Letters, calls and emails: Fathers can discuss daughters' periods

Dear Editor

I do hope Ian Semmons is wrong in his belief that most fathers would feel uncomfortable if asked about periods by their 11-year-old daughters (GP, 22 September).  

I find it a shame to think of so many men having difficulty talking to their children about a basic fact of their lives.  

However, whether he is right or wrong about this, his proposed solution of terminating a consultation in which the subject comes up and asking that the child be brought back by her mother strikes me as poorly thought through and likely to cause problems for doctor, parents and child.  

I would be exceedingly annoyed to be called in for an extra consultation solely because the doctor assumed my husband was incapable of dealing with the mention of periods.  

When I asked my husband what he thought, his reply was that if he was told that the GP could only discuss his daughter’s problem with his wife rather than with him, he would worry that the GP suspected abuse and that he himself was being thought of as a suspect.  

I doubt that these sorts of reactions would be terribly unusual. Given the possible alarm and inconvenience that Mr Semmons’ proposed policy is likely to cause, I suspect that it would be far more likely to lead to complaints than simply discussing all relevant matters with the parent who has, after all, chosen to be present at the consultation in the first place.  

Dr Sarah Vaughan  

Bristol 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP consultations up 400,000 in first three weeks of 2021 compared with last year

GP consultations up 400,000 in first three weeks of 2021 compared with last year

GPs have delivered around 400,000 more patient consultations in the first three full...

GPs vaccinate thousands of patients against COVID-19 in extraordinary settings

GPs vaccinate thousands of patients against COVID-19 in extraordinary settings

GPonline takes a look at some of the more interesting sites that have played host...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

GPs to place orders for COVID-19 vaccine as NHS targets second dose at 12 weeks, says Stevens

GPs to place orders for COVID-19 vaccine as NHS targets second dose at 12 weeks, says Stevens

GP-led vaccination sites will be able to place orders for COVID-19 vaccine supplies...

RCGP and Marie Curie urge GPs to adopt end of life care standards for care homes

RCGP and Marie Curie urge GPs to adopt end of life care standards for care homes

Best practice standards to help GPs improve end of life care in care homes despite...

Thank your team for their inspirational work during the COVID-19 pandemic #myGPteam

Thank your team for their inspirational work during the COVID-19 pandemic #myGPteam

Never has teamwork in general practice been more important than during the COVID-19...