The Other Side of the Speculum: A Male Doctor’s Point of View

  • Hang on to your knickers and read what a Doctor has to say on the subject of pap smears and pelvic exams.  What follows is a comment from Blogcritics.org written by a Doctor that uncovers an honest and all-male point of view (Warning: may be disturbing to some readers):
    Apr 07, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Hello,

    I’ve read several of the posts here, and just wanted to get a few things off my chest . . .

    I am a doctor myself, in a smallish town in the midwest. I’m in a specialty where we do not do pelvic exams, but of course I was trained in how to do them while in medical school. It has always bothered me, for a couple of reasons, but the male/female thing has been the main thing originally. I always got a small, secret thrill out of doing a pelvic exam (or a breast exam, for that matter) on an attractive woman. Because we were told that “it’s not sexual,” “it’s just a medical procedure, nothing sexual about it, no reason to have sexual thoughts,” I though I was weird. I didn’t worry that much because I knew I wasn’t going into an area where I would do exams, but…

    Then, during residency, I worked with a lot of doctors in the community, and discovered that, for most of them, it WAS at least partly sexual: they would sit around in the lounges and such and sometimes discuss the anatomy of beautiful women who’d been in, and on two occasions discussed, in front me and everyone else, the sexual anatomy attributes of women who worked in the hospital, nurses and such that were mutual acquaintances. I was horrified! I have to say, too, that many doctors, when I asked (because it bothered me), talked about it like, “Oh, it’s just another test to have to do, kind of boring, really.”

    Still, the inescapable fact is that a guy likes to look at a naked woman. Period. Doctors are no different. They like to look at naked women, too. So, if they get PAID to look–I mean, really LOOK–at a woman’s sexual organs, and even better, they get to touch them, well… So much the better! I’m not saying that doctors do exams just to get a sexual thrill, because the circumstances really don’t allow a full-out sexual experience, but given a choice between doing a lung exam on an 80-year-old guy or a pelvic exam on an attractive 30-year-old woman, I’d say most docs would MUCH rather do the latter. They’re only human. They would flatly deny having any such thoughts (in most cases), but deep down, they ARE men, after all.

    So, I think sometimes part of what prompts docs to urge women to have more testing is, that secretly they kind of like doing it. The money doesn’t hurt (i.e., they get paid to do it). In terms of pap smears being unnecessary for post-hysterectomy women, they also probably often just don’t know–there are several things in my specialty which GPs do wrong, all the time, even though they should know better. The ACOG recommends that even without doing pap smears, women have pelvic exams regularly, to screen for various cancers that are of very little risk. I’m sure part of that is just the “hyperscreening” that we’ve gotten sucked into, part of it is the money, and part is the male domination of women (gives you a great chance to stand there, fully clothed, with a woman who is naked and in a vulnerable position), and the chance to look at and touch naked women.

    My wife (my second wife) and I got married last year, just past age 50 (for both of us). She had a hysterectomy (for benign disease) nearly 20 years ago. Before we married, she got kind of funny one day, then when I asked about what was wrong she admitted that she had had to make an appointment to “get my pap smear,” which she felt guilty for missing for the previous few years. I informed her she didn’t need one any more, and she told me I was wrong, that her gyn had told her she DID need them YEARLY, even though she’d had a hysterectomy. I showed her the research and persuaded her not to go back, ever, to that gyn.

    Later, in looking at her records myself, I find that she had a small cyst removed from her back a few years ago. The surgeon did a complete pelvic exam as part of the physical before surgery. A VERY complete pelvic exam. There was no need for that (he did NOT record anything other than lungs, heart, breasts, and pelvic exam on his H&P report). A couple of years later she had a small cyst removed from her shoulder. THAT surgeon (a different one) did a complete breast exam as part of her H&P. My wife works in the hospital, with all these doctors (she’s in administration). She had her first colonoscopy last year, and the GI doc did a complete pelvic exam as part of her exam. Again, no medical reason to do that. She is not unattractive (not a magazine-model stunner, but attractive–I think she’s the most attractive woman in the world, but realistically she’s average attractiveness).

    In my office, I am now doing a small study. I’ve asked women who come in (either as patients or as family members of patients) who are aged 30-60, who have had hysterectomies, whether they have continued to have pap smears/pelvic exams and whether their doc has recommended they still have them. I rank them as “attractive,” “not unattractive,” or “unattractive,” being aware this is a judgement call and not really PC (but the ones I’ve judged “unattractive,” I think everyone would agree, are really not attractive at all). So far, I’ve had 14 women agree to answer my questions, and the results have stunned me: of the 4 unattractive ones, all were told they no longer need to have pap smears/pelvic exams, because of their hysterectomies (even though for one, the hyst’y was for cancer, meaning she DOES need to continue exams). Of the 4 “not unattractive,” 3 have continued to have paps/pelvics irregularly (not yearly but every few years, at least), and 2 told me their doc told them they needed them, in one case “yearly” (and her doc was the same one who told 2 of the unattractive ones not to bother with exams any more, including the 1 who had had cancer)–the other 2 never asked and were never told anything by their doc. Of the “attractive” ones (all of whom had hyst’y for benign disease), only 2 have continued paps/pelvics, but all told me their doctors have continually told them they need to come in for regular exams, including pap smears and pelvic exams (interestingly, all but 1 had the same doctor who’d told 2 unattractive ladies not to come back). My wife’s (previous) gyn had told one of the unattractive ladies not to have further paps/pelvics, and 1 of the attractive ones she really, really needs them regularly (and she has, until our discussion).

    Make your own judgement there, but that’s one more reason to be skeptical of attempts to get women to have regular exams. If I were a woman, I would not go to a male doc for such an exam, ever.   http://blogcritics.org/unnecessary-pap-smears/

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About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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523 Responses to The Other Side of the Speculum: A Male Doctor’s Point of View

  1. Jessica says:

    My stomach is turning right now after reading this.I just had an exam yesterday by a male doctor.I’m going to puke:(

  2. alexis says:

    ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT “SELF TEST” KITS WHETHER THE DOCTOR IS MALE OR FEMALE, & YOU DO NOT NEED A PELVIC EXAM FOR BIRTH CONTROL. TAKE BACK YOUR BODY. THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY FEELS THAT IT IS THEIR RIGHT TO NUDE YOU AS A PERK, AND FOR GREED. DONT BE NAIVE!

    “There are several viable options to screen for HPV without a pelvic exam, including the Cervista urine test. If a patient tests negative for HPV, she has a better chance of being struck by lightning than getting cervical cancer. So tell me, do you routinely offer this alternative to your patients, or do you scare them into returning for their exam every year (which, in itself, is due to the high error rate of paps), withhold their birth control to coerce them into Paps, and make them think that cervical cancer is looming to kill them at any second?”

    http://www.cervistahpv.com/laboratory/cervistahpvhr/index.html

  3. Ellie says:

    Oh look, another great reason not to have male doctors anywhere near women

    • Doctors who are not the same sex as you examining you is inevitable. I have a female GP who ended up checking my testicles for lumps. I also ended up having a female surgeon refine both my testicles when they both were diagnosed as being cancerous.

      • Eddie says:

        inevitable? People kill me…as if telling the medical community you will stand up and demand your rights is somehow wrong. Patients have rights…and despite what the medical community says in response no is a viable answer. Emergencies are not what I am speaking of.

      • Tracy Ann says:

        Right — but the female doc isn’t getting a thrill handling your frank and beans.

      • nanarhonda says:

        Tracy Ann, how do you know that the female doc isn’t getting a thrill handing his frank and beans, as you put it? There are also lesbian doctors who enjoy doing pelvic exams as well… so how would one know how to tell one from the other? I am asking sincerely since this has become a more sexual society world wide. How does a patient find the right doctor for the intimate exams?

      • Anonymous says:

        The patient decides what exams are necessary, no matter what gender is doing it. And doctors worrying about being sued is balogne…That is just an excuse to do what they want to do…too much of all this is about narcissism and control. Doctors hate it when the patient takes control.

      • nanarhonda says:

        Anonymous,
        I agree 100% that doctors hate it when patients are in control. And patients should be in control. First, its their body. Second, its their money whether they pay out of pocket or its a benefit of their employer, they still work for it.

        Too many people do not realize that they need to be their OWN advocate, because if they don’t, no one else will.

        Thanks,
        Rhonda Radandt aka nanarhonda

  4. Kleigh says:

    Alex, it has been monthes since I have posted hear. I read u asked me why do woman go along or agree to exams. I can only speak for my self. When i had that exams I was 17 and didnt know really how they do a pelvic exam. Doctors do not explane these exams to woman how they do them or even ask for permission. I remember thinking that they were just gona look at my hips bc thats what a “pelvic exam” sounds like. And that is another problem I have with this. I Also wonder if this termenaolgy is used to trick woman into thinking it is not a internal exam. IF A woman doesnt know that the doctor is going internal till she is naked in a open gown and a nurse brings in a table with insturments. Its as tho they want the woman naked and vonerable so they will feel presuerd to comply. I Know some woman already know what a pelvic exam is but alot of woman and young girls realy do not know what they are going along with and probly whould panic and refuse or leave. I think the word “pelvic exam” is a trick in its self and then not explaning exams or asking for concent.

    • Alex says:

      It DOES sound like a skeletal thing. The hip bone is called the “pelvis,” so one would assume that’s what the focus is.

      Something I’ve noticed, at least in this country, is that there’s a heavy tendancy to try to redirect a problem & use the enemy’s momentum against them. It’s to the point where someone gets dependant on assistance from an assailant, or at least on the help of a benefactor.

      There’s so many tricks that get used (coercion, deception, disparaging remarks about being immature or crazy, etc…). Ambushes are in keeping with that. So is rushing someone around so there’s no time for thought or space for refusal. Comportment is another big one (“do this, then do this, then do this”). I guess that would have a pressuring effect.

      I have another question: Why would being naked add to this pressure? I’d think it would add to things in the opposite direction.

  5. Donna says:

    The article above by the male doctor is very revealing. You may want to read another article – more factual and less emotional – about male gynecologists at http://www.modestyxxx.com. It is entitled “Gentlemen Don’t Look Up Ladies’ Skirts.” The author quotes documents from the AMA and the British equivalent which say that male doctors who experience erotic feelings during a pelvic exam are “neither unusual or abnormal.” It is an amazing article. Well researched and well written.

    • Mario says:

      Woman are not the only victims here as horrible as this is for most of them. Try and imagine how infuriating this is for the boyfriends and husbands. We are hard-wired with this deep-seated, protective instinct, and we are allowing another man to perform this horribly, intimate, sexual exam on the woman we Love. Makes me nauseous. And for what? a less than 99% lifetime risk, even lower if your a young to middle-aged woman?
      This has got to be the biggest medical sham ever conceived. That, along with the pap and pelvic having no sexual connotation for the male doctor. Really? Its just like them to think they are mentally superior.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I would imagine there are doctors of both genders who may be personally uncomfortable examining unattractive or obese patients. We are a shallow biased society and there are no guarantees that personal maturity comes with a medical degree. The tragedy is that someone could end up dying or with cancer because of it. If someone wants to play fantasy doctor they can do it on their own time. If someone is fat – get over it. They still need competent medical care and are not as modest as presumed.

    • Karen says:

      Again implying that the result of sexism would be someone would get cancer because doctors don’t “care” about them- FUCK NO! The result of sexism is present, right here, ie you implying a woman needs a doctor to take fucking care of them.

      • Alex says:

        I wonder something: If you got a bunch of hot women together to say things in support of having bodily autonomy & self-protectiveness, the different risks & inaccuracies of all kinds of procedures, and a general conflict of interest that is pervasive in the medical profession (in some countries, at least) would that be useful? I know it should be about the issues, but I think that would give it a boost.

        Throw in that “female” isn’t a type of disorder & that it’s not being stupid to think compositionally (after all, a situation is what it consists of & reality DOES apply to medical personnel) and you’re all set. At least in terms of getting a shot across- since doctors & such will probably fight back against being fought back against.

        P.S.- I also think well of cursing & general ferocity of response as a tool to counter attempts to impose these types of things. Actually, that’s a frequent trick in fights. Kind of a psych-up AND a solidifier.

        Someone might say something like “There’s no call for that” or something to the effect of that being a “verbal assault,” but one can very easily make the counter that someone was trying to “impose detriment” & you used “verbal counter-offensives” in an effort to protect yourself from this detriment.

      • nanarhonda says:

        Your response needn’t be so vile. You could have make the same response without the profanity. People could have made more sense of it then.

    • nanarhonda says:

      Excellent response! Thank you! I have felt the same way, having worked in the ER and hearing the doctors, PAs, & RNs say about people that aren’t to their standards. It is shameful.

  7. Zenee Miller says:

    Wish I hadn’t read this but knowledge is power! I dropped my male gyn over a decade ago after realizing several things were not quite right. This article only reinforces my decision.

  8. lmc says:

    There is so much scary information out there, but thankfully there are webistes like this one to educate women and advise them of their rights. This article is very scary, and just shows how the medical community gets away with abuse of women.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920649/

    • Alex says:

      Holy Shit! This is them torturing women and none of these people did anything to physically stop any of this! I swear to Christ & I don’t know how this is going to come off, but I wanted to do the exact same things to these people that they did to the pregnant women the whole time I was reading that & kill them afterward. They shouldn’t be around to cause further harm & I’m sure their replacements would act very differently.

      It occurs to me that an accusation is just an invitation for someone to let their “shields” down or to implode in on themselves. An ATTACK, however- that would be useful. It would put some “teeth in the night,” so-to-speak. The method is always attack, whether or not the goal is defence.

      This culture is self-replicating, so there’s no reason to believe that they’ll initiate a change of behavior. This is what they are when they are left to their own devices, so if they were different I figure they’d act different. This isn’t a model of how people in general are if they’re free, this is just how they are. I truly do believe that these people are either possessed or just innately evil!

      One big question for all of you: If this is how they are toward the mother, what kind of safe environment does someone think is there for the baby? What affects her generally affects her baby, anyway- but I’d figure if this is a pretty severe warning sign of untrustability. Whether through antagonism or incompetance, they cause problems. These problems don’t magically go away because you get billed for them. As far as making decisions & she can make whatever decisions she wants, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll actually happen. Something might get directly imposed on her, no manipulation or subtlety at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      The article is called “………fifty years later” . Why? Most od the stories from nurses and doulas are from around 2009 not decades ago. Birth as a rape experience. Not good.

      Women are told that they can choose their birth experience now. Only I have heard it is very difficult to book with a midwife. Only first come as soon as positive home pregnancy test if you do not call right away likely they are booked up. Any, just any complication and they are sent to an obstetrician. The choice is supposed to have some family physician delivering but most do not do that because of the time commitment and the insurance costs. So the “choice” that health Ontario boasts about is bogus.

      I have heard enough about women being induced just to be a convenience, no medical reason. I believe this is damaging toa child’s soul because they pick what day they should be born.

      • Schwerin says:

        I agree with whoever said that it has “soul-damaging”to a little persons soul being induced before their time. Let nature do its thing. And lets get rid of the troll. This is a woman’s forum, trolling doctors worried about woman finding out about their shame are not welcome here. Period. Go push a prostate exam; their fare more common than the cervical/ovarian ca that you push with your vagina exam! oops, pelvic exam, sorry, lets keep masqueing whats really happening here shall we. Pigs.

      • Alex says:

        Schwerin: I know what the name of the site is, but sometimes there are male posters that are saying “Hey, they’re trying to back my girlfriend into all kinds of probing so she can get birth control pills- how do we get them without all this?” or just simply complaining about them trying to get dictatorial with his wife. Sometimes it would even be wives mentioning them trying to push their husbands into things! It is less common for this sort of thing to be directed against men, though.

      • nanarhonda says:

        There are more inductions now than ever before and it is soley to schedule the births. It is so wrong. What every happened to natural child birth? I had it… albeit mine both came way too early and they didn’t give mothers anything for pain back then. God forbid! My daughter has wanted to have her children born at home with a midwife but she cannot because she needs rhogam and the midwife cannot give it only a physician can. But she has given birth to 8 beautiful babies with one in the arms of Jesus. Home schooling 7 is keeping her busy!

  9. Chris W. says:

    This article was entirely fabricated, no facts listed, all opinion based, and no clear identification of the author. From the sentence structure, word frequency, and repetition that are used. It’s a safe bet the writer was a women to begin with. I mean lest be honest, there is not a lot of reason to hide who you unless your full of crap. The medical profession isn’t known for back balling someone who questions it’s practices, ergo this is total bs.

    Chris W.

    • Kleigh US says:

      Chris go tell that to all the woman this has happen to like my grandmother.

    • Karen says:

      “It’s a safe bet the writer was a women to begin with.” .. Sue, I think we have a troll here, can you help?

      • Karen, I agree but the odd attack from random trolls provides opportunity to pull out the stops and post some of the facts. And medical-oriented trolls who post here enter a level playing field – unlike the medical environment where female patients are most often in a ‘one-down’ position. I agree with IMC that the article was scary, but also brilliant, well researched, and beautifully written. I follow a blogger who posts some great but disturbing articles about birth, like this one about a woman who was forced to have a cesarean: http://humanwithuterus.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/vbac-vs-forced-cesarean-facts-opinion-and-informed-consent/

        Karen, I should have added that I don’t think any women here need help from troll attacks. Other way around in fact, I usually feel a bit sorry for the poor troll who is unfortunate enough to land here! Although if it’s an attack on women, offensive or just plain creepy then it’s good to just delete. I don’t think the last comment from the suspected troll falls into that category but what do you think?

      • Karen says:

        Sue, I hope I did not sound patronising. What I’ve meant, is just that petty sexism like the sentence I quoted from the poster does not bring the debate forward. Calling out someone on their gender like that should not be part of any civilised discussion.

      • Karen I certainly didn’t think you were being patronizing! As moderator I try to keep this a woman friendly site while still allowing for healthy debate, but every so often something not so woman friendly slips through! I’ll try to be more vigilant in future.

  10. Kleigh says:

    It happend to my family member back in the erly 60s. She was tied to a hospital bad so she could not get up and use the bath room. And the nurse held her legs shut so she could not push her baby out till the doctor got to the room. The head was already comming out and she was screeming in pain. When i told her what happen to her was wrong and i didnt understand why she didnt sue or press charges. She made it seem like woman trusted there doctorsd back then and alot of woman back thin were scared to question authority figuers or ones they thought were and she was and is very trusting twards doctors. she also said the doctor cut her open down there and she fainted from the pain because they didnt numb her and that ahole doctor didnt feel he needed to ask her permistion to do any thing. It made my blood boil. No wonder they didnt let husbands in when there wifes were birthing they whould probly attack the doctor for mistreatment.

    • Alex says:

      Chris W.: Just out of curiosity, what do you consider hard evidence? Ultimately, all evidence is anecdotal. Also, medical communities mose certainly do black-ball people for various things, it’s just usually for something that happens or doesn’t happen in the office. It doesn’t have to be KNOWN for doing these things in order to actually do them.

      Kleigh: Why don’t they attack the doctor now? I’ve noticed a less confrontational male these days, at least in America. That “tend & befriend” pattern of response might not be 100% when it comes to women, but it really is the typical manner of response with men & women in America currently. I mentioned this before: how it’s recruitment as a method of recourse & that’s more or less it.

      I also don’t get why people say “in any other situation/setting/context this WOULD be sexual assault (or any other type of attack).” Instead of trying to point out that there’s frequently a contradiction between description & situation, they should just call it for what it is.

      There’s even a Chinese proverb that goes “Wisdom begins with calling things by their correct names.” I guess because I don’t know who said that it’s not true, though- eh, Chris W?

  11. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    There is a website called birth trauma, the stuff of nightmares.
    These accounts are sadly, fairly common and there is no doubt in my mind this sort of experience still awaits some laboring women, how many? I have no idea.
    I think for a long time these accounts were dismissed, “you’ve got a healthy baby, haven’t you?”…hardly the point when the mother ends up with PTSD, depression etc.
    This is the UK chapter, I think there is a branch in a few countries, including Canada.
    http://www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/default.asp

    • Elizabeth I suspect those sorts of experiences sadly await many more women. It seems to be similar to the pap experience, where many women have no idea that their own experiences of being coerced into pap tests in dr’s offices are similar to many other women’s experiences. Many women probably think their own bad birthing experience is rare, at least until they do a web search and discover they are far from being alone. Here’s another disturbing article. It’s about a woman who dies following a cesarean: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-150001/Stressed-mother-died-Caesarean.html I wonder how many women die as a result of cesarean. It doesn’t make it clear in the article if the woman had wanted a cesarean or if it was pushed on her, but given she was terrified of needles it might have been the latter. It is interesting that the inquest had been told the woman had “died of acute cardiac failure with unknown cause”.

  12. Alex says:

    Isn’t all this the type of shit heroes in the stories would kill? There was some kind of monster or evil king or some such & they’d be slain on sight, much to the delight of the people. Sometimes the general people killed the creature themselves! This really is the type of shit that people would be convinced that someone was demonically possessed for & maybe that wasn’t a miscalculation.

    I mean this literally, but even if someone isn’t actually possessed by a demon the effect is still maintained. If they’re just like that with no paranormal situations attached, what’s the difference?

    Another thing is that it’s particularly telling is to apply all this to CHILDBIRTH. I know I’ve mentioned there being a general antagonistism to life in allopathic medicine from the start, but I figure it bears repeating. Particularly with the American kind, since pretty much anything that comes down the pipes basically attacks you!

  13. Simon says:

    I am a doctor this is crazy. One Drs perspective does not account for the majority. There are many pelvics performed for fear of being sued later (well no one did an exam so it’s his/her fault) or b/c you might have missed something (the swollen joint is due to gonorrhea that is spread via the blood). You see so many peoples penises and vaginas that it becomes normal to the point sexual desire can be affected with partners. One thing is true, I would rather do an exam on people who have hygiene. I have also diagnosed things I didn’t expect (retained objects causing blood infection for example). Most of us avoid pelvics b/c we know patients feel uncomfortable and it makes an exam much longer (there is no time to do an appropriate work up anymore and the pressure of time is huge). There are freaks, they exist everywhere, Use your instincts. Just believe me this perspective is not the norm.

    • Alex says:

      Doctors doing these things on their own accord is not right. That is iatrogenic abuse, regardless of if the doctor feels okay with it or not. Fear of a baseless lawsuit is not an excuse for this kind of behavior. There IS a risk of being sued for something baselessly, it’s part of the territory. What is the idea? They they’re imposing penetration on someone in self-defense? The safety of the assailant, whether they use low-key methods or not, is irrelevant.

      They were not prompted & do not usually give full disclosure about risks, inaccuracies, or alternatives (including self-performing). This is fraud & since deception vitiates consent, an assault as well. There’s also usually no mention of incentive payments for this or for any follow-ups that could be precipitated by the “results.” No mention of it being illegal to withhold birth control for not getting probed, either.

      By-the-way: Are doctors NOT selected, trained, and certified? So the common trends of this community, both officially & unofficially, can be presumed to be related to that or to pre-existing alignment. They don’t seem to band together against someone that tends toward dictatorial behavior with someone else’s body. Seems that the staff just sides with whoever can fire them- or get them fired through channels.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      What about being sued because you didn’t get full informed consent from the woman regarding the fact that, as new research has shown, the exam is basically useless and is not good for diagnosing uterine or ovarian cancer. Many women have been lied to and coerced into pelvic exams because of lies about the necessity of the exam and to obtain the birth control pill.
      If there is concern about STIs that can be done via blood work or urine.
      It’s not about you and how many people’s private parts you see in a day. It’s about the woman and her level of comfort and the right to refuse an exam without fear of reprisal.
      It’s interesting how the fear of being sued is always brought up with women’s health care but with other things such as refusing the taking of blood pressure or getting a flu shot Dr’s don’t worry about that. Yet refusal of either one of those things could be life threatening.
      As we on the board have said it’s not about women’s health care.

    • Eddie says:

      Seriously? You are trying to explain performing a pelvic (a degrading and humiliating exam) on a woman with a swollen joint because she might have gonorrhea? gee…are there other much less invasive tests for this if you REALLY think the swollen joint might be from gonorrhea…one wonders if part of this equation used by male docsa includes how good the subject looks…because of course it makes sense that sexy ladies are more likely…

    • Karen says:

      #NotAllDoctors

      • Jorden says:

        oh, looks like the “good” doctor is worried that his dirty
        little perk has its days numbered!
        Nope, they will vehemently resist forward thinking &
        research, keep the cost of medical care high and will
        opt out-of informed consent, self-testing education,
        blood/urine tests for STD’s, ultrasound etc. and
        continue to withhold birth control if the patient
        resists the stirrups/bi-manual, breast exams
        even though by doing so they will continue
        to break the law.
        Shame on you doctor simon…burst on here
        will ya, preach that you don’t even notice the
        attractive women in the stirrups. You have
        pushed your power trip’n bullshit in the wrong
        forum this time my friend. We know
        you enjoy the young and/or attractive women
        before your eyes. Give it up already will ya.
        The doctor in this study is the real man
        who has admitted what is really going on here
        in the minds of most male doctors. Heres a thought, defer
        the intimate exam to same sex providers? Its the
        wave of the future maybe its time to get on board.

      • Alex says:

        Karen: What does #NotAllDoctors mean?

    • nanarhonda says:

      Thank you for say this, Dr. I appreciate that.

  14. Alex says:

    Good catch, Eddie. Blood & urine tests work for STDs & they frequently con women into other tests, figuring that it’ll sound good because it’s a related theme.

    ADM- The supposed concern about being sued brings up an idea: Maybe it’s something they realize is wrong, so it instantly connects to the idea of lawsuits & court, and then they decide to flip it into a defense- that way someone will think “Oh, well if they’d get sued for NOT doing something, how am I going to bring up charges FOR doing these things?” Saying “No, don’t sue me!” or “You can’t sue for that” sounds a little too much like “never mind that man behind the curtain.” Trying to get behind whatever they’re worried about coming at them. Sometimes the simple shit is a subtle tactic because it’s unexpected.

    It would also sound like one would be arguing against a self-defense urge (usually not effective) & like they’re the “bad guy” for pushing that situation on these people. It also comes off like there’s some mysterious “bad-guy” somewhere in the shadows causing this to happen to them- maybe even like there’s some kind of common ground between them & the doctor (like they’re both victims in this situation & there’s some kind of bond between them).

    It also reminds me of how child molestors tell the kids that they’ll get in trouble if they tell anyone. I guess there’s a running theme or betrayed trust & molestation. Isn’t it suprising that if someone “plays doctor” on a child, they get into shit- but when someone imposes these same actions on someone & gets a paycheck for it, it’s (at least sometimes) seen as innocent?

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      It really is a defense mechanism to protect the program of the well woman’s exam. If they were so afraid of being sued than we wouldn’t have a choice about anything. We wouldn’t be able to decline any test or treatment. We have the right to informed refusal and people decline treatment for cancer and choose to die or they choose to not take a medication and Dr’s accept that but when the topic of testing for female specific cancers comes up the line of fear of being sued is said. Dr’s manage to chart refusal for other tests and treatments but if it was such a concern then have us sign a waiver. It’s a cover for not getting full informed consent which for someone reason never enters their head that they can be sued for that. It is to protect the programs and incentive payments.

    • Eddie says:

      The “we see so many” argument is hogwash as well. I happen to see a lot of air conditioning equipment, because that is what I do, I service this equipment. Each unit is separate and distinct…and it’s not even a living breathing entity.In fact after servicing many units that are in terrible condition I especially appreciate the nice new shiny equipment I run across. Something human in me tells me that seeing an especially attractive, nice smelling soft speaking and demure ladies genitals up close and personal for as long as I choose to would be very stimulating, it might make be be very gentle, very patient, very kind, very deliberate and quite thorough. Unless of course I somehow possessed some form of super human abilities. All through this procedure, knowing I would love to do it again, I’m certain I would act quite professional.

  15. Worked for a male OB/GYN for years, I could have told women this! I prefer female docs…

  16. Luanne, I have deleted all comments as requested. The way comments work on this site:
    If you are a first time commenter your comment will be kept for moderation until it is read and approved for posting. If you have provided an email when you comment, and if your comment is approved, then all further comments are automatically posted by WordPress. If an IP address is marked as spam by WordPress, or if the commenter makes an error in typing their email – then the comment will be held for moderation again. If there is no email address then the comment will always be held for moderation.
    It is not possible for the author of a comment to edit a comment after it has been posted, but if you want a comment edited you could let me know and I would be happy to edit it for you.
    Sue

  17. Reblogged this on A Holistic Journey and commented:
    This is for both men and women. On how some male doctors can’t keep their maleness outside the exam room when they’re with a female patient.

    • I appreciate the follow and active support. =) I wanted to get the alert out on this important post. My husband read it and I also shared it with a megablogger (OM, if you’re familiar). I’m glad to have connected. =)

      • Thank you Holistic Wayfarer! I was delighted to see the substantial increase in ‘likes’ following your reblog – yours is an influential force! I appreciate your support and advocacy about this important topic. I’m very glad to have connected as well.
        Cheers,
        Sue :)

      • I’m happy to have supported you, Sue, and my Stats said you got a lot of views.

        Xxx
        HW

  18. The thing in that photo looks like a Medieval torture instrument. Are such contraptions really used on sensitive parts of a person’s body, without anaesthetic? You need to do another article on the well-known research on private conversations doctors have about painful medical procedures, during which more than half of them have made utterances suggestive of sadism..

  19. nanarhonda says:

    I haven’t had a pap smear since the days I was trying to get pregnant (after two pregnancies). I had been misdiagnosed years ago and had scar tissue completely blocking my tubes and they were not even in the correct place. This was a woman doctor. She said before surgery 0% chance of pregnancy. I had surgery. After surgery 50% chance. Never conceived. Never went for another pap as my feet had been in enough stirrups, I also have never had a mammogram. I am now 50 and post menopausal ~ a wonderful gift for my 50th birthday! I will never go for either test. Ever.

    • Tracy Ann says:

      I don’t blame you. I found this site because my doctor’s office (today) suggested via a form that I get a pap smear because I’m “past due” for one. How do you handle doctors or nurses shaking their head at you for not having these exams done?

      • nanarhonda says:

        I tell them, no holds barred, that I know where to find them if I want to have one of them done. Don’t call me, I’ll call you. Naturally, they call anyway or if I’m in for a blood draw off my port, they (the MA) will start to ask and I say, save your breath, the answer is no, and the RN says to the MA see, I told you she would say that! But we have to ask. :-)

        When I get the phone calls from the hospital staff saying that I haven’t made my appointment for my mammogram, I say that’s because I’m not having one. No, you may not set up an appointment with me now or ever, thank you anyway. :-)

        Its not that hard… you just have to be your own advocate. Remember, its your body and you can choose how its invaded or not. I prefer not to put my feet in stirrups any longer and now I’m overweight and have an indwelling foley so I highly doubt there will be any fantasizing going on there. And let’s not forget that there are women that are homosexuals in the business. So you need to go where you feel comfortable regardless of the gender of the physician.

        I have no family history of breast cancer or uterine cancer so why go through all the ubbubb about it? It I were concerned, I would seek a doctor for that. I’m not, so I don’t. I have plenty of other health issues to be concerned with that my “ta tas” as they put it.

        Hope that helps, Tracy Ann!

        Blessings,
        Rhonda aka nanarhonda

  20. shazza91321 says:

    Oh my goodness!!! I can’t even believe what I just read!!! No wonder the few times I’ve had pap smears from 2 different male doctors I felt awkward and creepy afterward. One doctor was in his mid 70’s and semi retired but was standing in for another doctor that was on vacation, and another doctor was in his mid 40’s and just seemed like he was attracted to me before the exam started. The older doctor gave me a lecture after the exam about my sexual history that I had to fill out before the exam. He said I was too young to not be more sexually active!!! As if that was any of his business. His nurse apologized to me after the exam and told me to call and complain about him. The younger doctor, said I should come back in 6 months for another exam, but I never went back to him eek!!!! And, I don’t think I’m all that attractive or anything like that but it’s just really sickening to think that they want to see your privates again and again. WOW!!!! Thank goodness for female nurses having to be in the room.

    • Alex says:

      Those nurses are usually there to back up the doctor. The STATED purpose is otherwise, but functionally they tend to paint whatever picture makes the doctor look good & add “from a woman” weight to things. A woman might be more likely to think another woman would have solidarity or whatever with her, but that can very easily not be the case.

      Something to keep in mind: Arousal can absolutely play a role in these things & that applies to people of the same sex as well as those of a different one. There’s no reason that a woman can’t be an aggressive lesbian or bisexual & some people just have a taste for compulsion. Some people have warped tastes (like someone getting turned on by lying or stealing or setting things on fire) & there’s other forms of gratification, anyway.

      Gratification’s only an accentuating factor, anyway. After all, a woman can run another woman over with her car- it’s still an attack, whether she gets any gratification out of it at all. Whether something HAPPENS or not is the determinating one.

      • Nobody says:

        Women need to stop thinking they are “safe” by having intimate exams done by another woman. That is bullshit. I was stalked by a lesbian radiologist who I was sent to several times for breast ultrasounds and a breast biopsy. I still remember how uncomfortable it made me feel when her eyeballs nearly fell out of her head when she saw my large breasts. She questioned me about a lot of personal things, and stupid me was too naive and just thought she was making small talk to pass the time or make me less nervous. A week after my biopsy, which she botched by the way, she showed up at the church I was attending (which she had asked me about because she saw I was wearing a religious necklace) and she tried to get a date with me. I went to a different radiology office for tests after that for several years till damn it she shows up working for this other office and gets to do my thyroid scan. Thank God it was just my thyroid and nothing more intimate. The disgusting part is she walks into the room and says real breathy “Hi, remember me?”. Is that not creepy? It had been maybe 5 years since the breast exams she had done. Why would I remember her? Well except for the fact she shows up at my church and tried to get a date with me. Months after that I go to another radiology office for another breast ultrasound because a nodule shows up in breast when I had a lung CT scan. Well a different girl does that breast ultrasound, she seems real feminine and would have thought she was straight. She kept quizzing me about where I work etc and I said I had just been laid off and was losing medical insurance soon. She claimed she felt so sorry for me and after the exam after being given only a washcloth to cover my breasts she insists I should give her a hug so I will feel better. What the heck?

        As if all that wasn’t enough more recently I had a heart test done and the nurse instead of just asking me to move my breast over she grabs hold of my nipple pinching it hard and flops my breast out of the way. Ok women medical personnel are not any safer or nicer than males, so don’t fool yourself into thinking nothing can happen if you are examined by a female.

  21. I am due to book a smear test so was really keen to read this. Very useful points and again, I have never had this done by a male doctor. I am lucky in that regard. I did have some test done in Lagos once by a male doc, there were two nurses in the exam room with him, this also was a bit over the top as just one nurse would have been just fine.

    I wonder if men have the same experience with female docs?

  22. Beth says:

    Many years ago a friend recommended I read a book called, HOW DOCTORS MANIPULATE WOMEN, by a doctor named Mendelson, if I remember correctly. I am sure the title is correct, but I have not been able to find a copy of that book myself. Has anyone here heard of it?

    Some women want to believe they need these exams yearly, but they should think of how x-rays can also cause cancer. Consider whether anyone really should go that route.

  23. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Hi Beth
    Found the book on Amazon. Sounds like an interesting read, although I think most of us could have written the book!

    • Beth says:

      Elizabeth, what a sweetie you are! Yes, that is the book that was recommended to me, but of course doctors in general are supposed to have such sterling reputations that laymen will not believe it if you tell them they don’t. I have a son-in-law who is an MD and a daughter and granddaughter who are RNs, so the medical profession is not unfamiliar to me. But I have also lived long enough to have grown skeptical of some practices. I know one army doctor OBGYN deliberately caused me to have a miscarriage when I went for a second trimester exam because, as *he* said, “There are enough brats in the world.” I am not a fighter, so I did not press charges. Eleven years later, I finally adopted a son and gave birth to a precious baby daughter within the same year. ;-)

      Thanks again for searching this for me. I may learn more here than I would by reading the book, but I will be happy to have it anyway–just to pass on to others.

      • Alex says:

        Wait, you were in the army & he decided to give you a miscarriage? Holy shit! I’m sure some guy in prison would have ridden him repeatedly for that! He just went “There are enough brats in the world” and gave you a miscarriage?

        I’ve got to ask: Does the army try to manage the pregnancy of the soldiers?

        I’ve heard that they force internal exams on women (I don’t know if there’s any wrestling or fighting if they refuse, but mandates ARE an outside orchestration). It’s kind of a question mark if there’s legal support or if it’s just one of those things that they try to enforce an impression on.

  24. darren says:

    I have recently become obsessed ans stressed about my gf having a pelvic from a male doc. Turns out a nurse just did a pap. (uk btw) but the intimacy of a.pelvic bothers me a lot and she just says its a doctor it means nothing. But no man but me should do those things to her. Its just wrong and she won’t be convinced otherwise. She is having her arm implant out soon as it runs out this year and going on the pill. I dont want some doc shoving his hand up there and i feel worried and ammoyed that these tests could be done. Ji

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Dear Simon from 7/3/14. Get over your denial and accept the truth that so many women here are saying. A man who performs pelvics all day and cannot get aroused? Sure–if he has prostatitis from being overly aroused over and over again and doesn’t have the time to “relieve” all the back pressure. Basically he’s “clogged” and stops functioning b/c his prostate can’t hold any more. Gross and true. This is a man’s instinct. Get erect and spread seed when seeing a vagina.

      And what’s described about “gonorrhea spreading bacteria to joints…” is also true. In very advanced cases this can happen. And if so, then there’s gonna be so many symptoms any doctor would have to perform a full physical, sent many vials of blood to the lab, and eventually question whether the cause is the vagina.

      However, what in reality happens is this. A woman I know was “pelvic’ed” by one particular every time she was sick, so much that she stopped going to him for treatments. A doctor who wants to get a woman helpless onto the “rack” so he can feast his eyes and play/invade her as much as possible w/o getting sued or being accused of cheating will think, and do exactly as you say.

      He’ll claim any infection, from a tooth abscess to a common cold, could “possibly” be originating from a vaginal infection and it has “to be ruled out.” Or else no other treatment. Yes, we call it being bullied. A loud male in authority telling us it’s either his way or no way. And he gets his way. Then at the end, he makes the usual stupid statement of “well I really didn’t think but “WE” had to be sure…and it’s my duty as your doctor and you pay me for that…and now you can rest easy. But you need to come back in four months for your usual pap so we can continue with this and make sure it isn’t your vagina causing things…I possibly saved your life today…because we “ruled out your vagina,” once the labs come back confirming that you’ll be on the right antibiotic…but if you get a suspected yeast infection…come back so I can “make sure” b/c otherwise I’ll get in trouble…” As for me, it was my husband who put this misery to an end by years ago saying “NO” for me. Thanks to him and this site, I’m educated and speak for myself.

      The thrill goes away when hubby or boyfriend is present and watching the male or female doctor.

      Darren, talk to your gf. Make sure you are with her, and get her permission in writing that it’s ok for you to speak up during the exam. Have her say where she wants you to sit, whether it’s by her side holding her hand or behind the doctor so, per her saying so, you can learn and become more of her partner in healthcare. If the doctor is against this, or is bossy or make s the scene uncomfortable, or the nurse tries to herd you away, your gf MUST complain immediately or it will appear you are the cause of concern and your gf is ok with the clinic rules and her “quiet” non-participation is a hint she wants you gone. Staff picks up on things like this.

      You should be there. Ask questions, she is your partner and vice-versa. This will be either very bonding or a hint your relationship is going to end. If you can’t get past the doctor office w/o problems then kids, marriage, owning property together won’t happen. Make sure she also reads things here, and understands she is the boss, and you are more important than any doctor who is in fact working for her and should be taking her orders. If the doctor isn’t personally invested, then he/she should have no problem letting her decide where you should be and participating. Also make sure she knows how likely she can have a false positive between 20-30 and end up having her cervix amputated by a LEEP or LLETZ in UK. “Moo” is spot-on with what she says on this–go to http://www.forwomenseyesonly.com and look at the pictures she posted last week.

      Also, it’s normal for us women to experience clitoral engorgement during these exams. We may not even know it’s happening. Or we can become wet. This is our body responding, as your own does during a prostate exam. Not at all fun. Doctors can take advantage of us as much as it can also happen to men. You can watch YouTube to see what else happens during these useless so-called exams. Hope and pray everything is ok.

      • darren says:

        I trried to talk to her about it when she was booked for her pap. She just said its a doctor its fine and doesnt mean any thing. But it does to me. The thought of a man peeforming a pelvic bother me. A lot. I have seen videos and its horrible. I tried to talk to her about it and dismissed my concerns as me being weird about it. What to do?

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Darren, personally before marriage I went through what you’re talking about here. My husband to be researched things and asked questions. He asked me was to keep an open mind and talk things through so together we could make difficult decisions. I refused, mostly taking my mother’s or friend’s advice, even laughing a couple times. He described years how close he came to breaking up. He says this is my worst quality. Hate to admit, he was right and my taking him for granted meant I, and we, lost out on things that would have been of great benefit. These matters comprise our worst arguments. When I’ve wanted equal influence over him, there’s been occasion when I didn’t get it and this is why.

        This is a life lesson. How much do you love each other? The respect and attention given you now will not increase come marriage. Your relationship life rules are being drawn up with each date, and every phone call. Does she ever take you out? Or does she expect to do her own thing while you clean up after her? Matters like this will either break a marriage or temper it stronger than steel. What you experience now will also apply come children, and if you’re feeling excluded and rejected now, those times are why so many couples divorce. Men are regarded as important until pregnancy, then unfortunately and wrongly many women, especially pregnancy nurses, regard husbands as “look what you did, and you want sex?” If you are treated as unimportant and unneeded now, just wait!

        Two reasons we made it through are God, and that we do everything together, including doctor visits. We’ve seen each other naked and held each other’s hands through many things. Doctors have their education and nurses. The best advocate is your spouse or someone having that level of trust. That person can research medical topics, and is there to stick up for you, ask questions, make sure the right things are documented, and demand appropriate pain care & Rx’s. Just entering the room the patient is outnumbered and can’t do all these things on their own.

        This girl lacks maturity compared to you. No amount of looks compensates for two brains evaluating and agreeing on a plan, including sex. You are alone here, and will continue to be “on the outside looking in” during this relationship. All you can do is warn her, step back and let her learn on her own. When things you say begin coming true, perhaps she will realize her errors, like I did, and come around. If not, thank God you got away!! There is a girl out there with intelligence matching your own, who won’t bore you, with looks and smells that will mesmerize you the rest of your life. That girl will also pay closer attention to her hygiene. You’ll compliment each other, and the world will move out of your way. Thank God, pray, ask Him!!! [we’re praying for you] Trust me. If only we had life’s experience guiding us as we live our lives. Not only do you marry the girl, but you marry her family too. Let me know what happens. And, whether it’s a man or a woman performing the pelvic (vaginal as truthfully said here), this is an unnecessary exam that should be outright banned. Anybody can abuse anybody at anytime. This exam is an enabler.

  25. Cat&Mouse says:

    Dr Simon. Come clean. Tell us exactly how many times you’ve treated advanced gonorrhea that has spread to a joint. Versus your thought that it might be interesting to perform a pelvic on a woman on less than definitive symptoms. Have you ever enjoyed, no let me say experienced an erection or even ejaculated during an exam? Ever not be able to control smiling during an exam? Are you more likely to perform a pelvic on a young attractive women than an older women with six kids who has a positive history of vaginal problems? What about these same questions and rectal exams? Have you ever needed to masturbate during your work day?

    My husband’s best friend went through med school, and first thing he commented when visiting us was the hot shaved college babe who made $3,500 for “volunteering” and how it shocked him and the six other med students. I’ll never forget the look on his face. Or how many women go to ER’s and end up having pelvics for strange reasons. Or how all you f*** head doctors lie and say you “do what we can to protect dignity during surgery” when in fact we’re stark naked at least 15 minutes on either end of surgery, prep and clean up. Or how doctors in surgery will go and check out breast enhancements when a women is under. And I know female nurses and female doctors are no better because my family has them…and when drunk they talk in detail… None of you have an answer when confronted factually about the pap scrape being unnecessary as we’re shedding dermal cells 24/7 into our mucus. And that you can’t feel anything during a bimanual.

    You lying SOB!! Try that for a perspective… Hope one day you get caught on your lies.

  26. Apocalyptic Queen says:

    This is disturbing – but I am not in any way surprised. I have always suspected it. I’m not having a go at all men because I believe the vast majority are decent citizens just like everyone else and everyone here, regardless of gender, support the right of all patients to informed choice and the right to choose same gender care. But like I have heard another male say, “decent men don’t become gynecologists” and I agree.

    There is something inherently sexual about the procedure when conducted by a man, especially when he’s pressurising a woman into it. The whole set-up is disturbing – pointless pelvic exams, exam tables, stirrups – I think it is all by design, rather than accident.

    It’s not just the fact that he has access and direct vision of the patient’s body that is the problem.

    It is also the submissive, vulnerable and degrading position she is required to place herself into, which is inherently disturbing.

    I think it’s very distasteful and dehumanising and has the potential to take compassion out of this aspect of the health profession if there’s any prospect the doctor harbours some sexual feelings about the whole process or has disrespect towards the patient.

    I think it is a relic from the times when women had no place in society (other than the home) and men dominated all professions – including the health profession and the care of women – because women couldn’t be expected to understand anything about healthcare (including their own) because male doctors knew better.

    Gynecology should be handed back to women, with male doctors in the minority in my opinion. Likewise, I wouldn’t blame a man for choosing a same sex doctor either!

  27. Anon. says:

    Ask any-male on the street if they’d like to perform a breast exam on that attractive women across the street, say, and 100% of the time the answer would be a resounding “YES”. Thats the way “men” are, and women will never understand it b/c they are not, and never will be, a man. The simple truth is that men are programmed differently than women. Seeing it everyday is not a turn off for the male doctor – as they would have you believe – rather an addiction and a power trip for them. I really don’t understand what the debate is all about (here) when respected medical organizations such the AOG admit this to be true – THEMSELVES! I think a lot of women (and men) have been brainwashed for.so.long that it will take another 1/4 century to see real change in the minds of the majority.
    This “debate” (if you can call it as such) can easily be settled if a 100 male doctors we’re to submit to a polygraph! The standard control questions could be asked such as name, title, etc. And then onto meat-of-it with a question like ” have you ever received an erection while performing an intimate exam on a female patient”?. And, “have you ever masturbated to the thoughts of intimate exam performed on an attractive patient?”.
    But realistically that will never happen b/c you will never find 100 doctors willing to commit career suicide with their answers. They.know.they.would.fail. There goes the mantra “just another exam, nothing sexual about it”. Please, it’s insulting.
    And lets not just point to the gynos..GP’s were always the ones (in my experience with x-girlfriends) that we’re always pushing to do the tests themselves. Really pushing. Best to have a female-female doctor-patient relationships.

    • Alex says:

      Anon: Got to argue two things with you. First, I wouldn’t say ALL men would be answering that way. I know I wouldn’t. I’d answer the question “Would you like to grab that hot chick’s rack?” or something like that in the affirmative- but I’m not into “extrapersonal activity.” I don’t like the idea of some woman’s father tossing her into my bedroom, either.

      That said there IS physiological overlap for sure & I think that there are numerous angles for it to be a thrill for them.

      The second thing is that a polygraph is not nearly as accurate as you might believe. Someone can base CONCLUSIONS on the results, but that doesn’t mean those conclusions are true. It’s like the difference between “convicted” & “guilty.” Same goes with plenty of medical tests.

      Actually, a lot of scientific stuff is somewhat “declaration-based.” They DEEM something a particular way & can have all kinds of technicalities that disqualify this or that- even though something is actually a particular way, it’s not designated that way. Affirming something to be a certain way or not affirming it to be a certain way can be exactly what “proven” & “disproven” can amount to. Since academics are not generally quick to question the pedastal they’re put on & since whether something exists or not does not hinge on their certification, I’d say it’s an unreliable detection method. Sure, it CAN go well- but that doesn’t mean that it should be blindly trusted.

      With science, there’s a presumtion of accuracy that rivals & sometimes matches blind religious belief. Functionally, it’s become something of a religion.

  28. mike says:

    This article is making a mountain out of a mole hill. while there are pervs in every profession, medicine being no exception, it’s wrong to assume that all doctors are conniving people interested in doing pelvic exams. Most doctors I talk to, hate doing a pelvic exam on a female. it’s very time consuming, uncomfortable for the patient and many doctors (including men), and quite honestly disgusting. As a patient, you have every right to say no and that’s okay. The vast majority of doctors won’t care as many have better things to do than to argue with patients about a test that is potentially needed. It’s your body, do what you wish with it but don’t lump all doctors into one basket (specially male doctors) because of a personal negative experience or from word of mouth.

    • eddie says:

      Ironically enough, it is this…”lumping” of people…that doctors specialize in. If you are a female, if you are sexually active, if you are…and on and on and on…

      By the way, the false belief here is that male doctors are somehow super human and can control natural responses. The point here is not about slamming male OB/Gyn’s it is about the wise choice to avoid males in this field all together. I can assure you that contrary to what you believe, a male sitting in a chair, between a ladies legs is a sexually exciting activity for the male of the species, in fact after a male doctor has performed many of these procedures on women that a doctor does not consider attractive, the attractive patient becomes much more attractive to the male.

      • Moo says:

        Just which women a man finds attractive is a question too. Some pervs like the very young, others the fat ones or the thin ones. Some just find the ones to be their victims to abuse are the ones the most vulnerable. Often abuse is not about fulfilling a fantasy with someone they find attractive, it is about having power over someone, getting pleasure from inflicting pain. Look up sexual sadist, power rapist. It goes beyond the norm.

        Why is it some doctors will use lidocaine injections when they do a cervical biopsy while others will just lie and tell a woman that the procedure will just be uncomfortable?

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Even worse than what you describe, and I’ve experienced it, is the dipshit doctor saying to “take a couple Advil 15 minutes before in case there’s some minor,” or “most women report feeling no pain at all.” Indeed, they know that (as I’ve said) the inner 2/3 of the vagina have few nerves. However the innermost 1/3 and the cervix are highly innervated with both sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves.

        Yet some will still say we shouldn’t feel anything b/c there’s no nerves there. If we do, it’s all in our heads. As we hold our stomachs crying. I’d sell out a 85,000 seat stadium with people wanting to watch that doctor undergo circumcism and vasectomy w/o lidocaine. And I’d lead the cheers, “Cut something else off! Biopsy! Cut! Cut1 Now coagulate!” “Let him have Advil!”

      • Anon. says:

        Does anyone else on here find this “alex” guy on here (who keeps posting) Completely Annoying?? :) My lordly, his arguments are a garbled mess of incomplete sentences, misspelled words, dumbed-up morphology & out-of-the park strange, makes-no-sense at ‘all statements’!? Please bud, just stop posting – Your polluting this argument with your comments – your. not. helping!! I wish there were a special block button just for you. We can call it the “block alex” button!!
        I find this forum entertaining and informative, been following for sometime, but lately I have been debating whether to block this site (from my email) just to rid myself from him. :) Please man, just stop posting. Your killing it.

      • Alex says:

        Really, “Anon”? Doesn’t seem a word of what you said is true (my spelling’s usually pretty good & I don’t even know what you’re talking about with “dumbed-up morphology”). Then again, it also seems to me like you’re pissy because I disputed things with you in an earlier post.

        I don’t figure your argument is really what you say it is, but why not tell me what is so “out-of-the-park strange” about what I’ve said? What makes no sense? The shit you don’t like? And you find this forum “entertaining?” What part, specifically? I wouldn’t think a site on medical malpractice, particularly the types frequently afforded to women & girls, would be entertaining to someone that isn’t totally screwed-up.

        You wish there was a special “Block Alex” button, huh? Awww. Well, wish in one hand, shit in the other chief!

    • Alex says:

      The thing is that someone isn’t going to say things like that to you (or imply it) unless they’re pretty sure of you. How did those conversations come up, anyway?

    • Emily says:

      Mike I wish I could agree with your statement :Most doctors won’t care as they have better things to do than argue about a test that is potentially not needed: but unfortunately it’s just not true for 2 reasons

      1 ask any woman if a doctor has ever “offered” her a PE she said no and he just shrugged and said OK- trust me bud it doesn’t happen. Soooo many women go to a doctor for something absolutely unrelated to their ladyparts and it turns into a discussion/argument about having a PAP/pelvic. I have personally dealt with it and ended up refusing care from the ER that I really needed because the Dr wouldn’t lay off when I refused a pelvic exam ( completely un necessary btw) and said he couldn’t treat me if I didn’t comply. DOCTORS DO NOT LIKE TO BE TOLD NO especially when it comes from a woman. They seem to think less of women-that we aren’t capable of deciding what’s best for us and they have to tell us…Also I do think it is kind of a powertrip even if it’s not a sexual one. They like being right, they like being in charge. When we say no they don’t listen!!

      2- Have you ever tried to tell a doctor a pelvic/PAP is not needed?? They fight it tooth and nail! No matter what evidence a woman has at her disposal, her personal history, the ton of research that has proven they’re pretty much useless, all the negative outcomes etc etc they insist that it MUST be done to keep us healthy and don’t really give us any choice in the matter. Ask any woman if a doctor will prescribe her BC w/o insisting on a PE/PAP. Ask any woman who’s ever had appendicitis or a bladder infection and KNEW it was that but the dr insisted and put her thru it anyway. Doctors refuse to admit a PE is “potentially not needed” for pretty much any complaint a woman has…including headaches!!

      So once again I wish it was true but put yourself in the shoes of the 30 year old w appendicitis or the woman in labor subjected to a VE every 1/2 hour or the 18 year old who just wants BC then tell me if you still stand by that.

      • Alex says:

        Good post, Emily.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Yes, Emily, speaking generally, I’m sure some men have no idea just how much pressure we face when it comes to “elective” cancer screening, and that coercion still happens to many women.
        So often NO does not mean NO in women’s cancer screening, it often just sets us up for an argument, and even insults. Some women are even surprised to hear this, but they’re often the ones who comply without question, the medical profession and these programs love these women, nice and compliant.
        If they walked a mile in our shoes, they might also, be angry and shocked at the complete lack of respect for our bodily autonomy and legal rights. (and for women generally)
        Many women report doctors talking over them when they decline to test, or being aggressive/intimidating, impatient, rude or argumentative.

        I also, don’t scoff or belittle people for their choices. If women (or men) prefer to see female doctors and other medical professionals, that’s their choice, WE know how we feel, what we prefer and what we’ve experienced over a lifetime, so I couldn’t care less what others may think of my/our choices.
        For a long time we were ridiculed if we expressed a preference for a female doctor…for some it comes down to feeling safer with a female doctor, for others it’s comfort.

        I’d choose a female assistant for a bra fitting, a female massage therapist, and I’d choose a highly recommended female gyn. (if I ever need to see one) My choice, it would surprise me if anyone felt they had the right to comment about my preferences, they should see the doctor of their choice and respect the choices made by other people.

        Of course, I’d also, support a man with a preference for a certain doctor. Many years ago a local women’s group arranged for a man to have an all female surgical team to do rectal surgery (in a closed theatre) he’d been abused by a priest from an early age. This poor man had deferred surgery for many years because he refused to see male doctors and no one could reassure him that men would not be in the theatre, even if he chose a female surgeon.
        Now some might scoff at him and give him all the usual lines and let him suffer for the rest of his life…not good enough, not by miles. I’m pleased he was helped and is now hopefully, more comfortable, physically anyway, I imagine the mental scars will last a lifetime.
        Instead of defending doctors, we should focus on the patient…instead of continuing to tell others HOW they should feel or ridiculing them for their choices. I couldn’t care less if a male doctor does 50 pelvic exams a day, that’s completely irrelevant, it’s how WE feel that matters, or that should be the case. It’s only by making clear our preferences and standing firm that the medical profession will get the message…this is about us, not them.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Mike, your post makes no sense at all. Gynaecology was invented by male doctors, and it is still a male preserve. Why would a male want to go into a speciality where something *disgusting* is required practice? Are these guys all perverts then?
      And do you honestly think that a doctor who actually gets a sexual thrill from performing these exams would openly admit such a thing? Are you really that naive?
      And I would bet that a considerable number of healthcare professionals get a thrill from the power the exert over their patients.

      Second, there’s no such thing as a test that is *potentially* needed. A test is either warranted, or it isn’t. If a patient presents with symptoms and there are tests you can perform which might help diagnose the problem, then the tests are needed. If a patient comes to you suffering with migraines and the GP suggests a pap test/prostate exam then that test is NOT needed.
      Screening is the search for potential markers of potential disease in people with no symptoms. A screening test is never *needed*.

      Every time I’ve gone to a GP a considerable portion of the consult time is devoted to persuading me to have a smear test, regardless of the reason for my visit. Doubtless as I get older I will be put under pressure for numerous other irrelevant tests. This obsession with routine health checks and *preventative* measures is the reason the average GP doesn’t have the time to deal with the problem the patient came to see them about!
      Oh, sure, I can refuse an intimate procedure… but if the doctor won’t take ‘No’ for an answer? What if I’m then subjected to bullying or threats for refusing to follow doctor’s orders? Oh, believe me, it happens, it always has. If declining a pap/pelvic means I forfeit my right to medical care, that kind of makes a mockery of the ‘right’ to refuse, does it not?

      Every time a medical professional posts on this board they try to convince us how *caring* they all are, that the rotten apples in the barrel are few… yet you only succeed in proving how little you truly care about your patients feelings. So pelvic exams are uncomfortable for the doctors, are they? Oh dear, my heart bleeds! Maybe you should stop doing them then, since they’re as useful as a fart in a spacesuit anyway.
      Is your name short for Michaela? Or perhaps you used to be a woman? If neither, how the hell would you, or any male, know what it feels like to have an instrument forcing your vagina open and a stranger blindly rummaging around inside you? Where the hell do male doctors get off saying a pelvic exam is merely *uncomfortable* for the patient?

      Talk about ‘them’ and ‘us’.

  29. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Another thought:
    Papscreen are masters at ignoring/dismissing our feelings and focusing on the doctor/nurse.
    “It may be a little uncomfortable and embarrassing, but remember for the doctor/nurse this is their job, they do lots of pap tests, it’s not embarrassing for them etc.” So, even if that’s true, how does that address the woman’s feelings? It’s about her, not them!

    Of course, their response completely misses the point, if a woman feels embarrassed, it’s about her and how she feels, yet they immediately address these feelings by talking about the doctor/nurse’s feelings. They know this test is unacceptable to some women, some find it intolerable, painful etc.
    yet trivializing and dismissing our feelings/experiences has always been the approach, and moving the discussion onto the smear taker and their feelings is an old strategy.
    It’s an attempt to deny the feelings of an individual woman, to turn us into a compliant herd.

    They knew at the outset this test was unacceptable to some/many women so were prepared to plot to find way to capture women. One of the principles for population screening is the test must be acceptable to the target population. Most women were not having pap tests, so they ramped up the unethical and illegal practices (I believe coercion negates consent) to reach their target, including making undisclosed target payments to GPs, using misinformation, scare campaigns etc.

    The way women have been treated is disgraceful, it should be subject of an enquiry to see why all of this was acceptable to the medical profession; it says to me women are still viewed very differently to men. We’re having an enquiry here after a female surgeon alleged rampant bullying and sexual harassment of female surgical residents/junior surgeons. It was initially denied by the professional association, but after more women came forward (and some men) they’ve set up a Panel to look at the issue. (it will also, look at the reasons why some female trainees have changed to another specialities or dropped out of medicine altogether, and what happened to those who complained in the past etc.)
    I wonder if it’s these DEEPLY entrenched attitudes that see unethical and illegal measures as just fine if they’re directed at women. It might also, explain why some female doctors also, behave this way, perhaps, exposed to these attitudes at Medical School or during their training, perhaps, some felt they had to accept these attitudes to get ahead, to join the Club.
    I believe we often can’t SEE something unacceptable that has always been the case, until it’s pointed out to us in a very dramatic and public way. Also, some may feel it’s too difficult to change attitudes/the system, or, why should they be a whistleblower and suffer the consequences?
    So these attitudes remain and unethical/illegal practices continue….
    I’ve always felt that women should stand as individuals, and demand to be treated that way. How dare they view me as a member of a herd…but as an informed woman, they do so at their peril.

  30. Linda says:

    Hi Friends. These are excellent posts. As you know I have only just found this incredible site. Over the past few days I have been very upset. My emotions have gone from anger to tears at what has happened to me at the hands of so called medical care!!!. Yesterday i contacted a no win no fee solicitors and spoke to them of my experiences. While they listened to me and were very sympathetic they said they were unwilling to take on the medical establishment over this issue. But they actually said to me that a number of older women were waking up to what is going on and they have been contacted a number of times concerning forced pap smears They referred me to the British Medical Board and their complaints procedure for unethical treatment by doctors. i will let you know how I get on.

    • Alex says:

      Why wouldn’t they “take them on?” I get taht they’d argue back, but isn’t that what lawyers do? I mean they’d basically go there & say what happened- what’s the problem? Are they worried that the lawyers with argue that the sky is green?

      What I’m saying is that they can’t very well say that what happens isn’t what occurs. Maybe people would need to waive some retaliation in order to change things. I don’t mean this in a disregardive way, but why pass up things going better for people in the future for payback you’re not going to get awarded? It’s best to have both, but I’d figure a lot of this wouldn’t have happened in the first place if they were aligned against stuff like that. I just don’t figure they can make a bold-faced show of support without a “this will cause everyone problems” type of line- like saying it’ll swamp the legal system or make the medical community go bankrupt or something. They wouldn’t really have that to hide behind (even though I believe it’s not really true to begin with). That whole “saving the system because it helps so many people” concept really doesn’t hold water when they’re maintaining the issues of that system that detriment the people. If nothing else, it would make them look good to fix their mistakes. Plus, those issues would be cleared-out & it would make this system run more effectively.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Alex
        I’ve been amazed to see the compliance from not only doctors and the AMA, (and other medical groups) but the media, politicians, women’s advocacy and health groups, I’ve written to all of these groups over the years, but no one was interested, no one would touch it. It says to me this program is all powerful, and no one has clean hands here, the AMA have protected and assisted the program, they were happy for GPs to accept undisclosed target payments and they continue to give women bad medical advice, (basic research shows 2 yearly screening from age 18 to 70 is BAD medical advice)

        Women’s groups were vocal and active in getting this program in place, so they continue to scold women who don’t comply, astonishing when you think they’d be up in arms if this happened in any other area. The media is afraid, they know most women are in the dark, many are brainwashed, lots think they were “saved” so it’s all too hard, it stays out of bounds. I’ve written to investigative and health journalists, no interest. Julie Medew is a great health journalist, when I wrote to her about our cervical screening program, she responded that she thought they’d be changing the program soon and might have another look at it, but nothing has appeared in the papers.

        Alex, I’m old enough to look back over more than 3 decades and can tell you I can only recall one hard hitting article on cervical screening, it appeared in Spectrum, part of the Sydney Morning Herald. It caused a STORM of protest from every angle, from politicians, the programs, women’s groups, survivor groups etc. It was even raised in Parliament by a female politician, a middle aged woman who was angry and concerned this article might put women off screening and some would lose their lives. This woman admitted to having a pap test on her birthday every single year, quite absurd when she was VERY likely to be HPV-….again, basic research shows annual screening is VERY serious over-screening, not a good idea.
        It made me feel quite depressed, I could see what we were up against, the evidence was never addressed, just outrage, almost fever pitch. How could we ever move forward when we couldn’t even discuss the topic rationally?
        I occasionally see a carefully worded article locked away in a medical journal, but there has been no critical and public discussion or hard hitting articles since, nothing.
        Dr. Gerard Wain made a couple of critical comments when he left the screening authority, but he didn’t actually “take on” the program.

        We don’t have a brave Dr McCartney, no Professor Mike Baum…everyone seems to be on board and if anything is said, people are careful to cover themselves, “it might be safe to move to 3 yearly testing, we’ll have to do more research”…”the program has been a huge success, but we could probably now look at less testing”….etc.

        So the few gems I found online, from Angela Raffle and a few other UK sources were precious things to me, and gave me hope. The Raffle et al. study did not make our papers here. Just recently Peter Gotzsche from the NCI was here, he ended up talking about breast screening, but boy, were his lectures on that topic kept quiet. I went to his talk on Big Pharma, but would have loved to attend the other talks. It appears they were aimed at medical students and medical research people, I assume that was to appease BreastScreen. I was disappointed with the media coverage as well, he was described in one major paper as a “Danish professor” with some “controversial views” on breast screening, hardly, his views, the NCI report, is now largely accepted in medical circles and has been the subject of fierce discussion in some countries for many years.
        The response here: to run the Breast Screen ads again at prime time. “It’s free, takes 10 minutes and it’s with a woman, so please, have a breast screen every 2 years, early detection might save your life” etc.
        Ummm, what about over-diagnosis, informed consent, false positives and the fact the risks of screening exceed any benefit.

    • Emily says:

      Linda I hope things go well for you….sry to hear you won’t be getting any legal help but you know I think of women like you/Liz/Sue as heroes because your experiences and knowledge are what will save girls in their 20s like me from suffering the same fate. If not for everyone here I very well may have been violated by our medical system several times over by now and never known any of the real info- we all know I will never get it from any medical personnel. Thanks to this site I am now a well informed woman who knows the truth-good and bad- about PAPs/PEs and no fear of being manipulated.

  31. Linda says:

    Hello Emily. i am going to do everything in my power to help young women like yourselves. The solicitors said that if I ever got cervical cancer in the future the NHS could sue them back It was such a grey legal area as no one can prove that I didn’t consent. The solicitors said that unless they held me down and shoved this thing up me it would be very hard to prove.

    Alex. This is the first time I have realised you are a man. It is good to have a male like you on board and sympathetic to our suffering you are so kind. i have been looking over your past comments and i can see you are very rightly angry about our situation, Thank you friend.

    Elizabeth. i can see that you have tried to go against this system as well. i an see that it will be very hard. i was told by my husband who had obviously been discussing it with his mum that his two sisters are really glad to get smears as they think its such a good idea. and didn’t know what i was making all the fuss about suddenly!!!!! It is going to be a hard slog making women aware of what is going on. A simple blood test now exists and women can ask for a Delphi self screening kit. There is absolutely no need for painful humiliating procedures at all.

    • lmc says:

      So glad more and more women are speaking up and challenging the “old norms” .

      I’ve written a letter to the director of OB/Gyn at a well known hospital. I don’t think she even reeived it. Never a response but I will share with you all and feel free to use it or information from it if you find it helpful:

      Thank you for taking the time to read my email. I have been a patient in the … since my diagnosis with Lupus several years ago. The reason for this email is to discuss improvements between patient and doctor communication during GYN appointments.

      During my young adult life like most seemingly healthy women your only trip to the doctor is for the yearly exam to renew the pill or other forms of birth control. As published studies have now shown that this yearly exam is being questioned for effectiveness and necessity. These quick exams may have been more productive and helpful for me and millions of other young women if the doctor listened and asked questions.

      Millions of women have been tested for cervical cancer by performing a pap smear. This test is given for a rare cancer that afflicts twelve thousand women per year, where lupus afflicts millions of women that go untested and unnoticed. Lupus mostly affects women during childbearing years and this disease is not usually discovered by the GYN or even discussed as a possibility for health issues. Lupus can develop into a GYN issue if this disease like in my case affects fertility.The other complications can occur if a women not knowing she has lupus is pregnant which can in some instances be fatal for the mother or the baby. This again becomes a GYN issue.
      In hopes that other women don’t have to go through a lifetime of anguish as I did, I am hoping that someone like you could take my suggestions in helping women get diagnosed earlier in their life instead of being told that your are healthy and it’s all in your head.

      Everything I have read about being diagnosed with Lupus takes years such in my case, however I believe that assistance can start with a normal visit to the GYN if there was better communication. GYN can assist women by identifying these red flags:
      – Identify infertility
      – Migraines
      – Fatigue
      – Face rash and sensitive skin

      These symptoms alone could hopefully result in a referral and a test to determine if these symptoms could be Lupus or other autoimmune diseases that affects more women than men. Instead of focusing on just the healthy cervix and reproductive organs more time should be spent discussing any other health issues that afflict women. Especially now that these exams are not recommended for younger women or be carried out annually.

    • Anonymous says:

      Linda, the NHS would have a bloody nerve trying to counter sue. A significant proportion of the women who develop CC have had regular screening – there’s absolutely no guarantee that, should you actually be among the tiny minority *at risk* from this disease, that screening would help you.
      The problem here is that mass screening is a political beast – successive governments have introduced more and more targets into the GP’s contracts over the years. Vaccines, cervical screening, cholesterol testing, blood pressure tests, the list is as long as your arm, and many of these have handsome rewards attached for the GP’s who hit their quota. Of course the awful behaviour of medical staff needs to be addressed – but any lawyer who decided to tackle such behaviour would be challenging the government too – it’s their damned targets which have encouraged and rewarded such unethical behaviour.
      The government itself is probably acting illegally by enrolling us into these awful programs in the first place, but they seem to be able to do as they please, especially when so many of the unenlightened public believe that screening is such a wonderful thing!

    • Kate (UK) says:

      I wonder, Linda… if we could round up all the women who are ‘happy’ to have smears, give them a truth drug and interview them separately, I suspect that that many of them would instinctively feel that these kind of intimate procedures are wrong on many levels.
      But the powers-that-be have been spewing out these messages that testing is the ‘clever, responsible’ thing to do, ‘screening saves lives’ etc. etc. and ramming them down our throats for so long that even the women who have bad experiences at the hands of the medical profession convince themselves that their feelings don’t matter because they’re convinced they’re doing something ‘important.’
      I doubt many women who avoid testing (can’t ‘decline’ when they won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, can you?) are doing so through informed choice – most will either be repulsed by the idea of such an invasive procedure, or, like yourself, have had bad experiences and are put off further testing. It infuriates me when I hear the smug self-congratulatory women who’ve been lucky enough to never have suffered medical assault accuse those victims of ‘making a fuss over nothing’. It just displays a complete lack of empathy and frankly those women should be told exactly where to stick their worthless opinions!
      Does you husband know exactly what’s involved with a smear test? When the name of the test is a complete misnomer, I expect a lot of people don’t really understand how horribly invasive the test is. ‘Smear Test’ sounds so innocuous, doesn’t it?
      Show him a photo of a speculum (make sure it’s a metal one ;) ) and ask him if he’d like to have one of those shoved up his arse if he had a prostate exam!

      As regards to the legal issue… any lawyer who took on your case would not just be taking on an unethical medical system, they’d be challenging the government too. It’s politicians who authorise screening programs to be introduced, who allow us to be automatically enrolled into these systems, and put obstacles in our way if we want to leave their precious program. Various health ministers, most of whom couldn’t find their own arse with both hands, have introduced more are more targets into the GPs contract over the years and have turned doctors consults into incentive chasing exercises.
      The house is rotten from the attic to the basement – no lawyer would dare tackle this job.
      BTW, if you were among the tiny number at risk from this disease, the NHS would be shooting itself in the foot if it dared to counter sue – they would have to prove that you would have been spared the disease if you’d had regular screening, and that’s simply impossible! A significant proportion of women who develop the disease have had regular screening – this test is as reliable as a chocolate teapot, ffs!
      The NHS claimed the smear test was a perfect, gold standard test (nope) until they got sued by a group of women…only then did they begin to admit that the test wasn’t perfect.
      A good lawyer who’s well informed on the problems with this test could tear those NHS reps to pieces.

      Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone – those of us here who are so vocal about the abuse are just the tip of the iceberg, since many women suffer in silence, too afraid to speak up for fear of being verbally assaulted by the pro-testing Nazis.
      Don’t allow hubby’s family to belittle you – pity them instead for being so ill-informed!
      There’s no point trying to discuss these issues with brainwashed sheep – concentrate on arming yourself so you can stand up to your abusers in future.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Ugh, sorry guys, I’ve been double posting due to forgetting to fill in my details and thinking the original posts had been lost. Idiot. :p

    • adawells says:

      Linda, good luck with all your efforts on the legal front. From what I have gathered from reading, any woman who gets cervical cancer after having regular screening gets a payout of about £250,000. That’s why if you turn up at A&E desperately ill, they’ll want to check your screening history, to make sure they don’t have anything to pay out in damages. I’ve also seen other women say they have been to the police to report smear tests being forced on them, but they never follow these cases up, as there is no way it could ever be proven that you got up onto the couch of your own accord, and agreed to the procedure.
      Anyone who responds to a call-up letter for a smear is considered to have given consent to the procedure, no matter how badly wrong it goes. I’ve noticed pro-screeners on websites are keen to get doubters just down to the GP’s surgery, “just for a chat”. “You can always ask them to stop at any time”, they say, but once you are down there, it is viewed as consent for the procedure to go ahead.
      Like you, I have female relations who were aghast, when I told them I had opted out of smear tests years ago. It makes me so very sad at the extent of women’s gullibility, and university educated too…

      • eddie says:

        I go with my wife as her advocate…the last visit she went just to confirm what she was experiencing was peri menopause, as a 50 yr old woman. The nurse asked her about her last pap, she responded that she could not recall, but it was at least ten yrs. She also said she was not there for one and she felt that one at this visit was unnecessary…as she was telling the nurse, this nurse simply stated she was due for one and as she kept asking other questions, she promptly opened and laid out the pap test materials. My wife explained why she did not want one done and that she would not submit to one…The nurse just nodded and continued opening (destroying the sterility of this packet). The nurse still insisted as if my wife had not clearly declined. I spoke up finally asking “Does she not have the right to decline any medical procedure she chooses?” The nurse said yes and rapidly left the room…of course the doctor (a female) attempted to talk her into it with the typical scare tactics, but my wife would have nothing to do with it.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Eddie, CONGRATULATIONS to you and your wife!!! For scoring a two-fer in standing up to both a nurse and a doctor. Knowing all too well how that situation played out, I want to tell you what took place between the nurse and doctor before the doc entered the room…and what will happen to your wife when/if she returns to that office. I also want to caution you and her to a certain diagnostic procedure.

        First however, contact Trovagene (USA) 858-952-7570 or http://www.trovagene.com (try them if outside USA or use UDO TEST out of South Africa or Delphi Screener; these are discussed in detail here or simply ask anybody). In researching alternatives to the pap, I discovered Trovagene and the alternatives people here turned me on to. Trovagene is legal, medically certified and accepted, and they’ll bill your insurance directly ($140) or you can pay $120 cash. They use PCR & capillary antibody testing for HPV which provides 90% accuracy via 53% for pap. A pap won’t test for HPV unless it’s abnormal. How convenient eh?! That hooks a woman for the next pap… Alternatives like Trovagene eliminate the HPV mystery. Once done, you tell your medical staff to “scrape themselves” as you’re HPV negative, newly divorced from pap, meaning you don’t have to retest via Trovagene or another alternative for 5 yrs.

        The test? She saves a portion of her first AM urine. This goes into a sterile container; you add a preservative, package everything, and deliver to your nearest FedEx pickup. NO shimmying down the table legs spread, no stirrups, no displaying her vagina within 12″ of the nurse & doctor’s faces, no painful scrape and no humiliating two-fingered salute (bimanual or rectovagina exam). Doctors hate it b/c it “strips’ them of their power–they cannot hold birth control as a hostage (or force a couple into sterilization) thus making a woman/couple submit to pap. Goodbye prestige and easy income; plus nosing around into a woman’s private sex life.

        Remember though, you and your wife must INSIST on Trovagene b/c most doctors have no idea it even exists. They’ll deny it, deny it works, deny they can order it, etc. While they can collect any body fluid they wish they’ll whine this test leaves them powerless to help you–and then try to make you feel guilty and ask why you’d want to opt out of papping when it’s to meant to help possibly save her life. Blah, blah, blah. This is what we went through…

        My husband, like you, took on the office staff for me. When I sent him to p/u my Trovagene kit, well, every doctor/nurse had the long faces (but the receptionist gave him a thumbs up! Ha!) Suddenly, I felt I had retaken control of my vagina! We also had done research through this site. My husband in the process asked the doctor many questions. The doctor didn’t know it, but he verified everything said on this site. That the bimanual provides a “feel” of one’s ovaries/uterus only in young, very skinny women. Now you know why we’re “trained” to strip and meekly climb onto the table at age 18. I’m sure your wife will verify everything.

        The nurse? She fled and tattled to the doc that you were speaking FOR your wife, but that you probably didn’t truly represent how she felt. So the doc came in, made her speech, and promptly gave up. But she made chart notes. If your wife comes in alone, she can expect a full court verbal assault trying every way possible to get her on the table naked. Hopefully, plan next visit again as this one. Be her advocate. Let her be yours. Watch how they react. And, demand full informed consent and make them respect your power to refuse useless BS like pap. Demand an alternative and prepare to hold your ground. Learn facts here. This applies to breast exams and your own prostate exams too. The 3/19 NY Times had a very elucidating article on breast biopsies and exams. Be sure to read it too.

        A test you must be aware of, given your wife’s age and peri-menopause, is the endometrial biopsy. A catheter is forced through the cervix (cramping). It has a burrowing spur on the end, and when this is retracted through the inside of the catheter, it forms a vacuum sucking in whatever tissue it’s chewed off the inside of the uterus.

        Know this: the doctor will boringly recommend “a couple Advil for cramping similar to menstrual…” but will also add “most women report not feeling anything at all.” Bear in mind the women who don’t report anything are crying at near hysterically levels and can’t speak; and Advil is total BS; and I promise the only women not reporting hellish pain and cramps on the scale 13-15/10 (with labor/delivery cramps/pain rating 9/10) are those cadaver women in med school. Seriously! Afterward, the doctor admitted this test is among the most painful office procedures done. Worse than colposcope biopsies, IUD’s, cryosurgery for dysplasia, LEEP, and all these qualify as hellish.

        Google your own facts for your wife. I’ve experienced this. The second time, the bastard doctor attempted it again (same “Advil” speech too) and while I froze and forgot, my husband remembered, protecting me and stopped him-telling me I didn’t receive full informed consent. Hubby recommended sedation & pain mediation at a surgery center. I took the lead, feeling empowered, and I said no…to which bastard doc said it “really wasn’t important after all.” Fucker. We never went back after that.

        Ask your wife how many women leave these appointments crying all the way home. They can’t discuss it and it hurts their marriages. Now you know. Ask questions and protect your wife.

        If you accompany your wife at next visit; the nurse, then the doc will try to isolate you out in the lobby or refer her for tests where the tech will try to do same (and your wife will have to absolutely insist the test won’t occur unless you’re there for her-like TVA-happened to us-and techs can be real assholes). Empower your wife to speak and hold her hand. When she looks them eye to eye, and resists, just watch their look of defeat and subtle but intense glare toward you.

        Be aware that for surgeries, some doctors will try to force a breast exam or full pelvic. Happened to me and hubby stopped that too. Just research postings here. Women end up in stirrups for simple things such as head colds. If your wife grooms herself, smells good, even if overweight is attractive…if she gets a more-than-usual exam (does NOT matter if from female nor male-lesbians or bi doctors enjoy this too) she is probably being exploited. Many women here will volunteer their personal experiences. None are pretty. And, if a doctor insists you stay away from looking over their shoulder while they are at your wife’s genitals–beware of special digital pen cameras. Jeff Abrams MD of San Diego… Do your research.

        God Bless you and your wife. And this site too.

      • eddie says:

        Cat&mouse – Thank you. When she made the appointment, with her symptoms the nurse told her they were planning on doing a hysteroscopy that day (in the office)…keep in mind this was a new insurance plan and her FIRST visit with this office…when we researched it we were shocked because while there are office hysteroscopies done, they are rare and mostly done under anesthesia. Once the doctor talked with her (they were also not happy when she told the nurse she would be talking to the doctor initially fully clothed) the doc said she needed to perform a colposcopy and the doc did not understand why they told her hysteroscopy instead of colposcopy – later we both agreed that was to undermine research we could have done, so that my wife would have agreed to what they considered “less invasive” …expecting her to be relieved and willing.

        My wife declined this about four times. It was quite clear they were not happy with her (us)…I asked if the findings would be definitive and made my patent comments about guarantees (docs hate this and we know they never can give them) and the doc made the classic “gold standard” comment. We let her know that she is a person and not a number. The lady doc also said that the procedure is only painful “for a few minutes” (I always think when they make these stupid statements about holding the docs privates in a pair of vise grips for a few minutes…just how long she would really think that was and just how bad the pain would really be) ;. When we did the research some of the comments from women that had the procedure lined up with what you posted. “I’ve given birth and this was far more painful” – “that was so bad I screamed and had to be held down” etc etc

        I loved the docs final comment when she realized they were not going to be able to abuse her that day…”the only way we can be sure…etc etc ” She did not like my retort…”no guarantees and no promise of assurance doc, now is there?”

        In the end my wife found out she was exactly where she thought she was/is concerning peri menopause. She no longer submits to paps or breast exams/mammograms and neither of us go to doctors if we are asymptomatic. We do both go with each other to every appointment as advocates because the medical field is about dollars not patients and the first thing they protect is their practice and themselves.

      • eddie says:

        Cat&mouse –

        I forgot a few other things…we always wait until a few weeks after a visit and then submit to receive the records…and you MUST insist in writing exactly what portion by definition the list of specific records you are demanding(all never cuts it). That way you get those notes the doc makes that you referred to…it gains you an insight about the docs real views. When my wife was still seeing male docs I got so outraged when I read this particular perverts comments in writing describing her as an attractive patient. This was the last male she will ever see and that certainly (FINALLY!) opened my wife’s eyes.

        We also have a standing order between us…if they say the advocate must leave and insist upon it…the patient immediately walks out never to return to that office again.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        We (Hubby & I) have finally met a couple that mirrors ourselves in how we (learned) to take care of ourselves or survive doctor appointments. Truthfully, reading your posts have been super refreshing. I know frustrating a doctor, nurse & obtrusive staff isn’t the objective like ultimately protecting ourselves & getting what we need is. However, that side-effect when it happens to an office chock full of asshole award winners is most pleasing.

        There’s things you do (as we also do) that should be written into a patient’s survival guide. Getting copies of everything; labs, notes, all of it. Keeping your own files prevents them from “revising history” in case of pending lawsuit etc. This is a problem with computerized records. We get a summary copy but not actual notes. As if we can’t handle the unrefined truth? You also act as advocates for each other. Tell me how this has expanded and strengthened your marriage, helped communication & learning, and frustrated those who enjoy dividing and conquering a couple in a medical environment. Hard to imagine a supposedly nurturing, healing place being something totally opposite but in reality medical offices, from pediatrician, GP’s, specialists, tech specialist rooms (especially), even surgery centers, these practically require having a body guard so to speak. I’m sure you’ve had your experiences & have stories to tell.

        These people put on a professional air but are the farthest from professional. While men have their issues, women can be equally nasty. Especially when seeing another woman with a loving husband. Their inner jealousy will manifest to persecution. Your agreement for both parties to leave no matter what… We like that most. Having a consult fully clothed. Other advice you give is priceless in value.

        Upon admission to hospital, we provide a letter advising staff how we (both patient & spouse) want to be treated. We ask my doctor & nurses to read it & initial. So if needed spouse has advance permission (before a directive would become effective) if spouse feels necessary his/her opinion must be counted re treatment. There are times when I simply don’t speak up as I should. At that time, I need him to step up and he needs a tool to make staff respect this arrangement we have. Nurses going through divorces have approached me on the side “offering encouragement” for me to speak for myself…while turning their back on him. Afterward, I called their supervisor and asked why my orders weren’t respected.

        Two instances where it worked. My husband refused a med on my behalf which would’ve caused an adverse event. Another, in an NICU a female nurse gave me a hypnotic after a surgery. She would ask me questions re how I felt at which I’d grunt in reply. No real answer; just a noise. She’d interpret it as yes or no per her whims. She later literally threatened me with catheterization if I didn’t urinate by a certain time.

        Like you we also do advance research on any procedure. Isn’t it interesting how lazy doctors are re anesthesia rather telling and expecting patients to endure horrible pain? “It only hurts a few minutes…” As if that statement quantifies and makes the procedure ethical. How is that pain level measured? How is a few minutes defined? An unsuspecting patient is patently screwed. What’s horrible, how doctors/nurses have lost their “vision” is how they readily make children suffer pain and indignation. Uncaring toward the entire family.

        Male & female practitioners alike enjoy free genital exploration under the umbrella of medical care. I’ve had male doctors try to do a full pelvic for a pre op physical for an upper body surgery. Although either will do it, male doctors are more likely to skew a fully clothed consult towards a fully naked pelvic. Female nurses assigned to “prepping” for surgery particularly enjoy handling penis’ and other attractive women… The patient is extremely sedated or under anesthesia; unfortunately the advocate is locked out… A patient is totally naked for 15 min during this period. And naked likewise again before going to post op. And they wonder why they aren’t trusted. This is why medical staff make the worse, most paranoid patients. I shudder to think what the male or female pedophile healthcare worker gets away with.

        Today I consulted with a research doctor. She like me is brand name drug oriented due to shitty watered down generics that work primarily on the placebo model. Unfortunately, she states the public & governmental demand for cost control outweighs the common sense of quality control…

        Basically, would you agree that the more vague answers become to specific questions re pain, sensitive areas violated, how long an exam takes, etc, and demands the advocate leave, the more danger the patient is in? ER’s are the worst place for an advocate. The more attractive women are practically guaranteed a pelvic exam w/o the advocate present. We hate ER’s. Doctors operating their own surgery centers, using far too strong meds given the service, are also likely abusing. I’ve seen knuckle bruising where a doctor pushed a leg apart so he could get a crotch view…

        I hope to learn more of what you do, and what you’ve experienced. What lead the two of you in become proactive?

      • eddie says:

        Cat&Mouse

        It is nice to finally hear others speak out against health care and call it for what it really is. It is refreshing and it is great to know another couple has found that teamwork is the only assurance of protection. I hate admitting this, but in my case (not my wife’s) I especially enjoy annoying, frustrating and even pissing off doctors…I recall a nurse once, many years ago say in a whisper to me “you don’t want to tick off the doctor…as if the doc was the one really in charge – I admit…since that day that has been always considered, in my mind anyway, a bonus.

        EHR’s ohh my(Electronic health records). This is the maybe worst thing that has happened in the medical field for the patient and it is sold as the greatest asset. I have done a ton of research…do you know that there is a way to alter records after the fact with zero way for a patient to prove it has been done(every system is set up differently and many have few safeguards) . You are right, the patient is only offered a summary and they now no longer even keep ANY paper records or record on paper ON PURPOSE. The entire purpose is to protect the hospitals, doctors and clinics. It is sold as the great advancement to help providers diagnose and document etc etc complete BULL CRAP. Anything that a patient says or writes down for doctor B can be accessed by doctor F at any time, with no approval from patient required (HIPAA rights were altered in 2010 to allow this – specifically because of the new EHR’s that would soon be common practice ) and the patient usually never is privy to this electronic assault. I was specifically denied access to a health care provider strictly because I would not submit (allow) EHR recording on myself in any way shape or form. I asked several times in several ways, are you denying me health care if I refuse to allow you to use EHR system fir my records…and after much denial but never saying they would submit to my request I was finally told (in legalistic terms protecting their butts) YES.

        You asked how this has strengthened and cemented our marriage…Well it was a long and difficult process to get there.

        I personally have never trusted doctors, my first experience as a 4 yr old involved a house call (mid 60’s in New York state)…where the doc alone in my room abused me. Later in my life I watched doctors slowly (not purposefully) kill my mother. This included the removal of all of her teeth at the age of 36 to overcome an over bite, in that same era a doc mis-diagnosed her Crones disease and put her on a milk diet(the inability and ridiculously painful process of not tolerating lactose)…that progressed her disease a decade in a year and as a child I do not recall my mother not suffering physically in some form or another….Her and my dad completely and blindly kept trusting these idiots even while they complained about them. Eventually when she contracted Cancer (I believe the drug laetril brought on the cancer) and a genius doc looking at a chest X ray said she was fine and may have a minor case of Pneumonia. It turns out this idiot was actually reviewing x rays from a year (or so)earlier, he admitted as much to me directly when he apologized…silly me all I could think of is “Hey asshole, I only get one mother and I am really attached to her, thanx for nothing”. Lost my mom when she was just 58 and I was 30.

        My wife was the typical female product of society (so to speak) and completely trusted doctors and thought I was over reacting and basically the only real problem when it came to most of her health care concerns.

        In our early relationship she had every right to feel this way about me. I was like the over protective pet wolf. It’s like I was the dog that means well by protecting the master but in the process is actually making things worse. (Now we affectionately refer to me and tell staff I am her “Bi polar bear” ) I am there to remind her of the questions she wanted to ask, to question anything that seems not right and to be the big bad ass bear if and when necessary (Only) Knowing she will leave if they bully past me keeps me much calmer. In the past when she went alone she did once have a doc attempt to get her to undress in front of him. AND… at the end of her first vaginal delivery the doctor did not wait for the placenta and he tore the cord, I literally thought I watched my wife die in front of my eyes…she had just endured all of the labor process, only using demerol…and she at no time screamed etc…when this idiot was trying to yank this out of her, she sat up looking me in the eyes…and mid blood curdling scream she just froze…and laid back eyes open. I was certain she had died. They had inserted something into her IV and just pushed me from the room…I wandered around the hospital for about four hours wondering what I was going to do…then I was told she was in recovery (D&C) and so on. I also recall a doctor once before she was going to go into delivery…pull her gown down in front of me, he gripped both of her nipples twisting them while looking at ME, not her…scolding her for not properly toughening up them before the baby was born. I was beyond livid. That was a military hospital and I was in the service, had that not been the case, I would have just leveled that prick. A female Gyno once hurt her so bad, that she jerked hard from the reaction, this eventually led to a C spine fusion surgery. It also had her return to a male gyno that she now acknowledges groomed her, this pervert when he was about to go in to perform a laparoscopy said to me “ I will treat her like she is my wife” I grabbed his arm and told him, NOPE, you treat her like she is MY wife. It was beyond refreshing when she admitted that this pervert had been grooming her and completely fooled her. She was young and naive when she first started seeing him and all I could do was grin and bear it…but it definitely did some serious damage to our relationship. This is the jerk that had written in her records that she was an attractive patient.

        We have had many disagreements over the years concerning all of this. The turning point, the point in time when she finally realized that male doctors are men and not super human…This site. and the male doctor admitting what I have been telling her for about 35 years. This is the only issue we have ever had as a couple. Now we are on the same page and now she agrees with the need to gather and maintain your own records (that I have always done) and asked her to do. She thought it was silly before, she still ordered them but she thought I was too untrusting. The cementing is that we both agree that we are the only ones truly concerned about our partners long term health. It always hurt me that she acted like she trusted the medical people more than she trusted me. That is no longer the case.

        We really like your letter submitted at admission…and will be doing that. Great idea. Kudo’s to you for calling the supervisors and reprimanding them for not following your pre written orders.

        You asked: “Basically, would you agree that the more vague answers become to specific questions re pain, sensitive areas violated, how long an exam takes, etc, and demands the advocate leave, the more danger the patient is in? “ Totally agree…the entire system is not set up for patients, it is set up to make as much money as fast as possible and to protect the interests of the facilities and doctors. Pain, suffering, humiliation and the poor care results are just considered by-products.

        I apologize for the very long post…and hope I answered your questions, if not ask again. So…Tell me, what is it that brought you two to where you are now?

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Eddie, it is such a delight to read your posts! Your wife is so lucky to have a husband who protects her. And it is good that she now came to understand and appreciate it.

        You are absolutely right stating that no doctor would ever be interested in long term health of any patient as much as their partner would. The whole medical system is only concerned with its own safety (legal and physical) and profits.

        And you are so right about the electronic health records. What you are saying really echoes what I read in medical articles here. EHR, eHealth, or whatever they call it in each country is only there to help the doctors and the bureocrats, but it greatly disadvantages the patients and diminishes their privacy and safety.

      • Moo says:

        i believe the correct direct link to the article about the electronic health records in Australia is here http://annystudio.com/misc/medicare-australia/

        I find that the coming lack of privacy is everywhere. People pushing for mandatory vaccination are opening a very scary door. Even if they be for sensible reasons such as eliminating polio and other serious diseases.

        I am not a big user of public health care. I would rather use natural remedies but the problem is the costs and I have trouble accessing medical diagnostic tests unless I use conventional medical doctors. Then I have to pay for the herbal treatments myself which the medical doctors either ignore or claim are ineffective. So in fact if I do end up getting seriously sick before I walk into an emergency clinic it would probably cost the public purse more (so my ex-doctor tells me). But he fails to give me full information or even free copies of my test results. Doctors want to charge patients for their medical records. It is totally outrageous. I can apply for records from the Ontario government but these are only billing records not my actual medical records. The medical records are owned by the doctor. Where is the privacy in that? And my cancer screening records are owned by the government which I can ask to see but never get erased.

  32. Alex says:

    Linda: Thank you & you’re very welcome. It means a lot to me & kind of caught me by suprise.

    I am quite angry about the situation & I find it very odd that there isn’t more of a male confrontational stance on this sort of thing. Maybe it’s because there isn’t more of a “good & bad wolf” mentality with ethics?

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      IMHO, men have been deliberately locked out of the process. A matter of convenience so to speak. Doctors don’t want them there b/c they ask questions and get in the way. Some women don’t want them there due to embarrassment. Nurses because it’s none of their business. Other excuses, it’s a woman’s issue, he isn’t needed, he’s at work, he causes a distraction, he wants to watch, it’s a sex thing, or she won’t talk freely or truthfully if he’s present… Funny how none of the sex thing ever applied to the doctor or nurse however. So-called professionals parroted these mantras. Nurses in particular felt some need to protect wives from their husbands presence. Why does the establishment have to isolate a couple from each during something so “routine?” Even during childbirth?

      Society developed and polarized; men found themselves locked out of everything involving the healthcare of their wives & children. The married couple and family unit have suffered greatly as a result. Wives became resentful and took out their frustrations from painful and humiliating exams on their husbands afterward. Husbands felt cheated on, ignored, and literally cut off by a very cold process that turned their living wives into raging bitches. Husbands felt defensive & helpless to comfort their crying wives. This friction spread out slowing intimacy and the divisiveness extended to how children were reared. As for the all-powerful grinning doctor driving off in his Mercedes Benz? The only thing men could do was try to imagine a belief that the doctor saw so many he didn’t care… Sure. How many people simply wanted to dismember the doctor & his bitch nurse?

      Good wolf/bad wolf is a well thought out way to describe this unbalanced equation. A husband’s place is always at his wife’s side no matter what. And vice-versa. The work we go through making sure we control as much of that, that we each are treated with respect, being able to ask questions, is just incredible. We participate here, telling everybody we know about this site, telling women about Trovagene, about informed consent. We hope one day enough people see the wrongs and demand they are made right that politicians and policy makers make changes.

      It begins with education and ethics. Presently there is no education and minimal ethics. If husbands really knew what a pap smear test was, if couples knew the risks the colpo brush was to their unborn child, if we truly had informed consent, if the delivery room was not the first place CPS could meddle with a family, we’d be on our way to a modern society considerate of every individual, couple, and the family unit.

    • Kleigh (USA) says:

      Thats awsome to hear. there needs to be more woman standing up to doctors to make them respect choice bc clearly most of them over ride the word no.

  33. Hexanchus (male-U.S.) says:

    Linda,

    The sad truth when dealing with a “no win – no fee” attorney is that they are only going to take cases where they see a better than average chance of getting a large settlement, which is how they get paid. They’re not interested in low profile cases with little chance of a large financial return.

    There are a few males who post here that feel strongly on this issue, and do what we can to help when we can.

    IMHO, the high pressure tactics used to try to force women to comply with these screening exams is simply the most egregious example of the medical industry’s blatant lack of respect for informed consent. Every individual has the right to be given ALL the relevant information, both pro and con, regarding any medical test, treatment or procedure, to be allowed to make their own decisions what will or will not be done, and have those decisions respected.

    In spite of some of the progress we’ve seen, I suspect that unless/until the medical providers get their collective craniums out of their rectums and start to truly respect the patient’s right to decide, these issues are going to have to continue to be fought by individuals at the case by case level.

    Hex

    • Alex says:

      You know, I’ve been noticing something: Sometimes people do weird things when they think they’re going to die. I think the “thirst” is a big factor- that urge to see what’s next. Including things that they regret.

      I wonder if maybe people had less of a “subtraction state” view of the afterlife (like there’s just the same as before- MINUS the breathing, MINUS the activity, MINUS the friends, etc…), if things would be a bit different.

  34. Alex says:

    Not to come off overly self-conscious or anything, but I noticed that whoever “Anonymous” was that complained about me & was saying how annoying I am has a bunch of “Likes” & less “Dislikes.”

    I don’t really care too much what he thinks & figure he could just be liking his own post again & again, but I figured I’d ask: Do you guys feel that way?

    I get that I post things that don’t have immediately obvious meanings & it can be a long orbit, but it IS stuff that pertains to the subject- just in a more foundational way. I DID see that I have a bunch of “Likes” on my reply, but I’m just curious.

    • Alex, you rock. Your comments are appreciated, as are your ideas for the site. It was you who came up with the idea for the discussion forum and to date it has 1,871 comments. So to answer your question, no, I don’t feel that way.

      • Alex says:

        Thanks, Sue. Yeah, I didn’t make the connection about the Discussion thread- ha ha. Guess if I was seen as a pain in the ass that wouldn’t have been opened.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I agree, I know my posts are usually long and often repetitive, I’m always aware someone uninformed might be reading so it may be my only opportunity to open their eyes.
        Planned Parenthood of Arizona called my comments “spam” but I felt it was more they didn’t like what I was saying, if I were scolding non-screeners I think they would have given me a big green tick. I take the view that if someone doesn’t like my comments or your comments or any other comments, they can skip over them.
        There would be no need to stop viewing a site because you don’t care for the comments made by one of the posters, you just read over them. I’m sure many people have read over or blocked my comments, fine, as long as someone here or there reads them and is motivated to take a closer look at these programs….then I’m happy. Changing the system will be hard, but saving/informing/educating/warning individual women is possible.

    • Chrissy (UK) says:

      Alex, I don’t post often, but I try to log in and read as often as I can. I find your posts to be interesting and thought provoking and you often bring a different angle to various issues. Please don’t be put off from giving us the benefit of your insights. Keep posting, as I agree with Sue, you Rock.

      • Alex says:

        Thank you, Chrissy. Don’t worry, I wasn’t going to stop providing insights or anything- I was just worried that I was annoying you guys & you were holding back to spare my feelings or something.

    • San says:

      You’ve made some very supportive and kind comments to my ramblings as a crazy woman paranoid of male doctors! You’ve never told me that about myself, even family has confirmed at least one of those titles I just gave myself!

      I wanted to give some back and say, you are not obnoxious, annoying or anything of the sort. After reading their post any typos or the like you have I attribute to clumsy fingers (My husband does it a lot when typing.) or an auto finish feature on whatever hardware you are posting from!

      Not many guys seem to post here, (You are a guy, right? people get so androgynous to me on the web sometimes) but I did assume you are and I feel it would be nice if more men in all societies were more sensible and compassionate as you and the other supportive men who post here! <3

      • Alex says:

        Yes I am (I know, “Alex” is a name that can work either way). Thank you very much!

        Actually, I tend to make typing mistakes because I’m typing as I’m thinking & sometimes I type things phonetically). I definitely have that other problem (that a lot of guys seem to have) with small keyboards, though.

  35. Linda says:

    Hi Alex. I’ve only known you for a short while but I think you are an OK bloke. I have found as you go through your lifes path not everyone will like you or get where you are coming from. Anon is entitled to their opinion and only knows you from what you post. Everyone here (that means you included as well as anon have helped me cope over the past few weeks since joining the site.) I am suffering a range of emotions at the moment and access this site all day every day and read the posts. i don’t always comment every day but at the moment its like I need you all just to validate my anger.

    • Alex says:

      Thanks, Linda. I figured you didn’t see me that way, given your other post (which really meant a lot to me- as did yours just recently, Sue).

      Your anger IS most certainly justified/valid. It’s an unconventional attack. Imagine a cartel boss has someone’s legs amputated in surgery, instead of chopped off with a machete- still an attack, yes?

      • eddie says:

        Alex…that reminds me of something I read a while ago. A lady was going through med school and a professor stated “There are no testicall not worthy of saving and no uterus worthy of saving” Something along those lines anyway.

      • Alex says:

        Well, in the case of that guy’s mother- yeah, it’s true. I mean after he was born, it was a “damage done” situation, but beforehand… .

        I wonder if any of these putzes think of that. Like when they cause a msicarriage or something?

  36. Anonymous says:

    we need to examine the comment on “no uterus is worth saving” usually added is “in a woman over 45″. But also “in a woman over 35 who says she has completed her family”.
    Some really interesting information in this article about why so many hysterectomies are being performed and doctors who do them are not giving the truth.
    http://www.more.com/health/wellness/endangered-uterus
    There are often alternative therapies or surgeries but hysterectomies are quick, do not require more training or even fully informed patient consent. What are we usually talking about here? I feel another article might be coming down the line.

  37. Linda says:

    Hello Elizabeth. Over the past few days I have been leaving comments on a number of forums I think young women will access. They have all been left except for one. Whoever is watching over the NHS site has rejected my comments on three occasions. All I have written is that women who don’t like smear tests can do now do their own in the comfort of their own home. No stress!!!. Hardly radical in content. If you key in to your search engine ‘Pap smear industry worth millions’ A wealth of stuff comes up on the manufacturers and their profits. What many women don’t realise that the older metal speculums were actually safer. A significant number of women have been cut by the rough edges of the new plastic ones. including me. That in many cases is what is actually causing the bleeding. but of course they don’t tell you that.

    Hello Anon. I live near St Helens Merseyside England and apparently the local GP’s have got together some time ago to discuss the problem of unnecessary hysterectomies. My Mum who had some gyn problems recently was worried about having to have hers removed. Apparently the GP said to her what God put in to you is what we like to leave in you – unless there are serious problems we need to address. I think this is incredibly enlightened. I get the impression they like to whip ’em out over there even if you show up with constipation!!!

    Hi Sue. I have gone over every inch of this site over the past few days as well as trawling the internet but I can not find any information on women who have sued Doctors over unwanted smear test or consultation room ‘ambushing’ Is there such a thing. I have approached a couple of no win no fee solicitors now and none of them are interested. Looking back if I had been given an informed choice and the chance to decline smear testing I would have done.

    • Alex says:

      Linda: You live in England, not “Pindostan” (as I’m coming to call it increasingly frequently). See, it seems the British (with plenty of caveats & exceptions, of course) have more intellect & honor than a suprisingly large number of Yanks. Oddly enough, this general situation & the ramifications of it are typically bitched about. And I mean all the time. Drives me nuts to run into the “That’s a good way to be & fuck you for being that way” trait.

    • adawells says:

      Linda you are doing some terrific work investigating all of this. I try to post where I can under a variety of names. After I’ve seen all the posts Eliz has put out, I feel it is only right to take up the baton from her where possible. She has been working so hard to let everyone know the truth, not just for Aussies and Kiwis but for women elsewhere in the world too.

      I’ve been posting a lot on patient.co.uk as I had endometrial cancer last year, and have benfited a lot from speaking to others in the same boat. It is terrific to hear that the medical profession here is advocating sparing women from hysterectomy. I decided long ago that no way would I ever have a hysterectomy, so it was a terrible time for me to have to come to terms with a total hysterectomy, both ovaries and tubes, and some lymph node removal too, which has still left me with numb patches in both legs. I did all the research of the harms of hysterectomy and presented it to them, but they just said I wouldn’t be around to get the osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease if I didn’t have it done. Well done to your mum, and best wishes to all on this website hoping you will all go to your graves with intact, unmutilated bodies! I do get very upset about the whole business sometimes, but there is always someone else worse off.

      On a brighter note, with the general election coming up, I’ve been researching MP’s and writing to them about screening. Jo’s Trust lobbies MP’s to say how wonderful they are and what a fantastic job the cervical screening programme is doing for us, every January in the House of Commons. I find that their relationship with the government and the NHS goes way beyond what other charities would get and is suspiciously cosy. I have recently written to an MP near us about a photo shoot he had with Jo’s Trust, and informed him of “the other side” to this screening programme, and I got a good reply. I intend to write to more, as I don’t think any of them realise that many women are disatisfied with the programme and the way it treats women. Many of them think it’s a vote winner, with women, as it shows they care about our bodies. With the election coming up, I think it’s important they are aware that not all women want screening. Some of the politicians supporting Jo’s Trust on these early day motions are Steve Rotherham, who led the unsuccessful campaign to lower the age limit from 25 last year, Sarah Champion, both from your neck of the woods, and Glenda Jackson. If all they are hearing is voices demanding more screening, then we need to tackle this, and this is my next project.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Judging by the recent appalling selfie campaign that Jo’s Trust was running, this awful charity wants to lower the screening age to 16. 16!!!!
        I have to admit I didn’t look up the website as I’ve become extremely allergic to this kind of bullshit and it makes me nauseous. Not good for my blood pressure either.
        Now, there have been several reviews over the screening policy in regards to age, and the director of Jo’s Trust (pompous prick, IMO) has sat in on at least one of them, so the charity must know the true reason why screening isn’t recommended for the youngest women – yet they continue to campaign for the age to be lowered, what does that tell you?
        It tells me that this charity doesn’t give a damn about the welfare of women, only about itself.
        A sensible government should never invite a self-serving charity to the table when discussing public health policy. The fact that these politicians haven’t spotted the elephant in the room just goes to show how dim they really are – if this charity thinks the screening programme is so great, why are they constantly campaigning to get it changed?

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Hi Linda. My best friend starting suffering very heavy bleeds a few years ago, investigations revealed nothing so I suspected it was perimenopause. She has other health issues which probably don’t help.
      They gave her hormone tablets which helped, then pushed her into surgery, making all the usual promises. After D&C and endometrial ablation her problems seemed to get worse and the Gynaecologist stated firmly that hysterectomy would be the next step. I was absolutely appalled and tried to talk her out of it, but she was so desperate she went ahead and scheduled the surgery – thankfully she had an eight month wait and I managed to persuade her to consider an IUD – not that I’m a big fan of those, mind, but better that than be butchered because of a hormonal imbalance. The information sheets they gave her on hysterectomy were just appalling – they made it sound like you were having your appendix out!

      In regards to smears, I think we may start to see change when the new information leaflet is distributed. Even though it is still woefully lacking, it does at least make clear that screening is a choice and there are perfectly valid reasons for declining the test. So hopefully women will realise that smears aren’t mandatory!

      • adawells says:

        Kate, I hope your friend can hold out and get through the menopause with her womb intact. I was, and still am totally against hysterectomy, I was so angry at being told I had to have it. The surgeon told me as I was coming round from the GA for the hysteroscopy for the removal of a supposed polyp. Pack of lies that was. “You’ll be coming back for a hysterectomy” she told me gleefully, like I’d won it in a raffle. When a I complained and told her I wouldn’t be, the nurse said “I don’t know what you’re moaning about, women who come here are glad to get one”. It was one of the worst days of my life. You really feel like you’re on death row. The other thing is that in cases of cancer the surgery must be carried out within 62 days of the first referral from the GP to the NHS Trust or the hospital will not meet government targets for cancer, so you are railroaded through this at an alarming rate. It was an absolutely terrifying time for me, and it has still left me emotionally fragile 10 months further on. Imagine, you find you have spotting in your underwear, in 2 months from then you can find yourself totally hysterectomised or with your breasts cut off. Truly terrifying.

      • adawells says:

        Kate, it bothers me greatly what this charity gets up to, and what links it has. There are plenty of other charities in the UK supporting cancer, but they don’t get the publicity this one gets. Why? Google gives them free advertising, so search smear test, and Jo’s Trust comes up at the top of every single page you scroll through. They get publicity in Parliament, and in every single newspaper article, and appear with politicians in photo shoots. They also have links with big business, with Sainsbury’s promoting the charity through sales of their knickers every year. There is the Eve Appeal which is a charity for all gyn cancers but you never hear a peep out of them…

  38. Kate (UK) says:

    Hi Ada,
    Ha! I’m sure the women who are pushed into hysterectomy are ‘glad’ to get one – after all, it’s promoted as if it’s a cure-all and has no downsides, other than risks associated with surgery itself. The Gyn who was dealing with my friend spoke about it as if he was going to pull a rotten tooth. Bloody disgusting. I pointed out to my friend that the menopause doesn’t last forever, but if she has the surgery and suffers problems afterwards they can’t exactly pop her womb back in!
    I feel for you, I really do. How have you been coping with the aftermath, are the so-called healthcare professionals still behaving like tossers?

    Jo’s Trust makes me sick – if they really cared about women they would be campaigning for better testing. This nasty agenda they have of pushing screening for very young women shows that they’re only looking after themselves. After all, more testing from a younger age means more *survivors* to support the charity, right?

    • Kate (UK) says:

      P.S. Good for you for tackling the MP’s! What was the good reply – did he actually take note of your criticisms?
      I wonder if there’s any bribery involved in this lobbying, or it’s just about the opportunity to win pink votes?

      • adawells says:

        I am now about 10 months post hysterectomy, and there are times when I feel very emotional, angry and sad that I’ve had everything cut out. It is a slow healing process. Because I only have a 10% risk of recurrence, and the cancer would always show symptoms if it recurred, I’m on a “patient-led follow-up”, which means it is down to me to call them and arrange a follow-up appointment if I want it. I don’t have any regular check-ups. The ball is in my side of the court now. I know that with other gyn cancers, cervical and ovarian, they need to keep checking with paps and blood markers, but with endometrial they said I’d get sblood spots again if it recurred, and I have a hospital number to ring directly. I had 1 check-up a few weeks after the operation, and that’s been it, so hopefully there will be no further trips back to Hysterectomies’R’Us again, and good riddance too. I’ve had no further contact with them.

        Linda, I totally know how you feel about not being able to forget a bad incidence from the past, no matter how long ago it was. I was deeply traumatised by a smear test forced on me in 1997, and if I could have a procedure to eradicate a single experience from my brain, it would be this. Even now, nearly 18 years on, it can move me to tears and anger, just thinking about what happened. I have since then had 2 children, the second requiring me to undergo substantial repairs, fully conscious in the stirrups but with a spinal block, and also amniocentesis where some fluid from the placenta is removed for testing for Down’s syndrome, but never has any of this affected me nearly so badly as this smear test, which was forced on me without any warning, all those years ago. I don’t think there has been any research into the distress caused by having medical procedures forced onto you against your will, in fact, I would say that the medical profession is almost baffled that there is such a thing. A great pity that the student nurse who posted on here a while ago, failed to see that such distress can be caused by some of the procedures they carry out on a day to day basis. Finding out that I had to have a hysterectomy after steering clear of the medical profession for so long was a hugely upsetting experience for me. It was very, very frightening, especially as it brought back a lot of memories from the 1997 incident.

      • Alex says:

        Adawells: I don’t think they’re baffled, it just occurs to them that an idiot tends to come off innocent so they play stupid.

        The presentation is that they aren’t aligned toward that, they just don’t know. And, of course, this would facilitate continuation. If they don’t know something & KEEP not knowing something then they aren’t the “bad guy” for continuing their actions.

        I think arrogance is another thing that can preclude this “absorbtion.” So they DO hear a refusal (for instnace), but deem it non-present. Not entirely sure how something is supposed to cease to exist despite it’s existANCE, but then maybe they have a variation of stupidity that is at work there?

  39. Linda says:

    Hi Kate. Thank you for your support. I’m sorry for your friend. When you are at an all time low people can pressure you into making unwise choices. I’m glad she had you as a friend. At least with the knowledge you can glean from this site you have been able to support her. I hope she is OK soon and finds alternatives to help her. Women I know who’ve had hystos seem to age quickly and have so many problems afterwards.

    Hi Ada. I see from your posts to me you have had a really tough time over the past few years. It can’t have been easy. Are you better now? Your posts have been a great source of inspiration and comfort to me over the past few weeks. I wouldn’t like to think you are still suffering.
    I see you post comments on a number of sites. The more of us that do this the better.

    I have tried leaving comments on Jo’s trust forum but they do not want me on it. I also tried going on the NHS forum but the moderator keep blocking my posts there as well. I just put on that self screening kits were available and directed readers to ‘forwomenseyesonly.’ Hardly radical.

    I have felt a bit fragile over the past two days. When I tried explaining to my husband how I feel he said what are you going on about your last smear was five years ago and you’ve decided your not having any more. As if that was it. That it was finally sorted and I should move on now. But I keep dwelling on the past. One minute I get upset that they got away with hoodwinking me for so long the next I am raging with anger because I cannot get back at anyone. Faceless bureaucrats made the decision long ago that this should happen to me. How dare they!!! Its no better here than North Korea!!!

    I have also spent the last few days trying to find a no win no fee solicitor to take my case. No one is interested. I keep dreaming of getting a top solicitor and proving my case and getting hundreds of thousands in compensation.

    I’m going to spend the rest of the evening in front of the telly and relax with a glass of wine or two.

    Speak soon. xx.

    • Alex says:

      Try saying to your husband: “Well, it’s not someone making their own decisions if some else is lying to them. Supposing someone decided to take liberties in this fashion & stick something up your ass a bunch of times?” Bet he changes his tune. Maybe mentioning that sometimes guys in jail might have a fetish for “playing doctor” & that someone can always say that it’s no issue because of the style of doing something strange to someone.

      Men tend to get taught bullshit from an early age & sometimes get entrenched in it. I think a lot of guys have a “that’s not a problem category” in their heads & it’s like items in a storage bin. This is like thinking “Well, a screwdriver is in the “tool category” not the “weapon category,” so it’s not an attack for someone to stab someone else with it.”

      • Alex says:

        Something I forgot to add: Sometimes the point that this is how you would become informed of something that gets missed. A guy hears something & it doesn’t seep in that this is the fucking broadcast.

    • eddie says:

      Linda –

      Never say die. Just keep sticking to it. There are women that need you to tell your story and there are the men that support these women that need you to tell your story. I applaud you for choosing to not jsut accept this abuse as something to “just get over”. As if you the event(s) never happened.

      • eddie says:

        Another thought hit me after I posted. As a man I have an insight a few ladies may want to hear (or maybe not?) If you have noticed that your man tunes out or just acts like he seems to not care about your female health issues, I can explain why many do (and most would never admit it). Because thinking about what happens behind that closed door, especially if it is a male doc…has to be responded to in one way or the other, Completely and openly involved in all aspects (because this is the lady we love) or completely disconnect to avoid the hurt (because this is the lady we love). For me there is no in between. I have been on both sides here over the years, being completely involved and actively supportive is far better, but if it falls short of that, the complete disconnect is the only way to not go completely nuts.

  40. Linda says:

    Hi Alex. You’re so funny. I love the way you put things. feel pretty down right now. Its nine o clock in the evening here. Didn’t think anyone would respond right now. Just needed to say hello to my friends. My hubs gone out with his mates for the evening.

    • Alex says:

      Thanks, Linda. It’s quite a bit earlier here (I think it’s a 4-hour time difference).

      What eddie said is frequently true. Particularly the disconnecting part. The thing is that a lot of men don’t really know how to phrase things & I figure the best way to put words to something can be simply to describe it. Like how there is a presumption that extrapersonal activites (even if it’s just something at the level of grabbing her ass) is going to be a problem. Not a real common term, though.

      Then a guy gets to worrying that she’s going to get pissed off, like he’s trying to substitute (instead of support) her or that she is going to look at it like he’s concerned about his property (instead of someone he cares about).

      There’s the point that something might be a problematic methodology with something, even if it’s not imposed. Not knowing how to say that. There’s a lot of things that aren’t a normal interaction between you & someone you’re not “like that” with (whether recreationally or seriously). Doesn’t strictly have to be a forced situation to be an issue, but it can be hard to express something just being agaisnt the grain.

      Speaking of which, it can be hard to express there being an issue with something being against someone else’s grain. It’s not like you’re co-people or anything, but it is something that comes up. This is more or less where the brush off takes place. It’s almost or up to a “fuck her- she’s just stupid/she made her bed & she can lie in it” type of thinking.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Linda, these views might seem extreme but bear with me.
        Let’s say a child is being abused by ‘Uncle Bob’. The child instinctively knows that what this man is doing to them is bad. Uncle Bob may try and convince them that those instincts are wrong, that what they are doing is normal… and/or they will threaten the child to ensure that the victim suffers in silence.
        The medical system uses very similar tactics on women to ensure screening compliance. First off, the awareness campaigns run by both the NHS and charities aim at very young women, telling them blatant lies about the test itself and belittling our natural resistance to a violating procedure. It’s essentially a form of grooming.
        A resistant woman is then subjected to immense pressure by her healthcare providers to ‘do as she’s told’. Bullying and blackmail have become the norm in this arena. A non-compliant woman will be ridiculed and belittled, or have death waved in her face (‘Do you want to die from this disease? Leave your children without their mother’ etc. etc.)
        The system deprives us of the ability to make an informed choice and encourages disgraceful behaviour through it’s targets and rewards. The whole system is unethical and possibly even illegal. But those who make the laws are free to break them, eh?

        I guess the point I’m trying to make is simply this: You’ve been abused by the medical system and you have every damned right to feel angry. If the people around you are too dense to understand what’s going on, that’s their problem. The lawyers who refuse to help you, even though they know full well that such abuse goes on, are only proving how entrenched this abuse is. It’s just part of being a woman, apparently!
        I myself have had more than enough unpleasant experience with doctors, male and female, over the years. The last encounter I had with a Gynaecologist was such an awful, humiliating experience… I did actually feel that I’d been abused. I didn’t think it would be worthwhile making a complaint – as long as they’ve got those blasted chaperones there to protect them, you’ve got no chance. It’s depressing, but since I’m still incredibly angry about it all, there’s no way in hell anyone will ever take advantage of me like that again.

        Sorry for the ramble, but just wanted you to know that there are many women out there who’ve had awful experiences – all too often our feelings are brushed aside by people we confide in, which makes us doubt ourselves. I can’t say I’ve had much support from friends & family (boyfriend thinks I’m a fool for refusing smears)… although my best friend, with all the problems she’s had lately, is beginning to come around to my point of view.

        As for your posts on the NHS/Jo’s Trust forum… did you really expect the people who lie through their teeth about this ‘highly successful’ program to allow an informed woman on their boards? If you’re not a sheep, you’re not welcome in those clubs, I’m afraid.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        You’ll find those who deliberately go out of their way to deceive women don’t have a comment section on their website, some papers don’t allow comments when they’re talking about cervical screening either. So they always have the last word and are never challenged.
        Censorship is breaking down though, more sites are letting our posts stay in place, unedited. The other infuriating thing are the “stories” used by Papscreen and others to scare women into screening. This is telling, if you can’t get over the line relying on the evidence, perhaps, this testing is not all it’s supposed to be. (it’s not)

        Often the “survivor” stories are quite clearly women who’ve been over-treated, they certainly did NOT have treatment for cc. I’ve read so many accounts from “survivors”…”a pap test saved my life, it came back with cancerous cells and the doctor took them off in his/her rooms”. This is a dead giveaway, ACTUAL cervical cancer is not treated in a doctor’s rooms, it requires either a cone biopsy or hysterectomy.
        These women have had “abnormal” cells removed and we know ALMOST ALL abnormal cells are harmless and never destined to become invasive cc, in fact, these cells (if they are indeed abnormal) often resolve themselves after the cervix heals, (after trauma – childbirth) when hormones settle, (menopause, pregnancy) when you’re older (young women and the maturing cervix) or when inflammation passes. (tampons, condoms)
        This is why we get scant real information because this program makes NO sense at all.

        You have every right to be angry, I’ve never had a pap test and I frequently feel angry, but a few years ago it turned into a calm and steely resolve, I’ve found this approach very effective when I’m dealing with doctors, politicians etc. Mind you….calmness was impossible for MANY years, it’s something that happened in my 50s. Some women may never get to that place, women who’ve been pap tested most of their lives, endured painful biopsies and “treatments”…some may have lost a baby after their damaged cervix failed etc. We all approach this subject as individuals with different life experiences, although the abuse dished out by this program is widespread, many women talk about the same experiences. (being treated disrespectfully, being coerced into testing, given no real information etc.)
        I think we have to go with our emotions, and at least today there’s an outlet, for decades there was nothing, women suffered and despaired in silence, total silence…if you dared complain you were mobbed, “you ungrateful woman, that pap test and biopsy probably saved your life!”.

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