Five Real Reasons Why Physicians Want to Examine Your Pelvis

I have been discovering the facts behind pelvic exams and pap tests.  More and more research is revealing pap smears have little to do with protecting women’s health.  In fact, frequent screening for cervical cancer is harming many women and new guidelines to screen less frequently have been recommended:   http://www.globalnews.ca/new+cervical+cancer+screening+guidelines+recommend+testing+every+3+years/6442783367/story.html

I was curious to discover why physicians are ignoring guidelines to screen less frequently  (http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2009/11/informed-consent-missing-pap-smears-cervical-cancer-screening.html).  I was surprised to discover the real reasons physicians are continuing to pressure women into frequent pelvic exams.  The real reasons may surprise you too:

1.  Physicians make money from examining our vaginas.  Physicians are able to charge extra fees for pap smears.  In addition, the high incidence of false positives leads to further tests and treatments, which in turn leads to more money.  We become fodder for the hungry gynecology industry.

2.  Physicians want to see our vaginas.

3.  Some physicians enjoy having power over women.  The power to control us, to humiliate us, to frighten us, and to molest us.  (Link to video regarding physician misconduct: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZWsUhJKftc)

4.  Physicians know that when we are naked with our legs spread we are more likely to keep our mouths closed.  With our mouths closed we are not able to ask questions.  After all, the more questions we ask the more likely we are to discover just how little some physicians know about our health concerns. 

5.  Physicians want to examine our vaginas because they can.

(Useful link to site regarding tips on how to prevent medical sexual misconduct by physicians: http://sexualmisconductbydoctors.com/femaletips.aspx )

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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11 Responses to Five Real Reasons Why Physicians Want to Examine Your Pelvis

  1. Sue,

    Thank you for mentioning tips about how female patients can prevent doctors from sexually abusing them! Sexual Misconduct By Doctors is an educational web site that was set up by Medical Patient Modesty (http://www.patientmodesty.org).

    Medical Patient Modesty

  2. Patient modesty, I applaud the fact that you are encouraging people to speak up and stop being bullied by the medical profession. Good job!
    However when I went to your web site to check it all out I came across your pap smear page. I am appalled to say the least. If you have read any of the stuff on this website you will understand that nothing you have on that page is true. Please, for the sake of women everywhere amend and correct your pap smear page, or just take it down altogether if you don’t agree with us. It is such a shame, and drives home our point, that women have no say, are bullied, harassed and lied to when it comes to pap and pelvic exams. It made me see red that you wrote on that page: “Many young women who say that they are virgins may be “technical” virgins meaning they have never had sexual intercourse, but they have done other things such as petting, oral sex, skin to skin contact with genitals, and anal sex that put them at risk of contracting HPV. Women are not always honest about their sexual relationships so it’s difficult for a provider to ensure that they have the accurate sexual history of a patient and that’s why it is strongly recommended that all women start having pap smears at age 21 regardless of their sexual activity.”
    In my eyes with that sweeping statement the rest of your site is not one I ever wish to visit again. PLEASE do some research and put some truthful, informative information on your page.

    • Jacqui,

      Thank you for your concern! We actually only have one web page devoted to pap smears and virgins at this time. We are planning on adding another web page that addresses the truth about pap smears and how informed patient consent is missing from pap smears based on http://patientprivacyreview.blogspot.com/2010/11/informed-consent-is-missing-from.html. Doctors should stop bullying women into having pap smears.

      We believe that every woman should make her own decision about whether to have pap smears or how often. Every woman should do research. I’m so tired of the guidelines that doctors use.

      We as non-physicians cannot legally give medical advice or recommendations through MPM. The focus of MPM is to encourage the patients to ask “why”, to research and question on their own. They then can make their own decisions. Patients should be empowered to refuse exams.

      Let me explain the purpose of the web page about virgins and pap smears (http://patientmodesty.org/virginandpapsmear.aspx). Guidelines in the United States say that a woman should have a pap smear by age 21 even if she is a virgin. Doctors fail to inform virgin women that they cannot get HPV if they do not engage in any type of sexual activity. HPV causes 99% of cervical cancer cases. Many doctors lie and tell virgin women they must get pap smears because they are at risk for cervical cancer. We have been contacted by some young women who were virgins who were coerced into having pap smears. We used sources from several articles by female doctors. One female doctor shared that the reason that some doctors push women who claim to be virgins into having pap smears because some of them lie. This is still not an excuse though.

      Medical Patient Modesty

      • Patient Modesty, it is my pleasure to link to your site. It is comforting to be able to offer a link that will take readers to practical and useful advice that could prevent medical misconduct from taking place. As other commenters have said, it is important to practice prevention as it can be extremely difficult to see any justice served after misconduct has already occurred.

        Your site also offers comfort as it allows readers to see they are not alone, and that medical misconduct is more common than many might realize. However, I found my own reaction to the page on virgins and pap smears to be similar to Jacqui’s. I was taken aback. The overall impression I had after reading it was that young women are incapable of making their own decisions, and are promiscuous liars not to be trusted. The underlying message encourages health care providers to pressure young women into pap smears against their wishes, because according to the information you provide, young women may not be capable of making the ‘right’ decision. I suspect a young/virgin woman reading that page might be traumatized and feel invalidated.

        The rest of your site provides a wonderful safety net for women, but the page on virgin pap smears threatens to rip that net apart. I am certain that was not your intention, and I can better understand your purpose from your comments above, but the page on your site does not convey the same message you have provided here.

        In Canada new guidelines recommend pap testing not begin until age 25 due to the unnecessary harms the testing causes to young women. Research has shown that the harms far outweigh any benefits.

      • Sue,

        I appreciate your feedback. I looked at the article about virgins and pap smears closely again. I definitely do not want any virgin women to be intimidated. I am so fed up with the guidelines that say that a woman should have a pap smear regardless of sexual history by age 21. At the same time, I wanted to explain why it is still recommended that women have pap smears even if they are virgins. I wish that the guidelines would include the truth that pap smears are not necessary for virgins who have never engaged in any kind of sexual activity.

        The guidelines in Canada are better than US. But a 30 year old true virgin does not need a pap smear.

        I went and modified the web page. I want all virgin women to stand up and say no, I do not need a pap smear because I’m a virgin. A good doctor would move on without trying to pressure her into having a pap smear.

        Please look at this portion of the article (http://patientmodesty.org/virginandpapsmear.aspx) that I changed:

        Why is it recommended that pap smears start at age of 21 regardless of sexual activity?

        It seems that the main reason that the guidelines suggest that pap smears should start at age 21 for women regardless of sexual history is because women are not always honest about their sexual relationships. It is difficult for a provider to ensure that they have the accurate sexual history of a patient. But providers should keep in mind that many women are honest about their sexual history. Genital contact without penetration can cause HPV.

        What do you think: about the changes I made?

        Medical Patient Modesty

      • Patient Modesty, I appreciate you having another look and altering what was written. It does come across a bit differently now and is a definite improvement. You stress the importance and distinction between “true” virgin and “not so true” virgin. This is an important distinction when considering risk of HPV. However, it is recommended that women under 30 not be tested for HPV. The reason they are not tested is because testing positive for HPV is very common for women under 30.

        “Screening With the HPV DNA Test: Harms
        Based on solid evidence, HPV testing identifies numerous infections that will not lead to cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer. This is especially true in women younger than 30 years, in whom rates of HPV infection may be higher.” http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/cervical/HealthProfessional/page1/AllPages#Section_133

        There are many different strains of HPV but the vast majority of them clear up on their own. So when testing women under 30 it is likely they will test positive, but very unlikely that it will be a strain that could potentially lead to cancer. This is why they do not test women under 30 for HPV (in Canada) – too many would be unnecessarily harmed. I believe the U.S. also does not test women under 30 for HPV?

        The distinction between “true” and “not so true” virgin is not as important as the age of the woman. If she is under 30 she should not be tested for HPV. And in my own opinion, she should not be pap tested either as paps are so unreliable. In some Northern European countries women are not tested at all (no HPV and no pap) until they turn 30, and these same countries have the lowest rates of cervical cancer in the world.

        For more information and references check out the comments section of the post “What doctors don’t want you to know . . .”

  3. Exactly, it’s stepping way over the line. Doctors have no right to make assumptions about us, it’s paternalistic and highly unethical, not to mention just wrong at every level. You present the facts and allow women to decide for themselves. The suggestion of lying shows they don’t get it…women can decline elective cancer for any reason and are not obliged to justify their decision. I chose to fully explain to my GP why I’ve always refused pap tests and now also mammograms and that’s the end of the matter. I think it’s important that GPs hear from informed women who decline screening….there should never be an expectation that all women will or should screen. They don’t hear “No” often enough and so often a “No” is viewed as a personal barrier to screening that the GP must overcome…
    If a woman not yet sexually active is forced or even receives a recommendation to test with no mention of risk or uncertainty of benefit, she should make a complaint/seek legal advice. Your doctor has endangered your health. I think ALL young women have a strong case as it’s been clear now for many years that those under 30 don’t benefit, but produce the most false positives.

    Older women IMO, most of them anyway, are not making informed decisions to screen. The huge number that end up over-treated may start to stir when it becomes well known that most of them could have been ruled out of treatment if they’d been tested for HPV. How many HPV negative women endure unnecessary colposcopies, biopsies and over-treatment? We’ll never know because we conveniently don’t offer HPV testing here, until these “treatments” are over and the damage to mind and body is done. When you simply follow recommendations…you’re not making an informed decision, that’s impossible with spin and misinformation.

    Every woman needs to challenge the dysfunctional thinking in women’s “healthcare”.
    It’s insanity, ever noticed how many young women are “treated” after “abnormal” pap tests in Australia, the States, Canada and other countries that screen young women? And it’s very bad when they’re also seriously over-screened with 2 yearly testing. Of course, we’ve also known for a while now that most pap tests are unnecessary, most women are HPV negative and cannot benefit from pap testing…and that’s why the Dutch will shortly change their program and only offer pap tests to those women aged 30 to 60 who test positive for HPV….that takes 95% out of pap testing and the risk of over-treatment and self testing is an option..some women might choose to simply self test once or up to 5 times over their lifetime…those HPV negative and no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous might choose to stop all further testing. We should not force, pressure or recommend that women need a lifetime of intrusive testing with the added misery and risk that so often follows…cone biopsies etc For those women who wish to test, there are far better ways to protect them from this small risk and from the much higher risk of over-treatment…HPV primary testing and the Delphi Screener.

  4. Patient Modesty, thanks for listening to our feedback. I went to your edited page, and while I hate it less, I still can’t say I’m in love with it. Could you maybe put on the page that pap and other screening tests are not mandatory, and maybe some links to relevant research so women can start getting all of the facts and make decisions based on true informed consent? I understand that you have to stay within the law and can’t just have a big rant about it, but isn’t it the law that screening is optional? Can you also advise that if a woman has symptoms of course it is prudent to get checked out, but still stressing that all cancer screening is optional, no matter your risk, From a personal point of view, I would love to see more information advising about the high rate of false positives and negatives. I ended up with cervical cancer, and got to spend nearly 4 months in hospital from the day after I got married. I had chemo, radiotherapy etc etc. They could not remove the tumour as it had spread into my soft tissues, and it had also totally obliterated my cervix. I got to go through menopause at 33, a couple of months after I was married. I ended up with DVT’s in both legs, as a symptom of having the tumour. I now have shocking ongoing issues with my bowel thanks to the radiotherapy. If pap smears are so great, how did they repeatedly miss the massive tumour that was right there busily destroying my cervix? The only reason I ended up in hospital having treatment was that I had symptoms, and basically had to force my doctor to listen to me, because my pap tests had come back “normal”. The same horrifying sorts of things happen to women with false positives, or who have abnormal cells – they go through horrific and unnecessary procedures, simply because doctors and screening associations make women think that this cancer is rampant and will kill us all at any second.
    I would also like to see some information advising women that there is no need or law to have a pap to get birth control. Advise them it is illegal to withhold medication because they exercise their right to have a pap or pelvic. Advise them what to do if this happens. Advise them that all that is medically needed to get birth control is a blood pressure test and medical history. Surely that is not going to get you legally in trouble, because it is all part of the law. (Although not many women know it, we need to change this so women are aware of this, and then the culture may slowly but surely start to change). Women are never going to start questioning this stuff unless they know about it, and they can’t know about it until reputable sources start advising them of their rights under the law. Women can’t stand up to bullies with both arms tied behind their backs. Thanks for listening!

  5. sorry, that bit should have read ” Advise them it is illegal to withhold medication because they exercise their right NOT to have a pap or pelvic.”

    • Lucy says:

      I am sorry to hear what happened to you Jacqui, but glad to know you came through it – after an experience like that – of course you begin to question the purpose and benefit of every recommended procedure and take more proactive control of your own medical interventions.

      I have also thought that all of this ‘PAP’ smear pressure and related propaganda has allowed scores of women’s DNA to be harvested and stored by the ‘government’. If ever they wanted to do extensive research on gene programs or biological weaponry etc. they have pretty much all the material they need. They could racially target and profile many aspects of biological care or harm.

      It sounds like conspiracy theory, which is not my usual style, but is it not true! As women we really need to learn to question the things we comply with – and potential ramifications for now and into the future.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Also every time a woman goes to a doctor for any thing the “when was your last pap smear” question is asked. I know it is ruten. I have always had a problem with the wording. It implys we were expected to have a pap smear and it is a demand for a date. there is no room for any other answer. I went to a walk in clic for somthing totaly unrelated to a gyn problem. I was 24 at the time and when I was asked the date question. I told the nurse that I dont have pap smears. She was so angrey that i could not give her a date that she got an attiude and started beliitleing me for not having paps. And when I told her i was A virgin she said “that does not matter all womans bodys are so complex so many things can go wrong.” I mean it like she was ignorant to what pap screened for. and she did not respect my right to refuse. so I hate that question its like a set up to push this on woman and make us feel like we a re oblegated to have pap smears. that I have a big problem with. And why is it so hard for meadical people to accept that some woman do not want to test.

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