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

images.jpgwtf

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
Gallery | This entry was posted in pap test, pelvic exam, psychological harm, trauma and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

249 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.

Speak your mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s