Psychological Harms of Pelvic Exams

There is a lack of research on the harmful psychological effects of pelvic exams.  The lack of research highlights how the harmful effects from pelvic exams have largely been ignored, or have been considered not important enough to warrant investigation.  The small amount of research that exists has mainly been conducted with the goal of addressing women’s “anxieties” with the exam, and has been done for the sole purpose of learning how to harness women’s compliance.

In spite of the lack of recognition given to the psychological harms of pelvic exams by the medical community, many of us do experience harm.  Many of the comments from women on this blog and on other sites have revealed that the psychological effects are often significant and can have a detrimental impact on our lives.  In addition, the psychological effects can be difficult to understand, clarify, and articulate.  This post is a compilation of my own and other women’s experiences of pelvic exams presented in a way that attempts to clarify an issue that warrants more attention.

Psychological Harm #1: Trauma

A woman’s first pelvic exam can be traumatizing, especially if she is unaware of the exam’s invasive nature and/or is coerced into the exam while seeing her doctor for a different reason.  In these cases the woman is unprepared and is not expecting an invasive exam to take place.  In addition, many doctors do not fully explain what the exam involves, explain the reasons for the exam, or offer the woman a choice prior to proceeding.

Here is what one woman has to say about her first pelvic exam:  It’s humiliating, degrading, and painful. The first time I had a pap smear done, I was so traumatized, I now have to take prescription Xanax to avoid having panic attacks when I get pap smears done now. And I’m only 24. How many more am I going to have to have for the rest of my life? What am I going to do when I want to have children and every doctor wants to shove his/her fingers and tools inside me? (Scared Guest)  via Women Against Stirrups – What’s your opinion on the pelvic exam/gynecology?.

Psychological Harm #2: Loss of Control

I can think of no position more vulnerable and undignified than naked with legs wide apart, feet up in stirrups, and a fully clothed doctor standing over me.  Feelings of vulnerability and a loss of control in this position are intensified when I am asymptomatic and do not wish to have a pap test/pelvic exam – but have been aggressively pressured and coerced to the point where I feel I have no choice.

Here is another woman’s thoughts on loss of control and vulnerability:  I am 21 and today i went for my first smear..UGHH i freaked out, cried and had to leave with a vicodin prescription…which is pretty straaaaight. but, the point of my frustration is that I, like you, feel as though i am being violated, and sexually assaulted. I feel overly anxious due to the vulnerability of the situation . . . Its not even like ive never had sex. it is just that i have trouble being prodded and fingered by a metal prong. (Anonymous)  via Awkward Things My Mother Never Taught Me: Just How Violating a Pap Smear Really Is….

Psychological Harm #3: Dissociation

Women have been led to believe that a pelvic exam is a vital part of their health for so long that many no longer question it, or feel they have a choice.  When a woman feels she has no choice but to undergo a violently invasive exam she will often develop a sense of detachment, or numbness, in an effort to distance herself from what is happening to her own body.

Here is what Claire T. Porter has to say:  “Closely connected with the absence of self is the dispensing of existence experienced by women… Women undergoing these procedures report a sense of nonbeing” (Raymond 1993, xv). I cannot help feeling that my body, especially the most private areas of it, has been taken away from me. This surgeon and the horny resident both assess my pubic area. Now the vision of my genitals is held in their brains. I feel I possess my sex less and less and feel them both smug in the fact that they own it. What a power trip for them. Bastards.  via Women Against Stirrups – I’m Taking Back My Pussy!.

Psychological Harm #4: Invalidation

The value women place on the privacy of their vagina is in no way reflected by many practitioners’ attitudes.  There is an expectation that we are supposed to be fine with this type of exam.  Yet have we not always been taught to keep our legs together, sit with our legs crossed, and to not let strangers touch us?  The role we are expected to assume during day to day life versus the role we are expected to adopt during a pelvic exam are vastly different.  How a pelvic exam feels and how we are told it is supposed to feel presents a gap of huge proportions.  The lack of acknowledgment for how we feel confuses us, belittles us, and invalidates us. We lose a sense of stability, trust, and safety.

Chrissy (UK) says: This all goes with the ‘get used to it, you’re a woman’ attitude, or ‘I’m a doctor and therefore entitled to see and touch your body’. I don’t know what they are taught when they are medical students, but there is no way they understand what it is like for a woman to be exposed and spreadeagled on an examination table whist they rummage around in the most intimate part of our body. I still remember my first pelvic examination. I was 17 and the (male) doctor forced my knees apart, as I wouldn’t comply with his verbal instructions to spread my legs. I felt violated – I WAS violated . . .  October 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Psychological Harm #5: Dehumanization

All women have a right to privacy and dignity, except of course when they are in the presence of a doctor.  The name assigned to the “pelvic” exam is carefully nonsexual and yet what takes place during the exam is something more intimate than most women would allow a spouse or lover to do.  It is cruel to expect women to ever become used to this type of extreme exposure, and it is inaccurate to assume women will become desensitized over time.  To expect women to get used to the exam is cruel and dehumanizing.

Yazzmyne says: . . . I also believe that these gyn exams are rape even when a woman consents to it. She may verbally and rationally agree to it, but her body screams NO and most women do not listen or respect their own bodily feelings in this context. With all the fear mongering about cancer and the fear for the exam itself, she can’t even make a rational decision (and not that it has to be a rational one, because rationality is used to justify the whole ordeal and rationalize her feelings of violation away) because the mind is locked in fear and can’t think clear anymore and this is exactly what doctors want. There are so many benefits for them to keep using the medieval pelvic exam:

to satisfy their sexual lusts
for the powertrip
for the money
and the fear this exam generates in women also keeps them traumatized, in fear, unable to think CRITICAL about the so called need for them   October 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Psychological Harm #6: Distrust

A lasting, pervasive sense of distrust is likely to form when one is violated by someone in a position of trust.  The distrust that results from negative experiences during pelvic exams can present a lasting barrier to a woman’s access to health services.  Women who are traumatized by their physician’s practices related to pelvic exams are far less likely to trust the medical system as a whole.

FerretGirl01 says: I have a terrible fear of the OB/GYN mainly because my very first pelvic exam was so traumatic. I was a virgin and it hurt so much that I cried. And even after I told the doctor to stop, she kept trying to collect the sample after telling me she would stop any time. I felt violated…scared…and I hurt so bad I had to take pain relievers. I was bleeding when I got home and discovered my “cherry” had been popped because the doctor was too rough and rushed with the exam. That made me terrified of ever getting one again . . . via Fear of Gynecological Exam – Women’s Health – MedHelp.

Psychological Harm #7: Fear

There are all kinds of fears that go along with this exam.  There is fear of the consequences of refusing, fear of the consequences of complying, and fear of the consequences of speaking out.

Anonymous says:  I’m 22 and I haven’t been to the gyno! Every time I even think about it I get so freaked out and sick. I’m not scared of being in pain – I’m scared of personal intrusion, of being on my back and not having control. Every time I think about it, it makes me feel like it would be some kind of assault, because I really **don’t want** it to happen, and going would just be me trying to get over my fears and knowing that it’s something I need to do. I’m terrified of anyone touching me when I know that I’m forcing myself to let them and that I feel so insecure and invaded. I haven’t been sexually abused . . . But I’m just SO.TERRIFIED. via extreme exam anxiety.

AVEN Member says: Doctors are always pressuring their patients to get it done, and instilling fear of cancer to those who refuse. I think they insist more on a pelvic exam than they do on quitting smoking. Yes, I am doing the ‘unspeakable’ and questioning doctors . . .  I think the procedure is inhumane. If you think I just need to suck it up, please listen. This is ranting towards people like that. People that think women just need to “suck it up” or “get over it”.  Rant on Pelvic Exams – Asexual Visibility and Education Network.

Psychological Harm #8: Despair

When women repeatedly have their way of understanding the world ignored it can lead to feelings of despair.  When their understanding of what is occurring is discounted and invalidated; when their fears, trauma, and other experiences are ignored, then their place in the world and sense of self can shift.  Women are often left with pervasive feelings of hopelessness and despair.

Anonymous says:  I got my first pap smear yesterday. I’m not a big crying type, but I cried like a baby. It was the most traumatizing experience of my life. I’m 18 and I’ve only had one partner for the year I’ve been sexually active . . . The metal “spectrum” upset me and that was bad enough. But the worst part for me, that has left me horrified and with nightmares, is what came next. Nobody told me going into this that the doctor was going to shove her hand all the way up to basically my stomach. EXCUSE ME?! Why does nobody see this as completely violating!! I cried so hard. Today being the day after, I keep reliving it and I don’t want anyone to touch me and I just feel disgusted . . . I should not be subjected to this, especially at my age I don’t think. Not to mention that I was pretty much forced to get one if I wanted birth control. That just seems wrong to me. I try to be save and prevent a child at this time and my life and what am I forced to do? Be humiliated, violated, and traumatized.   via Awkward Things My Mother Never Taught Me: Just How Violating a Pap Smear Really Is….

Elizabeth says:  On one blog a young woman was so stressed about pap tests she wanted to be knocked out…it’s shocking, she should be told to forget about it and enjoy her life – this testing has robbed so many women from the pleasure of being healthy, young and female and often takes our peace of mind, bodily privacy and dignity, damages our health and lives, destroys relationships and takes the shine off sex, especially after traumatic “treatments” and when women are unable to access the Pill without forced testing…and at age 30 if she’s worried about cc, she could test herself for HPV, but that would be too easy and make too much sense…actually doing what’s best for her, she’ll probably end up being sedated for a pap test…so depressing.  http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/unnecessary-pap-smears/comments-page-175/#comments

In conclusion I would like to say that if you find you have “anxieties” regarding pelvic exams you can take heart because, as you can see, your concerns are valid.   On a brighter note, more women are becoming aware that they have the right to informed consent for screening.  In addition there are now alternative ways to test for cervical cancer, such as the Delphi self-screener, which is available in some countries.  See Singapore – Dutch Collaboration:  http://www.delphi-bioscience.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Media%20Release_March%2026,%202012.pdf

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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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384 Responses to Psychological Harms of Pelvic Exams

  1. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    It makes me wonder how many women are out there carrying trauma from a forced pap test, pelvic or breast exam. It’s ALL so unnecessary, it’s unhelpful and exposes us to risk.
    It’s beyond bad medicine. Even if it was some time ago, I’d still make a formal complaint, let the doctor know YOU know what that exam was all about and/or how it impacted on your life.
    So often the doctor gets away with basically assaulting a woman…if it’s not clinically required, it cannot be justified. Even if it’s clinically required (and screening can NEVER be clinically required) they still need your consent.
    We’re seeing a lot of historical alleged sexual assaults being investigated at the moment by Operation YewTree and others, here we’re having a Royal Commission into child sex abuse by religious and other institutions. Doctors so often escape close scrutiny, a bit like pap testing…but there is no difference between a predator who happens to use his teaching or religious role to take advantage or a doctor, in many cases it’s worse, because IMO, doctors have a unique duty of care, we may be especially vulnerable in that relationship/setting.

    • adawells says:

      This is so true. Making smear tests and breast exams the mainstay of every woman’s appointment with her GP must make many doctors get blasé about it and lose sight of where the clinical need (if there ever was one) ends and the abuse starts. What Jo’s Trust calls making the procedure so commonplace that it will be normalised into a woman’s daily lifestyle, so she won’t begin to question it. Last year when I went to my now ex-GP about my post-menopausal bleeding, which turned out to be womb cancer, I started the consultation by explaining the unusual spotting and bleeds that I had had. As if not listening at all, she turned round and asked me if I would like a breast exam. She may have seen a pop-up message on the screen to say I’d turned down mammograms, or she may have just fancied a quick grope, I don’t know. But I gave her a very emphatic NO! I then told her I thought she was a no-good doctor, and there was some argument about some previous diagnoses of hers. She then stopped the argument and getting back to the subject of my visit, asked me to decide whether to go ahead with the pelvic exam or go home. I had to go through with this, but refused the speculum saying it would cause me too much pain. I got a hospital referral after this even though she said she couldn’t find anything wrong, but it did turn out to be endometrial cancer.
      After this I wrote a letter of complaint to the practice requesting to be put on the list of another GP, which has happened, but my letter detailing the reasons for me wanting to change and my bad experiences with my former GP has never been replied to. In view of the fact my spotting turned out to be cancer, I think the least the practice could do is reply to me.
      There seems to be a medical school of thought that the more women’s vaginas and breasts are exposed, probed and fingered, the more women will accept this process as normal like getting a hair cut, and thus the more cancers will be found. It has definitely had the opposite effect on me and doesn’t seem to have made much impact on cancer deaths anyway.

  2. Diane Spero says:

    I doubt there will be any response to your letter. Responding means they agree by recognizing the necessity to respond. this respond response to a post i made. catmouse seems very insensitive to my gyn phobia, i don’t have anything wrong, so don’t know what she is taking about when she said . My prayers for your recovery, and that it didn’t spread. it seems she responded without really reading the post.

    i have suffered with what i believe is dysporina ( tight vigna). i have not been able to get a diganosis , because i can’t have an exam.
    Iits bad to suffer for yrs, but than be told no one will respon to you is in sensitive.
    i have been denied intimacy, treated rudely by medical people.
    i am just going to move on and no trauamaize myself with another exam attempt.
    i have suffered for long enough.

    i hop at some point the gyn community will realize how they trauamaize women!

  3. Cat&Mouse says:

    Diane, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to be insensitve. I’m trying to track down your original letter and my response. I truly felt you had a disease-type etiology (like life threatening) hence my prayers response. What I remember is reading “vaginitis” and what I think you’re talking about is “vaginismus,” which I believe is closer to what you’re talking about. Quite a difference medically speaking. Personally, I relate to you. I cannot tolerate the “usual” speculum. Thank God for my husband again. While I’m still in the process in doctors office of taking care of myself, he readily sticks up for me. He requested, or told them, that they’ll use a pediatric speculum instead.

    Check the size differences; there’s three of them made. Can’t wait to read your reactions as mine were unprintable. If you tense up or cannot tolerate the spreading, and can’t perform for them, then you’re automatically rated by them, as I was, as possibly molested. Tell me, whether or not that happened, do we really need that bs stamp? Without ob-gyns being trained as shrinks; they fall back on that for a bona-fide diagnosis? Because our natural reaction can’t be turned off?

    My first exam was horrible, and I’ll never forget it-my crying during and after. No warning or I’d have run away. The discussion before hand? I suppose girls in islamic countries being maimed receive similar notification. You know why’s and what’s gonna occur, but in no way can you imagine how, what, the pain, terror, or afterwards. And yes, the trauma is a pain that keeps on taking.

    Did some research. Regardless of the “why,” some women must be anesthesized prior to any kind of gyn exam. Don’t expect your team, if this is what you require to get through this, to be all-female, as the bs of the medical community recognizes them all being “professional,” and need I go on? I wouldn’t be surprised if doctors ask/require you to be seen by psychiatrists to “explore” why you won’t allow them to violate you.

    All I can say is the sacrifices we make having babies. ANY of that bs I’ve heard about taking the pain, sacrificing my privacies, doing whatever they want to put me through, just so I can have a healthy baby? Where are all those do-gooders when a marriage sours right afterward thanks to what pandora’s box is opened on an otherwise healthy husband-wife relationship after one of these “experiences” having a baby? I cannot count how many women have written letters around subject matter like this. How they hated exams before; and then they get pregnant or want a family. And men/husbands? Those who really care and voice it aren’t much different than you are. My husband for one.

    Worse yet, it’s impossible for women to stand up to doctors/nurses during labor/delivery because oxytocin rules our minds. We are chemically set to take whatever crap dished out and hurriedly make peace. Then pregnancy #2 happens, if our marriage goes that far.

    Stand up for yourself, and don’t give in. Whatever/whomever you have in support, bring all that to bear in your favor. If you require meds, and the chaperone of your choice, including you telling them the plastic pediatric speculum will be warmed and lubed, so be it. They work for you, be it in tax dollars or private insurance. For whatever the reason. You have this life cross to bear; that a gyn exam is something your body and mind knows better than to comply with; only our stupid society with its arbitrary laws doesn’t have room for you. Nurses who in public demand respect for women treat you like trash. You are special. A special person who might teach them something about or remind them about the caring they are supposed to and mandated to provide. I’m sorry for adding to your terror. Maybe this info will help you. Otherwise, if there’s anything I can do, I will. Don’t hesitate to ask. And again, my prayers and love.

    • Diane Spero says:

      thanks for your reply. i don’t have any support. i can ask someone from church from for a ride if a dr would sedate for an exam, of which none will do.
      i have taken a 1 mg of ativan before an exam , does nothing! i have asked for the pediatric speculum. they tell me they are using the smallest one, speculums freak me out! my first exam was bad too. i had abuse before that didn’t tell anyone.
      i will see what happens today. i wish my apt was in the am, hate ds offics worse in late afternoon,
      its hard to stand up people in drs offices, its an asembly line.

      if i am not comfortable today i will leave.
      i tried o make endro apt, i had to cancel it and when i called back the bitch on the phone said i can’t see any of the drs there, i am calling back i want to speak to a supervisor and see their policy in writing.

      i can’t prove it but i feel i am black listed by drs because of my dr anxiety. maybe its florida but
      i can’t believe there are so many rude office staff. i am poliete, though anxious.
      i can’t stand the whole medical system. i am glad i don’t have to go very much.

      i will let you know what happens today, just want it over with, have all my papers done , i hope.
      it seems they always forget one.

      this is it, if i get no results today i am done, not putting self through this anymore.

      i so agree we need to stand for self ourselves when it comes to medical care.

      i did write a dr a letter about myissue with his staff, but she was so verally abusive.

      diane

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        I’m grateful to have the chance to help. The metal speculums I’ve seen all come in one size. I hate them most b/c they are always cold and I don’t care for them visually either. The plastic speculums are cheap at med supply. The pediatric size has white plastic, adult light green, and the huge one blue.

        Re Ativan. This is important. Is it generic? If so, some are useless. By that I mean very little effect. The brand works quite effectively and sedates me. I’m disabled and use a lot of meds. I’ve found that generics, almost across the board, are 50-75% effective at best, across the board. An antibiotic may work, but it upsets the stomach or causes itching where the brand doesn’t. This is especially true for narcotics, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers. If I cannot get brand Ativan, I request Watson brand Lorazepam. That’s the only generic I’ve tried that does anything. Sometimes Xanax works better too. Again though, if generic be careful.

        The generics coming out of India are TERRIBLE. Red China equally as bad. I try, if no other choice, to use a generic made by the same company that makes the brand drug. And here, Qualitest and Apotex make JUNK; sometimes dressed in bright capsules to make it look powerful.

        To get a doctor to write for brand here’s what you do. Obviously the generic was useless. Call the doctor and have the Rx written, with the box checked that says “do not substitute” and also initialed. Your insurance carrier may deny still. In that case, the doctor’s staff fills out a Prior Authorization. It lists what you tried in the past, and how well it did or didn’t work, any other alternatives if necessary, and that due to these things and that this is the best med (short acting vs long acting) the doctor feels it is necessary. Usually this suffices and it’s approved.

        Pharmacies stock the cheapest **** they can sell. Oh, they say it’s all tested, the same, and works the same. Like a baker who uses the best ingredients vs a car mechanic doing it in his garage between tune-ups with ingredients he finds in dumpsters. Also, the binders and excipients used heavily influence how the product dissolves and is accepted by your body. Also, many generics, once approved, are pirated meaning the active ingredient is watered down. Companies make huge profits…

        My husband, every year, goes out of his way renewing my PA’s, and recently did an appeal so I could get a med covered which I rely. If not, I wouldn’t be here helping out. My doctor’s staff are angels too, and we reward them with goodies too.

        It may also help you to get this exam done under sedation to have an evaluation with somebody higher than a GP; whether it be a shrink or whatever is necessary. I’d see a gyn specialist who understands the condition afflicting you. To a degree, we all have it, which is why they try to have us do all the bs breathing exercises so we’ll relax, flushing our brain’s common sense down the toilet, and trust “them” as they assault us.

        If your insurance is a PPO vs an HMO that may be helpful as well. You might call the insurance office and inquire for a specialist. I hope this gets to you in time to help. Please let me know.

      • Diane Spero says:

        well i had the same response, no exam no help. asked for sedation again was denied.
        it wasn’t worth the anxiety it produced. causes too much ptsd.

        thanks for the support anyway.

        diane

        lad i am home going to have a drink.

  4. Sometimes doctors just don’t get it. After all, they’re so used to a clinical setting that it becomes routine to them. Also, if something does not bother YOU, it’s hard to imagine someone else being bothered by it. Case in point: I learned to swim about the same time I learned to walk. I love to swim, especially in the ocean. My husband has a phobia about water, especially ocean water or any other rough water. Someone who is not particularly bothered by gynecological exams may not understand how anyone else could feel afraid or violated. And a lot of them don’t even try to understand.

    Back in the mid-90s, I called my health provider to see what could be done about my phobia of exams. I was curtly told that no one would be willing to sedate me and that teenage girls do this, so why couldn’t I? This last September, though I had post-menopausal bleeding, and my doctor was vey, very cool about it. She sedated me, no static about my husband being with me, and all went very well. (Don’t remember a thing, which was even better!)

    Most of the trouble with medical stuff is that we’re trained to accept whatever the doctor tells us and just go along. It’s time to stop reinforcing the idea that women are,just bodies to be worked on like we’re cars or other machinery. Stand up to them, and be as much of a b as you need to until they listen.

    Good luck! *hugs*

  5. Diane Spero says:

    i take 1 mg of ativan at night. it works for me.

  6. Debbie says:

    I recently had a pap smear & pelvic & breast examine by a male doctor I hadn’t had one in 15 years this doctor was so rough tried to use a large instrument to do pap test after I said I had c-section so I was really small there so he then switched to the smallest one & he examined my breast like he was kneading bread dough really rough & squeezed my nipples like he was pinching them off to check for discharge & there were 3 nurses in this small room I thought I would pass out first time seeing this doctor too it will be another 15 years before I will have this done I told my husband I am so freaked out now I am 49 years old too I don’t trust women doctors either had bad experiences with them too …I am glad I found this website knowing other women went through same ordeal and I know now I am not alone

    • Diane Spero says:

      i can relate, i have fear , and the drs are so rough. its an assbembly line, you are no longer a person just
      a machine being checked. i am done too. can’t take the panic it causes.

    • bethkz says:

      Debbie,

      They ARE checking for discharge from your nipples when they pinch/squeeze them. Nevermind that many women lactate slightly under ordinary circumstances, at certain times, or even something as simple as eating foods high in phytoestrogens (soy and flax are among the highest). If you DO have something of a discharge with this hard pinching, even if someone has just weaned a baby and may be partially lactating, she’s going to have a TON of tests, probably including some sort of surgical intervention for a normal occurrence.

  7. Kate (UK) says:

    Ladies, here in the UK, and indeed many other countries in the world, routine pelvic and breast exams are not recommended. They may have been many years ago but have since proven to be ineffective. Even if you have symptoms, they’re not much help. There’s only one reason why your doctors insist on these antiquated practices – money. They are basically acting like a bunch of dodgy car mechanics who insist on poking under the hood and looking for non-existent ‘problems’ so they can charge you through the nose for it. Such a scam. You’re paying through the nose for their services and they behave as if it’s the other way around!

    • Diane Spero says:

      yes it a shame that medicine in the us has becom about making money. you pay tons of money , do tons of paper work, and little patient care. its an assbembly line, packing in patients to get paid by insurance.
      i am done with trying to have an exam, and the anxiety it causes.

      i am lad i don’t have to go the dr much, its too nerve racking

    • bethkz says:

      It’s not JUST about money to keep doing these useless, invasive tests. It’s about getting a sexual peek at women. It’s about exerting power over women. It’s about turning us into “cancer patients” when they can justify some sort of testing or treatment which we don’t need, and never needed. It’s damaging to people, and the ones who don’t need it make good spokeswomen as “cancer survivors” – when there never was any cancer, just treatment.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Beth, I agree, a young woman in the office told me yesterday her GP (a locum covering her doctor) wanted to do a “quick breast exam” when she went in for her script for the Pill. She has declined pap tests and has to listen to a lecture about that at every consult, but at 22 she knows it’s risk for no benefit. She plans to order the Pill online in the future.
        Anyway, thankfully, she challenged the doctor, he backed off straight away and said he was just trying to be thorough.
        I’ve always felt a casualness when it comes to access to the female body makes us even more vulnerable in the consult room.
        This young woman is very attractive, so I suspect he just wanted to get a little something out of the consult for himself. I wonder whether the same thoroughness would be evident with other patients, or is it only young and attractive women?
        I know older women who request routine breast exams, (the doctor should point out they are not recommended, are of no proven benefit, but can lead to excess biopsies) but a doctor suggesting or doing a routine breast exam on a young woman is concerning.
        I suggested she lodge a complaint with the surgery and the Medical Board.

        An unnecessary exam is just that, and does not mean the doctor is thorough, I’d say they’re incompetent, out-of-date or taking advantage.
        Doctors don’t do a quick check of the penis when a man wants antibiotics, yet some still feel they can do a quick breast check on a woman who wants the Pill.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        I’ve done a lot of reading, research, and talked to lots of women. Most don’t care, can’t think for themselves, or go anyway b/c they just trust and rely on their doctor. Or they actually enjoy the exam but won’t publicly admit to it. Case in point. On another site, women readily write how much they lie to their husbands, and actually primp and look forward to being told what to do, stared at, groped, and it turns them on. Makes them feel empowered, especially if the doctor is old or if young and they make him nervous. LIke giving him an erection shifts the power of being assaulted back to them. I don’t understand.
        Most amazing is a woman, the second I’ve read about (this one I asked questions), who’ve said her female doctor masturbated her after the exam. Each said they enjoyed it. The whole exam was more invasive, slow, and they climaxed intensely . One ended up hooking up with the doctor and her husband. The other said she will return and feels flattered. Any comments?
        These women no doubt would loudly object if it were a man doing that.

      • Alex says:

        The mention of “assembly lines” has come up quite a bit & I thought I’d mention something: There actually is a tradition in that with science. It’s not “kind of/sort of/almost,” it’s actually ingrained in the “culture” of western science. I distinctly remember hearing about how the body started getting looked at as a machine when the clock was invented.

        If you were to look into “Indigenous Knowledge, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology” by Raymond Pierotti, it gets into that in the first chapter. “The Reenchantment of the World” by Morris Berman is another one that seems to get into the hows & history a bit (admittedly it can be a hard read in terms of vocabulary- you might want to have a dictionary handy for that one). Haven’t read all of either, but those two seem to trace history a bit.

        One more is “How It Is” by V.F. Cordova. That one gets more into depth with the workings & the styles of things than the dates & specific figures in history.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Absolutely. You know, control freaks are everywhere, and some say that these kind of people are naturally drawn to professions such as the police force.Yet few (present company excepted) are willing to accept the idea the medical profession could also attract unsavoury types. But it’s the perfect profession for those with a abusive nature.

  8. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    By the way, I’ll bet he was also, very disappointed that she’s opted out of pap testing!

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Cat and Mouse
      Some of those accounts might be spam and there is also, a website dedicated to medical porn. I was reading an “account” and was about half way through when I realized it was porn. So there is a market for medical porn. Women are treated so poorly by the profession though, I was half way through before I became suspicious.
      Of course, there may well be women out there who enjoy these exams, like the attention etc. but far more find these exams humiliating, uncomfortable etc.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        My cousin is a midwife, they see a woman regularly, she’s not interested in children, but enjoys the attention she receives from everyone when she’s pregnant. There are lots of problems and issues there…

  9. oddjoe01 says:

    I am a man and i have been married With a wonderful woman for almost 30 years.She is a nurse,working in a Norwegian hospital.My wife has never in her Whole life ever been consulting a male doctor for any reason.She says that she has seen enough of whats happening With women in the hospital during examinations and she says that she never want to be one of these women.Here in Norway patients can choose their doctors and if a woman dont want a male doctor or male nurse,her wishes will be respected.My wife is very much conserned about dignity,moral and privacy.She was a Virgin when i first met her and i am the only man who has seen or touched her body.And she says that the thinking of another man,also Health care staff,shall touch her body,will make her feel sick.And she also says that she thinks male gynecologists are creepy and that there are something suspicious With them.well,this is my wife and i feel very happy for beeing married With such a wonderful woman.She also says that her body is her property and she,and only she,can decide who shall see or touch her body.And she wants respect for her Choices.

    • Diane Spero says:

      i agree women should be respected if they choose not to have their body examined.
      why have i suffered for yrs with an attemp to have an exam. I am done! NOT TORCHING my self any more. i am listening to my body who ha ben staying no to exams for yrs.

    • Don says:

      It is amazing to me that women would allow a male doctor to perform intimate exams on them. Common sense would indicate that there is MORE than medicine being practiced when a strange male examines a female’s genitals. Oddjoe’s wife shows good sense in her awareness of this basic genetic fact. Very little research has been done on the subject of male gynecology and sexuality. Here is a link that does show some look at medical studies: http://www.modestyxxx.com

  10. Anna says:

    Well obviously woman don’t care about ovarian cancer, cysts, or HPV. Or the health of their reproductive organs. Of course it’s uncomfortable but 10 minutes of pain, and nerves, and fear is much easier than cancer. I haven’t seen a suggestion in this article about making a Pap smear any better. If you’re that afraid than don’t do it. But, if you don’t than you won’t be aware of what’s going on in your body. Doctors don’t do it to personally humiliate you and control you. They’re here for our health. I think some of you are a little too paranoid. I’m honestly shocked that some women think that doctors give pelvic exams to get a “look” at women. Wtf the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Anna. Please consider this site a “continuing education” place where you can learn new things. You like to use the word “obviously.” Obviously, why would we women want to have pain, be violated, not make decisions about our bodies w/o informed consent, endure useless tests which can spread disease, have our most precious parts hacked out leaving us unable to birth children and without adequate pain management, why, obviously, why I ask you?

      This site isn’t about making the pap better; it’s about eliminating this useless, invasive, disease-spreading, painful, stupid, doctor-entertaining test. We can find out if we have HPV by urine, blood, or self-collected mucus. All without a doctor violating our bodies. And we are aware of what’s going on in our bodies; that’s why we’re here trying to change the things we don’t like and the things that don’t work!

      Doctors chose their profession because they like money, prestige, authority, and working on other bodies. Some of them, male and female, enjoy sexually exploring us women during exams. That’s why so many of them are in prison or have lost their licenses. Doctors aren’t there as charity to the public good. Every test they perform puts more monty in their pockets.

      Anna, perhaps you could read what’s going on here before deciding what we do is stupid. Because, when you write uneducated tripe you alone are the one who appears stupid. And doctors love stupid female patients. Those patients look to doctors as perfection, and they do anything doctors want them to do. I’d like to think you are smarter than that. Time will tell.

    • purptulips says:

      Hi Anna,

      You may want to reflect on what is stirring such a vitriolic and energetic response in you. What troubles you about knowing that sometimes people abuse authority? And how is it that you are unmoved/disbelieving of the many women, myself included, who have experienced serious trauma during these exams and have had the courage to speak of it here?

      In response to your comment about being in touch with one’s body, you seem to be missing the point that all of us who are speaking out here are doing exactly that- listening when our body says “no” and feels violated.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi Anna
      I’m sure women care about ovarian cancer, but I’m not going to spend my days worrying about a fairly rare cancer or an even rarer cancer, cervical cancer.
      You might be surprised to hear that the pelvic exam and pap test are not screening tests for ovarian cancer, in fact, there is NO screening test for ovarian cancer.
      Ovarian cysts are a normal part of ovulation and only require treatment when the woman is symptomatic. I know some American doctors make out they’re a “possible” threat or “precancerous” condition and “treat” the woman, this IMO, is deceptive and highly unethical conduct. (if not more) Some of your doctors have even spoken out about this practice, stop pretending you’re saving women! I’m sure you’ve seen some of the many articles that have appeared in US papers and on TV over the last few years, warning women about the routine pelvic exam. Rest assured, this exam will harm you sooner or later.

      Routine pelvic exams are NOT recommended AT ALL, at any age, in the UK, Australia, much of Europe, NZ…why? They are not evidence based, are of poor clinical value and carry risk, even serious risk, including unnecessary surgery. It’s probably part of the reason why American women have poorer health outcomes, including 600,000 hysterectomies every year, 1 in 3 will have one by age 60, and the loss of healthy ovaries. Both of these surgeries occur at more than twice the rate of countries who don’t do this exam. (see articles by American ob-gyn, Dr Carolyn Westhoff)

      HPV – you can easily and reliably self-test for HPV, (no earlier than age 30) almost all women aged 30 and older are HPV- and cannot benefit from pap testing, biopsies or treatments. The Dutch will shortly only offer a 5 yearly pap test to the roughly 5% of women aged 30 to 60 who are HPV+
      The other 95% cannot benefit from pap testing and will simply re-test for HPV in the future, 5 or 10 years later, depending on age.
      Those under 30 are not tested under an evidence based program, see Finland and the Netherlands. Pap testing does not prevent these very rare cancers and condemns large numbers to excess biopsies and over-treatment, young women produce the most false positives of any age group. HPV testing is also, not recommended before age 30, as about 40% would test positive, almost all are transient and harmless infections that will clear in a year or two. It’s the roughly 5% who are HPV+ at age 30 or older that have a small chance of benefiting from a 5 yearly pap test. (at least until they clear the virus)

      So there IS something better than population pap testing, MUCH better, but most women will never see it. Billions is made in the States doing unnecessary pap tests, biopsies and treatments and then treating women harmed by those procedures. (damage to the cervix) These women may go on to have a premature baby, miscarriage, need a c-section or cervical cerclage…and then add the income from routine/unnecessary pelvic, rectal, recto-vaginal, TVU and breast exams that might be tacked onto a “well-woman” exam. Too much money is at stake. The healthy symptom-free female body has been turned into a commodity to be exploited by vested and other interests…and calling it “healthcare”, nothing could be further from the truth, this IMO is medical abuse.

      Hope you do some reading, there are plenty of medical journal references here, that way you can better protect your health and well-being.
      I can also, see why it may be upsetting to find/hard to believe you’ve been misled by doctors and others, put through unnecessary and invasive exams, perhaps, even procedures, biopsies or “treatments” etc.
      I can assure you the informed women on this forum know exactly what they’ve rejected, the point is: do you fully understand what you’re accepting?

    • Alex says:

      Well, “obviously” you’re a bit naive. First of all, properties don’t change by designation. If a doctor were to poison someone with a needle, it’s still murder. This is an interface with sexual areas as a product of someone else’s decision-making, which is an attack. It also doesn’t work as advertised (high risk, low utility, and directed toward something that is massively rare to begin with). They shouldn’t be purveying things that are untrue or unsafe in the first place & it’s not someone making their own decisions if someone lied to them (deception vitiates consent), given the dynamics it’s a bit worse then a scam.

      Doing either one is bad, but both together certainly amplifies things. These people are selected, trained, and certified. Since that obviously doesn’t get filtered out & the occupational community doesn’t come down on it, it makes sense to presume that it’s something that’s endorsed. Even if they were trustable, someone’s not going to get what they’re after.

      These things are frequently imposed on women & girls, whether through coercion (forcing women into these exams for birth control, for instance), deception (usually there is not a situation of full disclosure with regard to risks, inaccuracy, or alternatives), or on occasion physical force (this would, of course, include taking liberties in someone’s sleep- as has been the case recently, and perhaps currently, in Canada & Australia).

      Another thing is that doctors might very well do these things for all the reasons you mention. That’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard? That the overlapping property of interfacing with sexual areas might be a reason for the doctor doing something? Really? One doctor had even given “shared decision-making” as a reason for doing exams in spite of them not being as useful as advertised! That’s not to “control” someone? Certainly sounds like they want to make their own decisions & edit someone out of what does & does not happen to them. This is self-elected penetration, but somehow that’s NOT the case?

      How about how damn-near everything medical is either useless or causes a problem, now? The allopathic tradition more or less amounts to trying to attack the body in some way that generates a benefit to it. This is antithetical, but more & more the things that come from this source are harmful in bizarre, sometimes science-fiction like, ways. The constant trend of it not doing what it’s supposed to (or doing exactly what it’s supposed to, that just isn’t announced) is a point.

      As it stands, it’s basically illegal to sue pharmaceutical companies in America- so there’s no accountability to worry about. The government, apparently, is also not allowed to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies- so they can charge whatever they want. Doctors themselves get financial incentives for various things, but they also get a massive part of their whole profession from this angle. There’s nothing to say that what they are taught is not designed for money or malice, or both.

    • bethkz says:

      The real problem is pushing these tests to the exclusion of any real medical problem that the woman is having. That leaves these other problems untreated for much longer – perhaps until it becomes a crisis.

      Kidney cancer is about as prevalent as cervical cancer. There is no huge screening program anywhere for kidney cancer. Why not? Perhaps, there is no evidence-based indication for any sort of population-wide screening for kidney cancer. Do you not care that you might get kidney cancer?

      Cervical Cancer is rare, and we get a lecture each and nearly every time we go to a doctor for any reason, these tests are pushed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t go to the doctor to have a high-pressure sales pitch given, and to not have the medical problem addressed. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the US, and most women are not urged to get an EKG every time they go to the doctor. Heck, women presenting at the emergency room of a hospital with chest pains are likely to have her mammogram history looked at – along with questions about her last pap and its results -before they look at such things as abnormal heart conditions, call for an EKG, oxygen, or recommend any sort of heart surgery or the like. As such, women are more likely to die of her first heart attack than men.

      The bimanual pelvic examination cannot feel or palpate the normal or somewhat enlarged ovaries on any but the thinnest women. By the time the ovaries can be felt or palpated during one of these exams, the cancer is seriously progressed to stage 3 or more likely stage 4 and spread. At THAT point, it';s hardly curable or survivable by any means. The best advice to give such a woman is to get her affairs in order.

      Ovarian cysts are a normal event that happens to any woman who is ovulating. These also CANNOT be felt.

      A person has a database of over 6000 medical professionals who have been convicted of sex crimes in association with their medical duties. Some of these are sexual assault, but over the past few years it has also included a significant number of medical profes sionals who photograph their patients or the parts of their patients, and keep or distribute them through pornography channels – WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. Really – how about if a woman ran for president, and somebody could dig up pictures of her on a porn site? It would diminish her chances of election, simply because her doctor had a tiby camera in his pen, wristwatch, or Google Glass (TM) – let alone pulls out his cell phone where the patient cannot see.

      10 minutes of discomfort is one thing. If someone has been attacked, was injured or damaged, the person has years of PTSD to deal with, along with nightmares, and flashbacks.

      The cervical cancer it detects is only found in women who are HPV+. There are less or non-invasive tests for HPV. If she is HPV-, not/no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous, she has a 0$ chance of benefitting from these exams. Since there is a high rate of false positives, and referrals for biopsies, LEAP, and hysterectomies, the risk of harm is significantly higher than the 0.68% chance that someone EVER gets CC.

      If you’re that concerned about cervical cancer, perhaps you should consider the odds of being hit by lightening (1 in 6250 (0.016%)) (NOAA), or hit by a meteorite (1 in 3200 (0.03125%) (NASA). The odds of dying of cancer in the US is 4092 (NHS) in 160 million (US census), or 0.0026825% – or other low-probability causes of death in the US during 2012.

      IMO, I’d be better off worried about such things as heart disease, or iatrogenic-caused deaths (250,000 in 320,000,000 or 0.07% (2010 Johns Hopkins) )

    • Emily says:

      Anna I won’t bash you and say you’re stupid or naive. You have a different opinion and if you are ok w a vaginal exam then more power to you. In a way I don’t blame you and wish I could be more like you because it is MUCH easier to simply go along w what you’ve been told and be able to believe that everything is ok. For alot of us that illusion has been shattered. IMO the worst part of the whole womens healthcare debate IS the attitude that we don’t know what’s going on w our own bodies and that we need to be told and examined and treated . No one can ever know your body the way you do no matter how many degrees they have. If something is wrong your body will tell you all you have to do is listen. The real kicker is most of the things we can’t feel on our own are never found by Drs either because of very outdated and inaccurate methods. cervical cancer is quite rare and most of the time the other issues aren’t as big of a deal as Drs make them out to be. They often omit the risks of these exams and tests and don’t tell us about the other options we could and should have. Not to mention the treatments themselves often cause worse problems than the one being treated. It’s not that we don’t care about cancer etc the problem is that alot of time Drs don’t respect our feelings. It doesnt really help a person if the process of checking for or treating a physical problem creates an even worse mental/emotional problem and unfortunately for some of us it does. Many of the issues Drs cause such a fuss over never actually harm us and HPV is often transient and harmless. HPV goes away on its own most of time but PTSD doesn’t. Just remember that.

  11. Jola says:

    Anna, tell the truth – aren’t you a doctor in disguise? Come on, come clean.
    It’s sheer nonsense what you wrote, you know?

    Cat&Mouse – Bravo for your true words written to Anna.

    Doctors, doctors and doctors again – they know better than we do – hahahahaha – goodness me! By the way, my hubby has just rejected statines which horribly deteriorated his muscles, but doctors, ”dear” and educated doctors told him that he would die without taking statines as his bad cholesterol would be too high. What a joke. Do you know what he did? He went on fruit and vegetable diet and his bad cholesterol went down considerably within two weeks of the natural diet! I still can’t believe it.
    Hahahaha – the GP who told him about death was so annoyed that she didn’t want to speak, but she didn’t forget to try to talk him into taking the killing statines, which he OBVIOUSLY refused to do saying that he would be on this diet as that is the best medicine ever! The GP shut her mouth – a poor doctor and poor pharmaceutical companies – what a shame.

    It’s high time we trusted nature – it works for everything, not only for lowering the level of bad cholesterol, but it’s for every single organ in the body!

    • Ro says:

      Jola – “It’s high time we trusted nature – it works for everything, not only for lowering the level of bad cholesterol, but it’s for every single organ in the body!” I couldn’t agree more! This is a fantastic comment. I was doing some research a while back, and it turns out that people of Nordic countries on average have a longer life span and a happier life. After looking into it, I found that typically Nordic countries have a much more natural diet, exercise very often, have easier access to better naturopathic health care, and have less stress in their lives. They certainly seem to be doing it right, statistically speaking. The rest of the world could learn a lot from them. There’s most definitely something to be said for relying on nature and trusting your body to heal itself with the proper nutrients.

      • Jola says:

        Thank you Ro.

        This diet is very simple, but may be hard for the first week. It DOESN’T CONTAIN:
        meat
        sugar
        flour products (only whole meal bread is all right)
        milk
        cheese
        cottage cheese
        rice
        pasta (only brown pasta is all right)
        yeast
        margarine
        light margarine
        black tea
        coffee
        salt (if yes, very little, preferably Himalayan salt which is the best instead of the typical one)
        Preferably no potatoes, and if yes, then with skin

        Fasting for one or two days. In the case of cancer, it is advisable to starve longer than two days. Cancerous cells are eating themselves then as the organism starts to feed itself from its internal sources. Generally speaking, eating meat is very unhealthy, the same relates to too much protein – adult people’s organisms don’t need milk at all. Sugar is one of the best source of food for cancerous cells. The only acceptable milk is straight from a cow – warm (for me disgusting :) ). We don’t need any cheese at all. As for cottage cheese, it can be only half with linseed oil (6 spoons of linseed oil – the oil must be bought from a fridge, not a grocer as it loses its nutritional value when not kept in the fridge). These 6 spoons of linseed oil and half of cottage cheese mixed together gives us plenty of Omega 3 which fights off cancerous cells – this mixture is called dr Budwig’s paste. It is worth reading about – Dr. Johanna Budwig’s Diet (the lady who was nominated to the Nobel Prize several times but never got it and died forgotten). She was a great person.

        This diet is the same as dr Gerson’s (US) and dr Dabrowska’s (Poland).

        Cheers!

      • Alex says:

        Any info on the Mediterranean situation with all that? I know it’s not unheard of for Mediterraneans to live a long time, but I’m also wondering about how the other things are. It doesn’t seem too medically dictatorial or incompetant.

        I’ve noticed how every damn thing is seen as a health risk in America & yet, the people here are not generally very “solid.” They abstain from everything & yet they can’t really do anything without snags. Having dissatisfactory situations or encountering obstacles when trying to do things would pretty much be what a “health problem” is.

        They might not totally die very early, but whatever the general age of death is, that number doesn’t reflect that they’re frequently kept alive by machines at that point. Or that they’re falling apart years before that. Or that they have all kinds of problems before that, even while young- lots of those are engineered, though. Antagonism or incompetance, both cause lots of issues for people in this country.

      • Alex says:

        Jola: I’ve heard that raw milk is good for you. The milk from animals other than cow seem to be especially so. I know the Mongols would make a lot of things from horse milk, including booze!

        Another thing that I heard was that the kind of cholesterol that clogs blood vessels actually comes as a response to toxins. When there’s a lot, the response starts piling up & that causes problems.

      • Ro says:

        Jola – Thank you so much for all of the great info! I don’t eat meat or drink dairy milk. I used to drink dairy milk, but a few years ago it started to taste odd (probably from new added chemicals). Lately, I’ve been drinking and using coconut milk. I don’t know much about nutritional value, but I personally like the taste and I’ve found it goes along great with a nice cup of tea :). I will definitely need to work on cutting out sugar, salt, and potatoes as those tend to be vices of mine. I’ve cut back on sugar quite a bit, but I’d like to do away with unnatural (added) sugar entirely. Do you know of some foods that naturally contain sugar and are good for you? I feel like eating those when cravings hit would help me to break the habit. I’ll go for the Himalayan salt from now on and try to eat potatoes sparingly (but the potatoes will probably be the most difficult for me to give up LOL).

  12. Anna sounds like a classic troll to me: posts inflammatory remarks on a forum, just for the pleasure of upsetting people.

    Seriously, though…I second the previous responses to Anna’s post: read and learn. Even if you’re comfy with intimate exams, it might benefit you to try to see the world through eyes other than your own.

  13. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I think you may be right, Elaine.
    I’ve noticed women who are “comfortable” with these exams or even promoters of these exams usually have a fairly poor knowledge of the evidence. Many just repeat the screening story promoted by these programs and the medical profession. Others are so trusting of the medical profession, they’d never question the need or benefit. Even if you cite medical journal references etc, their minds are closed, they “think” they know it all.
    It shows the effectiveness of decades of brainwashing, repeating the same story over and over, one that’s rarely challenged…in the end some are so convinced they’re right (or perhaps, fear we’re right) they’ll never check the “facts” provided about this testing or check our facts.
    I think that’s why some women get very upset or even aggressive/rude when we question this testing. I accepted long ago that some women are unreachable, they’re destined to spend the rest of their lives climbing into stirrups for tests, biopsies etc.
    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink…

    • It kind of reminds me of the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” At the end of the story, no one at the court could admit they’d been had, even when the evidence was before their eyes, AND if you’ve been a victim of a confidence game or scam, I can imagine that rather than confront the people who’ve conned you, you might lash out at the people pointing out the fraud.

      *sad sigh*

  14. Jola says:

    Hi Alex

    I am not an expert, but as I can see and prove, fruit and vegetable diet works. As for raw milk – yes (I wrote about it as ”warm” – for me horrible, but it is not pasturised so it is the right one).

    Cancer can be treated with a proper diet without parts of the body being hacked, cut out, gouged, or whatever.

    By the way, diabetes is a common problem nowadays – all because of improper diet.

    Aren’t the Mediterraneans medically dictatorial? Yes, it seems to me they aren’t. Judging from what I read here from time to time, it’s mostly the US that is so obsessed with medical totalitarianism – honestly. Next, Australia – look what Elizabeth writes about the situation there, and Canada as well. However, when it comes to childbirth in Spain, one midwife from the UK had a Spanish apprentice who was very surprised why women in Britan do not have their pubic and perineum hair shaved before childbirth – a very instrumental approach to women in labour. I once read a story writen by one lady who gave birth in Spain and she wasn’t allowed to use the TENS to relieve her labour pains because a midwife said they have no time for something like that. Well, again when it comes to women’s situation in hospitals, it doesn’t seem good. Italy may be the same – I have no idea, but it just seems to me it is more than likely.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Jola
      There is a program here called “Catalyst” and recently they did a 2 part program on gut bacteria. It was a fascinating program.

      “Now, we’ve been hearing for years how we should be eating healthy food. But this research is different. It’s all about the bacteria that live in our intestines. Eat good food, you end up with good bacteria. Eat badly and you get bad bacteria in your gut. Now, it turns out your gut bugs have an enormous influence on your health.”

      “The remarkable new discoveries are telling us that our current eating habits could be making us sick. Very sick. Indeed, our food might be contributing to heart disease, cancer, asthma, allergies, arthritis, autism, depression, multiple sclerosis, diabetes – the list goes on.”

      You might find it interesting.
      http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4067184.htm

      • Alex says:

        Very interesting. I have to wonder if at some level these things ARE known & are aimed to cause harm. I know that’s a little spy-ish, but these things keep happening. There ARE secrets, after all. Maybe some of them are about large-scale things that are low-key?

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, I kind of figured it might be a mixed situation in the Mediterranean. On the one hand, they don’t back women into corners with birth control & they seem to see a situation for what it consists of. On the other, they seem to have a little bit of that “old world condescension” & sometimes seem to have a little bit of a religion-driven scorn with women.

      My cousin just came back from Italy & she had said that the guys were a bit insistant for her taste (I guess that’s what she meant by “creepy”). I’d worry that in a medical situation, that would carry over & maybe be in a more bossy, dicatotrial way.

      I’ve noticed that the tactic of simple comportment comes up pretty frequently. Not just medically, but in a lot of other situations. They just say to do something & the person doesn’t feel like doing it, but can’t quite “make thier case” mentally about why not. It’s like if someone told you to jump up & down on one leg, and you said no, and then they said “Why?” Someone usually doesn’t seem to have the answer “Because that’s outside orchestration (or third-party comportment, whichever) and that’s a problem.” Ultimately, it’s trying to make there be no “filling” in the argument section. “Oh, so there’s no reason?” Let’s say someone refused something & didn’t give a reason- that refusal still happened.

  15. Jola says:

    Elizabeth, thank you so much.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      You’re welcome Jola, my younger sister is trying to cut out sugar, she’s into week 2…we’ll see, she’s always loved her cakes and puddings. I stopped eating red meat a couple of years ago now, after a few days I had an amazing “feeling” of lightness. (I don’t mean lighter on the scales) I liked that feeling so much, I’m still off red meat, and at this point I can’t see that changing, mainly because I don’t miss it at all. Zero cravings.
      That’s surprised me, no temptation at all, even if everyone around me is eating steak. I still eat white meat, no pork, but free range chicken and turkey, and I occasionally eat prawns. I tried to give up bread a few years ago, had very strong cravings, and really missed my toast, sandwiches etc. We now eat rye and wholemeal bread from a local baker, wood fired ovens, delicious.
      Then I tried to give up caffeine, that was incredibly hard, felt flat and miserable and had headaches for a few days. Sugar is another thing, when I cut back, cravings, I’ve always had a sweet tooth. I will cut back more, I’ve already found some great no sugar options from a local vegan bakery.
      The issue for me…some of these things are so pleasurable, they feel good for my well-being. I’d forever mourn their absence. I love my morning coffee, enjoy every drop…and a glass of wine every couple of days.
      I fear if I found out these things shortened my life, I might ask, how many years will I lose?
      I saw a documentary a few years ago about a couple who hope to live until they’re well over 100, they believe the secret is to eat very small meals, no meat, alcohol, sugar…on and on. It sounded like a fairly ordinary 100+ years. I also, didn’t think they looked healthy OR happy.

  16. Moo says:

    Not about psychology at all.

    I just wonder about the composition of sexual lubricants. How do they differ from the composition of natural secretions? We are told that we NEED these because we are supposed to be so ready for sex (like males are always) or that when we are older that we have “dry vagina” and that is some type of disease. Older women are told to get some lubricant and a speculum and insert it regularly so that they will find their pelvic exam less painful. Really? Who does that benefit?

    So these vaginal lubricants are full of artificial sugars (glycerin) and preservatives. Do they upset the pH or microbial balance of the vagina and promote disease? Are there healthier alternatives?

    • Alex says:

      I’d imagine. One of the things I heard about cancer is that adding baking soda to the diet changes the pH to make it less hospitible to cancer. Sugar, on the other hand, does the opposite. I think the body might also response to the situation better if the pH is different. Anyway, I’d think sugar may or may not feed bacteria & such- just another consideration.

      I don’t usually get into the biological stuff too much, but I’d be real cautious about what is used in a situation where a membrane can absorb one thing or another. Especially considering how they always find a use for something that’ll cause harm to people. Add to that the general antagonism or disregard that the medical profession tends to have toward women, it might turn into a situation that leads to a doctor visit (which can go any number of ways).

    • Karen says:

      “Older women are told to get some lubricant and a speculum and insert it regularly so that they will find their pelvic exam less painful” – this is beyond insane. Older women should keep their vaginas in a rape-able condition (I wonder what sort of obligatory blurb follows such advice about “being responsible” and “awareness”) for the benefit of the medical profession, of course.

    • bethkz says:

      Moo,

      >I just wonder about the composition of sexual lubricants. How do they differ from the composition of natural secretions? …
      So these vaginal lubricants are full of artificial sugars (glycerin) and preservatives. Do they upset the pH or microbial balance of the vagina and promote disease? Are there healthier alternatives?<

      IMX, "Dry Vagina" is only bothersome during intercourse or when something else is inserted. I have been puzzled about why it is that elderly women who are widows, no longer sexually active, or are institutionalized with dementia or the like are being "treated" for "dry vagina". There are even over-the-counter preparations for this – which is only different from sexual or general-purpose lubricants in the price. The composition of them is the same.

      A safer, natural lubricant that I've used when it's been a problem is either butter or saliva.

      What is this about using a speculum to insert it, anyway? How about a tube or the woman's own hand? Yeah, I know, supposedly women cannot reach into their vaginas very far, which is why cervices need to be examined by a professional with a speculum. Still, using a tube similar to a tampon tube to insert it should be do-able by nearly all women.

      The only thing I could think of would be if the women have vaginal burning and itching. That would generally seem to me to indicate an infection. Those are mostly caused by something disrupting the PH balance, or antibiotic use destroying the natural microbes that keep the pathogenic ones intact. It would seem far more beneficial to re-introduce the bacteria – mainly through diet, but they can be applied directly – e.g., bio-active yogurt inserted with a tube or turkey baster reserved for that purpose.

      As far as a sexual lubricant, the typical ones are full of gycerin and parabens. As an aside, I knew a woman who reacted badly to methyl- and propyl- paraben. She found a cosmetic company that claimed they could formulate cosmetics free of the allergen that bothered a given person. She went to them, and they told her THEY COULD NOT HELP HER. It was *legally required* that they put these substances in cosmetics! They have been implicated in breast cancer and skin treated with methylparaben is more prone to damage when exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays, and MAY contribute to skin cancer. This stuff can get in various body organs, where it becomes p-hydroxybenzoic acid. It's got some disturbing effects with breastmilk or in-utero exposure of infants (let alone baby care products!) http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/summary/summary.cgi?cid=7456#x332

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Elizabeth, too bad that AU ABC show Catalyst wasn’t shown in US. I’ll watch it.
        RE vaginal lubricants. Absolutely lubes can upset our balance. Glycerin fuels yeast infections. And the parabens & such can work but be irritating. Ending up with burning cracks & fissures is not the fun I want to repeat. Saliva, used that… Butter, novel idea; but it’s a fat and I don’t know how the body would deal with it. Any problems?

        Our vaginas are used to having some kind of acidic moisture barrier. The lactobacillis produces hydrogen peroxide which aids in our health and our smell. The low ph kills almost everything, including sperm, except when ovulating when it becomes thicker and a bit more alkaline. Our own moisture made during sexual stimulation is equal to blood plasma.

        DreamBrands.com makes “The Natural” a lube based on carrageenan, aloe, agave, and inulin. It does have preservatives. We tried a few and this is closest to my own, least irritating, and I like the ph balance. Hubby says it feels “real.” Has a pleasant neutral taste. They are upgrading to a thicker formulation.

        Preflavored coffees are something I avoid. The beans are marinated 24 hours in propylene glycol and fake flavoring. The plastic bins can’t be used for anything else they are so gummy and grimy. Flavored coffees can have the worst beans too. Also, chemically decaf coffee is done with a carcinogen. Only Swiss-Water processed coffee beans avoid that exposure. In my area, this process is done in Vancouver BC, Canada.

        I do douche. Not as much since menopause, but always after sex. I usually use 1-3T white bottled vinegar; but if I have a yeast infection I use baking soda. I’ve found these “reset” my body to what makes it hygienically happy. I also eat a lot of yogurt, and what you say about foods and our bodies’ health is spot on.

      • bethkz says:

        On lubricants: I haven’t had any problem with butter. Many of the lactobacilli present in a healthy vagina normally live in environments where there is fat from milk – which includes that from which butter is made. The excess fat will just be absorbed.

        I don’t douche EXCEPT when I believe I have a bacterial or yeast infection. Then, either with an iodine solution (bacteria) or vinegar (yeast). It’s pretty easy to tell the difference!

  17. Haley says:

    Finding this article made me feel so much better and less alone. I had a pelvic exam and Pap smear almost a year ago and was absolutely traumatized. I was told I had to get one in order to get birth control and thought that it couldn’t possibly be that bad. But the entire thing was awful and the whole time I had to hold back from pushing away and kicking the doctor off of me. But the worst part came after I left the doctor’s office. I don’t know how to explain it. I just felt so….wrong. I felt so dead inside, but depressed at the same time. Like I wanted to curl up under a rock and die. It got worse as time went on. My self confidence hit rock bottom and I was almost always depressed. I had horrible nightmares and cried all the time. No matter how hard I tried to put the exam behind me, it would constantly replay through my mind all day, every day. No matter how hard I tried not to think about it. I would have panic attacks sometimes. Especially if I saw a rape scene in a movie or saw or heard anything about gynecology on tv. I tried to hold in my feelings, but I honestly felt like I had been raped. The worst part, is that it didn’t just impact me, it impacted my sex life with my fiancé. We used to have a very good sex life and both of us would initiate sex very often. But now it is very rare for me to get aroused without having to try very hard. And sometimes thoughts of the exam pop into my mind and ruin the entire act. We have sex maybe 1/4 as much as we used to. I can’t even go to the regular doctor anymore or even the dentist without freaking out. I have always wanted children and now have second thoughts because of this whole experience. I will never ever let them do that to me again. Even if they deny me birth control. It’s a year later and I am just now starting to feel normal again. Sadly, I don’t think I will ever be 100 percent again. There will always be that little corner of my brain that will hold on to that trauma.

    • Kleigh US says:

      Its wrong for doctors to tie birth control with pap smears. They have no right imposing and exam on woman for unrelated care or bc.

    • b says:

      Haley,

      You’re having some typical PTSD reactions that any rape victim would have. Penetration by coercion IS rape. You were coerced by having the threat BC withheld even though there are NO findings in a pelvic exam which could effect the decision whether to prescribe hormonal BC, the dosage, the brand, or much of anything else. The only test that is required is a blood pressure check.

      I’m sorry that your trying to get something which should have helped your sex life by reducing the worry of unwanted pregnancy has turned into something that has all but destroyed your sex life. It’s also scared you off of having children someday when you want them – which should not be the case. If you have a hospital birth with an obstetrician, such “birth rape” is inevitable. A home birth under the right conditions might be the way to go – just make sure that you understand what sorts of interventions or when the midwife will send you to a hospital, and agree beforehand.

      Rape counselling or rape survivors groups may or may not help. They may help, in that the probloem is a penetration which was imposed upon you. It may not help because these exams are a blind spot in our society – an instance of what happens is not believed to be what occurs. The therapists and group members have also been so brainwashed into accepting this cultural blindspot that they may or not help.

      You say that it’s taken a year for you to feel “almost normal” again. That’s a good thing. It’s one reason that these exams are recommended on a yearly basis – to keep women constantly in a state of mental trauma from sexual assault – and all of the things that come with it – psychiatric issues and somatic complaints. Thus, women come back to the doctor more and more, use more and more products and services, and are more lucrative.

      • Kleigh US says:

        Sasly most obs tie paps with pregnacy care too. its a way they captuer woman. so wrong.

      • Alex says:

        I guess the term “unconventional abuse” or “iatrogenic attack” doesn’t tend to make it into discussions of this nature. Neither does “sexual dissonance” (when things are against the grain in this way). It definitely IS a blindspot & the weird thing is that people are quite astute about all manners of domestic abuse. If there’s any hitting at all, it’s a problem. If there’s any threats, intimidation, or sabotaging of someone’s ability to do things for themselves- that’s all an issue. There’s even a concept of mentally terrorizing someone & psychologically abusing them!

        It’s actually illegal for them to back women into corners to get birth control & if anyone gives you shit about “Oh, it’s a doctor though” just make the point that reality doesn’t take a coffee break for doctors. Properties don’t change by designation & an interface with a sexual area as a product of someone else’s decision-making is an attack (I know that isn’t the perfect way to phrase that, but there’s no way to say something so that someone else can’t lie or twist your words). If the doctor poisoned someone with a needle, it’s still murder. All this applies to risks & inaccuracies, too.

        Over here, if there’s any claim of potential utility or charitable intentions- someone can more or less do whatever they want to someone else. Medical personnel aren’t usually liable for what they do, since there’s always someone else to pass the blame onto & whoever that is just simply doesn’t want it.

    • adawells says:

      Haley, please don’t think you are alone with these feelings, as I had a very painful smear test forced on me at a postnatal assessment, and I too felt I had been raped and assaulted. As I was 35 and had already undressed from the waist to have a childbirth tear inspected, I felt so stupidly naive not to have guessed that this would have happened, I felt too embarrassed and sucked in to make a complaint. My way of dealing with it was to get out of there as quickly as possible. When I got home I cried a good deal for some time afterwards, and I was physically shaken by the ordeal for weeks afterwards. As you say, these horrible feelings are with you all hours of the day and night, and you would give anything to get them out of your brain, but you can’t, and any reference to gynaecology in the media sets your warning lights off again, and it takes days to settle down again. I was so embarrassed at falling into this trap, that I couldn’t tell a soul about it for 17 years.
      I’ve never had a smear test since and never will.

      I had heard about a process of trying to think about putting these experiences into a “strong box” in the recesses of your mind, of keeping that box shut and not letting it get open, until years in the future you feel bold enough to take a peek and try to overcome those feelings. I kept my box shut for 17 years, when I got my diagnosis of endometrial cancer, and I had to confront what had happened so long ago. It has been hard, but I’ve found this website has made me feel I’m not alone. There are women all over the world who are feeling as I do about these tests.
      What makes me so angry is that if you had been assaulted in this way by anyone else it would be a crime and you would get support for taking legal action against the perpetrator, but because it was a doctor who did this to you, they conspire against you to say, it was nothing, and that you need to accept it as a normal part of being a woman. I have since made complaints about my experiences to the health authorities and they dismiss my experience as if I was at fault for not being relaxed enough to accept it as a procedure to save my life. I could go on, but it heartens me greatly to read posts on here, which show that the tide is turning, and so many other women are abandoning this dreadful, barbaric, useless test.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      I’m praying for you and your fiance. You are now a member of a terrible club. Please find a way to talk to your fiance. This is an early test of your relationship. Whenever you go to the doctor, TAKE HIM! Even if it’s for a cold. Do same for him. Outnumbering the doctor helps and unites you as a team. I’ve been to over 60 offices due to my disability, including these exams, and I’ve learned not to go unless my husband accompanies me. He feels the same way. Learn your body, and learn medical terms, including medications. Read about my experience at Kaiser shortly after my marriage. Above all, talk to him so he won’t feel rejected and punished sexually. I almost lost my husband before marriage over the same thing, but he pressed me until I talked.

      Elizabeth wrote about the rhythm method. She relied on it, using condoms when pregnancy might occur. Worked for her. Best, she avoided doctors offices entirely. When married, you are a team. Committed, the two of you can achieve anything.

      When you become pregnant, you CAN refuse paps. After delivery, you can also refuse them. The only answer I have for you to avoid this mess giving birth, is to seek a water birth delivery. This is easiest on mother, and if you have a normal delivery, aside from pain of first time this offers you more control than anything else.

  18. Kleigh US says:

    I honestly cant belive doctors are still doing this to woman in 2014. its not ok to impose inturnal exams on woman. its rape when they take chice away. like no pap no bc. thats rape.

    • Diane Spero says:

      i went through that yrs ago my self. i have been tramazited too. ignoed by drs cause i can’t have an exam. its not worth the anxiety attack it causes. i feel these exams are inturistive to women.

  19. luxy says:

    Thanks for this caring honest article.

    I too am victim of this.

    Also as child and adult was abused, falsely accused, unjust punished, hit degraded helpless, beaten into false confessions, dependent, and no religious leaders, doctors, political parties, unions, foodstamp office, mental health services administration, has ever fought for me and my rights, to where some of them actively oppose me and my rights, and/or abuse me also.

    And the economy/society of USA EuropegGaza Afghanistan Iraq Libya today in 2014 does not value/ reward honest hardworking pragmatic compassionate humble people. Thus we live in fear, powerless,

  20. Alexandria Branum says:

    Children have to have a gynecologist exam when they are between the ages 13 and 15. This is how it all went down. I had a male pediatrician at the time. I was told to take all my clothes off and change into a gown. I did as I was told and laid flat on the table. He came in and I leaned up. He said I want you to lean back bend your knees and spread your legs. I was scared. I really was. He starts touching my vagina, he puts his fingers up my vagina as well. He also does a breast examination. I felt so violated on so many levels. I felt like I was fingered and groped by my male pediatrician. It left me traumatized. I felt so insecure, violated, loss of self-confidence, loss of control. I was a big mess. Didn’t help any, when later in life, I was sexually violated (touched) by two men. I still struggle with the emotional pain.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Welcome to the forum, Alexandria
      I’m so sorry, I consider this child abuse.
      There is no evidence to support this as any sort of health measure, IMO, it’s purely about medical profits and getting us when we’re young. I also, think it’s about early violation in the hope we “get used to it” and just accept this sort of thing right through life.
      It makes me furious to think of so many girls being damaged before they even reach womanhood…how many are left with psychological and physical damage as a result?
      I have nothing but contempt for the “doctors” who carry out these assaults.

      The shocking thing is with so many women brainwashed, they think they’re being responsible mothers taking their daughters for this first exam, like some weird right of passage. If only they knew the damage they were causing and the risk that accompanies this “exam”.
      I would have been a mess too had I gone through that ordeal…at any age, let alone at the tender age of 13.
      Have you thought of sending an email to the doctor and to ACOG setting out the damage caused by that early “exam” and perhaps, even to the media, it could even be sent anonymously. ACOG and other medical groups know these exams are unnecessary and harmful; more needs to be done to stop this abuse. There needs to be more critical discussion, so often it’s dismissed, “well, she’ll have to get used to these exams at some stage”…umm, that’s absolute nonsense, routine pelvic exams are NOT recommended and are more likely to harm you, routine breast exams are of no proven benefit but lead to excess biopsies and pap testing is elective…and now we know only 5% of women aged 30 to 60 can benefit from pap testing anyway AND we can test ourselves for HPV, no need for speculum exams.
      The fact is almost all of these exams are completely unnecessary, there is no need for women to get used to anything. This notion that the asymptomatic female body needs to be medically managed is warped and convenient thinking.
      There is no doubt in my mind this is about medical profits and paternalistic/perverse attitudes that have never been addressed within the medical profession. (I also, imagine some doctors enjoy carrying out these exams)

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Health-Care-for-Underserved-Women/Adult-Manifestations-of-Childhood-Sexual-Abuse

        Interesting…they don’t mention one source of childhood abuse are the well-girl exams they recommend…this group are responsible for a lot of damage.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        To “AB” yes, now we can confidently say that performing this on young girls is abuse. Abuse for what it does physically and psychologically; and for that it’s of no medical benefit. Allow me to reiterate what my husband overheard growing. A family friend was seeking advice from his RN mother. Her daughter, then aged 14, was being seen every 6 months by the mother’s gynecologist. Why? BC her paps were “borderline” abnormal and she needed monitoring. Her breasts were asymmetrical.
        Most girls that age have uneven breasts. Further, her reproductive system is still maturing. Guaranteed to show “borderline” pap results! This girl felt terrorized and violated, exactly as you did. At some point in her life, she turned off to men altogether. Conclusively it began with these exams. Was her doctor really concerned or just a dirty old man?

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Elizabeth, thanks again for posting the ACOG “guidelines.” Ambiguous nonsense! How much time is spent in med school and speciality training on this issue? An hour? During which time they sleep, eat, do homework, or peruse golf catalogs? They’re supposed to ask, then they go ahead & perpetrate their own rape under authority. Nowhere does it say “do not examine.” Oh, postpone the exam; but how many do unless a loud meltdown occurs? Otherwise, all the excuses or BS talk yet examination job one. How many women report they don’t stop when we tell them to? The victim will have yet another bait & switch experience, painful to body & mind, and will not return for future care. A scar on top of a scar. From the 70’s & early 90’s in USA, it was practice to introduce a girl to her first exam in her early teens. Especially if sexually active in any manner. You know the fear propaganda.
        Kids will explore. However, nobody’s mind is ever geared to process a pap/pelvic exam; sexually active or not. Think how many women develop a “freak out” tendency when their partner wants to discuss this. Later in life they refuse to allow their partner to accompany them to exams bc they still have not processed this terror from so many years ago. This is where urine, self-collected cervical mucus, or blood HPV testing is necessary. Bring rational back to medicine.

    • Alex says:

      So why do you type “Children have to have a gynecological exam when they are between the ages of 13 and 15″?

  21. kleigh us says:

    No one “has to” have any exams they do not want at any age. I can’t see how those exams helpt u or any other healthy girl. Its all for profit. I will never let a doctor do and gyn exam on my daughter when I have children. Esp if she is symptom free. That’s bull.

  22. elaryn says:

    If nothng else, ome would hope that the child’s mother would be protective. Trouble is, many of them are brainwashed, too and may insist that the daughter go through it. Thr young lady still has the right ti say no, of course, this sort of thing could lead to trouble of another sort.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Very good. Refuse it, especially if it’s the child voicing out, and the doc will quickly call CPS. Then the femanazi social workers show up, demanding the child be taken away. The kid will be forced into a colpo molest exam, with pap & STD testing, rectal,…complete with a video taped interview using the anatomically correct dolls and temporary foster care. There will be a therapist bought and paid for by CPS, telling the kid to say yes abuse happened if she/he wants to go home again. The coercion will be intense. Especially if the kid comes from a good middle class family, gets good grades, and is well behaved. Those are easiest to place into foster care. The social worker gets a $$ bonus in the tens of thousands, the County/State gets to raid the family finances and good private insurance. The kid will be “cured” just when benefits top out. The parents will be dragged through Juvenile Court, possibly made to divorce in order for the mother to regain custody. The father would have to plead guilty to “something.” By the time it’s all done, nobody will know what really happened. This is how it happens in CA, FL, TX…good ol’ USA!! Hope the kid is over 10yrs old. So long as the kid can speak for herself in court, not having the MFCC (lowest on therapist food chain) speak for her, chances are this can be avoided.

      • Alex says:

        Wait, what case are you talking about?

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Two cases; both from San Diego CA USA. In the early 90’s, a career sailor named Jim Wade found his family in a similar situation. Except his daughter was taken out her bedroom window in the night, raped, then returned, tucked back into bed. The parents woke her up for school to discover her ripped from stem to stern. The Navy clinic, and others, noted his daughter clung to both her parents. She related the story over & over, saying it happened on a baseball field, and in describing the guy said he drove a green car. A footprint was found outside her window that didn’t match any family member. Jim Wade made police take a pic; they otherwise ignored it-their minds already made up. However, when the girl was transferred to hospital for surgery, the father was excluded; mother’s contact supervised.

        The SW threatened the mother their other son would be taken if she didn’t cooperate with CPS and took her husband’s side. The daughter, then age 7, held her own, through rare family contact (none with dad), for 18 months. Finally all the cajoling got her to turn saying dad did it [she later described constant pressure from therapist]. Rewarded by foster parents taking her on vacation. Jim Wade was arrested on his ship for rape; and later the mother was threatened to be charged with approving and watching the molesting. Ritualistic child abuse. He both ate & flushed his papers down the toilet to keep other inmates from finding out. All the while, the DA prosecutor claimed he did it; assuring the court nobody else could’ve been involved. One lie of many. Factually however, she was involved prosecuting the real perp, a repeat offender who preyed on some of the girl’s friends from that same Navy housing complex.

        Eventually, Congressman Duncan Hunter referred the matter to the San Diego Grand Jury. The GJ ended up taking complaints in the thousands, a bunch of them involving the same social workers, lawyers, CPS therapists (MFCC is lowest in education on therapy food chain), all acting in cahoots. As if scripted. The mother attempted suicide. Wade finally took his family’s inheritance, $275K, and hired an attorney outside of the court appointed “paid pretender.” The DA said no dna on the panties & nightgown. An independent lab noted the panties were “stiff,” and dna on both excluded Wade. Alicia was within 2 weeks of being adopted out to the foster parents when this Grand Jury intervened. Foster-adopt families are a legalized way of holding very young children hostage, on a finite clock, making parents capitulate to whatever made up guilt demands just to try and get them back.

        Turns out dna indicated one man, in CA prison for multiple molest offenses. He cut a deal, validating Alicia’s original story. Quickly SD County backpedaled, and began reunification proceedings. The family sued everybody, attorneys, SD County, CPS, therapists, ending up with a few million minus 40% to the good attorney. Nobody representing the system was criminally penalized. The GJ wrote a scathing report recommending severe changes. This GJ was threatened with lawsuits for doing their job.

        The next GJ claimed that this GJ was full of shit. That CPS worked just fine, and didn’t have a crooked perversion trying to prove massive, ritualistic child abuse taking place.

        The Dale Akiki case happened. This guy had severe physical birth defects which also effected his cognitive functioning. Church goers & young kids at Faith Chapel didn’t like his looks, where he and his wife volunteered with daycare. Eventually, remarks became rumors became complaints, and CPS swopped in. The kids were sent to the partner of the therapist which engineered the Wade fiasco. [an equal tragedy, the 70’s McMartin case from Anaheim CA should come to mind. the “therapist” in that case only held a driver’s license as credentials.] Akiki was arrested at gunpoint at the bus stop he used commuting to work. His next two years spent in jail. Gang members figured out he was innocent, protecting him from others who, well, “wanted” him. He later remarked if found guilty he’d have committed suicide. Dale had to prove his innocense, which was done via sodium pentathol interrogation. Truth serum. Meanwhile, a third consecutive GJ took up investigating CPS. The church? It spent $250K digging up its plumbing looking for “bones.”

        At trial, the kids testified to what else, ritualistic child abuse. They recounted gross stories of bloody animal slaughtering and sacrifices. Involving rabbits, elephants, & other zoo animals. Hence the search for bones. They told of Dale renting them out for sex during church services, delivering them via his scooter. Dale’s wife was also threatened with prosecution. The trial stretched days and was locally televised. The jury came back soon thereafter and outright acquitted him. He collapsed. The Sheriff’s deputies running the jail hired a limo to drive him home. He and his wife spent the night at a hotel. The next morning, a restaurant recognized him, comping their breakfast. Dale was so shaken it took him nearly an hour to figure out what to pick from the menu. Eventually he sued and like Wade settled for a few million less fees. The system refused to police itself. This GJ made findings reflecting those made by the first following Wade’s case.

        Eventually, a brave Municipal Court Judge read the first GJ letter. He filed a complaint against Kathleen Goodfriend MFCC, therapist in the Wade case. Three months later, Goodfriend surrendured her license, admitting to over 10 malfeasances. Juvenile Court is a closed loop. Secrecy. No juries. When somebody admits to an invented farce, just to get their kids back, what they admit to is then regarded as true, rock solid evidence. They then face criminal charges in a very public Superior Court. Couples are forced to divorce. Kids abused in foster care. SW’s tell parents while ignoring these offenders, using the leverage against parents. The monetary costs are staggering. SW’s are paid bonus in tens of thousands $$ to place kids. Twins being a two-fer. I’ve condensed this as best I can. If you like, look up articles in the San Diego Union, Evening Tribune, San Diego Grand Jury which has several lengthy reports over many years. These two cases took place between 1990 and 1994. However, this terrible legacy lives on. Whatever recommendations adopted to satisfy public outcry have been watered down to uselessness.

        Personally, I know the judge, a now retired reformer. Jim Wade retired and took his family away from San Diego, back to Missouri. He remarked to a newspaper that parents don’t know what they’re really getting when a social worker is assigned to an elementary school. One day years ago I met Dale Akiki at a picnic. Last year his wife passed away.

        In the US today, one must have vast resources to survive any legal encounter. We have a great justice system for those who can afford it. Besides CPS, there are three murder cases here reflecting these concerns. One is David Westerfield, convicted (on death row) of killing a little girl. This guy was witnessed to be “staggering, swaying, stinking drunk;” after consuming massive quantities of alcohol. Yet two hours later that night he was accused of sneaking into a home with active alarm system, past a sleeping family dog, up stairs, carrying off the 8-yr old girl, going back down…past the dog again, leaving no fingerprints anywhere. Another is the American Beauty killer. Kristen Rossum was convicted of poisoning her husband. After her conviction, word came up questioning the actual amount of fentenyl [she was accused of stealing it from her job as SD County toxicologist] she put in her husband’s drink. He slowly died over a 12 hour period. However, the amount in his blood she was convicted on would’ve brought death within 1 hour, not 12. Her former employer also processed evidence in her trial. There was no tissue samples saved to double check the findings. Gross conflict of interest? She had a court appointed attorney. She had admitted to falling back into a childhood drug habit after his death. And another case similar to hers. In that one, on appeal a poisoning conviction based on arsenic was overturned. The widow in that case was accused of having too much fun while mourning. She used funds to hire a private attorney. In her case, he proved incompetence handling tissue samples plus a secondary source, her husband’s employment, for his exposure.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      The prosecutions of the two widows are chilling. Both women were prosecuted chiefly for how they “mourned.” My husband and I agreed that if one of us out lives the other, and funds are available, the survivor is to do something nice for him/her self in memory, as a gift or dedication to surviving. We love each other such that just knowing the other is gone is a terrible enough burden to carry. That one thing, to improve our lives for while we’re here before we meet again in Heaven is one last kiss. Mourning, especially after a long illness just prolongs suffering. Writing this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It really helped. Most of the time when I google “panic attack during pap smear” all I get is a bunch of “inhale, exhale, think about a peaceful place, talk about something nice, and stare at a fixed point in the ceiling”.
    Not helping. I am in Xanax too now. I was diagnosed HPV two years ago and have to go in every 6 months for a paps smear. I have an appointment tomorrow and I am already freaking out, with tears in my eyes. I feel vulnerable, violated, so humiliated. Last time I could not stop crying like a baby while I had my legs open. This is the worst part for me, opening my legs in that bizarre chair. Its good to know I am not the only one. I have had horrible doctors that have been really cruel to me about “not keeping it together”. Hope tomorrow the xanax works the magic and my exam comes out just fine.

    • adawells says:

      Anon, could you refuse the chair and insist on a flat couch if there is one available? The gyn chair is very much an American thing, and they aren’t used here in the UK. I’m mid 50’s and never seen one. All pap tests are done on a flat couch, with the woman putting her legs in the position of her choice: either knees bent vertically, both knees sideways (foetal position), or one knee up and the other flat on the bed. This “3 o’clock” position was what I always used on my very rare visits. With my right leg flat on the couch, it gives you a clear view of the doctor and what the bugger is getting up to. The other 2 positions give you hardly any view at all.
      I read a medical paper about different positions for pap tests and the chair and stirrups came out worst for instilling fear, vulnerability and pain in women. It is rarely used in Europe.

    • Diane Spero says:

      i can so relte i took ativan my last few attempts at an exam. no they don’t understand those who have trauma regarding these tests. i agree they are over testing you. please consider not going. i am not gong anymore too much trauma, and its so difficult to explain to office that i will discuss my issue withe dr. these biches gurd the dr like he is a god!

      i have aked many times to be sedated, they refuse. please don’t let them give you any more trauma not worth it.

      hang in there

      diane

  24. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Anon, sounds like you’re having far too many pap tests, HPV+ is not a big deal for MOST women, it rarely results in cervical cancer, that’s why it’s a fairly rare cancer, lifetime risk is LESS than 1% while HPV affects 40% of women under 30 and about 5% of women aged 30+

    The new Dutch program will offer the 5% of women aged 30 to 60 who are HPV+ a 5 yearly pap test, and when these women test HPV- they’ll be returned to the HPV primary testing pool.
    So 6 monthly pap testing sounds like overkill to me, and it’s clearly putting an enormous strain on you, hardly surprising.
    I’ve never had a pap test and feel so sorry for women caught up in non-evidence based programs, there is no need for a horrible chair either, women here have pap tests with no stirrups or horrible chair, that’s completely unnecessary and says to me your doctors don’t care about the dignity and comfort of women.
    I assume you’re American, but excess is a problem with this testing in lots of countries.
    It’s concerning that you’re taking Xanax to help you get through a difficult experience, which is probably completely unnecessary. Please, be careful.

  25. am2000 says:

    I agree with the trauma part. Im 23 and had my first pap smear two days ago. Im still a virgin. I can say that I have personally never experienced a physical pain so sharp and intense in my whole life! That is not an exaggeration. It felt like my dr was shredding my hymen to pieces over and over again. I only decided to do it because i wanted to know why my menstrual cycle was so irregular. I left feeling completely traumitized, humiliated, embarrassed, and questioning if I would become asexual. I dont recommend this test for those who are not sexually active (like myself). The purpose of the test has good reason but I personally will never do this again. I cried for hours and I feel extremely insecure.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      am2000, please do this. Google the UDOTest, Delphi Screener, and Trovagene. Personally, I used Trovagene a month ago. Simply sent a sample from my first morning urination; two weeks later I found out I’m HPV negative. NO PAP. No inaccuracies–pap is 53% vs Trovagene 90+%. Simple as http://www.trovagene.com or 858-952-7570 (USA). Cost is $120US cash or they’ll bill insurance! You can’t go wrong; and best yet the result is something your doctor can’t deny. I have opted out of pap and pelvic exams. Why not help yourself? Better yet, tell your friends and write your government representatives.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Cat&Mouse
        Some doctors are still telling women they need pap testing, even though they’re HPV-
        Women need to know this is not true, and in fact, if you’re no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous, you can forget future HPV testing, you have nothing to fear from this rare cancer.
        I know a couple of women who were told by their Australian GPs that the HPV- result did not mean they could forget about pap testing, thankfully, both women were informed, challenged their GPs who gave up and backed down. (both women used the Delphi Screener in Singapore)
        It is so important to be informed, it’s our protector from the madness and abuse of women’s cancer screening.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        You’re posilutely right! So far so good. I haven’t had any issues with my doctor. My husband and I tell every woman and couple we meet about Trovagene, this site, and how I’ve opted “out” of pap/pelvic exams. What’s neat is handing over a copy of my test results to an educated woman and watching her reaction. We’re informing my other doctors, and watching their reactions. I’ll keep you posted, and let you know if any get back to us reporting they too have kicked the pap habit. Thank you, God Bless you, for providing this forum, for my liberation!

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Sweetie, pap smears have nothing to do with your menstrual cycle – I hate to sound harsh but you obviously have no idea what the pap test is for. Pap tests are only recommended for women who are sexually active, so you should never have had the test in the first place. Even women who are sexually experienced can find pelvic exams an ordeal – it’s no wonder you’ve been traumatised. Even if your doctor wasn’t aware of your sexual status, he/she had no valid reason for performing a pap test on the basis of irregular periods!

    • bethkz says:

      A pap test on a virgin is completely useless. The test is to detect for the HPV virus, which is only transmitted through penetration. It can be sexual, but it can also be with a contaminated object, hand, glove, lubricant, or about anything else. It put you at some risk for becoming infected with HPV. You are also at a risk for getting a positive result, and being referred to more tests, with higher risks. All of this risk is completely without benefit.

      Cervical cancer is very rare, and always has been. The types which are not related to HPV, which virgins can get, are not detected with a pap smear.

      The pelvic exam did not tell them anything about your menstrual cycle or why it’s irregular. The bimanual pelvic exam is too nonspecific for diagnosis of anything. There are numerous reasons for irregular cycles, most of them hormonal, so hormone-detecting blood tests would have been the gold standard for such diagnosis.

      If you were not informed of any of this, you did not give informed consent. What do we call penetration of a vagina without consent….

    • Alex says:

      Not to “jump on the nerve,” so-to-speak: but whether you’re sexually active or not doesn’t matter. It’s still high-risk, low utility, and there seem to be alternatives (at the very least there’s self-testing options). There’s also the concept of it simply being a problematic methodology, it IS an interface with a sexual area (specifically a penetrative one). If this is a product of someone else’s decision-making, that is an attack. I think it would just be called an “iatrogenic assault” at that point.

      Speaking of sexual activity, there is the risk of miscarriages from injury (which can be deliberate or not- at the very least there’s the potential for lying to generate a repeat cost).

    • Moo says:

      Unless you are trying to get pregnant or have pain of other issues with your menstrual periods there really is no reason to worry about irregular menstrual periods. If it is just a matter of convenience and surprise your period shows up when you do not expect it then there are a few ideas you can try. Purchase or sew some cloth mini pads to wear just in case or use a silicone cup such as diva cup around the time the red is expected. You could also visit a herbalist and see what they recommend. Getting onto prescription hormonal birth control pills to “regulate” your cycles is not often a good idea. It increases your risk of breast cancer, you will battle with doctors to continue your prescription unless you get yearly pap and pelvic exams most places and other pitfalls.

  26. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    It’s interesting that American doctors are being told there is no need for a pelvic exam in a “non-pregnant” women, but it seems MOST of the pelvic exams carried out during pregnancy and labour are unnecessary too. I know women here had a breast and pelvic exam (and a pap test) at their first pre-natal visit, some doctors have dropped that exam now. (but still ask about pap tests)
    I know some American women endure a pelvic exam at every pre-natal visit, I watched an episode of “Deliver me” and was shocked at the number of pelvic exams, it seemed at every visit, legs in stirrups…why? How does it help to be constantly doing pelvic exams?
    I know one woman posted on Dr Sherman’s site that she returned to the UK to have her pregnancy managed by a midwife because American doctors were obsessed with pelvic exams.
    I’ve always felt that almost every medical intrusion on the symptom-free female body is unnecessary and does nothing more than expose us to risk.
    If a doctor suggested a routine pelvic exam, I’d assume she was incompetent and get up and leave, I might even report her, concerned she may harm some of her patients.

    • Alex says:

      It seems American doctors ARE obsessed with probing people. Doesn’t seem to matter what the conditions are. Another thing is that they can be very doctrine bound- if somehting’s on the list, they plod toward it. This is a definite indicator of incompetance, because they don’t actually understand the workings of the situation- they just do things (add in the Joker’s voice & hand gestures from that Dark Knight movie- although it seemed he DID plan plenty of shit, I guess that also applies).

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        YES. Call it an obsession, obsessive defensive medicine, training women, breaking us down, getting off on us in stirrups, an abusive addiction, all the above. If a patient is undesirable, she won’t be probed nearly as much. But if attractive, might as well make us appear at their conventions wearing nothing but a gown, shaved and ready to submit. Oh happy doctor!

        A self promoting (bragging) Canadian doctor of Mid Eastern origins posted his own pictures with newborns. He included BS about how wonderful and necessary paps are. A woman commented back, bringing up several points why paps are useless and should be banned along with the equally useless pelvic. His avoided directly answering anything she said, instead suggesting she made several “good points,” but claimed lacking procedural evidence he had to stick with proven established protocols until alternatives are established.

        Another post from a Mid Eastern originating Canadian doctor (same one?) posted a picture of his own surgical handiwork. The woman “used,” spread and posed, clearly from an earlier procedure had her clitoris and inner labia surgically removed. Shameful!! A beautiful woman transformed into a “hole” for mens’ gratification. Since she can’t participate in receiving pleasure he doesn’t have to worry about being inadequate. This is all normal to that asshole. It made me sick and wanting to cry. These jerks are reasons why we need to persevere.

    • Moo says:

      I have read numerous accounts of women having miscarriages within 72 hours of getting a pap test during a pelvic exam at their “6 week prenatal exam”. The manufacturer’s insert for most pap transport media says that certain types of collection devices for pap should not be used at 8 weeks of pregnancy. What study backs that up? -because it is not published. Anyway how can the number of weeks pregnant be confirmed? Usually by the crown rump measurement at transvaginal ultrasound which is done after the first prenatal exam.

      If a pregnant women does have cervical cancer then it is risky but the rates of cervical cancer for pregnant women are about the same as every woman. Treatments for cervical dysplasia cannot be done while pregnant anyway so why bother? But some women will advised to have an abortion.

      Getting a midwife would be no different for me. Because where I live (ontario) midwives are regulated. They have to follow certain protocols to be insured. They are not allowed to take high risk pregnancies as these will be referred to ob/gyn. So they order every test under the sun.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Moo, I’ve been on sites where you post and help victimized women (actually couples as the husband’s suffering is equal) suffers emotionally equally), and I appreciate your work. You do more for them than their own doctors do. And yes, first thing I wondered is “how do they know?” Meaning the colpo brush manufacturers.

        I have to wonder how many “accidental” abortions or to them-miscarriages-take place due to the deliberate use of these devices during the first pap/pelvic exam? Are they accidentally on purpose intervening on pregnancies where the baby isn’t desired?

        And yes again, how do they (manufacturers) know that the device should not be used during pregnancy? Certainly some kind of study or very confidential study took place before these were cleared for clinical use. We’ll never know unless it’s leaked.

        In USA, paps are done at first pre and last post natal visit; and I believe it is for defensive medicine. I’ll call a local clinic and let you know the answer; no, I’ll share whatever BS flies off their pitchfork. This is the same approach as ordering episiotomies on every woman regardless of her body’s capabilities or her own desires. These useless procedures make deliveries easier and “on-time” so doctors can stay on schedule. Go to a vaginal rejuvenation site and just stare and gasp at the destroyed vaginas.

      • Alex says:

        I’ve got to say it: Suppose you do die of cervical cancer? So what? Nobody gets so cranked up over liver or thyroid cancer. Nobody gets so damn concerned when someone eats themselves into a heart attack or if their foot’s about to fall off. They start playing all kinds of emotional games & mailing out manipulative advertising (at least in England) over some situation where they’ll be probing somoene & possibly fucking up their reproductive abilities for life or just fucking up their life, in general.

        It’s interesting to me that so many women aren’t about to put up with a backhand, but they’ll be just fine with other people telling them what goes where & what’s a priority in their life. I guess there’s no way to point that out without shooting yourself in the foot, but there’s a major issue with self-determination when in a medical setting.

        Just a thought: Maybe they subconsciously worry it’ll offend the enemy?

      • Moo says:

        Also interferring with pregnancies of women they think are too old or too poor or too fat. I was asked my family income because that apparently is one of the data fields that cytobase collects along with race (who determines that?), number of pregnancies and abortions. The cancer care ontario cervical screening cytobase needs all this info for “planning” purposes. I have an inkling it is shared with other government for different reasons just the way that they get women’s information from the voters rolls or census to send them their first invite letters.

  27. elaryn says:

    Whether or not it’s a “female” exam, most medical office staff I’ve run into seem to be in a sort of “fast food” mode when doing patient procedures: weight, blood pressure, temperature, take off clothing (dependent upon reason for visit), put on paper gown, doctor will be with you shortly. Want fries with that? Next, please? When I refuse to be weighed, for example, they just sort of stand there and stare at me for a couple of moments, as if they can’t beleive their ears. (I’ve had a couple of them me that I don’t have to look at the scale. Ha ha.) They don’t expect resistance or being questioned.

    It also seems to be “routine” for a woman’s partner to be excluded from exams. “It’s routine” seems to be a vry popular phrase, but “routine” for them should not be routine for patients. Don’t want to do it? Just say NO.

    • Mint says:

      I refused to be weighed for a referral to a NHS eye specialist. When I queried why the good doctor would want to know my BMI , the nurse couldn’t answer. She refused to process my referral until I jumped on the scales. I chose a private doctor. She managed my laser surgery without further reference to my weight.

      • Diane Spero says:

        yes i feek medicak treat tou like stuff on an assembly line. some of these women un drs offices are rude! yea they don’t like to be challanged! i have been refused an apt becaus i questioned them in us there is no patient care. its gey paid and get th papers filed.
        i rarel go to the dr. have to every 5 months for thyroid med referral. apt is is bp , wtc, 5 min get script.

        no other sevrice has pay before treatment execpt drs, walking in there and you pay!

      • So…you might have “fat” eyes? I can actually see where weight might matter in some cases, but if you’re going in for an eye exam or bronchitis, weight really does not matter. Kind of like the doctor suggesting you have “female” exam for a twisted ankle or allergies.

    • Alex says:

      Something doesn’t have to be outside of the normal to be a problem. It being “routine” means nothing.

    • Moo says:

      I refuse to be weighed because the scale is in the public waiting room. Sometimes weight is needed to calculate dosage for some medications. It makes sense that a 90 lb woman might need a different dosage from a 250 lb man. However this might be handled more discretely. In fact I have never been asked about my weight and had dosage adjusted. It seems most medications are one size fits one of two age catagories either adult or child (under 12 yrs old not matter the size of the child). Doesn’t something tell you that body mass and dosage should matter?

      Usually the lecture is to lose weight but never exactly how. The 3 minute consult doctors are never going to have time to discuss nutrition with patients even if they knew anything much about it. Most people over a certain age are heavier and the height/weight charts are ridiculous.

  28. Anon2 says:

    I’ve heard about instances like these as well. I am a virgin at 34, and, since I was 16, doctors have been trying to force me into pelvic exams. Once, I broke my finger and needed an x-ray and the doctor withheld the x-ray saying that she would not do it until I get a pelvic exam and she sent nurses to get the stirrups ready! I was only 20 at the time and told her that I was a virgin and she didn’t care!!! I quickly left as she went to check to see if the room was ready.

    Another doctor was obviously lesbian but kept questioning my sexual history. When I told her that I was a virgin, she demanded that I get a pelvic exam, even though I was only there for sinus infection. She told me that I could not leave until I scheduled it. I left anyway and for weeks, she called and called asking me to schedule it. I stopped answering her calls and I kept receiving letters in the mail from her to schedule it. She went as far as making the appointment herself, but I did not show up.

    Yes, done people are attracted to gyno for power, lust, etc. I also think that some of these women doctors were raped and by shoving speculums into virgins, they think that they are raping other women… or they are ashamed that they didn’t wait until marriage and they want to ruin the other women’s chances.

    • Alex says:

      I didn’t think of that- like someone that was abused as a kid doing the same thing when they’re older? I think that’s a definite possibility. Especially if they’re thinking that they’re the ones “behind the gun” so they’re safe from “shots” like that. Stupid belief, since they only make themselves deserve it at that point & someone can always shoot at someone that’s holding a gun.

      I think there’s also the potential for envy- the other women are younger, prettier, more fertile- maybe they’re expecting children or already have them. It’s not unheard of for someone to take issue over someone’s race, but they could also take issue with their condition. I think sometimes there’s also a situation where someone wants to victimize someone that’s in some kind of vunerable situation to make themselves feel dangerous- like when someone is hurt, unconcscious, or in some kind of weird furniture for instance.

    • kleigh us says:

      That doctor had no right. I hear of doctors and receptionist making appointments for paps and mammograms with out asking the woman all the time . that is wrong and some places charge the person even if they don’t show up. A male doctor refused me a cheast exray a few years ago if I didn’t take a pregnancy test first even tho I told him I was a vergin. Other places like dental just take your word for it. They can’t charge for preg tests. A pelvic exam is over the top for a exray. Its for extra money and they hide behind “she’s a woman of child baring age.”

      • Alex says:

        Yeah, charging someone for not allowing them to probe them is plenty fucked-up. If man decided to say “I ain’t leavin’ ’til you give up that ass or that paper” that would definitely qualify as an abusive situation- especially if either thing happened, not just the threat.

      • Moo says:

        Here is the truth about pregnancy and xrays. http://www.insideradiology.com.au/pages/view.php?T_id=96
        I had the experience of going to a walk-in clinic for a flu shot. I thought i might be pregnant and told the nurse. I know there is sometimes a different vaccine for pregnant women (which is maybe better). The doctor was annoyed. They did a pregnancy test which was just a dollar store urine test. I never saw the result. I am sure he probably did not stock the other vaccine. I got the flu shot and I was not pregnant. However now I am refusing flu vaccines because I see them as mainly useless. (They are free where I live).

  29. Traci says:

    I am almost 36 years old and still a virgin. I had my first PAP done when I was 17. My mom felt it was time I see a “woman doctor” so took me to see an OB-GYN. This doctor (a female) said she was only going to look at me. I was so afraid lying in that position – I get panic attacks when I cannot see what is going on. the next thing I know I felt unbearable pain that was complete torture. Whatever she did to me left me in a great deal of pain – I could not walk well for several days – and I was bleeding really bad. For all I know she may of broken my hymen. So many have tried doing PAP tests on me since with the use of Xanax; some gel that was supposed to numb the surrounding tissues before they opened me; a pediatric size speculum; you name it. I figured if I stayed a virgin than no one can make me have one done – I just found out I was wrong. I told the doctor I saw yesterday that I refuse to have one done unless I am out of it. It freaks me out just to think of being touched there by anyone.

    • Alex says:

      Sorry to hear that happened to you.

      Just to ask: Why get them at all? They don’t work as advertised, if you’re thinking they’ll save your life from your “ticking time bomb” anatomy. there’s quite a bit about that on here (there’s a whole references & education section, actually).

      Just to say right off the bat: Properties don’t change by designation, just like if a doctor poisons someone with a needle it’s still murder. Even if something is a means to an end, it can still be of a problematic methodology. This is an interface with a sexual area- not something that’s a normal situation with someone that you aren’t “like that” with (recreationally or seriously). As a product of someone else’s decision-making, it’s an attack.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Traci, ALL so unnecessary, if you’ve never been sexually active, you cannot benefit from pap testing, more than that, we now know that only about 5% of sexually active women aged 30 to 60 can benefit from pap testing. So MOST women are having unnecessary pap testing. ZERO effort is made in most countries to confine this testing to the small number actually at risk (HPV+ and aged 30 to 60) no effort is made to protect the vast majority of women who cannot benefit from pap testing (HPV-) but can be harmed.
      It’s horrifying to think you were tested at 17, 1 in 3 pap tests performed on women aged under 25 WILL be “abnormal”…false positives, so you were lucky that test didn’t land you in day procedure.
      Sadly, some women have been trained to believe this testing is a must or they’ve been trained to greatly fear this always rare cancer or consider themselves “survivors” (when almost all have simply been over-treated) or they believe cc is rampant so being a good mother means getting your daughter into this testing…nothing could be further from the truth, they’ve been misled, they’re risking their child’s health, emotional and physical health for NO benefit.
      Xanax! Why? Pap testing is a pointless and potentially harmful exercise for virgins.
      It’s simple, leave virgins (women who’ve never been sexually active) alone and OFFER (not demand or coerce) women aged 30 to 60 a HPV test or HPV self testing kit, the roughly 5% who are HPV+ could be offered a 5 yearly pap test.
      That’s what should be happening, but the reckless use of this test has left huge numbers of women with damage/trauma.
      I’d urge you to get informed, that’s the best way to protect yourself from the medical profession.
      I’m sorry to hear you’ve been negatively affected by this testing, it’s HUGE club, but almost all of this damage was avoidable….if they actually cared about women.

    • kleigh us says:

      It doesn’t matter what a doctor sees. No one can force you. You might have to stand your ground and be firm.

  30. Diane Spero says:

    i don’t like being touched either. i understand where you are comng from. i have asked for yrs for sedation always reused, lookd at like i am nuts. i ave yet to get any medical help. i decide i was was done tourting my self, no more gyn’s!
    i hope you find a solution and not suffer for yrs like i have

  31. anxious mess says:

    I can so relate to all of this. I’ve never been raped, but it basically feels as if I have. It’s true, they hold birth control captive unless you get the exam. That’s not even giving me an option to consent to the exam! It’s more or less saying you can risk an unwanted pregnancy, horrible cramps, insane mood swings, depression and suicidal thoughts or be raped. It’s even become a sort of psychological rape for me at this point. My options are basically to arrive drunk or locate some Xanax to get through the exam, because that’s real healthy, that’s just want I wanted to be driven to…

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi AM,
      Welcome to the forum.
      Things are changing, you could try another doctor, call first and check their requirements, the only clinical requirement is a blood pressure test and your medical history. You could take some references with you. I don’t know how many groups have to say these exams are not required for the Pill, before it sinks in with some doctors, I suspect some don’t want to hear it.
      If you’re American, in California you can buy the Pill over the counter, Oregon is not far behind….might be worth a trip.
      You can also, buy the Pill online…some of the women on this forum do that to avoid excess and pap test pressure.
      I’m so sorry you’ve been coerced into excess (breast and pelvic exams, pure excess that carries risk) and a screening test (pap) the law and proper ethical standards says is elective. So many women have been abused simply because they want the Pill.
      Don’t put yourself through more, make some enquiries and get the Pill another way. I hate to think of you getting drunk or taking Xanax to cope with something that should NOT be happening. Hopefully, these ugly days are drawing to a close.
      I’d also, consider writing a letter to your doctor explaining why you’ve changed your doctor, (if you do) that you know these exams were unnecessary and how they made you feel.

    • linda says:

      Hi Anx Mess. You must not submit to these exams anymore. Eliz is right you need to source them from elsewhere. But you must write to your doctor tellinb them how you feel. Only by more of us coming forward will things change. A few months sgo I started getting flashbacks when a practice nurse started going on about paps all thd time. I refused. I worry that a lot of young women will reach 50 as I have done and start having these flashbacks as well. Its a horrible thing that blights thd lives of women. You are right to liken them to rape. They are rape.

      • kat rehman says:

        Linda you’re so right. I’ve posted I found smears painful humiliating and violating. I think I’ve consciously blocked it out after thinking after last time never again. I’m also realising how angry I am, that I never stopped it before, and ignored the invitations before finally sorting it. Then you feel you’re the only one feeling this way, it’s a regular routine test isn’t it?- then,you’re right, you turn to the the Internet and find out you’re not alone. Then feel sad for all the others. But comforted in the support we give each other.. May we all find our own way to healing x

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Kat
        That’s why I hope we reach those women who can’t face any more, who’ve walked away and hide from this program. I hate to think of women living in fear, when the risk is so small and they’re probably not even at risk. (HPV-) I also, want to catch women before the testing starts so they can make an informed decision from the start.
        For the first group of women, well, it usually means every time an awareness month rolls around, these women have to block it out, they may feel anxious and afraid. Every article about an UNscreened woman dying “unnecessarily” from cc and urging you to get screened, makes them even more anxious. This was THEIR plan, to isolate and terrify “non-compliant” women, make an example of them.
        It’s a very different matter when women have the evidence, it puts risk in perspective, it puts the individual woman in control, you can act on real information, not fear, emotion or propaganda. A woman who’s very worried (often after a traumatic treatment or biopsy) about her non-screening status, might choose to self-test, find she’s HPV- and knowing what that means, can then confidently walk away from the program…and hopefully, finally, get on with her life.
        It saddens me to think so many women live a sort of half-life, living around this testing, dreading the next “invitation” whether that comes through the post or delivered by an opportunistic GP.
        I’m mindful of these women, that’s all the motivation I need to go out and look for them, some WILL turn to the internet to look for real information. Once that wasn’t possible, so these women lived in fear and dreaded the next time they might be “captured” by this program. Now thankfully, most women have access to the internet and real information.

      • adawells says:

        Elizabeth, I am eternally grateful to you for finding me. I was never in to social media before, and had posted on a health website for the first time, when I realised I was facing gyn treatment. I was amazed to get your reply inviting me to this site. So glad you found me. My education about these matters has soared and continues to do so still. I am sure there are many women out there who have also opted out of screening, but not having had any problems, don’t realise there are sites like this one. A while ago, we had a student nurse from the UK on here. I am now convinced that this site is under the surveillance of the NHS and being used for “training purposes”.

      • Heather says:

        We are so lucky these days to have the Internet, so there is no excuse for not doing a quick search and getting some facts. It is much easier today than a few decades ago when one had to dig through books in the library! The medical profession often cautions against using “doctor Google”, but there is nothing wrong in trying to get the true facts rather than being fed medical bull$hit.

        I found these numbers and logical conclusions on http://annystudio.com/misc/better-health-care/ . I hope the author doesn’t mind me reposting it here, and I also hope these hard-fact numbers will help to ease many women’s anxiety that peaks during the CC awareness month (aka CC bull$hit and scare-mongering month). No fear-mongering, emotional scare campaigns or propaganda can beat pure maths!

        … Take the long-standing obsession of Australian health care system — pap smears. It really is an obsession, to the point that it makes women feel like their bodies have the only organ — cervix, because no matter what the reason of their visit to the doctor was — be it a broken arm or inflamed tonsillitis— the women are asked when they had the last pap smear and pestered to have the next one of they are “due”. (Once the women get older, they add breasts to their anatomy, as they start being pestered about mammograms and breast cancer, despite the research showing that the radiation and pressure from mammograms may cause or aggravate that very cancer). The hype around pap smear screening deceives women into thinking that cervical cancer is a rampant disease and should be the focus of their health care, diminishing the importance of much more common and dangerous health problems. Pro-screening doctors never tell women that the lifetime risk of developing cervical cancer is only 0.68%. Neither they tell that for those who regularly submit to routine pap smears, the lifetime risk of being sent to further investigations, painful cervical biopsies and undergo harmful “treatments” for false positives or minor cervical abnormalities that would otherwise heal on their own is shocking 77% [Kavanagh A M, Santow G, Mitchell H, “Consequences of current patterns of Pap smear and colposcopy use”, 1996]. Formally, these medical tortures are called “minor and simple procedures”, but one should try to imagine how they would’ve been called if anything of the like was performed on men. Most of those harmed-for-nothing women are misled to believe that they had a mortal illness and the “treatments” saved their lives. Simple maths show that this cannot be true. If it was true and the 77% of referred women were indeed treated for a mortal disease, the incidence of cervical cancer amongst the women who managed to avoid screening would be 77%, which is far from the truth, because according to the medical officials only about 60% of targeted women participate in pap-screening, and those 40% who don’t screen make up 3/4 of all cervical cancer cases. Which means that the highest possible risk for those who don’t screen is 1.275%, and the lowest possible risk for those who screen all their life is 0.283%, an therefore there is less than 1% difference in chance of getting the cancer no matter whether one screens or not. So, 77% or 1.275%? The difference reveals a huge mismatch between the truth and the brainwashing medical propaganda.

        “Invasive cervical cancer is a rare disease. The annual incidence was below 15 per 100,000 in Australia even before the National Cervical Screening Program began, but current screening is detecting some kind of abnormality in about 5000 women of every 100,000 screened” — Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics (2003) given to medical professionals in the cervical cancer screening guidelines. “Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide” — this is what women are told to get them into screening. A bit of a difference, isn’t?

        To add insult to an injury, according to the same medical officials, “up to 90% of the most common form of cancer of the cervix could be prevented if women had pap smears every two years”, which means that pap smears are even more useless for less common types of cervical cancer, and that more than 10% women with cervical cancer got the disease despite having all the pap smears, and probably ignored early symptoms due to erroneous reassurance given by the unreliable test. Which brings us to the final score: 77% of those having regular pap smears are harmed for nothing and 10% with cancer are missed by the regular pap smears. Now, how many women are offered to make an informed decision to take part in this screening program to reduce their risk of cervical cancer by less than 1%, with 77% chance of being harmed for no benefit? None! Every woman is ordered she “must screen because it saves lives.”

        One may ask, why is the truth so skewed and twisted? Because it is easier and cheaper for the system to butcher 77% healthy women than to treat 0.68% with cancer, and hiding the truth is the only way to make the population comply. There is also too much politics around women’s health care these days. And, perhaps, the astonishing amount of painful and harmful (but very quick, cheap and simple for doctors to perform) “treatments” makes it look like pap smears really save lives, and so the screening program keeps going on, securing medical employment and keeping female patients on a short leash and their reproductive organs under the government surveillance, which may sound ridiculous, but it is the only explanation why HPV-vaccinated women are told they must continue to get pap tests because the vaccine prevents only up to 80% of cervical cancers, Amazing, isn’t it? Pap smears that detect less than 90% of cancers and lead to harm of 77% of women are advertised as wonderful life-savers, yet the vaccine that can prevent 80% of cancers is not good enough to stop pap smears. Unless of course, the System rolled out a program it is still unsure about and needs to keep the guinea pigs coming to finish the research.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Heather, I agree with your comments, but I also, think we horribly over-screen and engage in a LOT of over-treatment because it makes a fortune for vested interests. These people are advising the Govt and the program, so they’re in the best place to take advantage and shape/influence the program to best serve their interests. It means worrying and harming a lot of women, but they couldn’t care less, it can be dismissed as, “saving lives” or “sadly, we can’t tell what lesions will progress so we have to treat everyone”…not that anyone challenges the program in this country anyway.
        When the Kavanagh et al study came out, I thought, FINALLY, we’ll do something about this harmful program, will it prompt more research? Will it get into the papers?
        No, No and No, I couldn’t believe this study went by without causing a ripple, it’s often referred to in later research, safely locked behind pay walls, but it wasn’t concerning enough to make immediate changes to the program or warn women. I found that deeply concerning and still do…

        We also, got the ridiculous nonsense that the Finnish program is irrelevant to Australia. (The Finns have MUCH less screening and have achieved better results)
        We were told, “you can’t compare Finland to Australia, we’d have to do our own research before making any changes, our program has been hugely successful, we don’t want to mess with that….”
        Successful? For whom, certainly not women. The evidence is the evidence, except when vested interests don’t like the sound of it. We’re told 7 pap tests (the Finnish program from the 1960s) would be inappropriate here because we have high risk groups, including some aboriginal communities. This doesn’t hold water either, high risk women don’t benefit from over-screening. (now we know you’re either at risk or not, HPV+ or HPV-) Over-screening provides no additional benefit to women, but greatly increases the risk of a false positive and the ugliness that so often follows. The Finns start screening at age 30, we’re told, FAR too late, “quite a few young women have lesions”.
        The evidence does not support screening before age 30 and definitely not before 25. Young women produce the most false positives. We’re not that stupid, we understand the evidence, what we’re doing to young women, (all women) but they know most women can’t see through their “concerns”.

        So it seems to me everyone feeds off this program and with women firmly in the dark, they could easily ignore the Kavanagh et al study or make weak excuses. (usually in medical journals when someone mentioned less testing) I was surprised to see that study because I don’t believe any research that might negatively affect the program would be funded and supported. (read: put women off testing, read: anything that informs women)
        We have virtually no research on the number of excess cone biopsies, the number of women harmed by these treatments, how many go on to have premature babies? Needed cervical cerclage etc. They don’t want to know, they couldn’t care less. We have heaps of funding though to ponder why some don’t have pap testing etc.

        So I believe the new program will once again throw young women under the bus, HPV testing before 30 is a firm NO-NO, basic research is all you need to do to confirm that evidence, BUT we’ll ignore that and test women from age 25.
        Again, we’ll do FAR too much testing, and they’ll be no self-testing unless you’re informed and pay for it yourself or refuse the invasive HPV test for 6 years.

        Huge profits have been made from this testing, excess colposcopies, biopsies and over-treatment, they’ll fight to keep as much of that in place as possible. Our program is a commercial and political exercise that worries and harms a lot of women, I call it medical abuse.
        We’ll extend breast screening, forget the damning evidence (that mounts ever higher) that the risks of screening exceeds any benefit. I’m sure vested interests are drooling at the thought of even more over-diagnosis.
        There’s a reason we continue to ignore the evidence and often act against it, it’s better for those who benefit from these programs…and that’s certainly not women.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Ada,
        I’m very pleased our paths crossed, you’re an informed woman, but more than that, you’re now an absolute authority on the subject. NHS v Ada, the fight hardly seems fair!
        This is the thing, all of their tactics, slogans, campaigns fall flat with an informed woman/audience.
        I love the fact there are now more informed women out there, challenging these programs and warning other women. I think the NHS, AMA and others must be very concerned about this forum and the increasing number of negative comments appearing elsewhere….I’m sure they can also, feel something is happening, and that spells trouble for these them and their precious programs.

      • Karen says:

        Ada re: your comment about this site becoming an NHS training ground: I highly doubt they would be so innovative, or they would have the means… but who knows. One thing is for sure, the design of the focus group research that has gone into the making of the crying boy smear test poster is now offline, which is a shame, because I intended to write about it and publish my writing, and I don’t have a saved version of the site.

      • Heather says:

        Elizabeth, I couldn’t agree more! That nonsense about the Finnish program being irrelevant to Australia has been irking me for years. Their mantra “you can’t compare Finland to Australia, we’d have to do our own research before making any changes, our program has been hugely successful, we don’t want to mess with that…” doesn’t hold any water. Are Finnish women different species or what?

        At the same time, the Australian government is not worried about quickly implementing the privacy-violating and spying programs in telecommunications, copying them in a flash from USA. They didn’t need any research for bringing mass surveillance to Australia! It just proves that they will twist and turn the law and their promises depending on what fits their agenda. [Another reason to avoid they myHR/eHealth lake a plague!]

    • Alex says:

      Anxious Mess: (WARNING: Long Post Ahead)

      It seems to actually be illegal for them to force you into these exams to get birth control & you might try bringing that up. It believe the technical term would wind up being something like “coercive iatrogenic assault & reproductive endangerment.” Properties don’t change by designation, just like how it’s still murder if a doctor poisons someone with a needle. This is an interface with sexual areas (specifically, a penetrative one) as a product of someone else’s decision-making, which is an attack. It really doesn’t have to be a conventional variation to take place. If you want to REALLY get wordy about things, you could phrase it as “a third-party comportment of a situation that generates visual access to or physical contact with sexual areas.”

      One woman on here was actually able to get them from her psychiatrist- maybe that’s who you get the Xanax from? I don’t know where people get that. At the very least, you might try telling them that you want it in writing that they won’t give you these pills unless you let them probe you. Recording things can be a good idea, but check the laws on that first.

      Keep in mind that anything at all can be sanctioned & you’re only dealing with actions, anyway. Cops do a lot of things that run along these or similar lines or simply get doctors & nurses to it for them. A lot of people don’t realize that plenty of police responses include some amount of imposed nudity and/or penetration, with or without coerced participation- this includes “just sorting things out,” instead of being limited to when someone is convicted of something . Plus, they seem VERY quick to side with subtle attack.

      Then again, it doesn’t always go this way. Someone can’t very well say “what happens isn’t what occurs” while still looking credible or even sane, so it might work out in a courtroom- if it even got that far. What’s someone going to do? Say that reality takes a coffee break for medical personnel?

      It seems with “people” that get pushy with things like this, a big thing can just be sustained resistance. This applies with more conventin aggression, as well. Think about it: if someone like that whole “taking a sledgehammer to a teacup” kind of thing, wouldn’t it be againt their tastes in situations if someone was counteractive? If nothing else, it generates more of an obstacle than NOT generating an obstacle.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Heather and any other Australians,
        Have you managed to opt out of ehealth?
        I went to the website and went around in circles for 20 minutes, I know they often do that so people give up, trying to make a complaint against a doctor can be difficult too, trying to find the right procedure/dpt.
        The Govt recently made it opt out, presumably because too few were opting in…more of the same. Honestly, some think we’re very relaxed down here, when the reality is, control from above keeps coming. The pressure to screen, the pressure to breast feed, the pressure to have HPV vaccination, don’t smoke (say that 100 times) etc. etc.
        I don’t smoke, never have, but at this point, I almost feel sorry for smokers. Last time I checked smoking was still legal, like drinking alcohol…but as far as the Cancer Council is concerned, there is NO safe level when you drink alcohol, another legal activity.
        So pour your evening or weekly glass of wine down the sink…advice I won’t be following.

  32. Linda says:

    Hi Kat. The internet is a very powerful thing isn’t it. I would never have found the women I have found anywhere else. I am so very angry at the system but mostly angry at myself for allowing it. I just have just said No. Why didn’t I? At least we can get comfort in the fact other young women will read these posts and have the knowlegde and strength to say, No,

    • kat rehman says:

      Linda.. Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s very very hard to challenge a doctor or nurse, we are taught they are there to help us. Some of us are in awe of their supposed learning. As women we are brought up to? Do as we’re told? Or fed crap about our responsibility to family ( my mum missed her smear test)
      I knew I’d not be thrown in jai or sacked for refusing to smear but it was very hard for me to finally come out and say NO! I avoided the invitations but as I posted it was only this year I finally opted out and I was nervous.
      We had the courage to end the torture is what counts and you, and Elizabeth, should be very proud of what you do and just look!! At all these women you are reaching and helping

  33. adawells says:

    Elizabeth, can’t see a reply button for your above posts. I’ve just dug out the Kavanagh article, “Embodied risk: my body, myself”, so that’s my reading for tonight. Is that the one you are referring to?

    You are right that the whole programme is one huge experiment, which needs vast numbers to comply because the disease is so rare. I think that the reason the UK (England, Wales, Scotland) has such different screening ages is so that they can compare the differences in HPV vaccination with those not vaccinated. Scotland will not jump to age 25 at first screen until May 2016. It is currently age 20, but if you are aged 20 in Scotland now, you will still be called for your next test at age 23 and not 25. You will not be allowed to wait 5 years as it messes up their experiment. They raised the screening age in England in 2008, so they’ve had plenty of time to implement this in Scotland, but they didn’t, even though the test was proven to be harmful for under 25’s.

    I’ve also seen many research papers looking at HPV prevalence in paps taken from women aged under 25 in Scotland in the cohort just before vaccination began and in the the following cohort, which had been vaccinated. This testing hasn’t been possible in England until this year because the screening age doesn’t start until age 25, so they are using the Scots as a test to be able to identify early on the impact the vaccine is having. That’s why they didn’t want to raise the screening age earlier. It gives them groups of women to carry out experiments on. Nothing to do with real health care. If there was a real medical need the same age would have been implemented across the UK years ago.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi Ada
      No, I was talking about this article: “Consequences of current patterns of Pap smear and colposcopy use”
      http://www.researchgate.net/publication/14345463_Consequences_of_current_patterns_of_Pap_smear_and_colposcopy_use
      It was this article that finally gave me the figure I’d wondered about for many years, especially after watching so many young women heading off for colposcopy, scared to death their days were numbered.
      This study stated that the lifetime risk of colposcopy (and usually a biopsy) for a woman following our program was just under 77%
      I couldn’t believe that figure, it still shocks me all these years later, how in your right mind could you do colposcopy and biopsies on so many women as a result of screening for a fairly rare cancer? 77% v 0.65%…madness.
      If you speak to women my age, you won’t doubt that figure, it certainly seems like MOST women had at least a colposcopy and biopsy, and some went on to have a cone biopsy or other treatment. How many went on to a cone biopsy? I don’t know. How many had a normal cone biopsy? Don’t know.
      My younger sister was told by her specialist that for every 50 cone biopsies, one turned out to be necessary, the rest were false positives. My sister’s highly abnormal pap test was probably caused by a new brand of tampons causing irritation/inflammation. My sister had no idea so many things could cause an abnormal result. Her cervix was damaged and she was told she might have trouble if she got pregnant.

  34. Laurie says:

    I was so desperate to talk to someone a few months ago, that I talked to my mom’s pastor’s wife. She works in an ob/gyn clinic. I knew I had to be careful with her because obviously she sees nothing wrong with it. She tried to explain that childbirth is not humiliating and how natural it is. I’m thinking she just doesn’t get it! Childbirth itself is a beautiful thing. It’s all these procedures and exams that make it unpleasant and sometimes traumatizing. Anyway, she told me about a girl in her early 20s that came in for her first exam and cried all the way through it. The girl wouldn’t tell them what was wrong, and I guess they never thought the poor girl felt violated or humiliated maybe. I told her that I had found multiple websites of women that felt just like me, but I don’t think she really got what I was trying to say. I told her many women are too afraid to speak out about how they feel. I just don’t see how even the nurses can go home feeling good about their work when they were apart of so many women’s pain. I’m not nursing now, but when I was in school, they taught us that medicine should be holistic, to take care of the total person. Well, if a woman walks out humiliated and traumatized, that’s not holistic medicine if they don’t care about her emotional and psychological well being. Let’s just say women were at a great risk for cervical cancer, they should consider our feelings and make an attempt to create a better way. My husband still thinks doctors are wonderful. He was a little more compassionate the other night though. He suggested that maybe if I contacted the one involved in my delivery that it might help me to heal. I had been thinking the same thing. The nurse that I have written about goes to my mom’s church. Btw, is the same church type of church that I grew up in, but I cannot go there because of her. We went out to eat the last few weekends and saw her. My heart raced and I felt that same humiliation. I couldn’t even look at her. Well, we know a lot of the same people. I found her on facebook, and private messaged her. She probably thinks I am insane, and maybe I am. I told her a little about how I was feeling and that maybe it would help to talk to her. I thought it might help to let her know how it made me fee. At least maybe she could do things differently with the next patient. It’s been a few nights now and still haven’t heard back from her….

    • adawells says:

      Hi Laurie,
      I think you are doing the right thing to let the nurse know how you feel. I think more of us should be speaking out against the practice of medical people helping themselves to the most private parts of our bodies. I was assaulted by my doctor who forced a pap on me weeks after the birth of my first baby. It brings me to tears now just thinking about it 18 years later. A couple of years ago I wrote to this doctor in great detail about this assault and how it made me feel. I’ve never heard anything since. I think these people are shocked and troubled when you confront them about it, and not getting back to you is a sign they feel guilt. If you’d accidentally hurt someone, you’d automatically want to apologise and put things to rights, wouldn’t you? I think the more of us who speak up about these assaults and even go public about it, the more we will get this stopped.
      By not saying anything, things will continue. I’m sure this nurse is feeling very guilty right now, and is wondering how to get herself out of this corner.

      • Laurie says:

        Thanks Ada. I had already been thinking about it when he suggested it. I had another nurse also, so may maybe I can at least talk with her.

    • Alex says:

      Laurie: Not to be nasty, but why would you think these people would be motivated to help you? They’ve already harmed you. This would be like asking a husband that just gave you a black eye to get you an ice pack.

      I fully believe they know what they cause & that they love it. They (and others) get off on the theory of usurpation of reality through discretion- they basically feel that they imbue a situation with extantness & make something non-existant despite its existANCE. More accurately, they like the FEEL of this non-existant situation, so they do things that are congruent with it to get a high.

      A major point is that they tend to feel mentally superior. They think that what comes from them is an “A” and what comes from everyone else is a “B” (at best), and that because of this what comes from them overrides what comes from someone else. It’s like a boxing match where they are both opponent & referee, at least in their own heads.

      The concept that they are wrong about something is not congruent with the greatness they feel, so not only will they be unlikely to catch their own mistakes- they won’t have any ability to see something they are doing being of a “stop-worthy” consistency. If nothing they do is wrong, then there’s no reason to stop.

      You know how guys (especially young guys) will goad someone else into doing something by implying they’re chicken & saying “What? You’re not SCARED, are you?”? Like that, but with more of a grading dynamic. If said aloud, it might be something like this: “What? You’re not WRONG, are you? You’re not something that can be THAT way, right?”

      Considering that someone that looks to cause problems would look to embed themselves in a situation that is associated with doing the opposite, since the incongruency would provide a camouflaging effect- I think it’s pretty likely that these people are doing exactly what they set out to do.

      My stance is that they are simply playing stupid in a different way when subtly attacking someone gets brought up. They’re not too likely to say anything that warns people of “medical menace,” because an it sabotages the effort. If someone “from that side” were to actually alert people to these things, the whole group would have a hard time ambushing people.

      Another thing is that “proof by indication” isn’t typically trusted as much as a confession is. I think some people tend to rely on someone confession, simply because it’s easier to just listen to something than it is to make deductions. There’s also people that seem to be quite excited by seeing someone “repent.” It’s like some dramatic “good overcame evil” scene for them.

    • Diane says:

      I think that nurses who go along with this may have been brainwashed, too – remember, most of them are women themselves, so they’re pressured for paps along with the rest of us.

      I’m guessing that on some level it doesn’t even faze them when people get upset during procedures, because they’ve been trained to think that’s a part of the business. You give a kid a shot or a blood test, they cry, but it’s for their own good. Etc. I know that now there’s a lot more of a push to get painful procedures such as bone marrow biopsies and spinal taps done under anesthesia or sedation – before, it was always just “well, YES, it’s going to hurt and be unpleasant, but you need it.” So I think that for a lot of nurses, they view paps and pelvics and colposcopies the same way.

      There isn’t a lot of thought as to the psychological harm that medical procedures can do to adults, or even that they might need reassurance. My Mom had major surgery last year and was in the ICU for a few weeks. None of the nurses there even considered for a moment that the woman in the bed might be really frightened about everything happening to her. They’d walk up and start taking blood or fussing with her lines and not even speak to her. One of them was actually annoyed when I sat there and explained all the sounds she was hearing and the tubes she had, because they were scaring her. Every time the nurse came over and did something I’d ask what was happening, and she got pissed off. I ended up going to the head nurse and saying “this is my Mom. She’s a human being. I WILL stay with her and explain things to her, and these nurses WILL remember there’s a person in that bed.” And they ended up changing my mom’s ICU nurse to another one who was a LOT nicer and really went out of her way to explain what was going on. The only other one who even thought to work with her was one of the chaplains (from a very liberal religious group), who gave her a pen and paper so she could write things down.

      I think this is something that they should really be working with medical professionals about, extensively. They’re not just treating bodies, they’re treating real people with real emotions and pain.

      And in terms of paps/pelvics/etc. more nurses and doctors should read up on the fact that they’re really not needed, so they could advocate for their patients. When doctors and nurses recommend and aggressively push unnecessary procedures it absolutely does show that they’re not interested in their patients as people, and it also shows that they are not staying current with the most up to date medical information.

      • adawells says:

        Diane you are absolutely right about the nurses. In the UK the screening programme is pushed that a single test could save your life. We hear that everywhere and the charities are forever going on about it. Not having a test is compared to a form of suicide and instant death. I can clearly remember being told when I refused a pap: “Oh so you want to die do you? Can you imagine how your children would feel if you told them that?” The assumption has always been drummed into women that death is the only alternative if you refuse a pap, so they feel justified in carrying out any amount of pain to spare you this. It is no different to those who carry out FGM as they also believe they are doing it in the woman’s own best interests.
        I was sorry to hear that you mother was treated so poorly in hospital. I also had a bad time last year here in the UK, but the nurse also gave me a pen and paper to write down my questions, and the consultants did come round to answer them afterwards, although not as thoroughly as I would have wished.

      • Diane says:

        Ada, I’m sorry about what you went through too! And with the nurse who tried to pressure you into a pap by bringing up the “you’re going to die” chestnut and mentioning your children — funny how often they do that. They try to guilt women out by making them believe they’re failing their families if they don’t get the tests. Like that NHS poster last year or so with the little boy who was crying because his Mum missed a pap and died. They try to go for the emotional angle.

        In thinking about this more, I think that another thing is that medical professionals do *not* take pain seriously and they tend to downplay it. Or they think that if one patient has a pain free experience the next one will, too. There’s no acknowledgment that people have different pain thresholds. How many times have we seen descriptions of procedures that say it will be “mildly uncomfortable” or “have some pressure” and then when you ask people who had the procedures, they tell you it was horrendously painful? Or the doctors think the pain is acceptable because it will be short in duration? It’s not. That’s the defense they give for endometrial biopsies — and I know someone who had one who told me that the pain was so severe she passed out on the table.

        Another anecdote from my Mum in the hospital: when she needed to have a certain procedure, she asked for pain meds first. The doctors (who were stupid residents) were all huffy and kept saying “this shouldn’t hurt.” The nurse who was with my Mum that day was the good one, and she asked them, “and how many times have *you* had this procedure done that you know it’s not painful?” She managed to get the doctors to back off until my Mum got her pain meds. If she wasn’t there I might have ended up calling the attending or the patient advocate.

        I read an anecdote of a doctor who had a bone marrow biopsy to see what it was like — and after that, he always, always ordered sedation and pain meds for anyone who was going through that procedure. Because he had seen for himself that it hurt.

      • bethkcz says:

        When they started the “do it for your family” thing in the US, showing a woman with children, husband, siblings, and parents in the picture, it seemed rather creepy. How is being probed and prodded going to in any way benefit them? Even if you go along with “you’ll die without paps”, there are plenty of other ways women can and do die – auto accidents being the #1 killer of young women, on top of a myriad of other things which are far more likely to kill a young woman than cc.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Diane
        My SIL had a bone marrow biopsy many years ago, she worked as a nurse/midwife (before she retrained) and knew it was a very painful procedure. So she demanded pain relief, I can’t recall what they gave her, some sort of sedative, no pain was the result. It wasn’t a huge inconvenience, add 10 minutes to the procedure. She regularly heard people screaming out in pain during that procedure.
        It means everyone should be offered pain relief and warned ahead of time that some people find the procedure painful.
        I think they tell women these procedure are minor, painless etc. so women will assume there is something wrong with them if they find it painful/intolerable. That’s the standard response, “it’s painless and maybe, a bit uncomfortable”…”you might experience mild cramping”…they TELL us.
        I’ve also, heard that some scoff at women who find pap testing painful and make comments like, “wait till she has a baby”…”does she have children?”
        How is that relevant? Because women might have a child, why should that mean we have to put up with pain when self-testing is available or pain relief? Is it some sort of punishment for women?
        Honestly, it comes down to the unacceptable attitudes that exist in women’s healthcare, we have to complain, object, refuse…over and over…until they get the message, treat me with respect, as an individual, and don’t TELL me how I should feel.

      • Diane says:

        I’m so glad that your sister insisted on getting pain relief for her bone marrow biopsy, Elizabeth. From what I have read about that procedure, it’s absolutely barbaric that offering people pain control and sedation would not be standard practice. I mean, when you have a tooth filled they numb it up and will even sedate you if you’re antsy, usually. If you’re having a procedure where a doctor is literally using a mallet to drive a needle through your hip bone, they don’t?! It’s horrific.

        And that is such an excellent point – I think you’re 100% right that it’s all an illustration of how women are invalidated and treated without respect in healthcare settings. If they tell you a procedure just causes “mild cramping” and you faint on the table from the pain, well, they will chalk it up to your being as “hysterical female.” I have read a bunch of articles on studies that have said that women actually tolerate pain better than men but are less likely to have their pain appropriately treated and validated by healthcare professionals.

        And yeah, what does having a baby have to do with ANY other type of pain? Not to mention that expecting that every woman even wants to have a child is way off the mark for these doctors. And a lot of pain and distress that women experience during childbirth in maternity wards is, again, often due to the trauma they endure at the hands of the healthcare professionals who are supposed to be helping, but instead treat them like pieces of meat and don’t recognize their rights to dignity and respect. There’s a lawsuit happening in the States right now with a woman who was given an episiotomy during her child’s hospital birth even though she clearly said both before and during the birth that she didn’t want one. The doctor cut her twelve times.

  35. linda says:

    Hi All. I think a lot of women on this site are carrying trauma around with them. Contacting the nurses who do this to us is a good idea. Eliz said another woman here wrote to hers as a way of healing. I think I will go with this approach to tho my old doc and his nurse are both retired they visit the same garden centres I do. When I see them I always say hello as if everything was Ok in my world. They have no clue in hell how I really feel. They both live their lives happy that they saved mine and many other lives. They probably think having their hands and tools in my vagina is a small price to pay. They would be amazed to know that I carry trauma with me because looking back I should have been asked if I wanted smears. They tricked me really because I wanted the pill and kept ghe pretence up for twenty five years even tho they could see I was upset. Are they really healers? NO!
    If the Nhs and the American equiv just had smears as a choice that women could have if they wanted them. As much as we are against this testing there are huge numbers out there who think they are brilliant. Some of them have been hoodwinked by the system but there are still women who would want them even with the full facts. It should always be about choice otherwise the Nazis actually won the war all along and we only pretend we did.

    Why destroy the peace of mind of one half of the human race?
    I need this site so much writing and communicating with you all everday is my way of healing.

    Xx

    • adawells says:

      Hi Linda,
      That’s horrific that you sometimes see your ex doctor and nurse when you are out. I never have mine – maybe they know how angry I am with them and they keep out of my sight!
      As you say, they don’t seem to have any idea how women feel about this whole business, and I do think that the more of us speak out the better. For too long, those who don’t seem to mind them have had the upper hand. Of particular annoyance to me are Julietta Patnick and Jane Wardle, both in charge of screening programmes who regularly write about how “women love their screening and that they couldn’t reduce the programmes if they tried, because it would be so unpopular with women, who love them so much”. Yes I have actually read them spew this vomit in academic documents. Jane Ellison, MP also spoke at the select committee into screening last year that she has never heard of “any women being pushed against their will into screening, so the incentives aren’t a problem at all”. There is a huge mismatch in what women think of screening, and what they think women think of screening.
      We have been quiet for too long, and I think it is important that we let people know what we think of screening. Margaret has done a marvellous job with her website, and there are a lot of good doctors out there who are in agreement with her. She has given us all the encouragement to speak out, and she has also said that it is up to women themselves who need to push for change.
      We really need to shame these people for what they have done to us.

      • linda says:

        Hi Ada. I don’t know what i’d do without you. I think you and Eliz have saved me. I will be forever greatful. The reason you never see your doctors is becasue they probably only go outdooors wearing fake beards and dark glasses!!!!! Lol.

    • Karen says:

      Linda- I don’t think applying the choice rhetoric here about women still wanting their smears makes much sense. After all, we are talking about decades of aggressive brainwashing and emotional blackmail. How far would publishing the facts on some website enable real choice?

      • bethkz says:

        Consent cannot be validly given in the face of years/decades of lies which include aggressive brainwashing and emotional blackmail. That is fraud by deception. Accessing one’s sexual organs through deception, when such access would not have been permitted otherwise, is still rape.

      • linda says:

        Hi. Oh yeah i dont know why i wrote that sorry i must have had a brain freeze. What i would like to do to those who invented smear tests is illegal and i would end up in a maximum security wing of a special hospital. I get so angry i don’t know what im saying or writing some days. X

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I’ve listened to them lie to women for decades and watched the manipulation and coercion. I’ve always felt the only women who can make an informed decision about pap testing (and mammograms) are the women who do their own research, and look beyond the propaganda. (brochures, Screening Authority websites etc.)
        It’s not informed to just do as you’re told without a clue about the risks and actual benefits of the test or your own risk profile. (now that would be HPV- or HPV+)
        If you listen to women passionate about screening, very few have made an informed decision to screen, they’ve either accepted the official discourse or they’ve been “treated” and consider themselves survivors, almost all have simply been over-treated.
        Not many informed women would have pap testing without first testing for HPV, not many informed women would test before 25 or 30 etc. Some women call for earlier screening because they or someone they know died from cc at 22 or 25, but an informed woman would understand you could start screening at 16 and these same very rare cases would occur, you’d just end up harming a lot of teenagers.
        Get past the emotion and propaganda to the evidence – then you can make an informed decision.

      • bethkz says:

        “Some women call for earlier screening because they or someone they know died from cc at 22 or 25, but an informed woman would understand you could start screening at 16 and these same very rare cases would occur, you’d just end up harming a lot of teenagers.”

        An informed woman who knew someone who died of cc in their early 20s would know that nearly all of the cancers which (quickly) kill young women very quickly are not the squamous cell cancers which pap smears can detect. In fact, many of those young women who die of cc had a negative pap smear within the past year.

        You’re right. Early pap screening would end up harming a lot of teenagers, and not save a single life.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Linda
        I was chatting to a woman online (she might end up here) and she said something very interesting, she remembers EVERY detail of the 4 pap tests she was forced to have, it was coercion during a consult for the Pill. EVERY detail is seared into her brain, while other consults have blurred over time, these remain sharply in focus. She remembers how she felt during the “capturing” stage, when she gave in to the pressure, during the exam, the doctor’s smugness, how she felt as she left the Clinic, how she felt the following day, week, month…all these years later.
        I recall an attempted assault when I was about 21 in sharp detail, it was a traumatic and terrifying experience. (thankfully, I got away and was physically unharmed) I put my experience and her experience in the same category, VERY bad experiences tend to stay with us, especially when the attacker gets away scot free or in the case of pap tests, is congratulated and rewarded for capturing another woman.

  36. Alex says:

    I’ve got to ask: Do women think they’re killing this other woman who “might have been saved” or is it just thinking that they’re going to die?

    I know a man doesn’t think he’s going to get testicular cancer just because he’s a male. Same with getting shot in a war. Same with getting stabbed to death in prison. These things are associated with males, too- but no one seems to think they are going to happen just because the guy IS a guy.

    • kat rehman says:

      Has anyone seen what. They’re planning in Manchester UK? Apparently smear uptake is mega low there so they are planning postcards of smiling mancunian women “you wouldn’t miss picking your kids up from school / attending job interview ect so please don’t miss your smear it only takes seconds and could save your life “. I’m going to find the vomit bucket now!

  37. Laila Lock says:

    This is a copy of a letter that I haven sent to two health trusts in the U.K. today.

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Re: Dr T – Consultant Gynaecologist
    I was saddened to learn that this ‘doctor’ is still practising and is currently a University Hospital Lewisham. I think for the sake of other women and young girls that I need to speak up about the treatment I received at his hands in the 1980s at the Hospital.
    I went for colposcopy following an abnormal smear in 1987. I was 22 at the time (I am now 51). Once at the hospital I was told in no uncertain terms to , “Get my knickers off now” by the nurse. Dr T inserted the speculum whilst I was in stirrups and then left the room leaving me to a trainee, who then also left the room leaving me very distressed and in considerable discomfort. On his return (I had no covering at all and was completely naked from the waist down), he proceeded to ‘interrogate me saying,
    “Had lots of boyfriends have you?”
    and then
    “I expect you’ve had genital warts.”

    To both things I said, “No”. Without any further explanation or discussion about treatment, he took a biopsy saying, “This will only take a minute”, which he did and blood flooded onto the floor. He then stuck a tampax into my vagina, walked out of the room and that was it. There was no other discussion about what the treatment might be. I left shaking and on the verge of fainting.
    Sadly, I was convinced by my then G.P. who I didn’t know me at all because I had only just left home to go to university, to return and she would write a letter to him. I also felt under pressure to have the treatment and save my life as the biopsy was extremely abnormal. What could I do?
    On the second visit I took my Mum who Mr T very promptly shut up when she complained about his approach, him saying,
    “Yes, yes, yes.” In a very sarcastic manner.
    After having lazer treatment with my legs falling out of the stirrups at one point as they hadn’t been adjusted and again feeling terribly distressed, he rubbed his hand up the outside of my naked bottom and leg saying,
    “Still hate me eh?”
    I did try and write to the doctor who blamed the nurses for being, “Chauvinistic” and that no other women had ever complained.
    Needless to say what followed was a terrible mental collapse resulting in years of problems for me notwithstanding the fact that no doctor would talk to me about what happened at all. In which case, how could anyone help if they don’t know what the problem is. I now know however that I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and have had flashbacks for the past 28 years. It was terribly sad; I had worked very hard to get to university and my life was in ruins.. I still suffer to this day and probably will do for the rest of my life now. As a note: I only realised that others had complained when I saw a snapshot of his suspension from the aforementioned hospital that occurred in 2000 (I read this in 2011), so that fact has not affected my writing of this letter today. However, I would say that a young girl that came out of the room before me was unsteady and gagging and vomiting; hence there must be many others in my situation. I do wonder how they fared?
    As a mother myself now I know that the behaviour of Dr T was wrong. However I know deep down that I feel it was all my fault and that I am in some way dirty/unclean having been so damaged by the experience.
    I do hope that you will use the above information wisely and I do wish that I could have spoken up before but it has taken me so long to even get to this point. Or have the courage to write. Everything I have said is absolutely true – and I will put my address and email address on this letter so that I am not considered as an anonymous nutcase. I also know that excuses will be made in many respects, however I have a right to have a say on this matter regardless of rules and regulations that authorities may adhere to. (Or indeed the passage of time – ironic as I still feel that I am trapped in that room to this date). I have paid into the NHS for 35 years and have been poorly treated.
    Yours faithfully

    Mrs Lock

    I would welcome any responses to what I have done if only for a bit of support.

    • Hi Laila,
      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m saddened to hear about what happened to you. I wanted to let you know I moderated the names that were included in your comment due to concerns about lawsuits. No one here would think you were an anonymous nut case, far from it.

    • adawells says:

      Dear Laila,
      I was left feeling very sad and angry reading about what had happened to you. It is absolutely shocking that nowadays, with the screening age raised to 25, no-one aged 22 should ever be sent near a colposcopy clinic at all. The harm and distress caused by the NHS cervical screening programme has been completely swept under the carpet and disregarded. I know so many of us have complained about events way back in the past, and very little is ever done about it. There must have been many thousands of complaints about these doctors, but it is all kept secret from patients.

      I think our best course of action is to use social media to connect with other women who have suffered and make it known that these were real incidents which went on. Linda has talked about doing a book. Perhaps a website similar to this one based in the UK might get women to unite and expose what goes on, and stop this kind of treatment. During the 1990’s I was very badly treated by my GP and I have actually written to her recently outlining the pain and distress which she inflicted on me to “reach her screening target”, but she has failed to respond, which I take as a feeling of guilt on her part. I found the following article on Ian Treharne:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/819704.stm

  38. linda says:

    Hi Laila. I’m so sorry about your experience it myst have been awful yes i will refer to it in my story. However you could write your own. The more of us that are vocal the more impact we will make. I’m so glad you found ths site, it has saved me.

  39. linda says:

    Hi laila. I am going on hol now for a week or so. I truly hope you will be ok. Its not easy but you have found us snd we are all here for you. Please get strength from all that you read here it will help you to know you are not alone. The nhs raped me as far as iam concerned and caused s lot of problems. Writing about it is really helpful. Post here as often as you can because it really helps. I believd every word of your story. I am thinking about you very much. You will be ok now no o e can hurt you anymore it will take time to fully recover as you have carried this awful pain for so long. Take care of yourself sister. X

  40. Laila Lock says:

    Thank you so much. It took a lot to write this down and have never told anyone about it – so feeling very rocky at the moment. Am going to have a day away to try and distract myself from it all. Lots of flashbacks unfortunately!!! It does help when other women understand, it truly does.

    • kat rehman says:

      Laila. Respect to you you. Are amazingly strong. You never have to go through that again though it’s atrocious you ever did. We all of us here have our own story and we are all here for you and each other.! Thinking of u..

  41. kleigh us says:

    I just saw on keven MD called pet goats and pap smears. I made the mistake of clinching it to see a smiling woman in stirups with a goat between her legs. It upsets me to see people making it into a joke and it upsets me to see woman up in stirups and smiling how degrading. I don’t know what that was about BC it disturbed me that I clicked off of it. I don’t know if any one goes on keven MD or has seen it.

    • adawells says:

      Kleigh I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve seen this book by Pamela Wible is available on Amazon and I was also greatly upset by the cover. The pap smear is a test for cancer, but it is portrayed as a cheeky fun thing to do. Do we see book covers with women laughing their way into MRI scanners, chuckling at the cheekiness of having a mammogram, or smiling their way through other tests for cancer? It makes me ill just looking at this photo. Just appalling.

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