing and throwing up his hands] How the hell am I supposed to follow thatI?!
[Seriously] I don’t have any come back for that — for once in my life, I’m at a loss of words! To imagine THAT, and that it’s irreversible… You can’t take it off, and to go on for days or WEEKS at a time! And (for some women) NO respite from the pain — it’s just constant.
So there are different stages of endometriosis — and you can check those out in this video here — from one (which is the amount of disease). I can’t imagine what women would go through every month with severe pains like that. What is it like?
Personally having had it — it was debilitating sometimes. Because you still have to work besides having this pain… So for me, surgery was my final option.
So I don’t think we can ACTUALLY create a true simulation of what period pains are like — we’re just putting electrodes on our rectus abdominal muscle. But it’s pretty painful! I think, having been the beneficiary of a kidney stone — it’s not as bad as that. But it is probably close to some of the worst pain that I’ve had.
So I mean, as a father, as a women’s health professional, as a husband — I definitely have a greater appreciation of what women can and DO experience. So as far as treatment options, we’ve done many videos on endometriosis. The options are anywhere from birth control pills and pain pills to conservative surgery. And in some cases, even hysterectomy. I want to thank Nicole so much for coming and helping us with this experiment…
Dr. Hawkins-Koch [laughing and pretending she might restart the simulator]:
Doctor Rich [laughing, taking the simulator from Dr. Koch, and walking off screen]:
Nope! I’m taking this. I’m… You’re done!