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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813 Responses to Psychological Harms of Pelvic Exams

  1. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Welcome Meno
    I see parallels between pregnancy/childbirth and cancer screening, we’re rarely listened to, the system takes over, others make decisions for us and assume risk on our behalf.
    Also, there’s a cone of silence, the system makes women feel uncomfortable saying anything negative about childbirth or pap testing. Some women fear being judged or trivialized, we’re TOLD a healthy baby is all that matters in the end or a normal pap test or mammogram.
    I’ve always believed the system/medical profession view women as second class citizens, our legal rights don’t really matter, they know best…wrong!

    It’s interesting that occasionally when women feel safe, the truth emerges, sometimes followed by an apology or put down, “I know I’m being silly, but I couldn’t understand why there were so many people standing there watching me give birth”.
    So all the natural and normal feelings we have about our bodily autonomy, privacy and dignity are often lumped together as women being immature, prudish, difficult or perhaps, victims of sexual abuse. We’re so often denied these normal feelings, we’re supposed to be okay allowing open access to our genitals and breasts when the system demands it from us.

    Over the years I’ve heard it so often, certainly, in later years, perhaps because women sensed I might have a sympathetic ear.
    My husband and I decided not to have children, I’m pleased to say that fear did not make that decision for me, I know that’s the case for some women. Of course, I would have approached a pregnancy fearing the worst and hoping for the best. I’d selected an ob-gyn just in case, she was highly recommended by several friends – she was a good doctor, she listened, she didn’t judge, she worked with women and she respected their privacy (as far as possible considering the system often couldn’t care less)
    You’re certainly not alone, but it must feel that way when so many women still IMO, feel like they must just accept poor and disrespectful treatment, just get over it…
    I don’t think you can claim the system is a huge success when a healthy baby leaves the hospital with a damaged mother, and we know some damage lasts forever; both physical, psychological and emotional damage.
    Sites like Birth Trauma help but they’re not really out there, we don’t hear much about this issue anywhere else. It’s the old cone of silence that keeps this abuse in place, but it’s not easy to change attitudes and conduct. I’ve always believed with cancer screening it starts with individual women saying, “No, this is not good enough, I’m a human being, not a body or a target”…

    It’s interesting that the system assumes after giving birth we shouldn’t have a care in the world with pap testing, surely we’re “used” to these exams by now (or we should be if we’re “normal”)

    The reasoning is self-serving, they want compliant women so we need to get over any issues with pap testing, “how will they manage when they have children?”….and if you’ve had children, “well what’s the issue?”…
    So it says to me the system is basically saying women should forget about bodily autonomy, privacy and dignity, it’s supposed to be that our health (and that of our baby) is more important.
    I think it’s more that the system does not respect women and the current approach suits and is accepted by many…so many can’t see the wood for the trees. Consent? Informed consent?
    I think writing about your experience will help you and other women – much more needs to be said about the unacceptable way women are viewed and treated by the system
    All the best

    • Elizabeth, thank you so much for bringing up another important issue with your reference to “birth trauma”. Same as women are supposed to be casual about invasive exams and having childbirth treated like a sideshow, birth trauma doesn’t end in the maternity ward for victims of domestic violence.

      Women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth are often under incredible pressure to give up their babies. The leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder by the men who got them pregnant, including men these pregnant women are married to so it isn’t just a matter of covering up some affair with a pregnant mistress. Women who would do fine as mothers if they had a little help to leave abusive relationships are expected to have babies and then just give them away like their flesh and blood was nothing to them while being told that it was what was best for the baby.

      Frightened battered women are told that some organization will “provide housing” for them. What happens, of course, is that these women are pestered to within inches of their sanity about adoption and what a wonderful “choice” it is. Not that these women are actually being given any choice because the whole point of the “free housing” is to isolate them from anyone who might talk to them about alternatives to lining the pockets of the “counselors”. The possibly of relatives adopting the baby or taking care of the baby for a little while while the mother gets on her feet, with adoption by strangers being reserved for children actually in need of loving homes would just get in the way of the transaction with the strangers lucrative to the “counselors”, who would appreciate payment now please. The fact that the women surrendering against their will most likely never see their children again and often suffer from Post-Traumatic Shock Disorder is not treated as any big deal because adoption is “win-win”. Yeah, well, it is win-win-lose because the person who gives up someone her body has nurtured gets nothing but the pain of loss unless she suffers the vilification reserved for the “selfish” whores who won’t sign away her parental rights.

  2. Mary says:

    I have a pdf I downloaded some time ago about the new cervical cancer screening guidelines from the cancer council in Australia. Anyway, I happened to have a look at it and I am appalled.It says that “women who are invited to have a clinician collected sample(HPV test) and decline will not be eligible for self-collection at that time”. OK so a woman’s HPV status is not really that important after all. A doctor collecting their fee is more important. And it says “women who have tested negative on a self-collected sample should be invited to be retested 5 years later and they should be encouraged to have a clinician collect the sample” . “Encouraged”. Oh and how to they do that? Withhold BCPs?

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi Mary
      Yes, more of the same…
      I read a women would have to decline the invasive HPV test for 6 years before she’s be eligible for HPV self-testing. Of course, the angle used is predictable, self-testing is not as reliable as a sample taken by a physician. So they say…

      I don’t think the self-test option (covered by Medicare) will be the Delphi Screener so perhaps, it’s correct that it’s less reliable than a sample taken by a doctor. (I doubt that though…you’re either HPV+ or HPV-, it’s not like interpreting a pap smear)

      The cost of the self-test kit would be a factor but also, if the HPV self-test were promoted as just as reliable as the invasive test, I suspect they’d be a landrush of women after the self-test option. They clearly hope to keep the herd in-tact and just move them over to HPV invasive testing.
      They’ve gone out of their way to cut into online self-testing options, so now if you want to order (and pay) for the Delphi Screener, you have to nominate an Aussie doctor. I’m not sure if they get your results and you have to speak to them, I assume that’s the case, so they get something out of it, keep the woman in the loop, and have an opportunity to dissuade her from further self-testing.
      Vested interests have been making a fortune from this testing so they won’t give that up lightly. Also, the same old attitudes are at work, women are still viewed as fair game, bodies to be ticked off

      There’s no doubt in my mind that the only women who’ll see HPV self-testing are those who buy the test online, or use it overseas or those who stand firm and wait out the 6 years. They obviously want to limit the offer to hard-core refusers, anyone currently in the program will be pressured to stay there…so self-testing will be used reluctantly to try and increase coverage. (probably with the hope they’ll move them over to invasive testing at some stage)
      It’s probably aimed at people like ME….but the reality is the group of women who’ve never screened or those who’ve dropped out of the program, have often made an informed and/or firm decision…and they certainly won’t be tempted by the offer.
      I’d view it as a hungry wolf offering me a chocolate!

  3. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Mary
    In the UK they’re making the right noises, obviously to placate informed women and a few others like Dr. McCartney but I don’t think much will change at the Clinic (unless you’re informed)
    Here we’re not even making the right noises, there is no discussion about choice or opting out etc. it’s all must or should, counting us off like ignorant sheep.
    I find it incredible that we had to wait until 2016 before someone thought about writing an article on informed consent in cervical screening. The thinking: well, we’re changing the program, perhaps, we should also, consider informed consent.
    Almost like it’s an optional extra, no one seems outraged that women have been denied both consent and informed consent under our program
    I suspect we’re still a long way behind the UK, and other countries…even the States is starting to take the Pill off script. I doubt that will happen here, that consult is an effective way to capture women for the program, it doesn’t seem to matter that it’s supposed to be elective and it’s never been a clinical requirement for the Pill. I’m not sure why change is so slow here, perhaps, because most women here just accept this testing is a necessary evil, the downside to being a woman.

  4. Mary says:

    I think Elizabeth that here in Australia doctors have a lot of power over politicians. I mean how is it that the law says that we are only allowed to import medication prescribed by an Australian doctor? Give me one good reason why a UK doctor, who is allowed to work in Australia cannot prescribe me medication when in the UK? As Paul Keating said, the medical profession is the strongest union in Australia, It’s very frustrating how relaxed Europe is with prescribing but when you indicate you are from Australia on these websites, then it becomes almost impossible and more and more UK pharmacies are not sending medications to Australia. I wonder if they have got wind of more and more people doing this are have clamped down. It wouldn’t surprise me if there is surveillance going on.
    With hpv self-testing it’s again vested interests not letting women have any autonomy. If the Danes ( I think ) have moved to making self-HPV testing the standard way to screen for cervical cancer then don’t tell me it is an inferior way to test. They wouldn’t put lives at risk. It’s a total different mindset in Europe.
    And then again look at the medical marijuana laws. People have to break the law or suffer. And don’t me started on euthanasia. God we are backwards here.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Mary,
      It’s incredibly frustrating, my younger brother has Parkinson’s Disease, cannabis oil makes a big difference to his quality of life but to get it in this country, you need lots of money and a reliable dealer!
      He may eventually get some through the Victorian Govt but that’s not likely to be for a year or so. Thankfully, they’ve started supplying it for children with severe epilepsy
      Some of these kids have permanent brain damage as a result of the seizures and to think the system stood in the way for so long. Hopefully, this damage will be avoided in the future.
      I know some people are against using cannabis for medical conditions, stem cell research/procedures and euthanasia, but I think it’s unfair to stand in the way when people are suffering. We should just get on with it, put the safeguards in place, we can use other countries there, learn from their experience.
      I worked out a long time ago that, “we have to do our own research for local conditions, we can’t just follow Finland” meant, butt out, we’re happy with the current program, it works for US! So few seem to Q the clear stalling measures and desperate need for medical control though…

      I think you’re right, the medical union is all powerful and couldn’t care less about us, patient care comes way behind control, market size and profitability.
      It’s good business but bad medicine…
      I suppose talking about the Delphi Screener on Aussie sites may have tipped them off that WE were aware of something better, it seems getting the message out to women also alerts the system to slam shut another gate.

  5. Shelli says:

    I have thought these sentiments for decades. But this is the first time I have seen them articulated. Thank you so much for stating what has been obvious to women for years: the so called “pelvic” exam is little more than a ritual rape. Further, what were female docs thinking in medical school? They were trained to perform this ritual rape by male professors; why were women in med school so daft and weak that they never spoke up and called these male rapists on the carpet??? Instead, they built careers propagating this rape, in the name of “women’s wellness.” Does everyone know what the number one killer of women is? Heart disease. But how many women schedule an annual visit to a cardiologist? You should. I would gladly say FUCK YOU to my nice but clueless gyn, but the system is such that I depend on her for my hormone prescriptions. Otherwise I’d put an end to the annual rapes I must endure.

    • ChasUK says:

      Welcome Shelli – You could put an end to the annuals as it is your right to refuse and to threaten you by withholding any medication whatsoever is simply not legal/ethical – Why not threaten them with going to the authorities with a complaint….the gyn will be very quick to give you your meds to avoid the complaint. Worth a try. No-one should be put through that by force by any means, your body your rules, no decision about you without you.

    • Alex says:

      You can sometimes get birth control (and maybe other medicine) from psychiatrists. I’m guessing you’re in the UK & I’m in the US, but it might work that way there.

      Maybe explaining that there is a detrimental effect from extrapersonally comported penetration which happen yet NOT occur in a medical setting. The term “iatrogenic assault” isn’t well-known, but “medical attack” is usually clear enough. After all, properties don’t change by designation- just like how if a doctor poisons someone with a needle, it’s still murder. This is true with other things, as well (imposed interfaces with sexual areas, for instance).

      I know that, on some levels, America tends to be very favorable toward things getting strange- especially if it’s done with subtlety. I don’t know if it’s like that where you are, but it’s one of the reasons I want to leave this country. Actually, I notice that there is a large propensity toward trying to “crawl into other people’s skin” here. I’ve also noticed that when someone wants to crawl into someone else’s skin figuratively, they tend to make somewhat literal attempts.

      • Shelli says:

        I am in the USA , Alex. You definitely bring up some thought provoking ideas!

      • Alex says:

        Thanks, Shelli. If you want some more, there’s Birth as an American Rite Of Passage by Robbie E. Davis-Floyd. It’s a mistake to think that someone’s psychology isn’t a factor in their assessments & decision-making. This is true with work & the theories that get dispensed AT work (by someone or a group of someones- their psychology would be present).

  6. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Shelli
    You can get the Pill from the pharmacy in California and Oregan and other States will follow, so might be worth a trip.
    Also, the only clinical requirements for the Pill is your medical history and a blood pressure test. Routine pelvic and breast exams are not recommended in symptom-free women and more likely to harm you. Pap testing should be offered to the roughly 5% of women aged 30 to 60 who test HPV+…everyone else is not at risk and cannot benefit from pap testing (but can be harmed)
    You can self-test for HPV too…
    It’s concerning that some doctors are still linking potentially harmful excess to the consult for the Pill, more should be done to stop this unacceptable conduct. Taking the Pill off script is well overdue…they don’t require men to have a colonoscopy before they can have Viagra, do they?
    Or a quick feel of the testicles….

    • Shelli says:

      Thank you all for the comments. I am in my 50s and post menopausal. I’ve been ensuring these ritual rapes for decades, and I’m sick of it. But I do hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms (the herbal stuff didn’t work for me), and if I refuse to let my dr molest me, she’ll likely kick me out of her practice. I wish I could get my hormones without having to go through that nonsense.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Hi Shelli
        That’s horrible, I was lucky, managed to get through menopause with no meds, it was uncomfortable for about 2 years. I made a decision I’d only go down the HRT path of it became intolerable, thankfully, I didn’t get to that point.
        I know women who use HRT, they’re reminded/pressured to have pap tests and mammograms, but apart from that, think it’s only a blood pressure test and a review of their symptoms/status. A friend told her doctor straight that she wasn’t having pap tests, HPV- women can’t benefit and would not be having mammograms – sometimes it’s a Q of finding the right doctor. I know it’s harder to change your doctor in the States, but would it be worth an email, sound her out…or finding someone else?

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        https://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/ALM/Managing_menopause/HRT_Initial_consultation_PatientUK.pdf

        “Blood pressure.
        Height and weight.
        Other examination as indicated by the history (routine vaginal/bimanual examination is not required).”

        Of course, they mention this consult can include health promotion like pap testing and breast screening, but they’re not clinical requirements for HRT
        They also, mention breast self-exams, they’re not recommended here at all, at any age…it’s breast awareness now.

  7. moo says:

    Can I ask this? What exactly is HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for? I am 51 and somehwat finished with menstrual periods for not wuite a year. Sure I get cranky and sometimes hot but otherwise I am not dying. So I am ok somewhat would some woman like me need HRT for?

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi Moo
      Some women have a difficult time with menopause and find HRT offers some relief from the hot flushes, sweating, insomnia, mood swings, muscle pain, menstrual issues etc.

      I know women who went onto HRT fairly early, in their mid to late 40s and stayed on it for many years, others used it for a couple of years. Some GPs push it, others are more cautious – my GP understood my reluctance, I was also, unsure about the association between breast cancer and HRT. (so was she)
      Anyway, apart from a couple of minor annoyances, I’m over the worst (fingers crossed)
      I was lucky that my periods just got lighter and lighter and then stopped for a couple of months, another light one…and then after about 8 months with a light period every month or two, that was it.
      A friend had awful flooding, some of these women opt for HRT until this unpleasant and inconvenient phase passes.
      So I consider myself one of the lucky ones…
      My mother had no issues at all, menopause was a breeze for her, we’re all different.
      It’s a natural process, not a disease – that’s the way I view it, just like menstruation and pregnancy.

      • moo says:

        So the hot flashes and all symptoms can go away after the menses stop totally? Or is it for many years adter periods stop?

        My experience was more like yours Elizabeth. I had light periods but they were weird (sparing the details). So far it all stopped but but I still get hot and achy. It could be due to some other health problem.

        I used to ger very itchy but I stopped using anti-acid stomach meds and anti histamines and took vitamin B, mulit vitamin and licorce root (dgl) for the stomach. Mostly the insomnia is due to being hot so I wear less to bed and an eye mask (due to security lights at the neigbouring building).

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        It varies, Moo…
        I get the impression most women continue to have temperature issues etc. for a few years after they say goodbye to menstruation. It’s been 5-6 years for me and it’s only been the last 12 months that the temperature thing has settled down. (it was very uncomfortable for 2 years)
        I’m continuing to have skin issues, my older sister is too, we now have very sensitive skin, the products I’ve used for many years are out, my skin can’t tolerate them anymore. I’ve also, had some minor menopausal acne, not really pimples but painful blind spots that take ages to go away – it’s male pattern too, so around the mouth and jawline. The acne is caused by hormonal fluctuations, too much of the male stuff.
        After the temperature issues and/or joint pain, mood swings, insomnia etc. improve, some women are left with skin and other issues simply because they’re post-menopausal.
        The skin gets thinner, skin eruptions/cuts/burns take much longer to heal and are more likely to scar…
        A workmate started taking HRT and noticed an immediate improvement in her skin, the dryness disappeared, skin eruptions and dermatitis are gone too, but I’m not prepared to take the risk with HRT. I’m trying a few things on my skin, it’s slow progress – but I’m moving in the right direction.
        I’m sleeping better now and that helps a lot, the years of broken sleep and insomnia combined with temperature fluctuations all day left me exhausted and irritable – I always felt grubby too from the sweating. (I’d take a spare shirt to work)
        Thankfully, that stage probably lasted for 2 years, but some women struggle with these issues for 10 years or even longer. I can see why some choose to take HRT…even for a couple of years.

      • Mary says:

        Elizabeth if there is no family history of breast cancer I think HRT is pretty safe. Also the study that was done in 2002 that scared thousands of women away was only done on women using Premarin. There are other types of HRT that may be safe. For example, oestradiol valerate converts to exactly the same hormone our body produces. Maybe you could try topical oestrogen for your skin.
        It’s a personal choice but as the only cancer in my family is bowel cancer, (not familial though) and HRT is supposed to protect against bowel cancer, I probably will consider HRT.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Hi Mary
        I should look into it really, I tend to stay away from the medical profession unless it’s absolutely necessary.
        I’ve discussed it with my GP, she also said heart disease was a concern, and there’s a family history of that…not breast cancer.
        I tend not to raise these topics because you can often open a hornet’s nest. My sister’s friend also had acne in her 50s, her GP referred her to a gynecologist to discuss HRT – that poor woman endured a bimanual pelvic exam and TVU – apparently, looking for an ovarian cyst or ovarian cancer.
        This is why I tend to put up with things, or look for something I can manage myself, but I’ll definitely do some research. Thanks for the information

      • moo says:

        Oh …. premarin. Made fom pregnant mare urine… so appealing. I would rather have my little hot episodes. I do not feel too bad. No HRT for me.

        Thanks for the explanation.

        There is not enough info about normal natural menopause on the internet.

    • Miso99 (Canada) says:

      Moo, if your menopause symptoms diminishes your quality of life, you can look into bio-identical HRT. Instead of premarin and provera which are lab created synthetic molecules, bio-identical HRT uses real estrogen and progesterone as they’re made by human ovaries, they extract them from plants, soy or flax I think, so no pregnant horse pee!

      Bio-identical hormones don’t seem as harmful as the traditional prem-pro stuff, and the big 2002 Women’s health initiative study was made with prem-pro, and they discovered that breast cancer risk increases slightly with women taking provera along with premarin. But there doesn’t seem to be any increase of cancer or heart disease with the bio-identical hormones. They aren’t widely known since they can’t be patent, which is the case with prem-pro as they’re lab created molecules, while the bio-identical can be found in nature. In Quebec there’s an MD who makes lots of research on menopause, Sylvie Demers, who published a very good book about bio-identical hormones, unfortunately it’s only in French but I found a few articles about her in English : http://qcdaily.com/essential-hormones/765/

      I would definitely chose bio-identical HRT when I reach menopause if I get bad symptoms, but it should be each woman’s decision if she wants to take hormones or not, as long as she get informed consent about all the different type of HRT available.

      • Miso99 (Canada) says:

        Here’s an English power point Demers made that pretty much sums up her book on bio-identical HRT, she explains why the WHI study was badly interpreted by doctors and media and the differences between prem-pro and bio-identical HRT and the bio-identical meds currently available, I think she uses this material to give training session to MDs to teach them how to prescribe adequate bio-identical HRT :
        http://slideplayer.com/slide/10246391/

        Also, Dr John Lee and his work on progesterone is pretty interesting as well, as he explained the many benefits of progesterone on the female body and how it affects women throughout menopause, because a lot of health care folks think it’s only useful for pregnancy.

        A lot of the medical establishment are ignorant about the benefits of estrogen and progesterone on the well being of women during their whole lives, not just menopause, and it’s partly due to the lack of education on it while they’re in medical school I think. It shows by how badly women are treated, either their symptoms are dismissed and told to live with them, or they’re prescribed prem-pro when a safer and more efficient alternative could be offered to them.

      • Mary says:

        Thanks for the info Miso99. I truly believe women’s menopausal complaints are often dismissed by doctors and they are treated as though they just should put up with it. It’s a woman’s choice whether she wants HRT, it shouldn’t be up to the Dr to decide. No doctor would tell a man to put up with erectile dysfunction.

      • moo says:

        Thanks all for the comments. I was taking vitex herb for about two years and I stopped. I might try something else.

        I read that fat tissue stores estrogen so women who are obese might have a more difficult time. Birth control pills for decades with a one dose fit all sizes is going to have some women difficult for their body to remove all the hormones and adjust to lowering levels.

        I cannot think that all older women’s health problems are hormonal and some “pill” will fix them. “It’s never too late to start HRT”. Yeah. Get the customers for life. I would rather just get some herbal based capsules at a health food store and maybe eat flax seed or soy.

  8. I was raped at a young age and sometimes I have somatic pain in my belly. I had a pelvic exam or pap one time and I was asked if I would allow some medical students in the exam room while the procedure or procedures were being done. During the exam it hurt really bad (like no other exam) and I cried out. I did a Google search before coming across this because my belly was hurting and I happened to remember this. Another time a doctor that I trusted was doing a pelvic exam and didn’t use any gloves. Both have troubled me over the years but definitely the more so the latter of the two.

    • Penelope says:

      Hi MsMeagon Pack:

      Welcome to our site. You have my deepest sympathies. What happened to you is very disheartening. Please don’t let it define you. Don’t let men or women who see your vulnerability and pain from this take advantage of you. Hopefully you’ve found some measure of support and comfort in finding our site and knowing that you’re far from alone. I hope you have friends and family and even a counselor that you can trust and open up to. And remember that we’re here too. Hopefully, after reading all of the information here, you’ll never go back for another so-called regular exam. I think, if I may say so, that they realized your vulnerable state and in their coldness figured that they could take advantage. Their motive is to get paid by building you into their clientele. I wonder, Girls who are molested; and I believe this is what these gyns did to you; unfortunately are targets as their self esteem has been lowered to think that they have to submit to people – men – who want access to their genitals. Please remember this even in your personal life, too. These gyn’s who took advantage of you – used no gloves – and allowed people you’ve never seen in life to stare at your private area may get their punishment in hell, yet. It’s so easy for me to get preachy, MsMeagon Pack, please excuse me. And I started not to respond in order to not offend you. However, you’ve compelled me to speak to you. I just want to inform you to ensure you that you 1. know that what happened isn’t your fault. You were taken advantage of by practiced professionals and you have my deepest sympathies and 2. are educated against going back.

      I notice for those women and girls who have been assaulted it’s mind over matter. It depends on the woman or girl and her resilience. Those that realize that it’s not their fault and that they are more than what happened to them – are those that manage to survive. I see women who’ve had one terrible assault and are ready for suicide. (I pray this isn’t you – please call that hotline – don’t be ashamed..). I see in the news about the young women who were kidnapped as girls – held and raped for 10 or more years – re-enter their lives and forge on to be successful as a women. Success – not meaning business success (that can come later…) – but rather they have successfully claimed back their lives – their spirits are healed and they move on. Who sings that song – “This is my fight song…claim back my life song…..”

      When a woman has symptoms, violating her private area isn’t necessary. All you have to do is realize they don’t require the same of men, to know that it is a sham. Blood work, MRI, abdominal ultrasound and abdominal laparoscopy, self-testing, and if at all necessary – something new – a mammogram that doesn’t squish the breasts, rather it takes images. It reminds me of the machine that takes 360 degree X-rays of your mouth at the dentist’s office.

      A gyn doesn’t have to feel your vagina in order to know something is wrong with your uterus. They just have to feel your uterus. There’s no need for looking at anything or insert anything between your legs. They should know from their description of your symptoms and training what you have or may have and then send you for the tests I mentioned that have nothing to do with stirrups. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had none, one, or many sexual partners. Women’s bodies are designed to be strong, not vulnerable because of sexual contact and childbirth – the lie that ob/yn’s make their careers off of. Some women may have issues with conception and birth, but these bastards have taken full advantage to abuse women. The profession needs to be (and is…being) taken over by women….they just need to change away from the male colleagues habits…or they would be no better than them. The pelvic and the speculum – these things never were really diagnostic tools. From all that I’ve read and studied on the internet, including our site ( all of the veteran commenters should have master’s degrees in women’s health as they bring very educational, fact based information to our site…), the so called pelvic exam really needs to be destroyed. It was more of a tool for gullible Victorian women and lecherous, curious males. It was for feeding the Victorian male gyn’s curiousity about the Victorian female body under all of those long skirts and underwear and corsets. Seeing as it has been about a couple of centuries since “gynecology” was started, you would think that this would have progressed away from stirrups and exposing women in such a barbaric way (and then expecting them to accept it…..) with all of the other technical innovations in medicine. A man will never be forced to get into stirrups or have devices applied to their genitals…they absolutely volunteer to allow it because they want it done- or the urologist will wind up punched in the nose, first). No, in this society, it’s more about pleasure and power. As long as women accept it and drag their daughters into accepting it, it perpetuates. However, too slow for us, there are changes and women are waking up. So glad that you are one. I’m just sad it happened this way for you.

      Please keep in touch, MsMeagon Pack, or at least keep reading all that these special women and men have to say here and be illuminated. I hope someday you’ll feel blessed to know when you’ve become victorious over what has happened to you.

    • katrehman says:

      Moo I take black cohosh sweats and flushes which really helps me. Took 3 weeks to kick in. I really don’t want HRT either

  9. Diane Spero says:

    hi its Diane,
    i need to share with others who understand. I called my Dr ( who I like and teats the whole person), to make an apt for an issue I am having. The staff was rude on hung up on.
    I finally got through .I could not get an apt for a while. What gives these people the right to be so rude?
    I have wondered for a while if i have been ( kinda black listed) in the medical community.
    i really do wonder if my refusal of female exams and bad anxiety make them treat me so rudely.

    i hate going to Dr’s it just re traumatizes me. Please tell me i’m not alone.
    i go twice a yr for thyroid blood work. So i really do stay away.
    I can’t piss in a cup because of my trauma with mandated pee test. ( long story).

    i don’t have anyone to go with me or even talk too about this.

    The medical system is caught up in paper work patient care does exist.
    i am polite to these people, though i am quiet and anxious.
    I am sick of being treated so rudely.
    i will let my Dr know of my experience.

    i Feel my computer is teated better when its repaired , than the way medical offices treat people. Maybe it ‘s Florida I don’t know!
    I can’t be traumatized anymore by rude medical staff. They make feel degraded and dirty.

    its so sad that the medical system become so money hungry that people don’t matter.

    Has anyone been able to over come the trauma?
    I feel so alone, and unable to navigate the medical system! Please help!

    • Kelly Corkran says:

      Hi Diane
      .
      You are not alone. Receptionists at medical centres tend to be rude some more than others. It is not personal. I think it is a reflection of how they see themselves more than anything.

    • Lily Lamb says:

      Hi Diane, You are not alone! I made myself an appointment with a private Dr. with my good insurance. (Am a survivor). The lady at the desk wanted to take my picture for my file. ( I thought,” So the Dr. can match my face to my genitals?”) My mind isn’t right, I know.. So I said no, I didn’t want to.She whispered loudly enough so I could hear her, “WEIRD!” To her office mate. If they only knew how many attempts it took me to make the appointment, get into the building, get into the elevator and march myself in there! I disassociated during the exam, and have been unraveling since. I have decided I have way to kill myself finally. I found 3 places I can buy cyanide pills. Just meant to say you are not alone. And it is like a crack in a dam, very tiny and the water starts rushing through and then the whole thing dissolves. It started a chain of me remembering things and events I had disassociated. And I can’t stop it. I wish I could stop remembering things.

      • Shana says:

        Please do not take your own life. I hope I am misreading your comment about the pills. Please do not do that. Call 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

      • Lily Lamb says:

        Thanks for replying! Even the psych forum people don’t talk to me! They ignore all my posts!
        I posted two posts on a rape forum and they deleted them! I called the rape hotline and I told the lady my story and did she know any Doctors that would treat survivors or sedate us so we could take care of our health without our minds dissolving. And we both cried, byut she couldn’t give me any resources. Anxiety pills or sedated or Doctors who specifically could treat survivors.
        Well, I haven’t bought them. Those pills. Still a few minutes of irreversible agony- and then it is done. A better death than the people who were forced to jump from the Twin Towers! $500 each. I think I should buy from the 3 sources because what if one or two are just baby powder in a capsule?
        I think I should buy them for ‘just in case’ at least. This stuff has happened to me more than one time.
        But I am getting those memories back and it’s not a good experience!!
        I want to cut my head open and wash my brain with some Wisk and bleach. And squeeze it out real good.
        I haven’t bought them yet.

  10. Shana says:

    In response to comments about hot flashes… I’m in my mid-40s and I’ve been experiencing hot flashes for several years now. I first tried Black Cohash. It took about 4-6 weeks to start working, but then stopped being effective after 6 months. I then started taking Flaxseed Oil. That really helped me. I’ve also taken pumpkin seed oil. The last few weeks have been horrible though, for me. A few days ago, I started take soy isoflavones and evening primrose oil. I’m not there yet, but I already notice a difference. Soy seems to really help. I’ve taken it before as an additive to another supplement, and I highly recommend it. I read recently that menopause (I’m actually pre-meno) can take 10-15 years. It is my hope that I will never go on HRT. Vitamin supplements are what I prefer. What works for one person may not work for another, and they take time to be effective.

  11. nienkie says:

    I am so happy to have read this post. I am 33 and have never been to an ob/gyn. I just cannot fathom the idea of allowing a stranger that kind of access to my most intimate parts, the very idea of it makes me anxious. I asked my house dr about it once, and he said its not necesarry to go until i am married. He must have assumed I was a virgin, which i was and i remained one till my wedding day, at the age of 31. I have been made to feel so guilty about not going and i beat myself up so much about it, I have myself beleiving that i am reckless with my health (when I am actually fit and of ideal weight, eating healthy do not smoke and only drink on occasion). I thought once i had sex i would magically be less scared of a pelvic exam, but I still feel the same way about it. Reading this post has made me feel so much better about feeling this way, and less alone. Thank you so much for writing about this.

  12. Tali says:

    I got thrown out of the doctors office for refusing a pelvic exam just yesterday. I still stand by my decision, it is violating, inhumane, and unnecessary. I haven’t had one done in 12 years, because the last one the doctor forcibly ruptured my membrane, with his finger, and sent me into early labor, without even telling me he was going to do it. It was excruciating. Never again I say. This needs to be stopped.

  13. Lily says:

    It is true. No matter how excellent the Doctor or care. I disassociated during my exam. Switched personalities. Self abused because of the disgusting feeling. Still have that self hating feeling. Would like to just beat myself to death self hatred.
    It was many years before I could go to one of these doctors again. I may never feel right again in this life.

    • ChasUK says:

      Lily, you know you don’t have to have these exams EVER, all you need remember is YOU are in charge of your body and what happens to it. I’m sorry you feel so badly but please don’t hate yourself because of what they put you through. Treat the experience as a lesson learned and be kind to yourself. Your best teacher is your last mistake. Reading this site has helped me gain control over my life in many ways and I couldn’t do without it, I have read every subject heading and every comment and has brought me peace in my life. It has also taught me to question and research everything medically related, from over diagnosis, over treatment, unnecessary treatment/procedures/side effects etc. I feel empowered now. Stay with us here and take good care.

      • Lily lamb says:

        I was 6.5 when my first thing happened. And there were others.
        Forced visit for pelvic or I wasn’t allowed to go home. And I cried and had a mental breakdown in the room. (I didn’t want to take my clothes off in front of a man I didn’t know. I didn’t want to take my underpants off or be made to show him my genitals. Or let him touch me. But I was bullied into it. Or I couldn’t go home again. So I submitted. I cried so hard while the ob/gyn was examining me, he complained to the nurse,” I can’t examine her while she is crying like this, she keeps pushing the speculum out.” They left the door open so I would feel more ‘comfortable’ with people going by in the hallway (too embarrassed to keep wailing).
        They left the door open more than once when I went to my exams, ” So I would feel more ‘comfortable’ (so everybody walking by could see and hear what was going on, so they couldn’t be sued for doing this against my will).
        My first bad thing that happened, they tricked me into going for surgery, it was almost 24 hours.
        We really need specialized ob/gyns who could sedate and who can not send victims into disassociating. It has been almost 2 weeks now since my exam. And I am not okay.

      • Diane Spero says:

        sorry to hear what you went through. i can so relate. Had abuse issues Freaked out when i wa takwn for first exam. went through exam trauma for yrs, till I finally said enough! MORE EXAM ATTEMPS! I never fond out what my issue is.
        I agree with having specialiized Gyns. I have asked to be sedated, refused!
        gld you are here

      • Lily Lamb says:

        Thanks! Glad you are here too!
        Embarrassed because I am stitched and restitched like a shredded little rag doll.
        Many things, why do we have to apologize for? Still freaking out, disassociating, going stiff, hanging onto the side of the table, covering my face for exams.
        Couldn’t get into the building, several attempts. Couldn’t get into the elevator, several attempts. Changed where I sat tbecause I couldn’t stand having someone sit nearby.
        So many things.
        I would have preferred to be sedated.

  14. katrehman says:

    Lily lamb it’s awfull the lack of respect and empathy you have been shown but really chasing uk is right. It’s YOUR body and you have every right to refuse these exams. Why do you need a yearly well woman check if you dont have symptoms. Hope you heal….

    • Lily Lamb says:

      Thank you everyone for replying to me! I just checked and saw all the comments! The thing about disassociating is your mind is protecting you so you an function. Somewhere out there, that Doctor and Nurse are still out there. And he was right. He shouldn’t have done that first exam on me. And he should’ve reported the person who mad the appointment and brought me to that first forced pelvic exam to the authorities. It was rape and coerced rape. Sexual abuse. No one should be able to force a sexually abused minor into a pelvic exam when she obviously is damaged mentally because of it.

  15. Diane Spero says:

    thanks lily. i wish too that i didn;t live the rauma exam attempts have caused me. i;m 57 act 37 .
    i want the love i have been able because of this trauma. Te abortion in the hospital was the worst.
    mean dr, self aborted in hospital.

    I don’t evrn get along well with women. I feel damaged not as emtionalas they are. i am loical anyway. ( hate drama).

    I don’t know about others but women haven’t ben supportive of my stance against exams.
    i lied to my mom who kept nagging me about exams.

    i agree about forcing a minoe. i was forcd at 17. i was taken for an exam at boarding school. The bitch trie to jam he finget uup me. hurt like hell i am small.
    5’1 100 lbs was maybe 80 lbs than.

    The U S medical system is all about $$$$ any way patient care is non exsistant. Its a maze of paper work. I stay away! Its why I am healthy. i take a natural thyroid pill thats it.!

    • Lily Lamb says:

      The doctor took 24 hours to piece me together in surgery. There wasn’t anything left of me. Between to two places. And sticks imbedded in me. And sh*t, and my own vomit they stuffed back in me. Made me eat my own shit and vomit.
      But I had skin taken from my leg, I remember having a patch on my thigh with no skin on it.
      So I didn’t have a regular stretchy vagina. I had a built from scratch and pieces one. And I remember how that speculum burned. I cried so much. It hurt. And all they said was,” Oh- it couldn’t hurt that bad.” That I needed to relax and breathe.
      I wish we could have Doctors who would treat trauma survivors. And s date us. I would have to have been sedated this last time.
      Am very glad to have you to talk to.
      Am very sorry that this happened to you too, and also very happy someone on this planet is there to talk to.

    • Lily Lamb says:

      Thank you Diane for talking with me! I have a highly disfunctional life. You can tell by looking at my life that I am not right. I don’t trust anyone, I don’t have anyone on my emergency call list, I have no friends or family of any kind ever in my life, I don’t have any interest in sex at all, I don’t like amusements (but I like to escape in the movies), I, of course, have no kids. I am never happy, am even jealous of women who spend their days laughing and superficial! I wonder- what kind of lives do they have? Their biggest concern is some petty thing!

    • Lily Lamb says:

      The non-emotional thing I am like that to! I always feel kind of stunned. And ‘unable to rise to the occasion’ for strong feelings of any kind. I wonder what that is?

  16. linda says:

    Hi Lily. You have found true friends here on this site. I pray you heal quickly from all of that trauma. No one understands like we do. I’m so glad you found us. My love and well wishes to you.

    • LilyLamb says:

      Thank you Linda!
      It makes me happy at least to know there is so much room for improvement in Womens’ health!

  17. Jackie says:

    I cannot say thank you enough to the contributors and author of this post. I have suffered from this intense fear of going to the gynecologist my entire life. I am 28 and have seen three different gynos, hoping each situation will be different and am left with someone who is in a rush, patronizing, and just plain insulting sometimes. I have never completely gone through with an exam due to the intense fear. Each time I try, I end up crying and moving my legs so much that I really cannot control it. I have tried muscle relaxers and have just recently been prescribed a XANAX type drug. I hope it works. I have sex, I hope to have kids one day, but the fact that I cannot get through these exams worries me that children would be an impossibility for me (at least me birthing them). I now see two therapists (one talk, one hypnotherapy) and both are somewhat at a loss as to how to help me. They try teaching me exposure techniques and calming techniques, but I honestly just want to get knocked out like some of these other woman. If anyone has a solution for me, please do share. I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Evie says:

      Hi, Jackie. The solution is very simple – just don’t have these exams. They are completely unnecessary at best, and at worst they can seriously harm you or the baby.

      • Diane Spero says:

        i do avoid these exams. it was such a relieve to not traunaize my self.
        I am so tried of nasty Dr’s office staff. These women are so busy they for get their is a person on the other end of the line.
        I had one today said i was supposed to laug at something she said. I just got her back on track of taking care of business. My anxiety gets me the worst treatment. I hung up got frustrated so bad at this crap!
        all i need was a script for blood work. sevreal times i had to get her back on the business at hand. I will let the dr know about her behavior.

  18. ScaredTeenager says:

    I came to this page in hopes I wasn’t the only one who felt so viciously violated and traumatized by the procedure. The doctor I had gave fairly good reasons for performing a pelvic exam (I was 17 at the time and looking to start birth control simply to help manage my periods) and I did have a sister with endometriosis, so her concerns were valid. However, I had actively been planning ways to say no to the prodecure on my way there and was determined to avoid it at all costs, but it ended up happening anyways.

    I had not had sex, and afterwards am physically disgusted at even the idea. As time went on, and the eventual ‘I’ll get over it’ mentality I expected never came, things only got worse. I felt physically sick at even the mention of sexual intercourse or an OB/GYN, and was exhibiting behaviors I had been told only applied to rape victims. “But that’s not right,” I thought, “It was just a doctors appointment, I don’t have the right to be this upset over it.” So I never told anyone, and just dealt with the anxiety and the nightless nights of panic attacks.

    Until I found this. And it was a huge wave of relief, knowing that I wasn’t the only one who felt so violated and traumatized over it. It was reassuring, knowing that others felt that the distress it caused was serious enough to be compared to rape. I didn’t feel so lonely afterwards.

    I’m in college now, and while I really haven’t told anyone the extent of how serious it was, I’ve dropped clear hints to friends to help ease it up. Now, whenever a bad day hits, I don’t feel so alone. I know my anxiety is valid.

    But I still wish there was a better way to avoid this. A way to make sure no one else has to feel the way we do. Because some days, it still feels so overwhelming.

    Also, any additional advice on dealing with it would be appreciated.

    • LilyLamb says:

      Horrifyingly embarrassing and intimate exams! And they are so flippant about my desire for privacy and modesty while I am being forced to show them my genitals. I have had them keep the door open while they were doing the exam so I would feel ‘more comfortable’ . With people going by in the hallway. It feels like the kill line at a alaughter house to me.
      There are usually a bunch of noisy Mexicans men with their girls friends babbling in another language. You don’t know what they are saying, but by their loud laughter it seems it is mean or cruel and disparaging or insulting. It is unnerving.
      Ob/gyn offices should be quiet. Patients being seen only., not a bunch of noisy men. Dim lighting. Not a crowded waiting room with garish lighting.
      A real cloth gown. A huge cloth drape. A curtain to put around inside the room. NOT wallls so thin you can hear the exam going on in the next room! The woman laughing nervously while you sit on your crinkly paper and shiver in fear, in anticipation.
      I am having sharp pains in my back on the right side. All night. But you know, ovarian cancer or kidney stones- I am not going back ever again to these doctors. They will never again be allow to have acces to my genitals or orifices.
      I could go for physica exams but only if I can keep my underwear on, and they better not even try to bully me into letting them molest me.

      • Allison says:

        Pain on the right side? It could be appendicitis as being that is where your appendix is.

  19. LilyLamb says:

    WTF? We ALL want to be knocked out for these exams!!
    I usually am up ALL night long the night before, my mind presenting one humiliating and degrading set of sensations and scenarios after another.
    A pill to sleep the night before, a closed door and curtain pulled, dim lighting, a quiet waiting room, a big cloth gown, a big drape, they should not touch our breasts or genitals at all before knocking us out. The tools should not be displayed. They make you feel disemboweled just looking at them!
    To me it sinister like a rape every time. I feel icky and violated. Slightly resentful and uneasy saying goodby to staff, and they are so happy like, ” Hahaha- We molested her again! Used the REALLY big speculum on her! Why do they all make that noise when the speculum goes in!!? Stretched her all out good for another year! Now let’s all talk about her pussy lips or a**hole or nipples as she is leaving have you you ever seen such an ugly pussy?”
    I know it is exactly rape to me and nothing less. Because I am shakey and feel nauseous afterwards. When I get home I take a shower and throw away my underwear and clothes I was wearing that day. (Otherwise, every time I put them on I am thinking,”THOSE are the underpants I was wearing THAT day-ick!”
    I eat ice-cream after I get a tub soak (with wine in the tub) or a shower. And cry and cry. I have a drink after, and order food in. Then I take an Advil PM go to bed .
    It is exactly a rape to me. Every time. It takes at least a week to start to feel ‘normal’ again. I am usually very withdrawn, anti-social/ introverted and quiet for at least a week after each exam.

  20. katrehman says:

    Reading these comments is harrowing .I used to bin the knickers I wore to smears and wash my clothes and myself in dettol disinfectant. But really ladies Evie is right there’s no real need for a healthy asymptomatic woman to have these tests at all. Bimanuals don’t really tell you anything and you do t need them or smears to get the Pill. It can be hard an scary telling a medic to their face NO! but believe me when I started to do that I felt a whole lot more empowered. I hope you did a way to heal….and keep refusing these exams! There’s a good post on this site why are doctors sticking their fingers into women’s vaginas and a woman’s vagina doesn’t need yearly supervision after all. X. Kat

  21. Allison says:

    I’m 25 and never had an exam. I’m a virgin and never had my first kiss. I do not want to through with this humiliating procedure because I’m depressed with being a V and the fact that I never had a guy I like see me naked yet. I’m very frustrated sexually and even the thought of these people violating me makes it worse! I can’t have a guy but I can spread for some sicko doctor? While I’m not looking for love, I want a partner I’m even just slightly attracted to being the first fingers inside of me, the first to touch my breasts, ETC. NOT some pervy doctor! I put up with tax penalties every year cause I refuse to get health insurance due to the fact I’m afraid they will make me get a physical, including pelvic and breast exam, in order to have a policy. This is just too much! I’m crying and about to faint just talking about this!

    • LilyLamb says:

      Don’t let your first sexual experience be a pelvic exam, Pap smear and breast exam. It makes me nauseous just thinking about it. You will never forget the feeling of the exam or the horror of the events as they unfold for you if you make your first experience a gyn visit.
      I am so glad for the internet and all of you! Thank you! I thought I was invisible or a weirdo or the only one.
      I am completely willing not to have sex ever again if it would get me out of displaying my genitals to strangers and allow them to be cruel to them.

    • Alex says:

      Allison: Even if you’d been with dozens of guys, they still shouldn’t be deciding what goes where. Bodily autonomy is not dependent on medical sponsorship & it’s not immature to protect yourself from someone unconventionally attacking you. After all, properties don’t change by designation- just like if a doctor poisons someone with a needle, it’s still murder. This applies to other things, as well.

      Right off the bat, this is an interface with a sexual area as a product of someone else’s decision-making, which is an attack. It doesn’t need to involve wrestling & screaming any more than it needs to involve religion or relatives. There is a massive tendency towards bad science & general antagonism in medicine (especially American medicine), plus it’s usually on a subtle level- making it difficult to prove.

      I feel that it makes it even more apparent that it’s a deliberate thing & there are no shortage of stories where they maim, murder, or molest someone. In addition, they usually act like they didn’t do anything wrong because they used medical techniques to do it. This is rather like a mechanic sticking a wrench up someone’s ass on their own accord & then denying that any attack took place. I never understood that argument- reality takes a coffee break in a medical setting? Or is it just for the medical personnel, specifically?

      Even if they DID want to help someone out, altruism doesn’t produce ownership & they are not somehow innocent of their own actions because they might get groundlessly sued for doing otherwise. Groundless lawsuits are a risk for everybody all the time, but someone would more plausibly play it safe & not attack someone iatrogenically if they were really worried about getting sued. Another point is that someone wrongfully suing someone is not proportionate to medically raping someone, for instance (like with that guy in New York that walked into a hospital to get stitches & they forced a rectal exam on him 5 to 1- supposedly worried about him having a spinal injury, but it seems to not even be a viable test AND it was refused both verbally & physically).

      If someone were at a restaurant & the waiter or waitress were to shove a salad down someone’s throat, that would be an attack- regardless of if there are potential health-bolstering effects, if the person doing this works there, or what genders are involved in this situation.

      • LilyLamb says:

        If there is a G-d in heaven, I wish I could get out of this life. If I could just take my brain out, and wash it with some bleach and Wisk. And have a completely clean brain, it would be so nice.

      • linda says:

        Hi Lily. There’s no need to take your brain out for a wash. You will be fine. You have found us and we are all here to support each other. We all have memories of exams we want to wash out. Women are strong and you are too. For you intimate exams are a thing of the past – the new you will not tolerate such disrespect to your body. Please take heart from our testimonies. There is a new life waiting for you one in which you are in charge.
        XX

  22. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I’m so sorry to read these accounts, yes, harrowing is the word.
    I don’t think I’ll ever lose the anger and sadness I feel for all the women harmed by so-called well-woman exams, pap tests & mammograms. (and those treated badly during pregnancy and childbirth)
    IMO, one of the greatest risks to our health and well-being is women’s “healthcare”.

    You don’t have to “avoid” these exams and tests either, it’s up to you, take a look at the evidence, that will empower you in the consult room – if you don’t want these exams and test, then say no, if that’s not accepted, I’d make a formal complaint and go looking for another doctor. (I know that’s not easy in some countries) If you don’t feel you can face the doctor, send an email first, stating you will not be having pap tests etc. and wait for the response, you’ll soon know whether you can work with that particular doctor/clinic.
    I’ve found being informed and the calmness of age has helped me in the consult room, I think firm and polite is a killer combination, some doctors want you to be defensive, anxious, embarrassed etc. it’s unnerving and unfamiliar territory when the woman is informed, calm and stands her ground. It wasn’t always the way, I avoided doctors for many years, but something happens with age – I’ve spoken to a few women who’ve also found it easier to say NO in the consult room in their 50’s+.
    I hope you all find some comfort from the evidence and knowing you have a choice, a say in what happens to your body – and yes, you can say NO

    • LilyLamb says:

      CAN you say no?
      Can I really, even if my kidneys are failing or whatever? Say “No, my underwear stays on and keep your fingers out of my butt and vagina and off my genitals. The rest is yours.”
      This is all I want. Not to be forced to give up access to my intimate parts to every one.

      • CHASUK says:

        Lily – YES you can say NO…..to any medical procedure or test, especially this one! You do not have to justify your decision. Screening of any kind is carried out on people with NO SYMPTOMS so it will always be a choice. This is your body and your rules apply and do not let anyone tell you differently, if they do then threaten them with “I shall be reporting you”. All Cancer screening is an OFFER, it’s ELECTIVE/OPTIONAL by choice, it is not compulsory at all, EVER, and remember that all cancer screening has risks attached (which I doubt they will tell you), it is called overtreatment. These are YOUR private areas of YOUR body and if you refuse access to them then that should be the final decision. Tell them you have made an informed decision not to screen, by choice and say Thanks for the OFFER/INVITATION but NO THANKS – you always have that choice. No decision about you without you, please never forget this. Be firm, polite and do not sway to their way of thinking. They need to reach targets or they don’t get their payments
        http://margaretmccartney.com/2012/04/10/womens-hour-cervical-screening/
        https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2016/05/18/new-letters-and-leaflets-for-cervical-screening/
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940995/
        http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/28/women-informed-consent-and-cervical-screening
        Please take the time to read the References and Education page on this site, there are many excellent links provided that will help you gain power over your body.
        Please rise above the way you are feeling, you are number 1 so don’t let the medical profession get you down. Repeat the words “Informed consent, my decision” to yourself and them over and over again.
        Take good care and protect yourself Lily………………….you’re worth it!

      • LilyLamb says:

        So do you think I could live out my life and never have to have somebody make me let them either see my private areas or do any of these exams again?

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I suggested a woman say to her GP, who was bullying her about pap testing, “Oh, I checked with the Medical Board about that, I was confused as it always sounds like women must have Pap tests, but they told me although it’s recommended, it’s up to me. I was also told that no one has the right to pressure me to have Pap tests”

        It worked a treat…never mentioned again, bullying is completely unacceptable, recommended does not make it a law. Recommendations here have called for serious over-screening for decades, so all recommendations need to be carefully considered to ensure they’re in OUR best interests.
        The medical profession has a lot to answer for, I can feel the pain in your posts, hope you can find a way to move forward. You know…making a written complaint about your treatment might help, even if nothing comes of it, doctors don’t like having complaints lodged against them. I think when we feel like we’re been treated badly and doctors get away with it, it can be harder to recover from the trauma. One woman (online) told me that simply telling the doctor how he made her feel…made her feel better, he called and apologised, sometimes medical people need reminding that we’re not lumps of meat.
        All the best, we’re all here for you….

      • LilyLamb says:

        I had a really horrible experience as a kid with a forced Pap, pelvic and breast exam.
        When I was 6, I was pretty much destroyed and pieced together along with a swatch of skin from my thigh that was relocated there.
        In the last month, I disassociated hard when I went to this ob/gyn I have good medical now. A good job. I found a private doctor and went for a complete physical. Thinking I could do it. Thinking while I have good insurance I should be an adult about things. I got my weight, blood pressure checked, quick pap smear (which hurt a lot, might have been what switched me) and disassociated during the Pap smear.
        Switched into some personality I didn’t even know I had. I was Salesperson of the Year, or some slick talking business chick. I slick talked my way out of the rest of the exam/ escaped the rest of the exam, got dressed, left the building and drove off. Didn’t realize until the next day, I hadn’t had the physical. Didn’t give my medical history or anything.
        So all week I have been remembering things. I can’t stop. It made me start remembering. And no one wants to talk time, the rape hotline people wouldn’t even give me any resources.
        I found about about these SANE nurses, and wondered if they would send me in a direction for womens’ health with professionals that wouldn’t send me into another downward spiral.
        A sedated exam next time?
        No. No help.
        I guess I’ll be better without them. I have no symptoms anyway

  23. I should add that I understand for many women the calmness of age will never happen thanks to the psychological and physical damage caused by the medical profession and these programs. I know some women avoid all medical care due to past trauma.
    The damage caused by cancer screening and women’s healthcare, esp. the well woman industry/scam is awful – it means some women may ignore symptoms for conditions that may go on to seriously damage their health or even take their life.
    It’s a cruel joke to call this healthcare, I’ve always called it medical abuse.

    • LilyLamb says:

      It is horrific abuse. Now the thing is putting a hose up your intestines and taking pictures. They give you a date rape drug and an anesthesia that wears off in the middle of the expedition.
      And it is horrifically painful I hear.
      Thank you all for getting it into my head- I do not have to submit to these painful and humiliating exams anymore. I have no symptoms.
      Until I die, this isNT body again. And no one can force me anymore!

      • LilyLamb says:

        I meant, “This is MY body again! And nobody can force me!”

      • CHASUK says:

        Lily if you have no symptoms then intimate exams of this kind are not necessary, needed or compulsory, it really is as simple as that. I do not screen for any kind of cancer anymore, yes I was hassled by my GP but I explained or rather reminded him that it is my choice and gave a firm no, he thought I needed counselling on this but again used the words informed consent and choice, no more was said! I do not even have Health Checks as they have not been proven to reduce deaths, this information I read on the Pulse website which is for Health professionals only but somehow got in and registered as a visitor which allows me to read all the GP’s, Pharmacists and nurses individual comments, who also state that these checks are not worth it, cause a lot of anxiety, waste time and they would rather spend their valuable consults treating the real sick people not the worried well who use up resources and money.
        If a complete stranger asked if they could touch you intimately, your reply would be a firm NO, the same applies in the medical setting, NO means NO. Take care.

      • LilyLamb says:

        Yes. I figured because they have already ruined my sexuality and vulva, the next adventure would be for them to try to ruin my anal retention by putting the wrong size tools up there too! Making fun of me while I am in horrific anal agony. ( “Whoops! That’s the vacuum hose- not the colonoscopy tube! We misplaced the colonoscopy tube. JUST BREATH DEEP! That vacuum hose couldn’t possibly hurt that much. You could fit a baseball bat up there and it would stretch!)”
        And then laugh with each other about it.
        No more access to my genitals or orifices EVER! I don’t care if there are vines growing out of my vagina!

      • CHASUK says:

        Not only can a colonoscopy be painful it also carries risks, a perforated bowel for instance which can cause sepsis and you could die, it really does happen. My own father was tricked into having this procedure with no symptoms and was told he had a 2cm tumour, which I might add would probably never have caused him any symptoms or problems in his life time, being as he was 76 a heavy smoker/drinker, this 2cm tumour was removed but he developed sepsis and was straight into a coma, 5 more operations, another 2 bouts of sepsis, more comas etc. which caused damage somehow to his kidneys so they operated again! In hospital for 9 months and what a state they have left him in, a lot has been removed and now has a worse poor health than before living with a colostomy bag, he is a mess with little quality of life.

  24. Allison says:

    I shared some of the articles from this site on facebook and as a result had people unfriend me. Yeah, I feel pretty sad. But really, anybody who won’t be my friend unless I agree to get medically raped is not a good friend! Too bad the women on here don’t live near me.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yet if you said you had doubts about bowel screening, I doubt it would cause a ripple of concern, judgement or protest…..but bowel cancer is far more likely than cc.
      Just goes to show the irrational reactions about Pap tests and to a lesser degree, breast screening, thanks to decades of brainwashing and the concerted effort made to deceive women. Of course, all those “saved” feel very strongly about the matter…almost all have simply been over-treated. It’s so unethical to lead women to that conclusion simply to protect the program, excess and profits.

      • Shana says:

        I am almost certain that is what happened to my grandmother. She had a mastectomy in the 1990s because they told her she had breast cancer. She had no symptoms. I’ve read articles about how they would find things back then and overreact and over-treat.

      • ScaredTeenager says:

        Honestly, I do feel like the exams have a good reason at their core- cancer is a pretty serious disease, after all.

        However, I don’t believe these exams should be done yearly, as was recommended to me on my first visit, nor should they forced on completely asymptomatic women with no history of it.

        I’ve been dealing with regular doctor visits since the age of three for a seperate condition- so I think it’s safe to assume I’m familiar with the doctors office, and have family in the medicial field. So to a point, I do recognize that these tests are necessary, and useful.

        But also speaking as someone who has been so negatively impacted by it, who has fought every day to not let the trauma I felt there affect my daily life, I can’t stand by it completely. Why is the procedure still so far behind? We have cat scans and MRIs and are working on making prosthetics that move according to someone’s thoughts, but we still have to resort to physically forcing us into uncomfortable situations to point of mental trauma?

        This can’t keep going on like this. Health is important, yes, and sometimes things are awful. But this is far too consistent, harming far too many people, for it to be expected.

        Things need to change.

    • Shelli says:

      Hi Allison – I’ve had a similar experience. I’ve been practically yelled at for speaking out against this bizarre form of systemic oppression of women. “Medicine is NOT just a business!!” (Yes it is…) “These tests are necessary!” (No, they aren’t.) “You are an idiot!” (I’m a scientist with an advanced degree, and though I’m not in the field of medicine, I’ve studied plenty of biology, chemistry, and statistics; I’m not an idiot. I know too damned much, if anything.) We are in a lonely place, sadly. But we need to keep speaking out. The suffrage movement started out with just some lonely voices, as did the civil rights movement and women’s rights movement of the 1960s. Keep shouting, Allison – I intend to! Take care, Shelli

      • Allison says:

        Shelli, I love your statement about heart disease. I’ve already been thinking this for a long time now, but you beat me to posting it on here. My mother died at 46 from heart disease. Heart problems run in my family on both sides, but we have no history of gynecological cancer. And these women only care about the routine visit to the gynerapogist. I do worry about my heart health, and I feel I actually would benefit from a yearly heart scan/EKG from a cardiologist. But unfortunately, that can’t happen cause a woman’s heart isn’t all that sexy. 😦

  25. Diane Spero says:

    Happy mother’s day to thosse not reuined by GYN’S and other Dr’s. To thers who have never received answers to their issues, or denied help I feel your pain.
    Please lets keep fighting so other women don’t suffer like we have.

    Diane

  26. Adele says:

    As a child of maybe 5 or 6 years old, I was subjected to a pelvic exam by the (male) family doctor. This was something I didn’t remember until I started having cervical smear tests. I’ve always hated these exams, but as I get older it’s becoming closer to a phobia. Recently, I had my worst experience yet.
    Almost 6 years ago, I had a thermal ablation procedure to remedy years of shockingly heavy periods. Whilst under GA they placed a Mirena coil. This coil needed to be removed and replaced about 9 months ago. They managed to remove the coil on the second attempt. (Two separate appointments) Two weeks later (last week) they brought me back into the outpatients dept to have a hysteroscopy and insert the new coil. This was to be my third invasive pelvic exam in as many months!
    My “five to ten minute procedure” became an ordeal that lasted approximately one hour. One hour of being violated with numerous instruments. There were four people in the room while this was happening. I felt my mind leaving my body. It was as close to rape as I’ve ever been. Afterwards, I was pale and shaking and unable to stand. For two days I was unable to sit or walk properly. Now, a week later, I still feel like I just gave birth. I can’t stop crying and my husband doesn’t understand. I had no choice. They violated me. They shoved so many instruments inside me I lost count. They cut pieces out of me. I was fully awake for the whole thing. A male friend gets sedated for an endoscopy, for God’s sake.

    • Lily Lamb says:

      I have had sexual trauma piled onto sexual trauma. I just started getting my mind back in the first two weeks of April of this year.
      I was massively depressed and suicidal when my mind started coming back.
      I had my Mirena iud out, I had cramps for a few days and passed a blood. Lot the size of an avocado attached by a 4 – 5 inch long rope with a Roma tomato sized blood clot on the other end.
      I have never wanted or needed sex. Probably tied to these things. But now I am crazy wanting sex all the time. It was a fragile 2 months. I have never had any therapy, I was a big pain in the butt to a lit of people online, and I ordered cyanide pills from 3 different countries to kill myself.
      But I am still here.
      I don’t know how.
      I don’t even want to relive all of the crap I have gone through.
      But now that iud is out. And I am cognizant of all of these things. And I have things to be ashamed of because of the abuse too.
      But I want to be healthy and normal and live my life.
      My sex drive has arrived. And that is an amazing feeling. To know there is nothing you can’t do, because you have done everything already and just didn’t know it.

  27. Shelli says:

    The business of medicine has been elevated for far too long. People, it is just a business. And a multi-billion $$ one. We need a paradigm shift. Soon. Doctors are nothing more then consultants that we pay money to for their expertise, just like we pay money to accountants, attorneys, or electricians. I’m going to say it again: We pay them $$ – it may be in the form of insurance premiums, but in the end, it’s our money that funds their salaries. To that end it is crucial that we are keenly aware that in this relationship, we hold all the control. That’s business. We need to erase the demeaning word “patient” from our lexicon, and start thinking of ourselves as clients. We hire Docs, and we can fire docs. We need to collectively start acting like clients – all of us – men and women- and stop acting like children in the presence of a doc. We need to step up to a plane higher than where they may see themselves – in any business, the one with the money is the holder of the power. Question them; demand that they produce defensible hard researchable data. Make it clear to docs that they work for you and you are the one in control. We only put them on a pedestal because we’ve been socially conditioned to do so. I quit doing so years ago. And I’ve pissed some off because I refuse to see them as anything beyond consultants. I truly feel that this shift in thinking is necessary for our health, both physical and mental. As far as all this absurd “gyn” crap – this exists as nothing more than a contributor to the systemic oppression of women. Do you all know what the number one killer of women is? Heart disease. But I’m willing to bet that almost none of these women who blindly spread their legs and submit to instruments up their cooters ever see a cardiologist once a year. They’ve drunk the koolaid, sadly. They have fallen for all the rhetoric about how their vaginas are just hanging out down there waiting to kill them. Yes, there are small risks to not having your vajayjay scrutinized. There are also small risks to not having bone scans to look for bone cancer, or scans to look for pancreatic cancer. There is zero evidence that submitting to the form of molestation that we fondly call “pelvic exams” extends the average lifespan of a female. It does not. At all. Docs do not want you to know that. Why would they? Women, you hold the power to send this profession 100% bankrupt. Stop drinking the koolaid and stop spreading your legs! What is wrong with you???

    • Gail says:

      Hi Shell, I wrote about my experience with a doctor, n how he molested me in a so called pelvic exam. Apparently my vagina goes right up past my belly button. The mongrel did that very quickly w his hands n then had the gall to stare me down n say, “you have just been assaulted by the nice kind Dr B……..”. Since I went to the police other women have come forward n he is getting investigated thoroughly for all the last 30 years or so. The threat was that if I told no one would believe me. His name is blackened forever n he is being watched. The investigation could go for another year. My health has suffered because if the attack. I just want him to be held accountable. It’s a pity so many of us have suffered already. He deserves to go to jail.

      • Shelli says:

        OMG, Gail!!! I had to read your post over again – that is insane!!! May that piece of filth be locked up forever – and may he get gang raped in prison, to get a taste of how it feels!

    • Chrissy (UK) says:

      “Do you all know what the number one killer of women is? Heart disease. But I’m willing to bet that almost none of these women who blindly spread their legs and submit to instruments up their cooters ever see a cardiologist once a year.”

      Absolutely spot on Shelli, great comment.

      • Shelli says:

        Chrissy, even with the NHS in the U.K., your taxes fund the doc’s salaries. They work for you!! You are ultimately their employer!

  28. Monica says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I found this article because today I had to go in for an endometrial biopsy and even though the physical pain was excruciating, I found I was even more surprised at how emotional I was when I left there. In the office, the Dr was apologetic for the pain and told me to take my time in the room, I could just lie there as long as I wanted. But I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as I could. As soon as I got into my car, I fell apart like a little girl. I had no idea where these emotions were coming from and I am still crying 7 hrs later! Even though the staff was kind, I feel like I was not adequately prepared for this procedure. I might have opted out if I knew, but even if I still chose to do it, I certainly wouldn’t have driven by myself. I had no support after I left the office! I also didn’t expect to bleed so much. I was not wearing a pad and was completely soiled by the time I got home. I really, really wish I could have had more information and support for this very violent procedure.

    • Shelli says:

      Dearest Monica, My heart screams for you. I have had this horrible procedure done. I cried and yelled, during it, and was in so much pain I almost threw up. I want to validate that you indeed did experience a very violent act. You (and I) should have been anesthetized for this horrible procedure. I had mine done 25 yrs ago. So docs are STILL not offering women anesthesia?? This is hardcore abuse in my opinion. I don’t care if the doc apologized and the staff was nice. Your body was harmed. (I am astounded that these idiots couldn’t even have the decency to keep pads in the restroom for women. All gyns do that, at least as of 2 yrs ago; personally, I’m done with gyns and ritual rapes.) I do pray your results turn out ok – they probably will. Please know you’re not alone in feeling the way you do. It’s OK to cry. It’s never ok to have your body violated. Take care of yourself – self care, self love.
      Shelli

      • adawells says:

        Monica and Shelli I’m so sorry to read you were put through this. I had this a few years ago under general anaesthetic in the UK. They can put you out for as little as 20 mins, but then they have the extra cost of the anaesthetist, and you’ll need someone to drive you home afterwards. I’m so glad I was spared the experience as I’ve read a lot of women posting how terrible it is. Even still, I woke up angry and tearful that no-one had explained anything, students had been present, and the hospital was like cattlemarket. I cried for the rest of the day.

  29. fiona says:

    Hi there,
    I had a recent colposcopy experience that I was not happy with.
    I’m writing to the hospital and intend to spread awareness around this.
    Have you sort out making any change around this in the medical industry?
    xx

  30. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Hi Monica and Fiona
    I’m sorry to hear about your negative experiences.
    Women are put through so many procedures and the shocking thing is most are unnecessary and avoidable, that’s certainly the case with many cervical biopsies, ablation and cone biopsies.
    Women need to be very careful, too often pap testing and breast screening (and routine pelvic and breast exams in the States and in some other countries) are promoted as a sensible thing to do, you’d be crazy not to have the test/exam.
    I don’t think there’s any such thing as a simple screening test, it can lead to some ugly and harmful places.
    Here in Australia thanks to serious overuse of the Pap test, MOST women who take part in the program will have a colposcopy and biopsy at some point, most of these procedures are unnecessary and avoidable. Whenever cervical biopsies and over-treatment is mentioned, it’s usually quickly dismissed as “minor” …cervical biopsies, ablation etc. all minor stuff.
    We’re TOLD they’re minor procedures, but did anyone stop and ask women who go through these things…how THEY felt about these procedures?

    My sister had an unnecessary (and avoidable) cone biopsy, it was a traumatic experience, she was under a GA at the time but the aftermath was very unpleasant, bleeding, pain, cramping…it also took an emotional toll, she was flat, withdrawn and teary for days, not like her at all.

    We put so many women through unnecessary procedures, we could easily avoid this situation by following the evidence and respecting informed consent, instead we seriously over-screen women, starting (pap testing) too early, too often and for far too long, all this does is push up false positives and send a lot of healthy women into day procedure. This has gone on decades; nothing was done to stop it.
    Many of these women would have been HPV-, a simple HPV test should have ruled them out of these procedures, but NO…we very conveniently tested for HPV AFTER the procedures, that way they could say, “you’re HPV-..you should be fine now”…deceiving these women into believing the procedure was necessary and cured them of something sinister.

    Our new program will continue to over-screen…and we’ll throw young women under the bus again, , we’ll start HPV testing at 25, you should never do HPV testing before 30.
    The colposcopy/biopsy procedure could have been scaled WAY back if we’d adopted evidence based screening and respected informed consent, but that would never have suited vested interests, who feed off this testing and these procedures.

    I’m sure the endometrial biopsy could be scaled back too, of course, I know this is also done to investigate abnormal bleeding. I’ve heard it’s a painful procedure, so why wouldn’t they offer sedation?

    Take care of yourselves…I hope you both feel better soon.

    • Shelli says:

      Elizabeth, Fiona, Monica – In the USA, there is no law to provide informed consent. And no “testing” on women is evidence based. It never has been. I’ll offer a little about me and what I’m doing: I have an advanced degree in the physical sciences; I have studied enough chemistry, biology, and statistics that I know how to work my way through research data. I have retired from science (I was a consultant for 22 years), became a business owner for awhile, and now I’m back in grad school for the second time in my life working on an MA in Social Work. Here is a fact: whether in USA, Australia, UK, Western Europe, etc, we are all living under the lens of a dominant white male paradigm. That’s where all the power is held. We as women are still systemically oppressed by this dominant white male paradigm. And it has infiltrated a branch of science we call “medicine.” The first thing to fully understand is that in any medical setting, YOU ARE THE CLIENT. Not a “patient” – that’s demeaning – CLIENT. Docs are medical servants who work for YOU. You hold the power. I brought up my scientific background for a reason: I was a consultant. I was paid money for my expertise. My clients included the Air Force and the Corps of Engineers. I treated them with respect, because I worked for them. Make no mistake – docs are consultants that work for you. In the USA, YOU pay the insurance premiums that fund their salaries. In the UK and Australia, you pay hefty taxes that fund your healthcare. This is YOUR MONEY. It is imperative that we flip this notion of the doc having the power upside down. In a client consulting relationship, the client holds all the power. Please please please everyone – start embracing and embodying that idea. I never treat a doc like he/she is “powerful.” I hammer them with questions, ask them for links to hard data that has been scientifically valid dated, etc. It is true that some get offended. Ask me if I give a rats ass…lol… If a doc orders you to do anything, you always have the right to say NO. So now that I’ve laid out that foundation, let’s move on to how “medicine” negatively impacts women. The entire field of gynecology is a dominant white male construct. It systemically oppresses Women and enhances male power. What is more powerful to a man than ordering a woman onto her back with her legs spread open?? And how to get women to comply? Initiate a campaign that scares women into believing that their reproductive organs are inherently unhealthy and must be constantly monitored; and further, that their reproductive organs are going to kill them unless they submit to spreading their legs to be ogled, felt up, and have metal instruments jammed up their vaginas, and unnecessary “procedures” performed. Ladies, this is bullshit. Please do not drink the koolaid. I’ve done some very basic number crunching, and I’d like the share the numbers, if I may. According to recent information (2017) from the US Center for Disease Control, 12,000 women in the US are diagnosed yearly with Cervical cancer, and 4000 die. That sounds scary as hell, doesn’t it? (And by the way, our government is complicit in the routine molestation of women; they accept an obscene amount of lobby money yearly from the American Medical Association.) Back to those scary cervical numbers: the population of the US recently hit 300,000,000. Three hundred million. We can presume that approximately half – 150,000,000 are female. 12,000 females being diagnosed with cervical cancer translates to 8 in 100,000. 4000 deaths translates to 2.7 in 100,000. This is just basic math. Do you all know what the number one killer of females is in most of the world except Africa? Heart disease (in Africa, it is communicable disease including HIV.) One in three women will die of heart disease. In the US, with our current female population of 150,000,000 we can safely assume that 33,000 out of 100,000 will die of heart disease. If you want to introduce cancers and other causes of death into the equation, female reproductive cancers don’t even crack the top 10. I realize that this is little comfort to those who have been diagnosed. And I’m not in anyway advocating that you ignore family history or symptoms. But in asymptomatic women, routine visits to gyms have no place in your life, and are nothing but sexual harassment/sexual abuse. Women have got to collectively stop submitting to these “routine” exams, which I know is hard, when everyone around you plus the media is screaming about how “necessary” they are. Stop drinking the koolaid, ladies. I did about two solid years of soul searching before reaching the conclusion that I’m done with this nonsense. And yes, I’m assuming some risk. A very small risk; docs don’t want you to know that cervical is rare. Uterine and ovarian, for which there are no tests, are even rarer. People get bone cancer; pancreatic cancer; brain cancers. Are we all getting yearly radiographic bone scans? Yearly CT scans of our abdominal organs? Yearly MRIs of our brains? Why not? Low risk. But how many of you consult yearly with a cardiologist? You should. What about female docs? Surely they have our best interests in mind? Lol… think about how they were educated in med school – again, beneath the dominant white male paradigm. Their very careers have been dependent on falling in lockstep with male ideals. One last thing, guys – and then I’ll shut up. When it comes to men choosing gynecology as a “career”, don’t believe for One Second that they have any altruistic intentions. They don’t. It’s all about power, like rape is. And when it comes to what they see when your legs are wide open… males have no on/off switch. That is a myth. They see a load of pussy, pardon my language. And when they feel your internal organs, they are feeling you up. Even female docs get off on the power trip. They want to play with the big boys, just like I did during my days as a scientist. Only I wasn’t molesting anyone, and I reached a point where I was sick of operating under a dominant white male paradigm in my career. I intend to advocate for all women, as a social worker, and I intend to make lots of noise about empowering women and getting medical abuse out of our culture. I love all of you – take care.
      Shelli

  31. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Hi Shelli
    I rejected the Koolaid a very long time ago, I’ve never had a Pap test, routine pelvic, recto-vaginal or breast exam and I’ve opted out of mammograms.
    Of course, it meant living around the medical world, that was sometimes very difficult, if my husband and I had decided to have a child, it would have been virtually impossible in the 1980’s and 1990s to avoid a lot of these things, the first ante natal appointment included a breast exam, Pap test and bimanual exam. I hear they’re only just starting to move away from that, although I hear most obgyns still “require” a Pap test “if you’re due or overdue”…
    I’m not sure how you can be due or overdue when the test is supposed to be elective.
    Of course, a Pap test on a pregnant woman is even more unreliable, countries that have any sort of concern for the welfare of the pregnant woman and her child do not do Pap tests at that time.

    It meant never asking or using the Pill, I studied the Billings Method, by the time I could get the Pill online, I didn’t want it, I was confident and content with the Billings Method. I’d also noticed some friends on the Pill were having procedures to check bleeding that had actually been caused by the Pill. The Pill seemed to lead to the consult room a lot and even to day procedure for some women, I didn’t want to join their ranks. It also meant regular contact with a doctor, as a healthy woman. I didn’t see the need, I don’t buy the nonsense that our reproductive organs and breasts are out to kill us and so requires medical surveillance and management.

    In mid life I wanted to see a GP every couple of years, I have a skin issue that flares from time to time and I need steroid cream for that, but I don’t permit broad testing…I now check to see what’s being requested after a scare a few years ago when a GP ordered the CA125 blood test – NO, thank you! That highly unreliable test can see women in surgery having an ovary out, a perfectly healthy ovary or enduring months of worrying and waiting for another scan.
    I’ve had a healthy and happy life, like most people, with highs and lows but I think the best decision I ever made was rejecting the Koolaid!
    Good luck with the social work, we need more women making noise about empowering women, for too long that term has been used against us, being empowered means being in control, not trotting in and undressing for whatever test or exam they’re pushing at women. So make a lot of noise, I’ll be cheering from the sidelines.

    • Shelli says:

      Thank you for the good vibes, Elizabeth! Apparently I piss people off with my views, most strongly other women! Most guys I know are with me 100% on this issue, and agree that there is something very wrong with a man who would go out of his way to choose gynecology as a “career.” While all guys fantasize (and women do too of course), there is an enormous line that gets crossed when a guy actually spends his day, day after day, indulging in being a sex offender, just because the field of medicine legalizes it. The women who do this are odd ducks, too. I do wish I knew how to sober up the women who’ve drunk the koolaid, but they defend their decisions to blindly spread their legs at the command of a “doctor” to the death. On forums where I’ve spoken out, I’ve been called names, threatened, yelled at (The all caps thing…lol…), told I’m an idiot, etc. I guess when you fly in the face of convention, it doesn’t go over well, does it? Haha… Have a great day!

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        That’s funny isn’t it.

        Due to my social life, interests and hobbies, I often find that I get along far better with men than with women. With men, you can also avoid these types of discussions and even if they do rear their ugly head (when they’re discussing intimate male problems shall we say), like you mention, they don’t see these tests as a big deal, that it should be a personal risk-based choice first and foremost, then move on. They don’t make a huge drama about it like women do.

        I’ve never understood why women get so emotional and defensive over these tests, but it isn’t just these tests that rile them up. They often have potent views on childbirth, breastfeeding and essentially, what a woman should be like in all aspects of her life. It is so tiresome that I disengage from them.
        Yet, I would say that I have certainly avoided relationships with men because of screening.

      • Shelli says:

        I was educated in the hard sciences years ago (MS) and also worked in that field for years. I have spent a lot of time in the company of guys over the years and I’ve enjoyed them as friends (some can be a pain in the ass). Anyhow, with good guy friends, one can have more personal discussions. I have never encountered a male in my life who thought it was “normal” for men to want to do the work that gyns do. Of course all women have known that, but it’s been nice to get the validation from professional men. As for defensive women, they’ve been acculturated and conditioned to believe that it’s “normal” to routinely spread their legs to get felt up and ogled. Medicine is patriarchal. They’ve been taught to do what men tell them to do. (Like I’ve said repeatedly, even female docs buy this crap because they were educated in a dominant male patriarchy and felt too unempowered to question any of it. I feel sorry for them but I don’t respect them.). I think of my poor mom, now deceased, who partook of this “routine” gyn shit all her life. She thought it was “necessary” and she “had” to do it. Most women of her generation did. If she were to have learned that all this gyn stuff wasn’t more than blatent sexual harassment and abuse and served no viable purpose other than to keep herself oppressed as a female (and generate money for docs), I honestly think the shame would have killed her. I suspect that’s why women get so defensive and angry when women like us challenge the gyn institution. They think they are “doing the right thing” when they willingly spread their legs. Who wants to feel like they’ve been had? Especially over something that intimate? Anyway, that’s my theory. I could be dead wrong.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        If a male performs this sort of procedure on a woman he has had to coax into submission, and if he is becoming aroused by it (as I do not doubt a great many of them do), that transcends the normal doctor-patient relationship in my mind, no doubt about it.
        The core tenets and the ethics of that relationship are broken down. Where is the trust, respect or empathy? There is also a huge discrepancy in power. It is almost like performing a sex act, it’s that bad. Submitting to this sort of thing during a medical emergency when the male doctor is the only one on call is one thing, choosing this as a “career” to take advantage of others is just plain wrong.

  32. LadyNeuroscientist says:

    I am turning 21 this year, virgin, and I’m absolutely TERRIFIED of having a PAP smear!! The nurses at my doctors practice are really nice when doing blood tests and just consultation but I have no idea what they’ll be like when performing smear tests, they may be pushy and unsympathetic for all I know. They may insult me and humiliate me, make me feel guilty for feeling violated. I have severe social anxiety and medical phobia. Heck, I’ve only just started to get over my phobia of needles as I’ve successfully managed two blood tests now without refusing and running off. I know for sure that I’ll feel like complete shit when it comes to me having my first smear test, and I don’t think even my mother will be much help to me.

    I don’t want to bad mouth about my mum because I love her so much and she is an amazing mum to me. But she doesn’t feel hardly embarrassed or bad at all about having smear tests done, but surprisingly, she felt embarrassed the other day when visiting a musculoskeletal doctor because she had to stand in her bra in front of the male doctor having her neck and shoulders examined. So she felt really embarrassed about being in her bra but she has no problem with showing her privates to random people and having things stuck inside of her! I am so scared because I briefly discussed smear tests with her a while back and I told her how embarrassed and frightened I am about having it done and she just didn’t seem to empathize. She was just like “well, you’ve gotta have it done and that’s that, really,” she didn’t get what I was saying about it being really violating and embarrassing which is a huge concern because I know when the time comes to have the test done, she won’t help me at all emotionally.

    I fear that anyway and as I said, I love my mum but she really doesn’t get it I don’t think. She of course doesn’t like having the smear test done but doesn’t seem too bothered unlike me who has been panicking for years about having it done and I know here in the UK, the age you start getting smear tests is 21, at least that’s what I’ve read. So this year, I’m going to have to spread my legs for some person to stick things inside of me and mess with my cervix.

    I don’t want to sound crude but I couldn’t even fit a small “toy” inside of myself, so how on Earth is some nurse going to be able to stick a speculum inside of me and stretch my vagina wide open?? That is gonna be excruciating, I know it, and I know I have the right to refuse this procedure but because of my manic health anxiety, I am terrified of developing cancer so that anxiety tells me to go get checked but my womanly brain is like NOOO! Don’t let some random nurse penetrate you with tools and cause you agony! I am quite a strong, resilient person but having a disability, being emotionally scarred from various things that have happened in my life, I know that if the smear test is painful and problematic, it will scar me for life and I will not be able to feel right ever again. I will probably turn down sex, I will lose all my desire to be intimate because I will just associate intercourse with the medical rape.

    Any advice, ladies? I’m terrified of having cancer but at the same time, I really don’t want to have this procedure when I have it thrown at me at some point this year.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Lady, what part of the UK do you live in? When the screening programme first began it started at 20, but after some years the experts discovered that testing was not helping to reduce the tiny number of cases in the under 25’s and led to a lot of damaging surgery which can cause lifelong problems. So the age was raised in England to 25, yet in other parts of Britain it remained at 20 despite the harm it was causing.
      As a virgin, you would be taking an awful risk with your emotional and physical health by having this test. Your risk of developing the disease as a virgin, and at such a young age, is next to zero. The smear test is horribly unreliable – even if you were that one-in-a-million case, there is no guarantee that the test will help you, but there is a high chance the test will pick up harmless changes and lead you into unnecessary medical procedures.
      The bottom line is that screening tests are not as wonderful as they’re made out to be. There are a lot of risks and very few benefits, and so it should be up to every individual to weigh up the pros and cons and decide what’s right for them. No-one ‘has to’ have a test if they don’t want one.

      • Steph says:

        I didn’t catch your name, but, there is no reason a young woman age 20, and no sexual activity, should get any kind of gyno exam or pap. I make a lot of people angry by saying this, but IMO, the whole gyno industry is nothing but yet another way to systemically oppress women. What’s more powerful than ordering a woman to spread her legs to get instruments rammed up her vagina, to get ogled, and fingered? As far as a “nurse” or female “doctor” doing it, where do you think they were educated? Under a dominant white male paradigm, that teaches that women’s vaginas are just hanging out down there, just waiting to kill them, and must be monitored, surveyed, stated at, on a regular basis. My friend, I invite you to engage in some hard research. Lest I sound like some random fool, I’m a scientist with an advanced degree and have studied enough biology, chemistry, and statistics to work my way through published medical research. Gyno exams and Pap tests have not been proven to extend the average life span of a female in the western world. The number one killer of women is heart disease. When it comes to cancer, Number one is lung cancer, even in non smokers. Number two is colon. Number three is breast (keep in mind these are just cancer ranks. Other actual causes of death such as accidents, etc can outrank cancer. Reproductive cancer deaths don’t even crack the top 10. Why, then is there so much noise about getting vaginas “screened?” Just ponder that. Think on it Long and hard. Do some research of your own. In the end, this is your body. I’m not advocating ignoring symptoms or family history. But getting vag exams just because you have a vag is utter bullshit. Take care,
        Steph (age 59 and gave that crap up years ago)

    • adawells says:

      The age throughout all of the UK now is 25 for a first test, so you should not get a letter until you are 24 and a half, earliest. As this is a sexually transmitted disease, you cannot get this cancer unless you’ve had sex and caught the HPV virus from someone. Your mother says it has to be done? No, it doesn’t! It’s your choice whether to accept the offer or not. The letter says it is a choice, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Only 62% of women attend screening in their 20s. Don’t think you’re a freak if you don’t want it.

      • Steph says:

        Your Mother says you have to do this? Put her on here and I’ll set her straight. What is this “letter?” I’m in the States; I haven’t heard of this. Your mom is likely near my age and from a generation of women who got hopelessly brainwashed. Please don’t discuss it with her anymore. Your body is private. It is none of your mom’s business. You are a grown woman. Please breath, relax, and live your life. You will be fine.
        Love to you,
        Steph

    • Steph says:

      It’s Steph, again. I saw your whole comment this time, I greatly apologize for not seeing the comment in its entirety the first time. First, I’m so sorry your mom is not being empathic. She should be. I’ve posted some other comments to you, so you will obviously know where I stand on this whole issue. A few thoughts:
      1. Please try to find a caring female relative or friend that you can confide in. If that is not feasible, stick with us. We’ll help you. There is also another site to check out: Women against Stirrups. Similar to this one – a forum for information and support.
      2. Forget the damned letter and pap. Just throw it away. Ignore your mother. If she insists on getting personal, ask her how her vagina is doing today? Do that enough times, she’ll get the message and quiet up 😎
      3. I too have a history of trauma and abuse and I understand how you feel. I just want you to know that you are not alone.
      4. If you ever do have symptoms and need a doc, ask friends who they see. Ask your friends if the doc is kind and sensitive and empathic. I always ask around when choosing a doc. A kind, gentle, caring doc (female, obviously,) won’t hurt you. Tell them your history, and extract a promise from them that they will STOP as soon as you say so, if you are hurting. If the doc isn’t willing to do this, leave their office immediately.
      5. Pardon me for getting kinda weird, but do enjoy your body. Have a glass of wine, and pleasure yourself, with or without toys! It’s normal! Learn to love yourself! By showing your own body love and intimacy, you’ll learn what you like, and someday, if you choose to try sex, you can tell your partner what pleases you!
      Take care,
      Steph

      • LadyNeuroscientist says:

        Thank you Kate, adawells and Steph for your replies. I feel so pleased that I’m able to talk to caring, strong women who see just how wrong and invasive this screening test really is. A couple of days ago, I noticed a bit of blood in my discharge which is unusual for me and it sent me into a panic wondering if I could have CC, even though my period is only just under week away and I know that you can get “spotting” before your period, and is often bought on by stress. I’ve been going through a ton of stress and anxiety lately so it is most likely just that that’s messing with my menstrual cycle hormones and caused me to release a little bit of blood.

        When I noticed this blood and got into this whole cancer scare thing, I thought of having to arrange a PAP test and I was horrified at the thought. I’ve just started to calm down now, especially as you, Kate, mentioned how my chances of having CC are next to zero as a young virgin. I just really hate the idea of spreading my legs and being fingered and having all these things done to my intimate area, before I’ve even had sex with a guy. I just feel that will ruin everything! I mean, I want “that one special guy” to be the first one to see my vagina and to touch me lovingly, not have some intimidating gyno stick painful tools inside of me, stretch me open and possibly injure me. If that happens, that’s my future sex life greatly impacted. I want to feel untouched and “new” when it comes to me getting intimate with a guy, I don’t want the past experience of being penetrated by tools and messed around with by some doctor, who might also be male. You know what I also heard about pelvic exams? Apparently they sometimes stick a finger into your anus and dig around in there “checking the muscles”. How horrifying and undignified is that?! First of all having your genitalia invaded, and there’s also a chance the doctor may finger your anus as well? WTF?

        My name is Alisha by the way, sorry for not stating this earlier. I called myself “Lady Neuroscientist” because of my love of neuroscience, haha. I’ve noticed that Steph, you stated that you are a scientist? That’s cool. It’s great that us women can become scientists (I hope to one day), as apparently there’s been a lot of sexism in the scientific community, where men think women are laughable and we don’t get taken that seriously, which is weird because it shouldn’t matter whether you’re a man or woman. If you are intelligent and have a scientific mind, why does it matter if you have a penis or vagina? Typical old fashioned sexism. I hope this is rare though in this day and age.

  33. Steph says:

    Women scientists rock, Alisha! I always spotted – and yep, stress will do it! I’ve no doubt at all that you’re fine. I have read that an at-home self test is actually being utilized in the Netherlands. There is no earthly reason this can’t be implemented for women worldwide. Of course these tests are intrusive as hell. And they aren’t necessary, especially for someone in your situation! Kate is 100% right. Alisha, please don’t ever go near a male physician. Did you get the gardasil vaccine when you were young? I gather you are in UK; I’m in the US. I have to plead ignorance regarding the NHS; do you get to select your own doc? I can’t emphasize enough that you need a doc that knows STOP means STOP. This needs to be a conversation that you have before you even get undressed. Yes, it’s true that some docs do butt stuff. Before I gave all these bullshit exams up for good, I made it clear to my gyn that she wasn’t to do butt stuff. It’s not my thing. I’d really like for you to get in the mindset that YOU are the client. Docs work for YOU. In the UK, you pay big taxes that fund the NHS. This is your money. Docs are merely medical servants. YOU are the one in charge. Your body, your boundaries. If you ever want to talk more privately, feel free to email me at sashelvey@gmail.com. I’m actually doing a lot of research on this very subject (as a new Social Work student, it fits right in with systemic oppression of women and forced rape.) I can share with you stats that I have uncovered to date. I’ve told my favorite professor (a guy, and he’s amazing) that I’m turning in a research paper this spring on this subject. I’m glad you wish to get into the sciences – knowledge is power! I was serious when I suggested digging into the research out there on causes of death in women and rates of various types of cancer deaths. Cervical is way the hell down on the list. When you start data gathering, it will freak you out; just a warning. You will realize how utterly brainwashed your poor mother (and my mother) is. It’s sad how many women have fallen for the hoax that their vaginas require constant monitoring. Take care, Steph

    • LadyNeuroscientist says:

      Steph,

      I done some research last night and found that it is absolutely true! Cervical cancer is low down on the list of common cancers and breast cancer, bowel, and lung cancer are actually most common. Yet we don’t get colonoscopies or lung tests routinely shoved down our throats do we?! We have breast exams pushed upon us, yes, but for me that isn’t an issue because you can perform your own breast exams at home which I do anyway once a month and to me, even if a doctor is doing it, it is less of a violation than spreading your legs and being penetrated with tools like you’re onboard some alien spaceship getting probed by the Grays. That’s just how I feel anyway though of course I’m still not happy with the idea of someone feeling around my breasts. Sorry I forgot to clarify that I am indeed in the UK, and I must answer your question about whether or not we choose our own doctors. Basically, we often don’t; you just get assigned to a certain doctor at your local doctors office who will be like your family doctor, but you can ask to see a different doctor if you’re not happy with the one you’ve been assigned to. In fact the one I saw a while back refused to have me tested for Coeliac disease (Celiac, as the American spelling.)

      My mother has Coeliac which is an autoimmune disorder whereby the body attacks its own tissues (i.e, the gut) when gluten is ingested. High levels of antibodies are sent like an army to practically beat up your own intestines and causing you to have trouble absorbing vital nutrients. It is quite serious. So luckily, I managed to see a different doctor and he straight away agreed that I should be tested, which involves a special blood test. I basically have a very high chance of developing Coeliac so I’m glad I’ve had the blood test done and I’m just waiting for the results. Anyway, getting back on topic – I did have the Gardasil vaccine but only had two of the shots, when I know you’re supposed to have three systematically. I skipped on the third one because the second one felt like a blunt pin being pierced into my arm and it put me right off and I just couldn’t face the third one, as stupid as I may be for that. I’m not sure if just having the two provides some level of immunity or not, or if the third one is absolutely essential to make your immune system recognise the HPV virus and know how to fight it. I’m not very well educated on this subject I have to admit.

      Thank you again for your empowering, supportive words. You and all the other women here are beautiful people! And I know this may sound funny but I’ve always wanted to talk to a real life scientist so that’s real cool (I’m obsessed with science, I’m sorry haha.) Oh, I done some more research into the topic of PAP smears and gyno exams and came across this KidsHealth article titled “your daughter’s first gyno exam” and it freaked me out. It talked about how girls as young as 13 need their external genitalia examined! Why? If the girl is asymptomatic and healthy, why does she need to show her private parts to a gyno and have them messed around with? It is honestly so disturbing. These girls are not even the age where they should be having sex yet (I don’t know about over there in America but here in the UK, you should be 16 or over when you first have sex.) So to me, the thought of these young girls who are barely a teen yet, still going through puberty, having to spread their legs and be violated, is just perverted and disgusting, and so unnecessary. I’m lucky to live here in the UK where we don’t take our young daughters to have their genitals “monitored” (unless of course there is a problem down there.) I feel so sorry for the young girls in America and god knows where else who are told they need a gyno visit when they may not have even started their periods yet. WTF is wrong people??

      Indeed, I fully take in what you’ve said about it being MY body and MY boundaries, and you know what? I choose to not have any dirty doctor fondle my privates before I’ve even had sex. That’s just a big no-no.

      • Allison says:

        Alisha, I seen that same kidshealth article you found and it really freaked me out as well; It actually made my pulse go up and left me feeling sick to my stomach. Doing this to a 13 year old child is downright disturbing; It’s child molestation to me. When I was 13, and in the bathroom all alone with nobody else around, I couldn’t even sit in the bathtub without covering my breasts with a wash cloth; I also changed clothes in dark rooms, with the curtains closed until I was several months past my 18th birthday; So the last thing I would have wanted was to have those and other private parts examined by a stranger! When I was three years old, I went to the doctor’s for a chest cold; they made me sit there without a shirt on and even at that young age, and as an undeveloped three year old, I still felt so violated! I knew that only boys were supposed to go shirtless.

        Oh, I remember some articles claiming that girls as young as 13 needed these breast and external genital exams “to see if they are developing properly”. What the?! That’s really degrading to these poor girls! Lets go and judge their intimate parts as if they were a prized hen in the county fair! Another reason this is ignorant is the fact that everybody looks different!

        And to answer your question: The age of consent for sexual intercourse in the USA varies depending on which state you live in. It’s 16-18, depending on where you live.

      • Steph says:

        Allison, you are totally right!!!! All young girls develop at different rates and everyone looks different! The male world of medicine has treated vaginas as a pathology! If you got one, it requires constant surveying to make sure it’s all “OK.” Why the hell would it not be OK?? Like vaginas exist only to make you sick? Utter bullshit. This is systemic cultural oppression and harassment of women. Did everyone look up, Marian Sims, “Father of Gynecology “? Saying father and gynecology in the same phrase makes me vomit; the man was an absolute monster. He “practiced” On enslaved women without any anesthesia or anything. This is how it all originated – racism, oppression, shame, overpowering, treating women like shit. And it persists to the present day. Annual visits to a gyn are a crock just to keep women overpowered and shamed. And most women have been culturally conditioned to believe they need to see a gyn yearly. They don’t even think about it. They just do it without question. It’s really sad.

      • Chas|UK says:

        Regarding Gardasil vaccines – in the UK it is only 2 shots now not 3 – see NHS website
        https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/hpv-human-papillomavirus-vaccine/?
        Copied & Pasted below but the link gives more information.

        The first dose of the HPV vaccine is routinely offered to girls aged 12 and 13 in school year 8.
        The second dose is normally offered 6 to 12 months after the first (in school year 8 or year 9). The HPV vaccine helps protect them against cervical cancer.
        Girls who miss either of their HPV vaccine doses should speak to their school immunisation team or their GP surgery and make an appointment to get up-to-date as soon as possible.
        It’s important to have both doses of the vaccine to be fully protected.

        However as to the risks and side effects of this vaccine please research this as much as you can. There are many claiming (including doctors/nurses) that their girls have been caused health issues or even death by this however, the medical profession refuse to accept that the vaccine causes any issues, the usual states “there is no proof that this or that illness or death was caused by the vaccine”, but IMO the opposite also applies, can’t prove it did and can’t prove it didn’t! There are many that claim it can cause Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and when tested on rats it caused them to be infertile, premature ovarian failure (POF).

        IMO when a cancer is so rare ie. cervical cancer 0.65% individual risk, then I fail to understand why this vaccine was necessary at all? I’m not anti-vaccine and had the usual MMR, Polio years ago. I am 49 and had no where near the amount of vaccines administered to our young these days and I’m still alive and healthy, just look at the NHS vaccine schedule, so many at such a young age when developing, scary stuff:-
        https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/?

  34. Allison says:

    My late mother always spotted, especially in times of stress. She had a thyroid problem, and this very well could have contributed to her spotting, as I’ve read this is common in women with thyroid problems. My mom didn’t live past her 40s because she had heart problems that later affected her liver and she ultimately developed pneumonia. As Steph already mentioned, it’s heart disease that is the number one killer of women.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m so sorry that you lost your mom too young to heart disease. We lost my sister Sarah to heart disease. This is what women need to be aware of – our heart!

    • katrehman says:

      Chas I wasn’t in any way informed when my daughter was offered this. She would have been the first cohort. It all felt so wrong and I refused. Even she didn’t want it. Never regretted my decision.

      • Chas|UK says:

        Katrehman, Well done on listening to your gut instincts, who knows what could have happened to your daughter, thankfully she has a mum like you, not one that blindly follows the herd and researches first. I know millions receive this vaccine and most are okay but the amount of issues this may have caused a lot of youngsters, some officially reported (& denied as a cause by GP’s) and the many more that have never reported or even related their new health problems to this as a side effect, also taking into account the low cc rates, was it ever worth it, big doubts!

  35. Allison says:

    I first learned about gynecologists when I was 11, from reading my older cousin’s teen magazines for all the makeup, hair, and fashion pages; Always been a girly girl and big into that stuff. I stumbled upon an article “what to expect at your first visit to the gynecologist”. Eleven year old me was freaking out, I couldn’t believe such a thing was legal. I thought it was the most vulgar, vile, disgusting thing ever! My mother always taught me that those were “private parts”, and not to be seen by anybody. Heck, before I knew what sex was, I didn’t even think your spouse was supposed to be seeing you there. Then to discover that asymptomatic women, and even sometimes girls, are supposed to let a doctor see it on a regular basis?! It made me sick to my stomach. But I figured 21 was ions away and decided to push it far into the back of my mind; Sadly and scary enough, the dreaded age of 21 snuck up on me. I’m 26 now and still haven’t caved into the pressure. While I’m not looking for “the one”, I still feel the same as Alisha in that I want a guy I really like to be the first to see and touch me there. I’m still a v word right now and very sexually frustrated. I can’t even watch tv and movies with sexual content cause it makes me very upset, more depressed. That being said, the last thing I want is some creepy doctor jabbing at that area!

    Now through out the years, I’d keep reading those frightening articles in teen magazines. I haven’t picked one up in a while, so I’m not sure if they even still publish such trash. But I wish I knew of you ladies back then so I could ask you to contact these magazines and fire back at them. If they still feature crap like this in those magazines, I’d really appreciate it if you contacted them. They shouldn’t be scaring young girls with this fear mongering bullshit!

    • adawells says:

      Alison, we don’t have regular gyne exams in the UK, only the pap test every 3 years from age 25, and this was introduced to the UK when I was aged 28 in 1988, so I was blissfully free of it as a young woman, and feel so sorry for young women today who are faced with it at such a young age. It must be very worrying. It was started for all women aged 20 in 1988, with an 80% target coverage, so women were ruthlessly pursued and it was really brutal. It changed to age 25 in 2005, with Scotland only changing to age 25 in 2016. When I was young, because I’d only heard gynaecology mentioned by older women, I naturally assumed it was for very elderly women only, like a geriatrician studies elderly people, so I assumed it was something for old ladies and not something I’d have to contemplate for a very long time. I also lived in Germany for a little while in the 1980’s and was astonished to read in “family” magazines that taking your daughter to a gyno for “getting her used to the chair” and to the routine was acceptable and encouraged, and there were ghastly photos, of smiling mothers and gynes, but little girls looking very unhappy about it. I could see no reason for this and it definitely looked very pervy to me. Was pleased to return to the UK without ever needing a doctor.

      • Allison says:

        Adawells, those German magazine articles you mentioned sound very disturbing; Especially with the pictures you described! And these women drag their daughters into this thinking it’s all perfectly fine.

    • katrehman says:

      Thanks Chas! She has health issues anyway and food and medicine allergies. I really didn’t feel I could risk it

  36. Steph says:

    Hi Allison – Why do you think every teen mag and, for that matter, every “Womens” mag/online article screeches about getting your vagina surveyed and monitored?? When the number one killer of women (including my beautiful sister Sarah) is heart disease? And reproductive cancers don’t even crack the top 10? Just ponder that awhile. It’s systemic sexual harassment, plain and simple. I’ve been researching this for awhile now – I’m both a scientist and I’m doing a second act in grad school, getting my Masters in Social Work. Here’s what’s rather odd to me: when I discuss my research with intelligent, open minded men, they are in complete agreement with me about all this vag monitoring being abnormal and revolting. But when it comes to women – whoa!! I’ve been called names, threatened, told I’m an idiot, told to get off my high horse, etc etc. I don’t get it. They scream at me “THESE TESTS ARE NECESSARY!!!” Sigh… they’ve drank the koolaid, sadly. I am not advocating that women ignore symptoms or family history. They scream “My Aunt May died of cervical cancer!” Well, my Uncle Bill died of bone cancer. I’m not getting radiograph bone scans every year. Bone cancer is rare. Here’s another cancer that is fairly rare – cervical. You wouldn’t think so, with all the screaming about getting checked for it.., but it is just not a common cancer. So, Allison, please relax. Breathe. You’re fine. You do NOT have to submit to spreading your legs and getting violated. Your body, your boundaries. Reserve those most intimate areas for self exploration, Love with a partner, pleasure, and power. They belong to you, and no one else. Love to you, Steph

  37. Steph says:

    Mothers who “encourage” their daughters to go through this ritualized medical rape are just as culpable in committing sex offenses as the “medical professionals” who perform these filthy procedures.

    • Allison says:

      What really makes my blood boil is that these warped mothers take their daughters to have their breasts and genitals touched by an adult stranger. But if the daughter consented to having a teenage boy she likes touch their genitals or breasts, the psycho mother would want to kill the poor kid! I think of that 17 year old boy in the news about a decade ago who ended up receiving 10 years in prison for receiving oral sex from a 15 year old girl even though both parties were consenting. Yet that same girl at that age could get her genitals played with by some middle age doctor and that would be okay?!

  38. Steph says:

    You rock, Alisha! I have found lumps in my breast (benign) that my gyn missed, so I agree with you – we are the resident experts on our own bodies. Taking a little girl to get her vagina stared at and probed ought to land both the parent and doc in jail!!! My daughter has been sexually assaulted. A few months ago, this gyn (a female!) get all mad at her when my daughter was crying and having issues getting a gyn exam and having memories of the assault. This doc was so effing insensitive! I wanted to walk into her office and wring her fucking neck. I told my daughter to fire her ass and find someone else. Today, she saw a very nice, respectful female doc who was very kind and understanding. I still think ANYONE performing these exams – including women- are mentally disturbed, but that’s just me. Like I said, unless I have symptoms, I’m done. Never again. Keep up the scientific research! It’s fun!! – Love Steph (sashelvey@gmail.com)

    • Steph says:

      My daughter BTW is 24. When I was 22, I got molested by a male doc during a gyn exam. He masterbated me. There was a nurse – standing near my head. She didn’t see his fingers. I called him out, and he was like “What? What?” Then he did some maneuver – I’m not sure what, no other doc has done it – but he put his fingers in me and hurt me so bad I screamed. I was so traumatized, and felt like I’d been a bad person. A few years later, I told my parents. This doc was their family doc. They refused to believe me. That hurt me so bad.
      Steph

  39. Steph says:

    I am guessing this is a UK program? My 24 yr old daughter never got some weird letter, nor did her friends (in the US). This is sexual harassment. Just throw the damn letter away or use it to pick up dog poop.
    Steph

  40. katrehman says:

    Yes it’s a NHS UK programme. Her school sent a letter about it. Only one other girl apart from her didn’t get it. An ambulance was called after a girl collapsed 30 mins after jab. Thankfully she was fine

  41. Steph says:

    The girl collapsed? She got jabbed? A tad confused…
    Steph

  42. katrehman says:

    One of the girls who had it collapsed. She wasnt permanently damaged thankfully

  43. katrehman says:

    The hpv jab! She had it and collapsed half hour later. But she didn’t end up a victim of the jab as some did. She’s healthy still

  44. Allison says:

    I would like to post about something related to all of this, which really upsets me: You’ve probably read many of my other comments about being a 26 year old virgin who never had her first kiss, being sexually frustrated, and very bothered by it; And for that reason, and the fact that I want my future partner (regardless of how casual it may be) to be the first person to ever see and touch my intimate parts, I do not want a pap smear or pelvic exam!

    Now, for years and even to this very day, my grandmother constantly tells me how ugly and disgusting I am and now no guy would ever look at me. I’m left with so little self confidence that I can’t even talk to a guy cause I’m too afraid.

    My attitude is that I worry I’ll never get to have sex with a partner (and this is what I want more than anything!) so, the last thing I want to deal with is going into an office and having some weird creepy doctor fingering and ram-rodding me with their evil speculum. Not to mention integrating me about my sexuality. All this would make me more depressed!

    There’s this friend of my late mother’s who still comes around and bothers my dad and I, she is a meddling pain in the ass! And this crazy lady worships gynecologists. She’s integrating me about going to see the gyno. I get very angry and upset and I respond with “as my grandmother tells me, I’m too ugly for any guy to ever want me! I may never have a guy so the last thing I want is to get fingered and ram-rodded by a doctor with a cold speculum!”. Her response is to “just get a male doctor, then”. She seems to think this will solve everything. Oh , sure! This is going to take the place of a real partner, somebody I really am attracted to! This comment made me a million times more upset. If I’m really too ugly to ever have a lover; since I really want to experience sex and all -I’d rather pay a very attractive prostitute. As there was even a topic on “women against stirrups” how the gym exam is more oppressive than prostitution; I still think this would be less degrading than settling for some sick minded male doctor.

  45. Steph says:

    Is this Allison who commented about the cruel grandmother saying you’re unattractive?? Hon, I can’t in my wildest dreams fathom why a grandmother would be so horrible to you!! Do you believe her when she tells you that you are ugly? Might she have ulterior motives in telling you this? Why might it be important to her that you think you are unattractive??? Your grandmother sounds like a very damaged woman, and I’m so sorry that she speaks to you like this. As far as your future sex life, and visiting gyns etc, this is absolutely no ones business but your own! You are a grown woman. This is not up for discussion by your grandmother or that horrible family “friend” you describe!! They are prying into something that is 100% inappropriate for them to be wondering about. As a grown woman, you owe neither of these women any information, any explanations, you don’t need to defend yourself, nothing. Their curiosity about your body is abnormal. Please give yourself the gift of privacy and self love by not participating in conversations about your body, sex, doctors, etc. If they start up, just tell them your body and life are private and not up for discussion. Then please leave the room or the house. You deserve better. Something is very very wrong with your grandmother and this friend. Love from Steph

  46. Sarah says:

    Idk if anyone still reads or answers these comments anymore in 2018 but…
    I was forced for the 2nd time to have an exam. Right now I feel so gross and violated, I just wish I would die!
    I needed my birth control the depo shot and had managed to get it for 3 months and avoid these disgusting exams.
    They are sexual assault!
    They straight up told me if you avoid the exam again we will no longer give you your bc until you consent.
    Yes I enjoy making love to my bf of 4 years but that dissent mean I enjoy being sexually assaulted by a stranger!
    My first ever exam was so traumatizing! I tried to get out of it but the doctor told me that since I was pregnant I had no right to refuse and if I did she would get a court order and I would be held down while they did it. I was so terrified that I let them do the exam and she said “don’t worry the exam is just like having sex, imagine your having sex.”
    Well since I needed my bc I had an exam today and I’m so suicidal right now. I hate having a vagina! I hate being a women! I will never be proud of being a women!
    I’ve decided to get the 10 yr IUD so my bc can’t be held hostage anymore. After the IUD is in which is also terrifying me. I will never have another pap/exam as long as I live!
    My bf is going to get fixed so I will never have to endure this hell again. I’m just getting the IUD til he gets fixed. And if the IUD falls out or I have any complications with it I’m getting my tubes tied!
    Never again will I be violated!
    Because of how they treat women even if something is wrong down there one day I still will never take my pants off for those perves!

    • Shelli says:

      Yes, these are read. I’m not certain who the site moderator is, but I read them. This shit needs to be made against the law. The doc told you to just pretend you are having sex????? File a formal complaint with the medical board!! And a threat to have you held down???? Your doc is very mentally ill and a sex offender. Are you in the US or UK or Aus? I’m so sorry this happened to you. This experience you had (and the one before it) is absolutely horrible. Just a thought – can your BF just use condoms until he gets a vasectomy? I know some guys say it cuts down their sensitivity, to which I say bullshit. Your comfort should come first. He should not expect you to be ritually raped just so he can get off better. And maybe he isn’t that way, hopefully. My hubby and I used condoms for awhile. I just didn’t want to go thru that. Hubby was fine with it. Please don’t take this horrid experience out on yourself. I want you to live. You are not bad, dirty, unworthy, or any of that. You are a valuable human. The ones who propagate this hoax about women needing their vaginas constantly surveyed are unworthy and lacking any value whatsoever. The whole field of “gynecology” is nothing but harassment of women beneath a dominant white male paradigm. Please be gentle with yourself. Write again if you need. I’ll be here for you. Shelli…

    • adawells says:

      These exams aren’t done in the UK, only a pap smear test every 3-5 years. If you’re in the 🇺🇸 isn”t it possible to buy contraceptives over the counter?

    • LadyNeuroscientist says:

      Hi.

      That’s just disgusting! Your doctor said that you’d be held down while they done it if you refused? And to pretend you’re having sex whilst it is done? That’s just sick, I am so disturbed by the fact someone would say that. I am so sorry you are suffering with this right now. My heart goes out to you! Every woman should be able to live free from being forced into having our vaginas checked all the time. Our bodies are OUR bodies and no one has the right to demand that we spread our legs to be violated by some guy in a white coat.

      It is just immoral. And considering the fact that cervical cancer is way low down on the list of common female cancers, the tests for it shouldn’t be forced upon us like they are. They act like it is a very common cancer that must be looked out for regularly. You have to let some person in a medical room stick tools inside of you and you have to be okay with it!! Just so stupid. I saw a post when looking through my Facebook feed and it was posted by someone I know. It was a reminder to all women to get our PAP smears done and it sent a shiver down my spine.

      It’s sad so many women are being made to feel they HAVE to have it done or else they’ll die, practically. To be honest, I am appalled by doctors who degrade women like this, thinking we should be okay with being violated. It’s NOT okay and we have every right to say no.

      • Shelli says:

        We need more women – many, many more women – rising up against this shit. You are right – cervical cancer is rare. It does not even crack the top 10 causes of death in females. And the medical business wants women to believe that our vaginas are just hanging out down there, waiting to get us sick and kill us. Vagina surveying has become not only a big source of revenue, but it is nothing more than systemic oppression of women. I know people may be sick of hearing me say that, but its the truth. Thankfully, those of us on this site know that, and refuse to take part in this ritual raping. I personally have made a decision to give up this bullshit once and for all. I don’t even want a female doc touching me. They too have drank the koolaid and are simply repeating what they were told in med school by Male Instructors. Every time a friend tells me “Oh it’s OK, I only see a female doc” I want to shake them! Female docs are as guilty of propagating medical rape culture as male docs. So what do we do? I propose the following (You need to do what is best for you): 1. stop gyn visits. Don’t let your primary touch you either. Learn to say NO. MY BODY, MY BOUNDARIES. IF YOU TOUCH ME, IM CALLING THE POLICE AND MY LAWYER. 2. If you need birth control, find alternative means. I totally get what a pain it is to not have the convenience of the pill or injections, but really – condoms are so easy. 3. For any doc visit, use your phones to record everything. Then when you get home, download the recording onto your laptop or desktop. Keep a file of all your interactions with these predators. 4. Talk to your friends and family about taking their own stand against harassment. Let’s collectively put this whole gyn bullshit out of business. We can do this.

      • adawells says:

        Fantastic comments, Shelli and Ladyneuroscientist! 👏👏👏👏 It’s currently all happening far too slowly. Women must make a stand against decades of medical abuse.

      • Shelli says:

        This is the part that makes me crazy – so on medical forums, like whenever the CDC puts out FB ads reminding women to spread their legs and get assaulted – I chime in and pretty much say what all of us say here. I may get one – possible two – likes. And you wouldn’t believe how many women jump all over me enraged by my comments. I’ve been called stupid, told I’m an idiot, women swear at me, etc. They get enraged at me!! They defend spreading their legs and getting fingered. This is going to be a tough nut to crack. I have theories about why they do this; what do you guys think?

    • ChasUK says:

      So sorry you had to endure this but you didn’t have to. It IS against the law to force you into unwanted sensitive exams! No-one can force their way into your orifices and most likely the tactics used were just a try on, please don’t fall for it. Holding you down by force would be ASSAULT plain and simple. Just say NO!

  47. Shelli says:

    No, BC pills aren’t over the counter. They should be, but stupidly aren’t.

  48. Allison says:

    You can get birth control from the websites lemonaid health, prjkt ruby, Maven, or Nurx. If you have insurance, the pill is very little or no cost on the Nurx app! If you don’t have insurance, I recommend Lemonaid cause you can chose the pharmacy of your choice to have your prescription wired to; Walmart have generic birth control pills for only $9 a month!

  49. Shelli says:

    But don’t you need to have a prescription from a health care provider in order to get the BC online? I think that is the concern of the women on this site; the docs refuse to give you a prescription unless you submit to getting ritually raped.

    • Allison says:

      With Lemonaid healthcare, you do a video chat with a doctor and then they wire your prescription to your choice pharmacy. With the other sites, they have their own pharmacy that mails it to your home. A doctor on those websites processes your order. No traditional doctor needed!

  50. ChasUK says:

    And Sarah, they could not get a court order to gain access to your vagina, if I were you I would be threatening them with legal action and going to the press with this type of behaviour….see how they respond to that? Probably wet their pants over it?

    • ChasUK says:

      Still intrusive though as it is clinician-collected. Also it is just to increase screening uptake in older women, not offering to the younger groups. Wouldn’t be an acceptable alternative for me and guessing many others. Thanks for the link

      • ChasUK says:

        Oh and this part bugged me: participants completed a short demographic questionnaire assessing age, marital status, work status, education, religion, ethnicity, cervical screening history! What the hell?
        It’s never ending the amount of money and time spent on this screening, the capturing, coercing.

      • Shelli says:

        I still call bullshit on all of it. How many times do we have to repeat that cervical cancer is rare, and this routine monitoring of our genitals is absurd. Who among us gets an abdominal CT scan yearly because there is a small risk of pancreatic cancer? I know UK has the NHS, and I’m not sure how docs or clinicians are paid; is it a flat yearly rate whether they see one or 8000 clients? In the US, it’s pay via number of clients seen. So my knee jerk reaction is that docs are losing clientele who are “older” and are trying to figure out a way to generate more revenue. But in the end, this shit just isn’t necessary. I’m “older” (…Lol…) and I gave up this lunacy a long time ago. I wish I had done it when I was younger. More Power to you younger women who have decided to reclaim your bodies and keep them out of the hands of the sex offending “medical” community.

      • adawells says:

        I’m hoping that it isn’t an attempt to raise the screening age to 70.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      These ‘researchers’ make me sick. Nothing but a bunch of pompous number crunchers with delusions of grandeur, just churning out never-ending streams of ‘barriers to screening’ bullshit to keep themselves in their cushy jobs. They seem to be doing everything they can to slow down progress, and disguise it as concern for our welfare, when all they really care about is feeding the system that keeps their research funds rolling in. Parasites.

      • adawells says:

        Couldn’t agree more with you Kate. There’s no need for this research – put it out there and let women make up their own minds. Online HPV self-testing has been on the market for a few years now, and there are at least 4 companies selling it in the UK, and business seems to be on the up. Why do this research if the product is selling well online? I posted a while back that HIV testing kits have been placed in various places in the UK and have been very successful. Don’t remember there being years of “research” into finding out whether people find it acceptable or not.

  51. katrehman says:

    Shelli I agree with you and your mentioning older women reminds me of summat Ada said a while back . that they are now targeting older women since they have utterly failed to get the younger and vaccinated women to screen. So they’re trying to rope us older ones in. I totally agree if they gave women the facts…its rare, risk of CC 0/65% older women highly unlikely to have HPV.. theywouldn’t get many takers (not that they do anyway)!
    Here in the UK we have the NHS free at point of need but we pay towards it in our taxes and national insurance if we work. Doctors get an amount for each patient on the list and incentives to run some programmes like cervical screening a d vaccinations ect. Hence why they are hunting our vaginas! Its really sick pardon the pun…..

  52. adawells says:

    Been trying to post a couple of times here, but posts not loading.

    • adawells says:

      I just wanted to add that the uptake rates for screening in the NHS have just been published for the latest quarter of 2017. (Key Performance Indicators). All uptake for the women’s cancer screening programmes is under 70% now, with the exception of uptake rates for over 50s women in cervical. There are only 3 tests 5 years apart for this, so it’s my guess that women suck up to reach the end.Under 50s women is at 69% uptake. Not seen anything in the news about breast screening, but nationally it’s only 68%, 56% in London.

  53. Shelli says:

    Interesting! Well, good for those younger women!!! I’m glad they are dissenting!! That whole profession needs to die! So it seems that the docs in UK do in fact have a financial incentive to reach more women. I feel like contacting NOW, the National Organixation for Women. I want to send them some science backed research; is there a UK equivalent to NOW?
    Shelli

  54. katrehman says:

    Shelli to be cost effective (the main priority lol ) and so the programmes can be hyped up to appear they’re working they need 80% of us to get smeared and I think 70% to breast screening. ……

    • I was so pleased to see this getting some air time. I can almost hear the upset in Mr Music’s comments….grudgingly admitting it could be seen as good news.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Poor man. If more women avoid unnecessary ‘preventative’ treatment, there will be fewer ‘survivors’ to support his charity. Informed choice is so bad for business. My heart bleeds for him. Not.

      • adawells says:

        The whole Jo’s Tosh thing is very fishy to me. Why do we have 2 charities for a disease which kills 650 women/year? Why is The Eve Appeal doing gyne cancers too? Just about any research on cervical screening and you find this outfit has funded it somewhere.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Had a look at the actual study… apparently someone who’s a volunteer for Jo’s Trust had a hand in the editorial. Seems this charity has way too much influence these days, it’s worrying.

    • adawells says:

      This is great news, and will certainly get people thinking – instead of “that smear test saved my life” … it will take a while for this to sink in with a lot of those besotted with the system.
      Saw recently that HPV primary testing will be fully rolled out across the UK by end of December 2019. I think this is why these news items are appearing – they don’t want a backlash or petition like there was in Australia, so expect to see more news items like this being drip-fed to us in future. They’re letting everybody get used to the idea so they’ll welcome the new test with open arms!

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Seems legit, Ada. It can’t be a coincidence that Robert Music is now acknowledging the problems of overtreatment when he’s been so dismissive of any criticism of his precious programme up until now.

  55. katrehman says:

    Chas it’s also in daily fail title 7500 women have unnecessary cervical ops! I’m sure it’s lots more but never thought I’d see this. Another nail in the programme coffin..

    • ChasUK says:

      Yes I agree the figures are underestimated most definitely, but it is a step in the right direction, not enough though. The usual “must keep up with your screening” is there too. Just about to read the daily mail one, thank you

  56. Shelli says:

    In the USA. I took a peek at Eve Appeal. Gyno badges???? Where the hell are you supposed to wear those? Anyway, I digress. So Eve Appeal says on their site that approx. 21,500 gyno cancers are found in UK yearly. So I looked up the population of UK, and the 2016 census reported that UK has 64.65 million people. I assume half of those people were female, so I divided that number in half. Then is I did a simple percent calculation, and a whopping 0.067 % of females are diagnosed with gyn cancer yearly. 67 Females out of 1000. And how many die of heart disease? 1 out of 3. That’s pretty much true the world over except for most of Africa, where communicable disease is still the number one killer of women. That 0.067% includes all gyn cancers. As all of us in this site know very well, only cervical can be detected via routine pap testing. There are no tests to detect uterine or ovarian. So what we need to do is look at how many cases of cervical are detected per year. I don’t know that number for either UK or US. But it’s going to be a hell of a lot less than 0.067%. And cervical is rare. I’m going to guess it’s about 25% of the total gyn cancers, and that would put it at 0.016%. 16 out of 1000 women would be diagnosed yearly with cervical. And heart disease would continue to kill 1 out of 3 women. Do we need anymore proof that the gyn business just needs to go away?

    • adawells says:

      https://goo.gl/images/28VHYg
      Hey Shelli, forget the gyno badges, how about this pretty green key ring to tempt 25 year olds into agreeing to go through a lifetime of assault, bullying, and having a hot wire and pincers shoved up you. Who wouldn’t! Bet you can’t wait to get one! Make you feel 25 all over again!

      • I just had a look at the hashtag #25itstime on Twitter. Someone shared their letter (and pretty green key rig) and one of the bullet points is “Even if you had HPV vaccinations, you still need to attend.” Need??

        Need??? It makes it sound like it’s compulsory, a summons from the government. Disgraceful.

      • adawells says:

        Caroline, what is so wrong is that today’s 25 year olds have largely been vaccinated, and the research already published that vaccinated cohorts should have no more than 2-3 tests in a lifetime and this starting at age 30. Jo’s know this as they funded the research, yet here they are also funding these campaigns to force 25 year olds to test.

  57. ChasUK says:

    Oh wow, Jo’s again hey!
    I wonder how many of these HPV vaccinated women/girls will have issues because of the vaccine? i.e. PCOS, early menopause, fertility or period problems etc. Only time will tell but I’m sure it will be well hidden or denied of course.

  58. LadyNeuroscientist says:

    I am suddenly coming across a lot more pro-smear test Facebook posts. What saddens me is the amount of women who are perpetuating the brainwashing and even saying how they don’t know what all the fuss is about when it comes to people not wanting the tests. Someone in particular said, (I’ve copied their comment..) “I dont see why people make such a fuss about it! You dont hear them complain when they go to get tested for an sti!!! Ridiculous!! This is a life changing thing! Man up!” Really? So if we are horrified at the thought of spreading our legs and being violated, we are just being ridiculous and need to man up? So sad there are women who feel this way.

    Oh, I’ve just found this comment – “The age should be younger. I dont understand why girls dont go for smear. Most are happy to parade their bits on Face book etc but not prepared to look after their health. The lady’s doing the tests do loads so nothing to be ashamed of.” Why exactly does the age need to be lower? There is absolutely no logical need for it to be lower considering the fact it is rare in women who are in their mid to late 20s, let alone girls who are barely out of their teens! So wrong.

    • Shelli says:

      My experience has been that women defend the hell out of it. And I am perplexed, too. I have been called some horrible names on forums and sites where I’ve spoken out about it. I have trouble getting a grasp on why women are ok with this systemic assault – even to the point of yelling at us women who dissent. I have done a lot of thinking about it. I think a lot of women are very at ease with all the oppression that women encounter in our culture, and have encountered forever. Our system of medicine – even with female docs present – is still a dominant white male paradigm, as I’ve said repeatedly many times over. Many women are ok with this. They have never dared be strong; they have never dared taken a chance and gone outside the box; they accept their oppressed lots in life and think it is OK. They have never dared take a controversial stand on anything. They are scared. Women like us – who see clearly beyond the bullshit – intimidate them. They don’t like us. They have been successfully conditioned to believe spreading their legs and getting fingered and assaulted is normal. They are unable to really sit with the idea, and see it for what it is. They are terrified to have something that they have taken as true and real and normal, completely debunked and upended. I think it would rock their worlds and they would be unable to cope with that. Plus – they would have to reflect on how they had been completely taken for a ride all those times they willingly spread their legs to get diddled; no one wants to be made a fool out of. Thus they cleave to the idea that vajayjay diddling is “necessary.” How else can they live with themselves? Just my theories. Does any of this sound remotely intelligible? I’m very tired right now,,.lol…

      • LadyNeuroscientist says:

        Very well said, Shelli! You are perfectly intelligible. I agree with you! It really does seem like women are just so used to being made to have their privates messed with that they think it is right and that any woman who is against it is a ridiculous wimp who needs to toughen up. It really is sad how they have been brainwashed and how young women are being made to feel bad or inadequate because they don’t want to be violated by some doctor. Like I’ve said before, I really don’t want to have to spread my legs as a young virgin woman and have to endure pain and violation for a procedure that I don’t really need. I’ll feel so horrified and undignified! I know that I’ll just be lying there crying and then walk away feeling totally invaded and sickened. I’m so glad to have people here to talk to about this whole thing because if I dare open my mouth to anyone else, I’ll be insulted all because I’m a woman who believes that we shouldn’t endure regular violation of our intimate parts and that we should stand up against this practice.

      • Shelli says:

        Women treat each other like crap; I don’t get it. I don’t know how long it will take for women to catch on that they have been subject to one of the biggest hoaxes/scams ever propagated by the field of “medicine.” Let me add that I do not advocate ignoring symptoms, or family history. But this routine shit is ….. well all of us here know exactly what it is. You all have heard my rants many times over. I’m having a really bad day, and probably not at my best, so maybe I need to just stay quiet. I will add that for anyone who has not looked this up yet, look up a character named Marion Sims, the so called “Father of Gynecology.” Don’t the terms “father” and “gynecology” together make you want to vomit into your mouth? 🤮 I sometimes feel guilty mentioning reading up about him. If any women on this site identify as Black/African American, he did many horrible things to enslaved women. You may or may not want to read the ugly details. I just felt like I needed to say that. I am white and felt utter rage at what I read. This man was a monster. And he has a statue erected in his honor at some location in New York. There was a movement afoot by the African American community to get this grotesque statue taken down. I don’t know if they succeeded. I hope to God they did. I care about you all. We’ve never met, but I feel a kinship. Thank you all for helping me. I appreciate it more than you know. Hugs, Shelli

    • adawells says:

      I’ve seen some conversations saying what a success the latest awareness campaign in January has been. Criteria: a medic says they’ve noticed more colposcopy referrals after the campaign. Another adds that hopefully it is a result of more attending and not a rise in cancer. On another conversation a doctor reports that at least 3 (yes 3!) new people have taken up a smear test in the last 6 months and at least 2 were found to have cancer. A wise person has asked if they might just have self-reported with actual symptoms and not been called up for screening but that goes unanswered.
      The campaigns to lower the age are simply nauseating. It’s terrible that so many women believe the test should be mandatory and are accusing the NHS of cost cutting if they do not enforce it. It makes me sick to read so many people posting that smear tests are all part of being a strong emancipated woman and linking this procedure with women getting the vote and equal rights, when it was actually born out of slavery and ownership of our bodies. I think the fact that they now recognise that a substantial portion don’t want this test is making them very nervous. It’s only a matter of time before they question why they are going through with it and others don’t.

      • LadyNeuroscientist says:

        I agree with you, adawells. It really is nauseating the thought that women think it should be set to a younger age and be made mandatory. This just horrifies me and actually makes me quite nervous. The NHS really shouldn’t make this practice mandatory as that is cruel, unfair and plain gross. Women don’t deserve that! I think women should only be checked if they are highly at risk for getting cervical cancer or they if are showing signs of it. Otherwise, why force women to do it? Especially women who have next to zero chance of developing it. Like I’ve said before, OUR bodies and it is OUR choice what happens with them, especially what happens with our intimate, sensitive area.

        And all those people who (as you’ve mentioned) are posting about how great smear tests are and how it is all about strong women, they are really blind. Going for one of these tests doesn’t make you a strong woman, as they are vile invasions of our genitalia and they are actually very undignified. I still can’t believe some girls who are not even in their teens yet are made to go and have their vaginas examined, without any good reason. It just goes to show the medical people are really getting a kick out of this and it proves we are oppressed in this way. If we weren’t oppressed and we were free to be strong women and make our own choices about our bodies without judgement, the whole thing would be totally different.

  59. linda says:

    As Ada once pointed out in one of her posts – the brain washing programme surrounding cervical screening was well thought out in advance by the screening authorities. The brainwashing was thorough and complete, with every aspect of it controlled. That is why we encounter die hards.

    When i was getting tested, i hated it but was lead to believe this is what every woman did and that i was the only one behaving any way out of the ordinary. I thought i was odd.

    I no longer trust the medical profession. I think a lot of women don’t anymore. They broke that trust – not us. It will never be repaired.

    • adawells says:

      I don’t know if you might be able to get this paper – I’m still trying to get it myself, but it’s been known for a long time that gyne procedures can be very distressing experiences, but they take no notice. For years research and evidence has come to the same conclusion.
      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247514165_Post-Traumatic_Stress_Disorder_in_Women_Who_Have_Undergone_Obstetric_andor_Gynaecological_Procedures_A_Consecutive_Series_of_30_Cases_of_PTSD

      I noticed that the research now carried out in the UK (part of which Kat took part in), has come to the conclusion that smear tests are “a very big deal” to women. Janet Menage was saying this in 1990’s but no-one took any notice.

      • Shelli says:

        Thank you for posting this, Ada. Of course all of us here are going “DUH!!!” like you said. We, and the author of the article, have known this for decades. This is news how?

      • Hi Ada,
        Thanks for posting the link to this article. If not able to access the article I summarized the article a while back in this post: https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2015/01/10/gynecological-procedures-can-cause-ptsd/ What really stood out to me was how the severity of the PTSD symptoms were similar to those of post-war veterans. Post-war veterans receive acknowledgement for their trauma. Is it because we are women that our trauma is ignored? Or maybe it’s because to acknowledge our trauma would mean they would be obliged to do something about it, and that would be bad for business.

      • Shelli says:

        I think some of both. No, women don’t matter; and indeed it would be bad for business if they did something to put an end to this idiotic ritual. Frankly, I don’t care if practitioners’ Businesses are ruined. They went out of their way to choose to make a living raping women; you reap what you sow. I’m done with it. But I will try to educate other women and girls. Except for my dermatologist, I no longer undress for anyone for any reason in the medical field. If someone tells you to undress, and put on a gown, just don’t. I don’t. What are they going to do? Call the police? Lol… Even physicals require little more than lab work, really. I just instruct my family provider what I want/need and she goes along with it. She’s pretty cool. I haven’t approached this subject with her; some day I might. She’s a pretty hip lady.

  60. Linda
    They knew at the outset that many women would reject the test, especially in the early days when most doctors were male so they made it a requirement for the Pill, to coerce women into the test, arguably there’s no consent at all in these cases. It shows how little regard they had for women and their legal rights. We also saw an aggressive campaign to get women on board, I don’t think there’s ever been a more aggressive and unethical program (I’d also say unlawful)

    There’s no doubt they used psychologists to put together the brain washing campaign, here our excessive and non-evidence based program caused major damage to women, esp. young women, our over-treatment levels were very high. Of course, when women so often walked away as survivors, and went on to promote and defend the program, I’m sure this was considered helpful.
    The over-treatment went on and on…no pressure to change, women in the dark, profits high…it didn’t matter that this program largely operated with no informed consent and in (I’d say) most cases, no consent at all. The women who often aggressively protected the program often spouted the propaganda, they’d been deceived, so did they actually give proper consent for the test?
    I don’t think so…

    Only a handful of women made an informed decision, those able to get to the evidence and it was well hidden away – behind paywalls and, initially, it meant a trip to the Medical Library.

    It was fine for the program to mislead women, to fudge statistics, to twist the truth, to scare, to scold and to harm…it’s hard to believe the profession considered that an appropriate way to treat women.
    When doctors and others get away with treating women like meat, or if they’re encouraged and incentivised to do that, it’s a slippery slope and we get to the ugly place where women are insulted, struck off patient records for “failing to comply”…are treated disrespectfully during the smear taking process etc.
    I think it’s probably also the reason why many women report insensitive care at colposcopy clinics etc. the prevailing attitude was…we didn’t matter, our feelings, comfort, dignity and rights were irrelevant. It’s a reminder that unchecked power leads to serious abuse, I saw it happen for decades, it still shocks me, I too will never forgive their treatment of my sisters, not just my sister but every woman who was harmed by this oppressive and harmful program.

    • Shelli says:

      I know that this isn’t 100% legit, but there’s gotta be a black market for the pill and other hormones. In the States, we often hop the border to Mexico or Canada for stuff. And can’t you sometimes obtain meds online without a prescription? I think with some creative research, we could figure out how to get our medications without being raped. I get the impression that the UK has some sort of orchestrated program going on trying to urge women and young girls to get molested. If only they’d put half that energy into programs encouraging women to get their hearts evaluated. Smh… I think it is encumbent on us to get to young women ASAP and give them the informed, educated information that they deserve. We need to let them know that any mail they receive about spreading their legs needs to be thrown away immediately; any emails must be deleted; and any conversation from a medical professional about such a disgusting thing needs to be met with promptly picking up the car keys and purse and exiting the facility immediately, and driving straight home. If we don’t mentor these young women, who will? I’ve heard a few horror stories about their own mothers – who should be protecting them – trying to make them do this! We have to help these young women out.

  61. Emily says:

    Well here’s something everyone might find interesting https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/24/us/larry-nassar-sentencing/index.html. Talk about psych harm from exams! No one ever believes it when women and girls are traumatized by these things. They get brushed off, told they are “confused about what really happened” and that they need to “grow up” and get over it. And the worst part is that what he did was not really all that much different from a normal exam. The only reason that everyone is believing the girls now is because they were able to find proof of his INTENT when he touched them. What they don’t understand is how some of us see ALL exams the same way that those poor girls saw what he did. Think of it this way:

    A 15 year old girl’s mother takes her to their family Dr. to be examined. The girl is more or less forced to remove her clothes and lay back while someone who is not a loving partner penetrates her most intimate areas with no regards for her feelings.

    When these girls went to this Dr., it was much the same: they were more or less forced to undress, lay back and allow this monster to penetrate their vaginas under the guise of medical care.

    The only difference between these 2 scenarios is CONTEXT. Either way, the girl is penetrated when she didn’t want to be. Does it really matter why? Does the intention of the Dr make much of a difference to her and how she will feel about it? For some of us the context of “Dr,” and “legitimate medical procedure” or “potential predator” and “traumatic experience” are indistinguishable.

    What happened to those poor girls is the risk that ALL women and girls are exposed to when they are put in this position. For some of us there is no difference and a person who is not our lover penetrating us feels violating and predatory even in the “proper context”. -sigh- and the women who insist on enduring this horror (or forcing their daughters to endure it) are the ones who call us crazy. I swear I will never understand it as long as I live…

    • Shelli says:

      Beautifully said, Emily. Wow. “Dr/Predator.” Wow. Wow. We feel there is no difference because there is no difference. The term “medical” is merely a concept – that lives in our heads. It has no mass, no substance, isn’t measurable, it isn’t anything. It’s just a concept. What is real is having our legs spread and instruments and fingers up our intimate areas. That is very real. There is nothing wrong with any of us. We are the ones who know exactly what is happening. As for the others …. I’ll never understand it, either, Emily. I believe any mother who would force her daughter to go through this should be imprisoned. No such mother is a suitable parent. Thank you for posting, Emily. Your words are so powerful and so true. Wow.

    • adawells says:

      I hope this will be a watershed and women will start seeing this whole business as questionable. As I’ve posted on here before, I had a pap smear test brutally forced upon me when I was at my doctors for a postnatal assessment with childbirth injuries many years ago. No way did I consent to this or with my birthing injuries did I expect it coming, but it was forced on me without any warning. When I tried to complain I was told the same thing as these girls – it is a normal medical procedure, something I had to normalise and get used to, all part of being a woman, it was for my best, it was me who had misunderstood not the doctor, I was due so had no choice, I was silly to complain….
      I really hope it gets women asking questions.

  62. Done with cancer witch hunts says:

    Don’t go. Just don’t. You don’t have too. Don’t fall for all the scare tactics. I did. I was a very good girl. Went for all my yearlies. Soon after 40 started having bad results. CIN 1. Of course this needed a leep just in case cancer was lurking deeper. I trusted my doc. She had delivered my baby. A year later, same thing, only this time the leep loop had nicked the side or my vaginal wall. Within a year that nick developed into a bump, and was stage 0 cancer (or CIN 3, they really don’t know the difference).

    So then I had to see an onco. He took off more of my cervix, and part of my vaginal wall. A couple of years later, started having problems… Another surgery. And that did not fix anything and a hysterectomy was recommended. By this time I was done. I found an alternative practitioner who provided Escharotic treatments and recommended supplements. That was a few years ago, and I am fine now.

    Have thought about it a lot, and I am pretty sure the second leep did me in. After much research I learned that the leep tool is not really clean. Not if you are in a line up of surgeries and you’re not the first. I think I was the second that day, and I did get an infection soon after. Whoever was before me had cancer, and the leep loop spread it to me. So much for modern medicine.

    The best thing you can do is keep your privates private. Keep a good diet of real, unprocessed foods, and don’t sweat it.

    And after all the surgeries, I do not feel normal. I feel lucky having got out of it all, but I still need to fight feelings of disassociation. Like someone else wrote earlier, our bodies remember, even if we don’t. Be good to your whole sacred self!

  63. Shelli says:

    I’m so sorry for all that you endured. That’s horrible! You’re probably right about the LEEP; a lot of people do not realize that in a surgical setting, cancer cells spread. I hope you are feeling better now, although it doesn’t make any of what happened to you OK. I have given this stuff up for good. I’m embarrassed and ashamed and angry at myself that I ever fell for any of it. I am filled with self rage that I ever blindly allowed unspeakable things to happen to my body (although I was helpless to avoid the doctor who raped me when I was one.) I do not fear death. I do fear some sexual predator demeaning my body. And make no mistake – the field of medicine if just a legal loophole for sexual predators to act out.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Hey there. I think I may have a unique perspective on this issue. I’m a man, mid-thirties. About a year ago I met a highly captivating and beautiful young woman who I’ve been happy to say has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more comfortable and more complete with anyone. I love her beyond words. We are set to move in together in a couple months and there has already been talk of marriage (although not right away). It’s come up a few times that she had almost always seen a male gynecologist in the past, which bothered me tremendously although during the early stages of courtship there’s not really much you can say about that. Her reasons were simple; she had seen female doctors previously but they did not show empathy in regards to her endometriosis and the males always did. She had not seen a gynecologist recently due to a number of things so it was a non-issue for the first few months. Fast forward a few months and by sheer luck she met a female doctor who she very much likes and can serve as both her GP and her gyno… needless to say it was an extremely fortunate happening for me as it made me much, much more comfortable. I suppose I could call myself the ‘jealous’ type, although I am very respectful of my partner and her wishes and always present such feelings thoughtfully and tactfully when they arise. Last Monday was about a week prior to her first pelvic exam with this new lady doctor and found myself having nightmares about her going to see her past male doctors… throughout the week they because so vivid and prolific that it was bleeding into my daily life. I am the manager of a large department of people which requires my full attention at work, but I found myself throughout the week unable to focus on my work because of this. This lead up to this past Friday on which her examination occurred and I was antsy all the way up until I got her text that read it was over and went well. I was pleased to find out that her new doctor was very delicate and very respectful. We went out and had drinks and talked about the experience and had a very good heart to heart. She’s a bit of the strong-willed, free-spirited type so she plays these exams off like they’re not that serious, but as the night went on and the drinks went down and I described to her my feelings on the extremely intimate nature of these exams it led to her crying and admitting as much. It told me that I’m not crazy and that her seemingly cavalier exterior on them was a façade; likely predicated on years of being told by the health care system that they were a necessity. I’m a very fair and open-minded person, so I see both sides of the argument. For one, men performing these exams are trained professionals with years of medical training. The exams themselves are medical procedures and they are not at all sexy in nature. In doing a good amount of Google research on the issue the vast majority of the articles say that these procedures are ‘normal’ and that doctors (men or women) are highly professional. I even asked male friends of mine and they skirted them as ‘just medical procedures’ and ‘no big deal.’ Well… here’s my feeling on it. The woman that I love is expected to remove all of her clothes and have a man who is a complete stranger inspect her entire body… aggressively seeing and touching her breasts and then placing his fingers (and tools) into the deepest, most intimate part of her body. The same place which is supposed to be special for the two of us… the same place where a child of ours would come out of (should we choose to do that). The thought of a man doing this to my partner is the single most disturbing and painful thing I can think of. Being a man, I am highly cognizant of how men’s brains work. We cannot separate sex from almost anything. If we see a beautiful woman naked, we notice. It’s not something you can just turn off. I do not believe that a straight male doctor can just ‘turn off’ that he notices someone is attractive when he’s examining their most private of areas. My partner is strikingly beautiful… her body is in perfect shape. There is absolutely no way a male gynecologist isn’t going to know that and take some disturbing pleasure out of examining her. So, here I am days later and it still bothers me. I am still losing sleep and I still am having problems focusing at work. She is currently done with her exam for the next year and when she does go back next year it should be the same female doctor again. So, I should theoretically be at ease… yet, these toxic thought patterns have continued. Her past preference for male doctors and a system that tells us that ‘it’s perfectly normal’ leads me to believe that she may see one again at some point and I can’t tell everyone how painful that would be. She’s aware of how I feel about it, but I’ve found that you can’t control other people no matter how close you are to them and that ultimately what they want to do is what will be long term. I don’t know if how I feel is right or wrong, but I can say that if it makes me feel so strongly I’m sure I can’t be the only one out there. So, I hope this helps someone out there and anyone’s comments on my feelings are welcome.

    • Shelli says:

      Sir, I do not know you, nor your name. But I love you. “Medical” is a concept – that is all. It is a word that lives in our respective noodles and means nothing. It is a concept. “Years of training” (years of sexual predation) means nothing. And u hit the nail on the head that it is 100% abnormal for a man to want to spend his career ogling and feeling up women. It may be normal to FANTASIZE about such a thing. But to actually do it is crossing a line. As you we’ll know, oredarionis not about looks, or beautiful women. It is about power. Predators prey on children, even. I was raped by a doctor at age one. He’s dead now, and hopefully burning in hell If there is such a thing. The medical industry is a legal loophole – a legal conduit – for criminals and sexual predators to act out. Why does your GF see a gyn to begin with? It is the male paradigm and the male controlled media that screams at women night and say to tell them that the mere state of being a female is a risk – and therefore, she need her goods routinely monitored and stared at and felt up. She needs gyno “checkups”. Effin bollocks. The number one cause of death in women is heart disease. Female reproductive cancers didn’t even crack the top 10, and way down in the double digits. Just research credible sources like the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. As for “But it’s a woman doctor” —— sigh. Who the eff do u think educated these women and told them that the field of gyno was even a thing? Our dominant white male paradigm culture. That’s who. Getting fingered by a female doc is as bad as a male doc. Ok done with my rant. Sir, your concerns are valid.

    • linda says:

      Hi Anon. Welcome to the site. So glad you found us. May I suggest you direct your girlfriend here. She can see for herself what other women feel about these intimate procedures. Perhaps if she reads the articles and comments she will begin to doubt the validity of these exam. No healthy woman needs to have these exams – they are unnecessary and useless. Try holding two fingers together and tell me exactly what it is they think they are going to find by doing this. It is disrespectful and harmful to women and a product left over from the Victorian era.

  65. Baylie Nebehay says:

    I found this when I was searching for others who felt the same. I was having a panic attack just thinking about scheduling my next one and it helps to know I’m not the only one. I have major anxiety and bipolar disorder so panic attacks are not strange to me but I’ve never had one about a doctor’s visit.

    • Shelli says:

      Hi Baylie – I’m past 50 and have given up this Gyn crap a long time ago. If you look at causes of death in females, number one throughout most of the world (excluding subSaharan Africa – still communicable disease/HIV), it is heart disease. It kills 1 in 3 (some stats say 1 in 4.) Gyn cancers, including cervical, rank way the hell down in the double digits. Getting women to go thru this is just systemic oppression of females. Even having a female doc makes no difference – who taught them this crap in Med school? White males!! I don’t advocate ignoring sysmptoms, or a strong family history. But to just routinely go through this? Forget it. Uterine and ovarian cancers can’t be detected by routine exams, and the cause of cervical – the HPV virus – is sexually transmitted. Just use condoms, like for any safe sex. I don’t know where you live – I’m in the US. But I hear that young women in the UK get some gross “invitation” letter to get screened. Just throw the damned thing away or line your cat’s litter box with it. You don’t need to do this, Baylor. Please breathe, give your mind a rest, and be at peace (I also suffer intense anxiety.) you will be ok!

    • If you don’t want a exam, don’t have one. Women live perfectly happy and long lives without pelvic exams. If you have symptoms then as Shelli said, that’s different but if you are fit and well give the exam a miss if you want to.

      I appreciate it can be tough when facing pressure but focus and be firm. Deep breaths and if you need to leave the doctors office, do so. It’s your body and your absolutely right to make decisions.

  66. J says:

    When I was around 6 years old, a doctor had my MOM touch my genitals (without gloves, by the way) while he examined my vulva. He didn’t even explain to me why he was doing the exam. My older brother was also in the room. I don’t remember how long it was, but it was long enough for me to look at my brother and wonder why he was still there. To make matters worse, when my distrust of doctors manifested in all kinds of ways as an older kid, teen, and adult, my mom always got mad at me. When I had some other legitimately bad experiences with doctors, she would make excuses for them. My mom. Who had been the one to touch my genitals. She was also emotionally abusive in many other discrete ways that didn’t appear abusive to other people, so I just see this as an extension of that. From my perspective, this is another way my mom got away with abusing me. It doesn’t help that she is extremely intrusive in general.

    For a long time afterwards, and still some now, doctor’s appointments destroyed my self-worth. Even quick ones like strep tests. I never knew why until recently when the Me Too movement and the Nassar sentencing made this trauma re-surface (which, actually, was probably for the best).

    Everyone always talks about whether the exam was “legitimate” or whether someone “misunderstood” the exam. I don’t understand why people think that by itself makes any difference to a six-year-old girl. He could have explained things, and had a nurse or someone else help him (and with some freaking gloves), and then things would probably have been different, although I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t have been traumatized. But his intentions? That does not matter to me hardly at all. Doctors are responsible for making sure their patients don’t misunderstand the exam. If a patient misunderstood, the doctor made a mistake. Whenever I read something written by a sexual abuse survivor, the aftermath is nearly identical to what I’m experiencing. I fail to see why it matters what the original intent of the doctor was. Either way, he seriously messed me up, and because of the similarities, I am inclined to call what he and my mom did to me sexual abuse.

    Eventually, I actually do want to get tests recommended by actual evidence, IF my trauma allows it. I will take no shit from doctors and only get the tests I want. And actually, I have found that most of the doctors I’ve come across have been respectful. My mom had me believing that my bad doctor experiences (since the original incident) were just things I had to deal with from doctors, but actually, that’s not true.

    • Shelli says:

      Hi J – I’m glad you wrote, and I’m guessing that it probably wasn’t easy to do so. I have no clue why a “doctor” would be going after your genitalia when you were 6, or why your mother helped him out. If you feel that you have been abused and assaulted, you were. I’m willing to bet that your mother was sexually abused and she was doing some weird acting out. From the way you describe her defensiveness later in your life, it would appear that she never sought help. I was brutally raped by a doctor as a small child. With my mother in the room. Why she didn’t put a stop to it I’ll never know. She’s gone now. I will never ever give details to anyone, not even a therapist. I’ve spoken of it in general terms to therapists. It is my opinion that docs who engage in routine molesting of women are also themselves acting out. Avoid them. You don’t need private parts of your body ogled and poked. 100% unnecessary. Trust yourself. Trust your intuition. Maybe therapy would be helpful to you, so that you can find some peace, and self love. Please be kind to yourself. You did nothing wrong, you didn’t deserve that. ❤️

      • J says:

        Thanks. My mother did have a strained relationship with her mother, but I don’t know much beyond that. I will never talk to her about this because she doesn’t seem to think my feelings matter and she has often made excuses for doctors and people who have sexually harassed me.

        I have considered seeking therapy. Maybe some PTSD-specific therapy would help.

    • linda says:

      Hi J. I hope you are able to heal from that terrible experience. Don’t dwell on it and move forward. Never allow a doctor near you again unless you expressly want to.

      I don’t think doctors realise the harm they do to women and girls. Mostly I don’t think they care. Stay away from them. Try to use natural remedies and I don’t mean the crap they sell in Holland and Barrett I mean real research on the internet. Be your own doctor. or if you are ill and concerned try a wait and see policy. Sometimes symptoms mysteriously clear them selves after a few days.

      Never see a male doctor and even if you see a female one don’t submit to anything you don’t want.

      Every story told here that highlights the dangers of seeing doctors helps other women.

      • J says:

        Thank you. The worst part is that my mom is still in my life, still being really intrusive and manipulative. She still tries to control my medical care any way she can. Even if she knows I’m listening to my doctor she tries to worm her way in there and control some part of it, like deciding I need to take my medication with food even though the doctor didn’t say that. It really re-traumatizes me to see her and have her try and push herself on me so much, both medically and in other aspects, and I don’t know what to do. It’s hard to move on from this when she’s still doing a lot of the things that made the first experience so traumatic.

        I’ve never been sexually active, which my doctor says means I don’t need a pap smear. They say the official recommendation is because they don’t believe women who say they’ve never been sexually active. I don’t know of any other case where the official recommendations of a screening are based on not believing a patient. I would like to have an honest conversation about my risks for tests like this, but if I can’t trust them to believe what I’m telling them, I don’t think that’s even possible.

      • Shelli says:

        J, Are you still living with your mother? And can that be changed? If that is not possible at the present time, it sounds like practicing some boundary setting with your mother is in order. You can certainly go to a doctor alone, and take your meds on your own. Your mother doesn’t need to know anything. If she starts prying, Just practice saying “My body my boundaries.” Then walk away. Of course she’ll likely get mad. That’s fine. Let her. Leave the house if necessary. She is trying to be controlling. As far as the whole pap thing – HPV is sexually transmitted. Are per chance in UK where they send you this gross obnoxious letter “inviting” you to get molested? Use the damn thing to clean up dog crap. When you do decide to get sexually active, use condoms. In fact I think all women should carry them. You will be fine. Unless you are bleeeding abnormally, or have persistent pelvic pain that won’t go away, you don’t need to see a gyn. The fils exists only to make money by scaring women, and it is systemic oppression of women. Please don’t ever regard a doc as an authority figure. They are only a consultant, and they work for YOU. You are the client and you call the shots. You never have to do what the doc tells you to do. You never have to take off your clothing or let them look at or touch intimate body parts. You have the right and the power to say no. You have the right to call the police if they start touching you without your permission. Cervical cancer is way the heck down in the double digits in terms of causes of death in woman. Heart disease is number one. I only see a cardio and a dermatologist. Forget the gyn crap. Cervical is rare, although docs don’t want you to know that. But in the mean time, please set boundaries with your mother. She sounds like a very troubled woman.

      • J says:

        I’m not still living with my mother, but she lives in the same city, and that’s enough. I’v tried to set boundaries for years, but she doesn’t respect boundaries (from anyone, but least of all me). Whenever I set boundaries, she just breaks them and makes excuses for herself. I’m careful not to tell her or anyone else who might tell her where I’m going to be because she’s the kind of person who would just show up there to see me and seeing her triggers the PTSD from the original incident. I want to stay connected with the rest of my family, but unfortunately she comes with that and it’s really hard to be constantly triggered.

      • Shelli says:

        I understand, J. I 100 % believe everything you say, and I completely validate how stressful and painful those memories of abuse are for you. I’m glad that at least you aren’t living with your mother. If she never respects anyone’s boundaries, it’s because no one ever modeled for her what that looked like. Her own boundaries were violated and she is acting out. It’s odd to me that some people who were abused act out (like your mom) and others – like you, me, many women on this site – know that what they experienced was wrong, and do not repeat it. I haven’t figured out why some do, some don’t. I guess you could always go the nuclear option and the next time she gets inappropriate with you, and asks intrusive questions about your body and dr visits, just say, “So Mom, how is your vagina doing these days?” I have a very twisted sense of sick humor, maybe from having to defend myself from having my boundaries violated for so long. Perhaps that would shut your mother up?

  67. Anonymous says:

    Hey everyone,

    Anonymous here. I haven’t posted anything since the first one a few months ago, but I’ve checked up on this website a number of times and I’ve done a great deal more reading on this subject over the course of that time. Interestingly enough, the course of time has done little to ease the negative emotions I feel toward these ‘examinations’. If anything, my feelings have grown exponentially stronger. I’m still seeing my lovely (yet headstrong) 34 year old lady and am now living under the same roof. I’m sure marriage is likely to follow here soon. To this date (hell, as early as this morning) the mental image of her in a doctor’s office with her legs spread open with a doctor standing over her sticking his f***** fingers inside of her lingers in my thoughts and deeply disturbs me almost beyond rational comprehension. No one… no man, no woman, no doctor, not the f**** Pope himself has any right to make blatant sexual contact with my partner in that capacity for almost any reason as far as I’m concerned. At least, certainly not for a ‘routine’ examination on an otherwise healthy person. In my readings I’ve gone from what I would say ‘uncomfortable’ with the thought of these exams to now classifying them as nothing more than plain and simple rape on a mass scale sanctioned by our very government under the disgusting guise of a ‘medical procedure’. They are archaic, inhuman, and deeply hurtful to the people who are subject to them. As a man, I can recall only once having a very brief and non-invasive exam as preteen of my genitals. It took all of thirty seconds, but I still remember it. I’ve never had one since. If men were subject to the same ridiculous belief that their privates had to be invasively investigated on a yearly basis the practice would have been discontinued many, many years ago.

    Merriam-Webster defines ‘Rape’ as the following: ‘Unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person’s will or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception.’ In 2014, the American College of Physicians made the recommendation that routine pelvic exams were deemed unnecessary for otherwise healthy, non-pregnant women on the basis that there is no empirical evidence to support that they have any health benefit whatsoever. Simply reading the definition of rape and comparing it to this recommendation one could draw no other logical conclusion that these examinations do in fact constitute rape. Imagine a young girl’s first scheduled pelvic examination where she is instructed by the medical staff that this is a ‘requirement’ for her and that her health is in jeopardy if she does not comply with it, which at this point goes completely against what a major medical body has made recommendations for. This definition distinctly states that ‘deception’ is grounds for rape, not to mention ‘threat of injury.’ One could make a strong argument that a doctor telling their patient that they need to have the examination for fear of cancer is in fact threatening them with injury if they do not comply. Of course if the patient is under the age of 18, then the clause referring to ‘consent beneath a certain age’ also applies. The examination itself does not include intercourse, but it DOES include the completely disgusting bimanual exam which a portion of the doctor’s body is literally inserted into the patients sexual organ. (Just writing this literally makes my skin crawl).

    Aside from these findings, I’ve discovered a few other things of note. First, there’s the disturbing practice where GROUPS of medical students perform these examinations on unconscious patients in the hospital who are there for completely unrelated procedures. This is wrong on SO MANY LEVELS… difficult to wrap my head on that. The Washington Post reported on this way back in 2003 (Google it). This practice is likely still happening… women out there please mandate to your doctors before any procedures where you’re put under that you explicitly do not want this done to you. I read about a medical school in California that was sued by two female students that were mandated by their professor that they undergo pelvic exams by fellow classmates in order to pass the class. (I’m not even sure what to say about that so I’ll just leave it there…). I’ve read numerous comment boards where completely out of touch doctors belittle and degrade real people’s (and in some cases other doctor’s) stance against these outrageous procedures, and the list goes on…

    Personally, my partner is still under the delusion that these routine ‘examinations’ are necessary for her health. She has a female doctor who she likes. She’s supposed to be back for her yearly visit early next year… which thrills me. I’m going to do what I can to educate her and change her way of thinking, but ultimately the choice is up to her. I can (sort of) stomach this if it’s another woman doing it, just for the sheer fact that you can *mostly* eliminate any sexual impropriety, but I still really, really don’t like it. I have explicitly told her that I am not okay with her seeing another male gynecologist at any point. She’s been okay with this (so far, anyway). When you marry someone, you’re supposed to be faithful to that person. That’s what marriage is. There’s no clause for faithful to my partner *except for the gynecologist who sticks their fingers inside me*. That’s not a thing… So, I’ll try to hang in there and hopefully the nightmares go away at some point.

    Sincerely,

    Anonymous

    • Shelli says:

      Hey Anonymous – I am very pleased to see a man who is 1) so caring of hisbride to be; and 2) aware of the load of horse manure that is “the pelvic exam.” Everyone on this site knows that it’s entire genesis was racism ( pioneer Marion Sims is the “Father of gynecology” and practiced his disgusting craft on enslaved women) and the institution has remained as nothing other than systemic oppression of females. The real issue here is that the medical industrial complex has been elevated in our culture to a position of “honor and prestige” – that those in medicine are beyond approach. Thus we never question what they do. This reminds me so much of organized religion and the Catholic Church (I am a Catholic, albeit a bad one.) People have argued for years that pedophilia could be reduced if priests were allowed to marry. This implies that a priest’s lifestyle causes him to act out and abuse children. Bullshit. Mentally ill pedophiles are in fact attracted to the priesthood precisely because it enables them to get up and personal with children without being questioned. And so it with doctors, especially those who harm children and assault women. They are sex offenders who choose the medical profession because it is ripe with subjects for them to act out their mental illness on. And no one questions it. The doctor as the all-knowing professional and the “need for checkups” is a part of our collective culture. I am very grateful that I have “kicked the habit.” Maybe it was due to my own training and career as a scientist and I knew too much. But most people in our society are still under the spell of the DOCTOR AS AUTHORITY. I had to embark on my own journey to get to where I am now, that being a woman who 100% understands that the field of GYN is a disgusting holdover from the days of systemically oppressing and harassing females, including females of color. As for female docs – lol – just who do people think they learned this crap from? Old white men. These docs may be smart women, but they are not women who feel empowered. Thus they propagate this idiocy. So Anonymous – I would respectfully advise you to just leave your wife-to-be alone. Drop the subject. Forever. She will have to come to her own decision about having her body invaded. The more you bug – even if well meaning – the more she will resist. Let it go. This is hers to deal with, not yours.

  68. Tiffany says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been severely traumatized from a series of gyno exams over some years, that I thought I could trust the Dr and facility I was going to. Thinking I was doing the ‘right thing’ for my health. I finally woke up when I realized I was being manipulated and eventually realized I’d been traumatized in my emotional and psychological connection with my body. All my personal power was taken away, by a woman Dr no less. I’ve thought this practice is barbaric for years since then. I’ve also developed a big distrust for the medical profession in general now. I’m generally a very healthy person. I work to take best care of myself physically and emotionally. My experience comes from that history of peak health. Imagine what it would have been like if I wasn’t.

    That manipulation wasn’t isolated to this Dr, very sadly I’ve had most Drs behave in this manner one way or another. Manipulation or ignore the patient and get paid. These Drs and medical community at large should be ashamed of themselves.

    I’m so relieved to find women and even men standing up to this barbaric practice. Its deplorable the harm that it does emotionally and psychologically, all the while instilling immense fear into the women they examen. Potentially making even more women have distrust and even hate their bodies. That’s not ok.

    • Shelli says:

      Hi Tiffany, I’m glad you found this site. I gave up this BS a long time ago. Even female doctors have been educated in a dominant white male paradigm, that is patriarchal. They don’t know any better (not an excuse, just an explanation.) 4000 Women a year die in the US of cervical cancer. Sound like a lot? To put that in perspective, use your calculator to divide 4000 by 150 million (female population of the US;) it’s about 4 in 100,000. Minute. 20,000-30,000 women per year die of pancreatic cancer. Where are all the campaigns to get our pancreases evaluated yearly? One in three women die of heart disease. It is the biggest killer of women. Where are all the campaigns to get our hearts evaluated yearly? (That I do, as heart disease runs in my family.) But instead, we are yelled at to spread our legs and get instruments rammed up our bodies for the sake of “caring for our health.” Contrary to what the medical industry wants us to believe, our reproductive organs are NOT just hanging out down there waiting to kill us 😂😂😂. They don’t require annual monitoring (for what???) Routine pelvic exams are one of the biggest scams ever perpetuated by the medical industrial complex. Systemic oppression of women. That is all it is. You don’t need this. Might one of us get cervical cancer? Maybe. But one of us has a greater chance of dying of pancreatic cancer. God knows our biggest fear should be heart disease. I do get my heart monitored. Makes sense for me. I don’t get my pancreas monitored. And I’m sure as hell NOT getting intimate parts of my body monitored. I think we just need to take some deep breaths, Stop worrying, and get on with our lives. Something is going to end our lives, but cervical cancer isn’t likely to be the cause – 4 in 100,000 chance. It’s all about just being rational. Research the numbers yourself. That way, if some idiot doc tries to use scare tactics on you, don’t argue with them, just say “Thank you for your concern. I’m good.” Repeat calmly, as many times as you need to get them to back off. Don’t argue – don’t bring out the numbers that you research – that data is purely to reassure yourself. Do the research for you. But don’t let a doc harass you. Just use that “Broken Record” technique described above. Eventually, the doc will get the message that you aren’t going to budge, and they’ll give up. In fact, don’t ever take your clothes off in a dr. Office, unless it’s necessary for them to view an area troubling you (hip pain from running, etc.) No matter what you’re told, don’t undress. There is no need. If you need blood or urine tests, that’s just lab work. You do have the power to maintain your control. You set the rules. Your body, your boundaries. Your rules. So claim your body, Tiffany. Claim your power. Claim your ability to make your own informed decisions. And don’t forget – with the medical field, it’s your money. And if you are in a country with socialized medicine – it’s still your money. You pay hefty taxes, right? Your money pays the doc. Take care. You’ll be fine.

  69. Kinn says:

    Nearly 2 weeks ago I had this exam. I am so depressed and anxious that I went through with it. Literally the worst decision of my life! I have had such suffering since then, not sleeping, not enjoying life. I am not a sexual person, never even put a tampon in. I didn’t think I would care. After all, the doctor is supposed to be a knowing person who has their reasons, and I declined for years, so I thought “ok ill do it once, since the doctors always bring it up/ plus they are so casual about it it must not be so bad”.It hurt. I feel violated and uncomfortable in my body. It sucks. I haven’t slept normally since it happened and am worried about my mental health. I need to get over this to not be a traumatized person! I even went to a therapist at the hospital about it (also saw the doctor again and she seemed sympathetic. I had a muscle spasm. Didnt complete the test but “opened me up” down there like never before.) Therapist says “it happened. you’re changed (my biggest fear), do deep breathing exercises.”

    I definitely don’t trust doctors that much anymore or put them in higher authority. I only went to the doctor for a health checkup and vaccines in the first place on my families’ wishes. Now I feel bad about myself. I was definitely ignorant about this before having it done. Never again, but sadly it already happened once.

  70. Shelli says:

    Kinn, I am so sorry that this happened to you. I have a few thoughts. First off, your body is not your family’s business. Your body belongs to you, and is private. You claim the sole power over your body. Also, that therapist at the hospital has her interests in keeping the med staff out of trouble, and not serving you. Please research other therapists, and try to see one that specializes in sexual assault. Because that is what you experienced. I have some very dogmatic views about the medical institution; it is patriarchal, and does not serve women; rather it oppresses women. Even female doctors were educated in a male dominant patriarchy. Its all they know. Kinn I would strongly suggest that if you have the time to do so, that you do a lot of research on your own (or spend time on this site. A lot of women who have chimed in have done a lot of research, and have written a lot of statistics on here.) Although the medical industry wants women to think that our private body parts are just hanging out down there waiting to make us sick, or kill us, any minute now, that is plain flat untrue. Pelvic exams do not detect the most deadly forms of reproductive cancer in women – ovarian and uterine. All they can detect is cervical. And cervical cancer is rare. About 1 in 100,000 women will die of cervical cancer. 1 in 3 will die of heart disease. See the difference? So why do they encourage women to spread their legs? Why do you think? What is more powerful than ordering a woman to spread her legs? And it is a money maker! There is money to be made off of scaring women. I would like to make one more point: food for thought. Not long ago I read that medical authorities think the incidence of cervical cancer is down due to pap testing. Therefore, women should get pap tests!! Bullshit. Aggressive campaigns for getting tested began in the 80s. Follow me here: What else was going on in the 80’s, ladies? The HIV epidemic and the campaign for safe sex. Condoms have been more widely used (except in the drug-abusing population) since the 80’s. Since cervical cancer is caused by HPV, which is sexually transmitted, condoms have played a huge role in preventing the spread of HPV, not the damned pap tests. Any research needs to look at the timeline and environment in which the research was done. As for cervical being an “old lady disease,” lets look at the context of this too. When were ladies older than 85 born? And when they reached their teens and 20’s and married, what was going on in the 40’s? A really big event that had many of our young men overseas: WWII. A lot of soldiers were hitting up the red light districts and bringing HPV home to granny. Its history. RME… Anyway, do your own research. I have found my numbers from the Center for Disease Control (CDC.org) and the World Health Organization (WHO). And a lot of other medical studies. Research isn’t complicated. We owe it to ourselves to do research, understand that we aren’t on the verge of dying, that cervical cancer is very unlikely to make us sick or kill us, and that we are all going to be OK. We have the power to disrupt the gyn industry. With love to all, Shelli

    • Judy says:

      Shelli besides the excellent points you made about hpv and cervical cancer
      in history, another factor that has decreased the incidence is that far fewer women are smoking now than in past decades. Smoking is a risk factor for this disease. In fact I would argue that this is what has caused the decline rather than pap smears (though cervical cancer had aways been rare).

      • Shelli says:

        Wow – I didn’t even think of the smoking angle! You are 100% right!
        It’s going to be OK, everyone. It really is. If we have abnormal symptoms or some such, then we can consider getting a medical consult. But routine monitoring for something very unlikely to happen – I think we can reasonably set ourselves free of this. As for all the campaigns and ads trying to get us to submit to this nasty invasiveness, just stick in your ear plugs, listen to your favorite music, and think happy thoughts! Love, Shelli

      • adawells says:

        Your comments reminded me of some research that was done in the UK in the 1970’s on what male occupations caused wives to get the most cervical cancer. The most common occupation (by a long way) to cause cervical cancer in wives was being a coal miner. The soot dust creeps into every crevice in the body and even after washing small remnants remain in skin folds, which can be passed to wives at home. I think the closure of the coal mines in the UK has played a part in the reduction of this disease, but even today, cervical cancer is more prevalent in former coal mining regions in the UK, but they often tend to be the poorest as well. The 2nd most risky occupation to result in cervical cancer was building and construction – again a very dusty occupation, but now much cleaner nowadays. I posted a recent link a while back that researched whether the agents used in dry cleaning were also linked to cervical cancer, but I don’t think the research confirmed a link. There was almost no cervical cancer from men in white collar jobs. Also, better housing, hygiene and indoor bathrooms must have contributed.

  71. Jolee L. says:

    YES. I had my first pap smear when I was 15… or attempted to. It was the one my mom”s best friend went to… my period was all out of wack, so needed to do something. Walked in, basically told to strip below the waist immediately. When they got me on the table I was screaming and crying, telling her not to look, to stop… and they couldn’t even do anything in the end. I’m absolutely scared to death now. I know I have a high chance for cancer in my family, but I can’t bring myself to let the doctor I have talked to and trust to do it, all because of that. I’m also not even sexually active now, partially (I think) because of it all… and I’m 24 now. It also didn’t help that when I finally talked about it, I said I felt like I had been molested/assaulted… and was immediately told that that was an insult to people who had been molested/assalted…. and the worst part was I had 2 adults with me for it…. and they let it happen.

    • Shelli says:

      Jolee, I am so sorry that this happened to you. That whole “man-made” exam does feel like a sexual assault because that’s pretty much what it is. You weren’t imagining things. If you don’t mind my asking, what types of cancers do you feel at risk for? Which of your family members have it, and what type of cancer do they have? I ask, because the only type of cancer that can be detected via a pelvic exam is cervical. And cervical cancer is caused by the HPV virus, which is sexually transmitted. If you are not sexually active, I can assure you that you are most certainly fine. When you decide that sexual activity is a possibility for you, keep condoms with you and use them religiously. Any man who balks at that should be dumped abruptly. You might wish to be tested for the BRCA 1 and 2? It’s a blood test that can be an indicator of having a gene mutation that could possibly lead to breast or ovarian cancer. As for family refusing to help you when you were in such distress, sadly, there is a large contingent of brainwashed women out there who really believe that they need to spread their legs and allow a “doctor” to ogle them and touch them. It is a tragic. And it’s tragic that these women think they are doing the right thing by subjecting their daughters to this. It’s simple ignorance and lack of education. Something else that I can recommend you do, is start doing online research. There are many credible sources, such as the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. Look up rates of reproductive cancers in women. Look up cervical, uterine, ovarian, etc. You will find that these cancers are rare. The medical Industrial complex wants you to believe that reproductive cancers lurk around every corner. It’s a money maker and it keeps women oppressed. But these cancers are rare. You are much more likely to fall
      Victim to heart disease or pancreatic cancer. About 4 women in 100,000 will die of cervical cancer. One in three will die of heart disease. At age 24, you are a grown woman, 100% in charge of your own body. If you are in the UK and get those obnoxious letters “inviting” you to spread your legs, throw them in the trash and get on with your life. Ignore them. Just focus on keeping yourself fit and healthy. And know your own body. If you have weird symptoms, that would be a good reason to consult with a female specialist. I will add that being a teenager and having messed up periods is not a medical issue. It’s within the range of normal. I had the same problem. Most female teens do. It was annoying and caused me pain at times, but it was normal. So don’t worry, do your own research, and set your mind at ease. You will be OK. ❤️

  72. Rose Dalstenne says:

    I remember years back (1984) after having my daughter with a review (post natal) and the female doctor instead of asking demanded I remove my clothing for a smear I told her no I am still sore and bleeding (a large baby) and she told me if I didn’t consent that I would die a horrible death from cancer. I being half greek half yorkshire lassie, gave her verbally what for. and walked out. fast foreward to about 9 years ago I had to go to gp as I was having problems with tiredness and saw a male gp there who was absolutly lovely and diagnosed an underactive thyroid without even mentioning smear tests at all. I also suffer from an extreme case of needle phobia which he understood also and did a fingerprick test for this. as blood tests send me into an extremely violent panic attack. I returned a week later but this lovely doctor was not available and had to see this woman again. I remembered what she said all those years ago but thaught maybe just maybe she wont start again. How wrong I was. Allk I was in there for was the results of the test to get the right dose of tablets for the thyroid, but she was only interested in getting my clothes off for a smear. We had to remind her what I was there for. Once again told me I would die horribly from cancer if I did not concent. Nasty bitch (excuse me my blood boils) I declined again several times firmly and the look on her face said it all, she lost and hated it. Thankfully I moved away and registed with a new gp as i was now out oif the catchment area. Registered with this gp and guess what once again was told I have to have a smear. I again firrmly told them I do not concent to intimate exams and to also note I cannot have blood tests due to phobias which can be dangerous. All went swimmingly and had a nice lady doctor who understood never asked for smears etc. shame she left to have a baby. I was passed over to another doctor who was again when a review came up and despite being told several times over the phone and in person the reasons blood tests and smears were to be avoided. he did not even read the notes and tried bullying me which ended up with me going into an extreme panic attack. This was reported to the GMC and was told that they should not push. It came to a head this year when in my yearly review I spoke to another dr who was fine with this even though I had to push her not to even menion smear tests which she acknowledged. done and dusted for another year OR SO I THAUGHT.
    telephone rang. Was a receptionist as I found out. telling me she was going to make an appointment for blood tests and smear tried to tell her NO but she was so bloody determined I ended up screaming at her over the phone NO NO NO she hung up on me eventually. I put a complaint in writing to the practice manager about this to guess what to be de registered excuse relationship broke down and I am now in a very bad possition of ot having a gp at all and no thyroid medication why because I refuse to spead my legs AND BE ABUSED.

  73. adawells says:

    Rose this is so wrong what happened to you. You have the right to request that your name be removed from the cervical screening register, by filling in a form at your GP surgery. As well as your legal right, the new cervical screening leaflets have the website address giving you information on how to opt out. It is illegal for anyone to force you to have a smear test, and it is quite wrong for someone to tell you and treat you as though you have no choice. My own GP surgery was just the same, and a smear test was forced on me against my will at a postnatal assessment. I only wished I’d had your Greek and Yorkshire genes to have given them a mouthful at the time, but I didn’t. These GP bullies need to be reported and shamed. I’m sorry to say, that most of them seem to be women GPs. Please do as the rest of us UK ladies have done on here, and get yourself removed from the register. You can then have access to the NHS health service without these thugs harrassing you https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opting-out-of-the-nhs-population-screening-programmes/opting-out-of-screening

    • Shelli says:

      I am very concerned about laws in the UK. I hope someone can answer. I have read more than one UK woman on this site describe being forced to get a Pap test. This sickens me. How exactly does the act of forcing occur?

      • linda says:

        Hi Shelli

        First, they lie by saying you can’t have the pill if you don’t have a smear.

        Second, they will tell you they can no longer be your gp and you will have to find another.

        Third, the receptionist or practice nurse will ring you at home and tell you an app has been made for you. In the past practice nurses would come round to your house.

        Fourth, the so called ‘invites’ that come in the post every three years are written in such a manner that it appears you have no choice but to book one.

        Fifth, when you go the docs say for a headache the doc will say he will do your smear before he listens to whats wrong with you.

        Its all very sinister the way its been done. Most women in this country believe they have no chouce and they are mandatory. Its all clever psyche really.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Shelli,
        Kat and Linda have explained this exactly how it is. It’s psychological forcing, by withholding medicines, threatening to remove you from their lists, which they can do, if you don’t comply with their demands. You are really at their mercy. As Kat said, before the days of social media and the internet women were non the wiser. You’d be told you were the only one causing trouble, no-one else was refusing, and that if you were to have a smear test now, they’d leave you alone for another 3 years. Many gave in to these demands, as though they were groomers and blackmailers. What turned pleasant doctors to do this, was the incentive payment scheme the government brought in about 1990. Doctors literally got a bounty payment on our vaginas. If the doctors screened 80% of the women on their list they got a financial bonus of a few thousand £££. You can imagine if you were a doctor, and only 79% of your female patients had screened. With only a few women in your way to achieving the cash prize, that’s what turned many of them into bullies, and they would chase and harass these women to force them in to have a pap smear test under any pretext. There must have been loads of complaints (we never see any on websites) because the government has now changed this to a stepped incentive scheme rather than a one off payment for 80%.

      • adawells says:

        I forgot to add too that, if you went and got yourself another GP at another practice, the registration form asks for your last smear test date, and it was part of the registration process to have a smear test. So you were well and truly cornered into having it, or no
        access to healthcare at all. This has only recently changed, and the form no longer has this on, but at my surgery a brief medical assessment is required for all new registrations. It is very “big brother” and women are told this is liberating and what women want.

  74. Rose Dalstenne says:

    shelli, The gp’s use coercion and fear mongering to get you to comply, most women are so scared that they just give in and spead em. Gp’s over here sre given financial incentives to hit smear targets and will do anything to get thier bonuses.

    Ada I have opted out but they still try and get you to change you mind, same as opting out of mammograms. I did say to this gp I complained about at the surgery I had been registed with if I grabbed his testicles and squashed them between 2 metal plates then forced a spectlum in his japs eye how he would feel, he replyed would not happen, I told him why would then they do this to us because we are girls. He had no answer. Its nothing to do with health but money lord forbid if we don’t get our boobs squashed or let them violate our lady gardens they can’t buy thier ferraris or go to exotic holidays.

    They just don’t realise that the damage these smears do especially when pregnant in the early stages cause mental and physical damage. I myslef now because of all the coersion and bullying have stopped all physical contact with my husband and all I see when closing my eyes is not my beloved but him holding the torture device with a demonic look in his eye. My daughter who had gyno problems wanted a baby and was told that it would be hard to conceive did fall pregnant and was told by the docotor in the early stages she needed a smear. guess what she lost her baby at 10 weeks. she luckily fell again at the grand old age of 34 but the smears did thier damage. She did not find out she was pregnant until 23 weeks , and did have albeit a preemie little girl at 32 weeks . doing so well now at 4 months old and is an absolute treasure. Even though she had to have a c section she told me at the post natal she had to have a smear. this time she followed in my steps and told them in a most impolite manner to go forth and multiply.

    This opting out scheme just does not work and instead as so many many people say should be opt in.

    I am going through the NHS obudsman for the bullying aspect of the gp at the mo but the surgery are playing stalling tactics by refusing to send a final response so the obudsman can move on.

    • Shelli says:

      My God – this constitutes sexual harassment. I personally am such a jerk (I say that with a bit of pride) that I think I’d say something like “I know you want your bonus for your (Holiday, Porsch, sending your kid to Oxford, etc) but you will need to get it from someone else.” Are the women of UK alright with this?? I’m shocked that there hasn’t been some broader scale campaign by the women of UK to shut down the coercion, even if someone chooses to go thru with gyn exams for their own personal reasons. I know for pregnancy and post partum, it’s hard to avoid being diddled down there, but for routine checks with docs, I no longer undress. Ever. I’ll wear a light weight blouse so they can listen to my heart and lungs through it, but I do not remove clothing. I have found that it is much easier to maintain your power to say no with your clothes on. The most important data is blood and urine work from the lab, so all I want is my lab orders. I am so sorry this crap goes on. I am infuriated!

      • katrehman says:

        Shelli I think now the tide is turning for British women. I’m sure ever since the programme was introduced there were those who didn’t want to participate. Initially we were given very little useful info about the test just it saves lives get it done. We weren’t told there were no RCT trials done. Then it was linked to GP incentives. We were never asked if we wanted to be enrolled on it or how to opt off. Pre internet very few of us could look for info or research it. Pre Internet we couldn’t even talk as we are right now. If a woman raised concerns she was told….you’re very odd. Other women don’t have these concerns. What’s wrong with you? Grow up you’ve got nothing special . We see vaginas every day. All women have to have these tests. OK no pill/ inhalers/ diabetes med till you smear. No smear you have to leave the practice.
        The invitation letters were printed red inked like final bill demands making women feel they were compulsory. The constant badgering by phone and appointments for unrelated issues wore other women down. The fear of being denied meds or having no practice forced others into it. I personally was so sick of it all I took to the Internet to find out if I could stop the bullying and Linda found me on another site! She’s right it’s just so coercive.
        Now the tides turning. Odd articles appear on the news querying the value of smears, women have been told they have a right to choose not to go and aren’t going. Women are meeting on sites like this. It takes some of us a lot of courage to square up to a doctor and say NO! I’m really outspoken but it took me years to do…
        I’m not sure how we could act against the programme and close it…censorship is alive and kicking here …take the daily fail article last week, only 12 comments allowed, all pro smear. So many of us from here commented and weren’t allowed up. On the PHE blog they insist we have hoice but don’t comment when we say what happened to us on the programme. I’m hoping now fewer areally going and they’re not succeeding in forcing us back it will just curl up to die….

    • adawells says:

      Rose, I’m sorry they are pestering you still. I opted out in 2003, and every visit I make I feel they are going to try it on again, but so far, nothing. I’ve heard that even if you have opted out, some GP surgeries will remind you of your opt out anniversary in the hope of getting you to change your mind. I too was bullied when I had my children in 1990’s.

      It’s my understanding that they have now changed the rules that smear tests are not to be done during pregnancy or less than 3 months after the birth now. They claim it gives too many false results, but I bet they also cause premature births and miscarriages.

  75. katrehman says:

    Rose my blood boiled reading your account. Your doc is even ore of a screening rottweiler than mine. I opted out of smears in 2015 after refusing them for 15 years. Like you even though I’d opted out and told him he continued to push and push. You might try telling them under the data protection act it’s actually ILLEGAL to continue to harass an opted out person about screening
    and see what they do….it really is illegal!
    Also like you I opted out of mammograms and even though there’s a higher risk of breast cancer to women than cervical cancer…my refusal has never been raised!
    I’m really lucky in that now at my surgery there’s an amazing new lady doc who is really respectful of her patients so I book to see her now. Thinking of u….kat x

  76. Rose Dalstenne says:

    kat. Thank you so much xxxx
    you would think that when you say NO you mean NO and be respected for it. Last year my hubby had to go to the gp as he had a nasty chest infection to be treated and he was, with the upmost respect, chest checked and given the relevent medication, no mention of remove your pants I want to stick my finger up there for a prostate check just had his problem sorted quickly and easily.

    When I opted out of the mammogram and was still badgered I did go on to sent a very strong e mail stating that it was illegal to share data without my consent and to date not received anymore letters demanding tio screen for breasts. BUT that does not stop gp’s trying thier luck . I opted out of smear tests and with the old gp was noted on system this other GP had never even asked for my old notes from my old practice which stated this and also I suffer from extreme needle phobia . yet they will still try and bully you into it. Here in the uk you can do fingerprick tests at home for monitoring several things and we again told this gp but nope he wanted it his own way. I am now de registered without a gp as I complained (the usual relationship breakdown bullcrap they use just because you say no) I am actually to scared now to go to register to a new practice because I knoiw it will start all over again even though I have opted out and in the majority of cases de registered patients are “blacklisted” and have great difficulty in finding a new practice. The ironic thing the GP I made the complaint about has taken early retirement as I found out I was not the only one who had complained about his “bedside manner” .

    Take care all and I will update everyone when I know more about my complaints complaint (LOL)

    • Shelli says:

      “Relationship breakdown” – in the US, they write “patient non-compliant.” Damn straight! To the Medical Insustrial Complex: First, I am not a patient; I am a client. And where is it written that I have to “comply” with anything you say?! I am the client, and YOU deliver a service, just like my attorney or accountant. I consult with you, and YOU are to be “compliant” with ME and deliver the consultation service I came in for, and PAY FOR. (And in UK, the taxes you pay in turn pay your doc. They work for YOU, not the NHS.). And if I choose to reject the content of your consultation, that concerns me, not you.
      This UK coercion should be illegal. I wish I had an answer. In the states, the docs will try to make you seem “stupid” and irresponsible for not getting tested. Thankfully, my gp doesn’t even bring it up, and I don’t go to a gyn anymore. I guess if I lived in UK and was getting sexually harassed like you all describe, I would need a battle plan of sorts. First, I thank you all for educating me about how bad this harassment is. I underestimated it. Now I understand. I’m beyond infuriated. Something I have done for my own peace of mind, is I have done a great deal of research into cancer rates, cancer causes, rates of various types of cancer, and rates of death from causes unrelated to cancer, etc. Morbid subject matter indeed, but it helped me to get myself informed. I felt more in control of my body and more confident about my decisions. In a nutshell, about 4 in 100,000 women will die of cervical each year in the US. 1 in 3 women in the US will die of heart disease yearly. (I’m sure the rates are identical in UK.). An exception is in subSaharan Africa, where communicable disease kills most females. It’s true that a small tiny percent of women in the western world dies of cervical; but we all die and something is going to kill us in the end. It’s about evaluating our biggest risks. Cervical risk is minute. So that research – for your own benefit – is a first step. Check credible sources like data from the World Health Organization, or Center for Disease Control. This will help you feel confident about your decision to give up this pap testing crap. Then when you u do have to see a doc for any reason, if they badger you and try to coerce you, just sit there calmly, think happy thoughts, and don’t argue with them with your new found knowledge. That research was not for you to argue with the doc over. It’s only for your peace of mind. You could say the following:
      “I know you get paid a bonus for every test you do, but you won’t be getting one from me today. I am very sorry.” If the doc asks you questions or tries to guilt you into it, don’t engage in a conversation. Just stay calm and keep repeating that sentence above as many times as you need until the doc drops the matter. If you have to repeat that 20 times, so be it. Or you could say this:
      “I don’t fear death. Do you?” Trust me, you’ll electrocute their brains with this one. (And even if you do fear death, as most humans do, the doc doesn’t need to know that.) Again, engage in no conversation at all. Just keep calmly repeating the above. Over and over til the idiot shuts up. And if you really want to blow their brains, just say:
      “Your opinions are from the perspective of a dominant affluent white male paradigm.” You will get the biggest WTF look you ever saw in your life. And if any nurse tells you to undress, just smile and say “Thank you.” Do not remove any clothing. When the doc comes in and reprimands you for not undressing, just say “Not today, Thank you.” There are very few instances when a doc ever needs to see you undressed. Always stay dressed, your hands always on your handbag and holding your car keys. Be ready to walk out. Your best offense is a good defense. Sorry this is so long. I feel so passionately about this subject I don’t know when to shut up.
      Love, Shelli

      • Shelli says:

        I wrote that last reply before I saw the response about with holding medical care if you refused to spread your legs! That is legal?????? My God that is revolting!!!!! Legal rape! I want to cry from rage!

      • adawells says:

        Shelli, it’s not legal, but the bastards will try it on, especially with young women and vulnerable women. I’ve been there myself – you go along with it if you are afraid the doctor will pull the rug on your birth plans, withhold contraception etc.
        It’s tragic the women who post about “it’s got to be done” “women must/should”. 2 members of my family have been to university, but attend every one on call-up, they’ve never questioned the dogma, why they are having it, how much it costs the taxpayer, and I find that so sad. I have emailed them some statistics but never get a reply. It is truly dreadful that women have been brainwashed to the extent that they will put themselves through torture to keep attending their appointments.
        Most women I have spoken to believe it is mandatory, and accept any medical intervention that is put upon them with a heavy heart, but don’t ask that vital question: “what if I do nothing at all”. Some women believe that if you haven’t had a smear test, you will not be able to seek medical care. It is all nonsense, but the system is very paternalistic, and much of this paternalism is put about by women, who believe non-attenders are traitors to the feminist cause. There are efforts underway to get patients to challenge and take an equal partnership in their care. Margaret McCartney has been very good with this, with her blog and books, but surprised she is not better known. They are often voices in the wilderness sometimes, largely due to agressive marketing from charities, well financed by vested interests.

      • Shelli says:

        AdaWells – Thank you for informing me yet further. This level of aggression is dumbfounding. I’m glad there is some dissent. I wrote down Margaret McCartney’s name and intend to read her blog and books. I feel like a lone wolf here in the US. Women rage at me when I attempt to mention statistics (I’m told I’m insane and much worse.) Our entire western medical system grew out of a white male patriarchy, and women seem blind to it. You mention your uni educated female family members who accept it blindly; look at female gyns! They too have drunk the koolaid. SMDH… I am very comfortable and at ease with my decision to forego this crap. I do see a cardio (it’s in my family) and a dermatologist. Those are my risks. Women are not at huge risk for cancer just because we have female parts. That is a hoax, and it’s past time to stop it. I don’t know how we convince other women. Why are some so scared and others of us understand that all his gyn harassment is just a load of BS? I’m at a loss. I don’t have an explanation.

      • Judy says:

        Seeing these basic facts that doctors are paid consultants that work for us and we have the power to end the consult at any time, is so empowering. This mindset is going to carry me through a dreaded appointment next week with a doctor who previously ambushed me with coercive language and tone about mammograms. Next week – I’m the boss. If I feel disrespected or dehumanized at any point the visit will be over and I’ll take myself and my good insurance to another practice. Its going to be up to him to show me he cares to retain my business. After all its my insurance, not the National Association of Mammographers, nor the American College of Radiology, who will be paying several hundred dollars for the half hour consult.

      • Shelli says:

        You’ve got this, Judy! ❤️

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        I totally agree with you about not engaging in a conversation with the doc about screening. In fact, I think for anyone declining screening, it’s imperative.
        Arguing with the doc will feed every stereotype they have of women – they’re irrational, emotional, scared etc.
        Sitting there in a calm manner and telling them in no uncertain terms, “I have made an informed decision not to screen” (has worked for me, docs haven’t found much to say after that), denies them of that.
        Keep discussing, rationalising and explaining away and you will not get anywhere with a doc who is determined to get the last word. They will also use whatever you say against you.

        Telling them you’re not screening and that is the end of it, denies them the opportunity to cajole. It also takes control away from them.

      • Shelli says:

        So well said. Thank you.

  77. Watch this sad video about how women still have non-consensual pelvic exams when they are still under anesthesia:

    I am sure that even women who have put on their consent form they do not want pelvic exams done still have their wishes violated. They can do pretty much anything to you under anesthesia. This is exactly why it is important to have a personal advocate (http://patientmodesty.org/personaladvocate.aspx) present for surgery.

    Misty

    • Kleigh says:

      Woman who are not sedated have unwanted exams when doctors force exams. Why aren’t doctors forced to explain these screenings then have the woman sign a concent form. Why aren’t there more laws protecting woman’s right to refuse? This is bizarre to me. The meadical community does not acknowledge this is a invasive internal exam they are penitrating woman without concent. It’s so wrong and sadly normalized.

      • Rose Dalstenne says:

        I’m not sure whether you are in the uk or Australia but Over here in the uk you can opt out of the screening but they are making it sio difficult and reading through how to opt out (already have myself but still bullied) is nothing short of revolting. Even terminally ill women and ladies with diminished mental capacity are not safe from these intrusive unwanted smears. and to opt out you have to be councelled to boot. Informed concert ???? nope case of you have a pounani you are ordered to have it diddled with whether you opt out or not.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        Rose – Surely you need informed consent for counselling too?! Whatever happened to the concept of capacity and consent? These are thr cornerstones of Social Care Law. Accepting counselling is a very dangerous path imo. It is as though they are implying that you might not have capacity to refuse this test if a vounsellor claims not to be satisfied with your reasoning. What happens then?! A very dangerous path to tread.

  78. If a doctor says you must have screening, or implies they’ll hold your script…i’d say, polite to the point of painful, oh, a barrister friend told me all screening is elective, that legally it requires my informed consent, thanks for your time, i’ll double check with him….you’ll get your script!
    I’ve used a puzzled tone in the past when I want to challenge…works a treat.
    But…
    I couldn’t work with a doctor that behaved in that way, i’d be doctor shopping, but if you can’t change doctors easily, try the puzzled tone and barrister friend…I know it’s worked for others.

    • Shelli says:

      I love it! Puzzlement plus a barrister friend!!

    • adawells says:

      Something else I’d thought of saying the next time a doctor asks when your last smear test was, or insists you have one, is to say that if they see their role as asking this question every day so as to chase women up and tick a box, their job might be better done by a junior nurse, and you will be suggesting this public-spirited cost saving measure to the NHS comissioning group.
      Sadly I don’t think I’ll ever have that opportunity, but it’s in my arsenal anyway!

  79. Rose Dalstenne says:

    someone has just put up a post from jo’s trust on my facebook page stating that CC is on the increase because women are not going for thier annual rape appointment. and in big pink letters I MUST have a smear.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Jo’s Tosh receives funding from the government, and these Nazi pink shirts are obviously acting in their own best interests. I wonder if they have some kind of deal which means that their funding will be cut if the programme doesn’t get enough bums on seats? Would explain their increasing desperation.
      I suspect that, as with so many conditions, one of the reasons there are more cases is because disease thresholds have been lowered. There may be the same degree of overdiagnosis with cervical cancers as there is with breast cancer.

      • Shelli says:

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5821696/
        Hi ladies – So I did a bit of research, and found this. The conclusion: the rate of cervical cancer is NOT going up. The “increase” is due to screening a population that didn’t used to be screened, and a few additional cancers were detected as a result. This study concluded that the increase in detected cancers had NOTHING to do with women not getting tested. That’s the thing with “research” and statistics (I do it as a career) – the devil is in the details. Start picking apart how the research was done, and “conclusions” end up having completely different meanings. You guys are OK – cervical cancer is NOT increasing. Breathe…..

      • adawells says:

        Kate, that’s a great theory, I’m sure that’s right. It’s amazing just how many charities are needed for this rare cancer which has about 800 deaths per year in the UK: Jo’s, Eve Appeal, Macmillan all offering helplines. With deaths dwindling, they must be under some pressure to justify themselves. I’ve noticed that they’ve changed the goal posts, and everyone is talking about incidence instead of death. To qualify as a screening programme, then end target must be to avoid death, at least I thought that was one of the WHO criteria. Now all the talk is about achieving zero incidence. If this cancer is now survivable, it shouldn’t qualify as a screening programme. You’re right, they must be struggling to justify themselves.

    • Shelli says:

      Hi Rose – Major RME from my end. I’m in the US not UK, but this is what I’m thinking (let me know if you agree…) First off, what this post States seems like a blatent lie. But it also seems that women are not only dissenting over yearly rapes, but organizations that fund yearly rapes (or market yearly rapes, like these “charities”) are starting to feel the financial pinch of the dissent. And they are starting to kick and scream. It’s like handling an unruly teen – the kid is being a jerk, so you take away his cell phone or video games, and his bad behavior escalates before improving. In this case, the unruly teen is the NHS and these “charities” and as you all withdraw from this insane program, they are behaving even worse. Does that seem to fit? In the case of the unruly teen, you turn your back and ignore The bad behavior. Don’t give him an audience. Likewise, don’t give these ridiculous FB pop ups an audience. Just scroll on past…

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        Love that analogy. I alao like the fact that this is the very sort of analogy they have traditionally used to describe non-screening women. Now their favourite toys are being taken away, they are beginning to behave like the very stereotypes they accuse us of adhering to!

  80. Rose Dalstenne says:

    I agree shelli, I had a good blitz on FB yesterday and deleted a load of posts. and blocked the screening ones (hope that works now). . NHS must be desperate as women leave in droves from the Rape programmes. Last week I Emailed our Local PALS (Liason service for NHS) about my case on being deregistered by GP and asked questions about the screening also and guess what, No reply and I am not surprised at the least.

    Ada what you said is so true, Propaganda, scare tactics and False information fearmongering ETC. While looking at these charity websites, ( i am nosy LOL) I noticed big push buttons stating DONATE NOW. desperation?

    • adawells says:

      Rose, I had to have a hysterectomy in 2014 & it was a truly terrifying ordeal because of a brutal smear test forced on me in the 1990’s. I contacted PALS about it, who told me I should complain to Healthwatch about such terrible treatment. I sent the details to Healthwatch, but no reply. I followed it up and was told by them that their job was to increase uptake and didn’t want to get involved with anything that might reduce uptake. They suggested I should have read the leaflet. I’ve got no time at all for these charities. They are all in the pay of the government to toe the line and hit targets. Couldn’t give a damn about the patients.

      • linda says:

        I agree with Ada. A couple of years ago i complained to a government department about my treatment by the British Cervical Screening Pro. Theysuggested i contact healthwatch which i did. Never heard anything. They are rubbish and not there to help at all. They are part of the system that operates against us.

  81. Mint says:

    In reply to Rose, I sometimes cannot believe what I read. How misinformed is the MP? Words fail.

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      He also refers to cervical screening “legislation”. What legislation???!!!

      • Shelli says:

        Two thoughts (again from across the pond) – Women’s vajayjays do not belong in”legislation” or politics or economics – leave us alone!!! Further, if a woman is having symptoms that concern her, and she chooses to get tested of her own accord, isn’t it irresponsible for a doctor anywhere – NHS or Private – to refuse?? And I’m
        Curious – considering that testicular cancer happens for younger men, is the medical
        System screaming at them through ads to get their balls routinely felt up?? it’s not happening in the US. I wish there was a more concerted effort among women to collectively start dissenting against all this obsessing on their most private areas. The medical industry, which they choose to listen to without question, has succeeded in scaring them to death. How do we start reversing this? There is no advocacy group in the US that I know of. Is there in UK? I do know that self tests are commonly used for screening in The Netherlands; is that gaining any traction in UK? No one speaks of it here.

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