Discussion Forum (Unnecessary Pap Smears: Part Two)

This post has been created to provide an additional forum for discussion.

Thank you Alex for suggesting the addition of an open forum devoted to discussion on this blog. (click on title or graphic to go to comments)


  1. This is an old thread. But I found this recently, and nonetheless, I feel for the poor young woman.


    What really kills me is the aholes who replied to her post. Out of 30 people, only two gave her any sympathy.

    See how this affected her psychologically! None of this exam was worth it, now was it? In the years since her post, I hope things have gotten better in her life. Her mother should be ashamed of herself!

    • i feel for her my self. my mom took me at age 18 i think. I was told nothing.
      The dr said i wa tight and try again another time. That wad the start of yrs of failed exams. trauma and no help. i hope that lady dhas not suffered like i did

    • Hi Allison:

      I hope she’s alright, too. That was – 6 years ago. She would be about 32. I wonder if she visits this site….maybe – there’s been thousands of comments…..and has commented or is still silent. The people who responded – have to wonder about them. Well, not really. They are sheeple. (…Part of being a woman…..do they tell that crap to young men….”it’s part of being a man”…and don’t they just hand over the Viagra prescription without insisting on checking their genitals…and heart…). There may have been an ob/gyn – male or female in the comments – essentially trolling her testimony.

      Maybe they female sheeple have learned a thing or two since then and have eaten their words. That is how people go from sheeple to informed women. I hope she finds this site if she hasn’t and reads our information. Hopefully she’ll see your post and comment here.

      Be blessed.

  2. I came across this terrible account on the net about a year ago. I was very angry at the time. This young woman was raped in my opinion by an overzealous doctor who didn’t give a f… about the well being of her patient.

    Many GP’s inadvertantly ‘rape’ their patients by forcing unwanted smears on reluctant women. It is a scandal that has been going on unchecked for decades – (particularly in Britain by the NHS organisation which has operated the smear programme since 1988.)

    Women cannot trust doctors. There are predators out there in medicine not only that but doctors are sometimes skewed by the thinking they are doing something in the patients best interests. Woman the world over need to educate themselves about doctors and protect themselves within the consult rooms. We have been too trusting.

    This site is so helpful in educating women about the medical profession.

  3. Hi. I am a regular lurker on these forums, and I have to say you gave me back my peace of mind. I hate doctors, and have no whatsoever trust in them. I always thought smear tests are a con at best, a conspiracy at worst. I refused any and all contact with gyn doctors. However I became frightened recently, as I noticed I started to spot mid-cycle. Second time its happening now, tiny streaks of blood in the mucus like hair, before that it happened in January, it was a few drops of pink discharge. I started taking blackstrap molasses and cut caffeine, and the spotting was gone. Now its back(so is the old unhealthy lifestyle) and it is only a tiny, tiny, amount, barely detectable, I only noticed it because I am really stressed out in this phase of my life and therefore paying a neurotic amount of attention to my body. Am I overreacting? I am now worried about worrying. I am beating myself up for worrying so much. I know rationally that I am overreacting and yet the idea of having to go to such a doctor is so insidious it makes me worry. I don’t even really care about some light spotting, I am way more scared of the gyn-industrial complex!

    • Hi Anna U:

      Thanks for trusting us with your testimony and your problem. How are you now? Have you decided to make an appointment? Or, are you going to try your GP first?

      It’s easy to get afraid and panic-stricken when you get graphic symptoms. You must feel like now you have to “give in” and let the ob/gyn do his/her worst to find out what’s wrong. However, it’s like the ladies on this site have said – it may be something that can be cleared up without a worked up exam. You mentioned having taking blackstrap molasses and cutting caffeine; try doing it again (cutting caffeine that is…..not sure if blackstrap molasses every day is the best thing……). Drink decaf coffee and tea and cut down or stay away from sodas if you drink them. It may be something in the caffeine that’s stressing your body and thus causing your womanly problems. You mentioned having an unhealthy lifestyle. Do you do a lot of heavy lifting that stresses your abdomen? If you’re – pleasantly plump – you may have an irregular menstrual cycle or system. Women who are overweight – and underweight tend to spot or miss periods. For example, it’s why the ob/gyns (they can be decent sometimes…) says underweight women have to gain a certain weight before having children – or they will miscarry. It was the noted problem of a couple of celebrities, I recall. For some advice – try the herbal remedies on the site “Women Against Stirrups.” Admittedly, they sound gross as some may means sticking stuff up there, if you know what I mean, but the women on that site who offered them seem to swear by them.

      If you have symptoms that you feel iare worse than what a herbal remedy or change in eating habits can heal, then – deep breath, exhale…..go to a FEMALE ob/gyn. You know you do not want to deal with a male. BUT….BIG BUT, go with the knowledge of this site and the strength it gives you. Don’t let them railroad you into getting on that odious table made for women. Insist on the testing methods that can actually diagnose something. Nothing was ever diagnosed with a pelvic – only speculated. They will still have to send you for – CT Scan, ultrasound (insist on ABDOMINAL…the transvaginal shows the SAME THING, but from a different angle….), bloodwork, MRI, urine test if need be. Insist then on those. No colposcopies or hysterosalpingograms (they think of more things to put in a woman’s vagina that I care to count – again…..). If the CT Scan, abdominal ultrasound, bloodwork, etc. tests find something more serious than a medication and change in eating and lifestyle, then please search for a good female ob/gyn to prescribe your treatment…..who will respect your wishes to not have a pelvic. They exist.

      Go to the Medical Patient Modesty site for information on how to protect yourself in the medical setting. Insist on your rights – try not to go alone. The main thing they say is make sure that you won’t be going to an office with males who mysteriously fill in for female ob/gyns or nurses behind your back. They seem to line up to do intimate exams on women. I wonder if they do that in the geriatric ward of hospitals. Be sure to have your clothes on before finding out who will treat you. If they don’t abide by wishes, leave and find another office. Be sure to exercise all options other than intimate procedures. They can do things by laparoscopic surgery – a small incision in your abdomen in which they put a laparoscope. If it has to be done (big IF) then again – insist on all females – at least they have the same thing you do and won’t get erections. Have them sign something in writing that says – NO MALES for intimate procedures – right down to the nurses. Don’t let them put you under until you are fully prepped and are secure that your wishes have been met. And again, try to have someone go with you. No interns either. Don’t go to a teaching hospital – Please. They think it’s their right to have students do pelvics on you while you’re under anesthesia.

      Please keep us posted.

      Be Blessed.

    • Hi Anna,
      In your shoes I think I would seek out a GP I feel comfortable with so you know you have help if you need to fall back on it. Are you in the UK? Times have changed and GPs now work in area groups so you can ask to see GPs at other practices if you want. You’re not stuck with whoever’s list you happen to be on anymore. I suggest this because I was caught out needing an urgent appointment a few years ago and ended up with my repugnant GP who’d forced smears on me before. If only I’d taken the time to seek out somebody nice before ending up having that vindictive bully with her fingers in me again…but no, she sent me off to some gyn at the local teaching hospital with a 2 week cancer referral. At this terrifying appointment I walked out halfway through in tears.

      My symptoms: I had very tiny specks of blood in mucus and sometimes the mucus was a salmon pink colour. This would occur now and then, and usually make its appearance when wiping after a poo. I put this down to vaginal atrophy postmenopause as I hadn’t had a period for 4 years. I was 52. After several months I noticed drops of true blood on the floor after I ‘d got up one morning. Still nothing further until 2 days later when all of a sudden I had a massive bleed and blood soaked right throughout my jeans in no time. Very embarrassing. I had to drive home to change, and had to get the first GP appointment I could get with above-mentioned monster. If I could only have that time again, I would have sought out another GP, explained that I’d been so badly traumatised by previous GP and asked to have a special appointment. In these the GP advises hospital you’ve had past trauma, and that you’ll need a longer appointment, no students present, and a lot of explaining and a right to stop any of it at any time. They do this for rape victims if GP warns them you are coming and can do things your way. I wished I’d known about this before, so do explain to GP how you feel about the whole gyn business. Oh and have your answers ready for the first question which will be “when was your last smear test” and tell them straight. I hadn’t come across this website before I went and if only I’d had the information I’ve since learned from Elizabeth to tell them now. God I’d so love to put it to them now!😠

    • Hi Anna U,
      It’s nice to see you come out of lurkerville and join in here, welcome 🙂
      I had the same issue with spotting a few years ago. I didn’t know back then what I know now, and I ended up going through with invasive exams and tests. I was given a pap and pelvic by a GP, sent to a gyno for another pelvic, sent for transvaginal ultrasound to check ovaries, and also went through with a hysteroscopy. I was given the all clear, but if I had just waited a bit longer the spotting would have resolved on its own, without all the tests.
      Try not to beat yourself up for worrying 😦 I was worried too, it’s hard not to be with all the fear mongering. For me I think it was a matter of eating too much chicken over an extended period of time when traveling (chicken is full of hormones to force the growth of the chicken). When I cut out chicken the issue went away.
      Whatever you decide to do I hope it goes well. If you go for a consult I second Penelope’s advice re the bringing along a friend or partner.

      • Thank you for your kindness Penelope. I know rationally that my real issue is anxiety, but the problem is that my fears seem rational and justified. It is like constantly walking on eggshells. In my mind it only takes just a tiny mishap, and then its either the medical system, or the crippling anxiety. I see other women on the gyn merry-go-round, and I would not want that, it would completely destroy my peace of mind. I don’t want to worry about the thickness of my endometrium, or whether I have a fibroid. What drives me mad is knowing that in case something would go wrong with my knee or my lung or my stomach I could just get reasonably ok medical care. With my reproductive tract it is different, it has to be hundred percent perfect, or I am toast. And this is whats driving me mad and generating the anxiety.

    • Hi Everyone, and thanks for the kind advice. My spotting (so far it has happened twice, half year apart) is exactly at the time of my ovulation, and I am young and healthy otherwise, so I am going to put it down to hormones and stress. This time the ‘spotting’ was barely noticeable, could have been from a vaginal tear, I was not even sure. I checked the mucus around my cervix, and there was no blood in it. I am so anxious about my reproductive tract I am always on the look for symptoms. Last two days I’ve been scooping out my vaginal mucus, checking for blood- none. Now the whole area is raw and irritated of course. I only wear black panties I am so scared of noticing something strange in the discharge. Sometimes I am too tense to have sex, and too frightened my body will do something strange, aching or bleeding or discharge. And now my anxiety is what is frightening me. That I am making an elephant out of the molehill, then if I get into the system they will butcher me and my peace of mind will be gone for ever. I am angry of myself for being so anxious and it is like a downward spiral… Doctors have done some frightening things to me when I was young, but anyway when you know the reality of the gyn industry you just don’t want to have anything to do with them, ever. It is not paranoia, it is completely rational. The tips you have told me are immensely helpful, If I knew there is something to fall back on if I got ill I would feel less utterly frightened of getting ill… but I am not in the UK now, and don’t know when I am going to be back. (Don’t trust the GPs anyway)

      • You’re very welcome, Anna U 🙂

        It sounds like you’ve been busy with your beaver.

        If you’re making yourself raw, though, then you’re doing too much. You don’t want to cause a problem – especially any scarring. Hopefully you’re not listening to all that
        propaganda out there. One the one hand you see it, hear it, or read it everyday and you know it’s mostly fear mongering. On the other hand, because it’s so frequent, it’s subconsciously making you crazy. And whatever happened to you in your past – has crept into your present (and I’m very sorry about that…). One thing the media is guilty of is over-saturation of a topic. You’re good to be on top of your health, but try not to worry. If you had something really serious, you would really know. Your symptoms wouldn’t come twice a year. Keep in mind all that Adawells, Sue, and hopefully, myself have said. Don’t let your worry over your health ruin your peace of mind.

        Be Blessed!

      • I know some women have spotting during ovulation, not necessarily every month, but now and then or for a few months and then not again for a few months or even years. I’d get a feeling of tightness or even light cramping, and knew I was ovulating…
        I didn’t worry, I knew it was perfectly normal.
        Sadly, though, when we hear so much about cervical cancer and there is so much hype and pressure to screen, and misinformation, I think there’s a tendency to be hyper-sensitive to that part of our body. This means some women focus on their cervix, looking for every little thing, worrying about it and then heading off to the GP for exams, tests etc.
        Sometimes we need to give our body a chance, if I develop a symptom I usually wait a few weeks, and my body almost always takes care of the issue….no need for the GP.
        Sometimes women notice a pattern that is normal for them, like I did with the feeling of tightness when I was ovulating.
        It’s funny though…when we focus and worry, it can extend or worsen the symptom, or so it seems, for example, I lost a sister-in-law to oesophageal cancer, a few months after her death, I had an attack of gastritis. It was an unpleasant experience but my GP started me on a drug and things improved. I found though I was focusing on my throat, was I having trouble swallowing? Was that discomfort? Is my jaw aching?
        In the end, probably about a month later, I had an endoscope, which showed mild gastritis, as you’d expect, the medication was still doing it’s job.
        I was relieved to hear all was well, and instantly…the “symptoms” and my hyper-focus disappeared. I think the focus on cervical cancer and the hunt for “abnormal” cells, the focus on illness, instead of health, can lead to thus unhealthy hyper-focus and sensitivity.
        I think a lot of women have lost trust in their own body, when I think we read it best…that natural inner voice that tells us something isn’t right, it can be diverted by all the noise, the “awareness” and scare campaigns, the pressure to screen etc.
        So try not to worry too much…
        All the best…

    • I got a similar disgusting dark bloody string. I think it was just premenopause. I started wearing black panties and douching with plain water or vinegar and water or hydrogen peroxide and water every week. It lasted about two years or so. I never seemed to get my period in time and when it did the string would last for about two weeks. Now at age 52 I have had only two spotting times this past year. I know some women complain they get a really heavy flow before menopause but mine just pettered off to nothing not even needing a light pad or tampon.

      Do you have clue what is causing your problem?

      Obviously I am not dead and in no pain. Just older.

  4. Hi ladies! Update. Yesterday I was forced to GP with agonisingly painful sciatica. I was pleasantly surprised to see an on the ball Asian lady who didn’t waste time on the tick box weight blood pressure screening crap. 10 minutes devoted to the issue I wished to discuss! Are times a changing?

    • I’d be trying to see her all the time, make her your regular GP. I have to find a new GP, my doctor is thinking of retirement, it’s not easy, I’ve considered and dismissed two close to my home, the new patient Form told me it wasn’t going to work out…
      When was your last Pap test?
      Not…do you have Pap testing? I find the assumption we have Pap testing shows a lack of respect for our right to choose or is a way of pressuring women to conform, either way, it’s completely unacceptable. Also, the Q’s about prostate and bowel screening, “do you have…” the old double standard, respect men and their right to choose, not women.

  5. Feeling the pinch LOL !
    Almost half of women in England screened for cervical cancer are waiting more than the two-week target for their results.
    NHS England said based on its latest data 54% of women screened are getting their results on time.
    Delays are being blamed on cytology labs struggling to keep staff as the screening process is replaced with another – which will need fewer staff.
    Labs were unwilling to train staff in the current screening process when it was going to be replaced with a different process, HPV screening.

    • This is such a non-story. About 83% of the results are taking up to 21 days, yet we have that Rob Music getting onto every bandwagon going to say it’s a really worrying situation. Politician Jess Philips is saying that it saved her life because she had “precancerous cells” but doesn’t say she had any treatment except 6 monthly check-ups.
      Yes they’re all congratulating one another on how they’ve been saved from the brink of death by this essential test. Pass the sick bag.

    • Chas this is very interesting. They have the lowest ever uptake of this test yet they do not have enough cytologists to check the samples. They really must have been scaling it all back.

  6. It just goes to show. Cervical cancer is a rampant threat to women lurking over their shoulders. We must test!! And they don’t even have enough bodies to read the slides lol!

  7. https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2017/06/14/what-gps-need-to-know-about-the-introduction-of-primary-hpv-testing-in-cervical-screening/
    Evidence shows HPV testing is a better way of identifying women at risk of cervical cancer than the cytology (smear) test that examines cells under a microscope.
    HR-HPV testing also has a lower false negative rate than cytology. This means women may not need to come for screening as often in the future. The UK National Screening Committee is currently considering the evidence for a possible extension of screening intervals.
    Primary HR-HPV testing will be fully implemented in 2019. NHS England will commission services to implement the testing.
    HR-HPV testing is performed on liquid based cytology samples, so there will be no change to the way samples are taken. But there are new protocols for the management and follow-up of women according to the test results and any subsequent cytology performed

    Still not considering testing urine samples or self sampling!
    Still only thinking about reducing false negatives….not false positives!

    I have only just seen your comment here: katrehman posted on 11 July 2017 and you have had a reply from: Mike Harris posted on 11 July 2017 – he totally ignored your point, what a surprise! But of course men are not bombarded with letters as he admits!

    • Thanks Chas. I left another comment asking why then we’re women chased and bombarded but that didn’t pass the moderator!

      • Hi Katrehman – I’m still waiting for mine to pass through but doubt it will, I referenced your comment as below:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        katrehman posted on on 11 July 2017 – very good points made and your reply from Mr Harris has confirmed that men are treated differently to women, they get discharged from the programme without the need of GP counselling or signing a disclaimer, and not bombarded with repeat invites….unlike us silly irresponsible women who they clearly feel can’t make the decision for ourselves – to screen or not to screen for an elective optional test!
        I’m guessing the moment we book into our GP appts the receptionist probably get some sort of computer alert….Unscreened/overdue/harass alert!

      • https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2017/07/31/making-data-available-to-help-improve-cervical-screening-attendance/

        Here’s the link and my observations:
        Less women are getting screened than ever before and less women are dying from cervical cancer than ever before: The programme is ineffective and a waste of taxpayers money.

        Ever since Jo’s Trust came into existence less and less women are going for screening and numbers set to decline further. In any other situation Music would have been sacked, and the charity wound up, or taken in a completely different direction.

      • And my comment did not make it through LOL! I received an email as per below:

        Thank you for your comments (below) in response to a recent PHE Screening blog article.
        PHE Screening consistently highlights that screening is a choice. Guidance for each NHS population screening programme states how individuals can opt out of screening. We publish service specifications in conjunction with NHS England that explain the obligations local screening providers have in meeting this guidance.
        We welcome comments on our blog posts. Please note, however, that we do not necessarily publish all comments (see our blog comment and moderation guidelines), for instance if they repeat comments/questions that have already been made and responded to.

  8. Just a quickie, gang; The screening Nazis at UCL are advertising for a research assistant,
    ‘to contribute to projects aimed at developing successful interventions to increase informed uptake of cervical screening. The successful applicant will join a thriving research group working on behavioural aspects of cancer screening. The role will involve designing and evaluating interventions grounded in behaviour change theory.’

    Salary 29 – 31k. Funded by cancer Research, of course. Anyone interested? 😉

    • Well that’s the last time I’m going browsing in Cancer Research shops😠!

      Good God, I can’t believe they’re still trying to fathom this out: we have vaccinated cohorts in the programme now, for whom only 2 tests at ages 30 and 45 are suggested for the future but they’re still working working on coercion, threats and bullying. Note it’s only about promoting informed choice in those not attending. If they promoted informed choice in those already attending, most would decide not to attend once they knew the lack of risk.

    • Thanks Chas! I noticed the point about discharging men from the programme while they’ll lie blindly to us telling us there’s no way to stop the letters and pressure! Over on the PHE blog the latest idea is making data available to Increase cervical screening attendance and to make sure every woman who wants to access screening can. Though it does make the point it’s elective and some may choose to decline. They also state some choose not to go because of past experience of the test. They’re going to take data from every GP practice and put it on a dashboard to try and increase uptake. So a surgery performing “badly” might see another practice with high rates and could ask them for advice blergh! PHE say they’re liaising with the wonderful Jos trust in this one. I left a comment but don’t know if it’ll pass moderation

      • Chas and ladies the anonymous comments was mine…no idea why it came up like that!

    • Surprise surprise Chas an email identical to yours was i n my e-mail box. Maybe they’re worried their plans will misfire. On another note I been reading over at mumsnet threads on smears. One woman admits to going basically to stop the NHS pestering her and someone else goes because “its what you do”. Is it really?? I’m sure they’re fully informed lol

      • If you challenge any of these devout attenders they are not making an informed choice at all, they really don’t have a clue. If they attend the researchers claim they’re informed. If they don’t attend they carry out all manner of investigations to show women as stupid, mindless imbeciles incapable of making a decision.

  9. Me! I’d be a secret sabotage of their evil plots lol. I’d better change my name first lol!

    • I know there isn’t a screening programme fot prostate cancer but if there was can you seriously see them studying the effect of it and trying to modify mens behaviour?

      • Good point. Unbelievable that they’re still trying this on. Research has been done over and over. They’ve found nothing works, but just seem to find endless amounts of money for more.

        Public Health England have just advertised for a public representative for all UK screening programmes. Requires 4 days per year at meetings £75/day to voice public experience of the programmes. I was tempted when the person leaving the job posted that she’d been doing it for 3 years, it was quite time consuming, and she’d never got a penny for it. The advert read that although our wonderful screening programmes may look good on paper, they sensed the public unrest and dissatisfaction at the coal face and wanted someone to report back to them what the problems were. They know damn well what the problems are since they’ve been actively suppressing them for decades.

  10. Ada I agree! And while I’m aware I’m just one person and not particularly important in the whole scenario it doesn’t look like they took into account any of what I said to Ms Chorley when I did my I interview last month and believe I told her plenty!

    • I don’t see a way to comment on that website. Also, I have to point out that the comments are even creepier than the article itself. There are at least a few that say that the age for cervical screening should be lowered. There’s even someone commenting that they want to test their 8-year-old daughter *shudder*.

      It’s articles like these that make me so grateful that I have found this website and all the women here who respect their bodies.

      • adawells, I had that thought, but I think it’s more likely that the comments were closed after some time (maybe 30 days after the article was published or something like that). I’m pretty sure he moderated the comments, though. There’s not a single one that doesn’t agree with him.

        I just wanted to ask him if he would feel the same way about these tests if they had the same one for penile cancer. And not just about the discomfort. Would he have this test if he knew he had

      • … he had one in three chance of having his penis amputated by the time he turned sixty (because that’s about the rate of hysterectomies in women who get regular pap smears).

  11. A female police officer in the US has filed a lawsuit, stating she was forced to submit to a “medically unnecessary and sexually invasive” procedure mandated as part of the hiring process. It’s interesting, and refreshing, that article isn’t buying into the diatribe about thee importance of vaginal exams!

    • I think it’s interesting that none of these female officers moved against this sort with thing happening to other women & girls. Come to think of it, much more gets directed at someone when they’re trying to get birth control (sometimes in their teens). Then again, I guess expecting them to actually act protectively or supportively toward someone that’s being instigated with is a bit foolish.

      On the plus side, if it gets mentioned as a problem, maybe the general concept of something medically-performed BEING a problem gets spread around a bit more.

      I don’t know if chicks look up to female cops like men look up to male soldiers, but that could always be another plus- it’s the “strong/independent” thing to do (which is usually just how someone labels being servile or anti-male, but it could be labeled accurately).

  12. Any advice please? Last smear was in 1999, ignored all invites since and did not sign disclaimer the surgery sent me after a while. Rarely visit GP and when I did ring up for an appointment I found I’d been ‘struck off’. That was in 2011 and so I haven’t had a GP since, so no ‘invites’ either – I suppose I’ve been ‘under the radar’. Unfortunately, due to a health condition I had to register with a GP at the end of February this year, by the end of March I’d received my first invite for a smear. After reading as much info as possible on this site, particularly advice from the regular posters, I wrote a letter to the screening service (copied to my GP) to say that I had made an ‘informed decision’ to decline the invitation to screen and requested no further invitations. I also stated that I trusted all parties concerned would respect my decision. However, I’ve just received a second invitation dated 8 August! It clearly states that it is my choice whether or not to screen, but yet they’ve sent me another letter. Any suggestions?

  13. Reply explaining you already declined and opted out and want to book an appt to discuss. ..your issue? Stand firm

  14. Julie I suggest you inform both your surgery and local screening office you do not wish to screen receive any further invitations or information about the programme. Screening is an option you don’t wish to pursue. Once you tell the surgyou want to opt out it’s meant to be illegal to keep pursuing

  15. Thank you Kat and Ada. I followed Ada’s link, and then another link within that document, which reiterates what Kat has said about it being illegal to keep pursuing. The best practice document for professionals states: “The Data Protection Act 1998 will also require that women who have expressed a clear desire to be ceased from the programme should no longer receive invitations and should be ceased from the invitation schedule”. I shall be quoting this in my next letter!

    • Julie I hope it’s successful for you.

      The UK Data Protection Act 1998 meant our wonderful cervical screening programme was operating illegally, because it was collecting names and addresses of all women in the UK, holding info as to whether they had a cervix or not, and sending them all summons letters without their consent and not including information on the provenance of these letters or giving women a means to stop them. The programme was on thin ice until the UK government came up with a solution in Section 251.


      Section 251 allows the government to “bypass” the DPA to protect “essential work” of the NHS, in protecting the public from health epidemics. You’re probably thinking that Cervical cancer is hardly an epidemic, but shortly before Section 251 was passed, “research” was written about how our wonderful screening programme had prevented an epidemic of cervical cancer in the UK. So it’s my opinion of how they keep operating today, but they’re slowly making some concessions now as I think they realise that too many women are getting at the truth online.

      • Yes Julie please let us know how you get on! It really makes me mad the way women are treated and herded into this screening

      • Ada I re read this and it’s scary. Sometimes it’s not possible to get informed consent well they make that pretty bloody impossible!

      • Kat we’re forever reading that there aren’t enough doctors or nurses in the UK, and that 1000’s of vacancies are waiting to be filled in the NHS and yet there is endless money for these campaigns and endless money for research to get more women to attend for screening, but when you are actually in need of healthcare there’s a waiting list as not enough beds/doctors/nurses.

      • That’s shocking, how can they “temporarily set aside the common law duty of confidentiality”? It’s troubling how they can put one thing in place to protect people’s interests, but then override it when it suits them.

  16. Informing women via this and other forums is important but we also inform the screening programs and other vested interests. I’m sure they follow our comments…
    I’ve heard it’s very hard to get the Delphi Screener in Australia now, their website has been shut down and a few sites appear to be blocked, I sent an email off to Singapore a month ago, but haven’t received a response.
    This is the risk…as more women find out about reliable self-screening, it poses a threat to the program so it has to be shut down. The self-test that women will be offered here (when they decline the invasive HPV test for 6 years or they’re “unscreened”) will come with the disclaimer, “it’s not as good as the test taken by your doctor”…no doubt, it’s a cheaper test. The hope is making it as difficult as possible will drive most women into the program.

  17. Julie I agree! It’s not just details such as name address and if you have a cervix. I think it’s also things like your last period gets put on there. At the laSt smear I had 17 years ago I was asked did I use contraception and do I practice safe sex??

  18. Since I have never presented with a STI or requested abortion or emergency contraception I refused to answer! It’s absolutely none of their business! I’ve been asked about periods and menopause in a consult about migraine. There’s never been a link with my hormones and migraine!

  19. Julie, take a look at this – UK Training PDF:

    Click to access NHS_Cervical_Screening_Progamme_-_guidance_for_cervical_sample_takers.pdf

    G6: Taking a clinical history
    Questions should be asked about:
     the date of last menstrual period (LMP)
     any abnormal bleeding, ie intermenstrual, menorrhagia, post-coital, post-menopausal
     any unusual vaginal discharge
     contraceptive use
     use of HRT
    D11: Other circumstances for ceasing from cervical screening
    A woman may only be permanently ceased from the cervical screening programme for one or more of the following reasons, if:
     she has no cervix (for example, women with a total hysterectomy, women with congenital absence of the cervix, or male to female transsexuals (trans women)
     she has had radiotherapy to the pelvic area for cancer of the cervix, bladder or rectum
     she has undergone a radical trachelectomy for cervical cancer
     she is over 65 with one or more abnormal results in her last three adequate tests but her GP or gynaecologist advises that she no longer requires screening
     she has asked to be ceased from the screening programme (informed choice)
    D1: Making an informed choice
    All women must be given the opportunity to make an informed choice about whether or not to attend for cervical screening. The decision should be based on an understanding of:
     why they are being offered screening
     what happens during the test
     the benefits and risks of screening
     the potential outcomes (including types of result, further tests and treatment)
     what happens to their screening records
    If a woman is provided with the above information about the programme and chooses not to attend screening, then this is a valid choice and must be respected.

    I hope this is of benefit to you in making your choice heard, good luck!

    • Thanks Chas and to you all for your advice. I noticed on the quality outcome framework document you recently linked, Chas, that where it mentions women choosing to cease from the programme it states “the criteria requires that discussion has taken place between patient and practitioner before ‘informed dissent’ can be recorded”. This is a little bit different to the casual statement in my recent invitation saying “It’s your choice whether to have screening or not, if you decide you don’t want any more invitations, you can opt out.” As we all know, it’s not quite as simple as the leaflet suggests.

      • You’re very welcome Julie. Apparently us stupid women need counselling to make our own decisions, however the same does not apply to men…..or to any other elective optional test, just us women…………clearly we are walking time bombs full of disease LOL! Really! Anything in healthcare that has a target and payment incentive takes centre stage as they need the money that it brings, however at the cost of all the real problems have and need help with, truly disgusting.
        My own father was convinced to have an operation (NO SYMPTOMS) for a 2cm colon cancer, 6 ops, comas and sepsis, unlikely to have given him any problems in his lifetime at the age of 76. It ruined him and he left hospital 8 months later with a colostomy bag and in very poor health and terrible quality of life. This year in May he passed away, probably caused by all of the supposed good health care they think he got!
        Have a lovely weekend everyone!

      • sorry about your dad Chas. that is awful. the hospital should be sued. your are right ,health care is is only concerned about making a profit. Don’t care about the individual

    • Chas that’s awful about your Dad! Im really sorry. I had a listen to the link you posted to the Margaret McCartney show and maybe the tide is turning? The comment about a 45 year old pre diabetic who can make changes as opposed to the frail 86 year old who won’t benefit much fro changes and won’t live long enough to develop the complications? Let’s see where we go from here….

      • I’m very sorry to hear that you lost your father this year, Chas.
        As well as the incentive payments and targets what also concerns me are the waiting times which UK hospitals must keep to or face penalties. Suspicion of cancer puts you on a two week wait to first hospital appointment, then treatment must be carried out within 62 days if suspicion still there. It puts you on a conveyor belt of deadlines, rushed appointments with no information on options as hospital needs to operate within 62 days or else…
        Patients are shoved through the system without a clue what is going on…
        So sad.

  20. Some doctors try to insist on the counselling session to try and brainwash you into staying on the programme but it’s not a requirement legal or otherwise. Once they have the opt out letter they’re legally obliged to cease you. I certainly never attended a counselling session…

    • Kat, I contacted your program about these counselling sessions a couple of years ago, a UK woman who posted here, was told she must attend a counselling session with two doctors before she could opt out of cervical screening. Naturally, she was very concerned, they obviously think by ambushing women, they can overwhelm them and keep them testing.
      It came back…this sounds like an over-zealous doctor, and they confirmed there was no counselling requirement. I knew that already but wanted to hear them say it…

      Of course, the way this testing is presented to women, hardly surprising some women go along with these demands. Of course, there can never be a legal requirement for counselling to opt out of an optional screening test. This, like most things, is a try-on, everyone goes along with it to protect the program, it’s yet another example of the complete lack of respect for women and our legal rights.

      Chas, sorry to hear about your Dad, my mother has mental issues thanks to her last colonoscopy, I dropped Mum at the hospital and collected a very confused woman a few hours later. Sedations and GAs are not a good idea when you’re older, say over 50, it should only happen when it’s really necessary – not sure if it was all the sedations or whether Mum had a small stroke during the procedure – it was probably the latter, Mum takes a blood thinning medication for an arrhythmia of the heart, that drug had to be stopped a couple of days before the procedure. My mother has never made up that ground – there will be no more screening colonoscopies, but the damage has been done. These things are never “simple” tests, many end up worse off.

      • Elizabeth a session with TWO doctors about smears when the NHS is short staffed and nearly broke! And as you say a disgusting way to ambush and coerce women! Sorry about your mum. Modern medicine has a lot to answer to

  21. Hi, I’ve just ‘penned’ my letter (literally, as my printer’s not working!) for the second attempt at ceasing from the programme. I’m quite happy with it (thanks to advice and information on this website) and have quoted the Data Protection Act 1998, so I’ll wait and see what happens…

    • Julie if all else fails and I hope it doesn’t on the Phe England blog how do we help ppl decide if screening is right for them there’s a link to a complaint form to fill and send them if you are pestered are out screening after you’ve sent your opt out letters..

  22. Julie hope all goes well for you. I think its just appalling we have to jump through these hoops and quote data protection act and the law to opt out of an optional test we were …dragooned into in the first place without our express permission or “invitation ” lol…

    • https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2017/08/30/health-matters-making-cervical-screening-more-accessible/

      The arrogance of all this. They finally admit they’ve got to offer women an informed choice on this, then, when the numbers decline the derogatory comments and accusations of embarrassment come out. The fact that women may have found out they have a zero risk, is dismissed as them failing to see the importance of screening. Biggest single factor for non-attenders is previous bad experiences, but this and severe pain or even miscarriage, isn’t even being addressed. Oh well, they’ll just have to carry out more expensive research until they get the results they want to find to justify their jobs…

  23. Depressing Ada isn’t it? We have choice but they’re still talking about raising awareness! I think even the aliens on Mars are aware of it now. And embarrassed. .again? Maybe they’d go if they could self test? No teach ehem not to be embarrassed. And actually they didn’t mention self testing!

  24. Thank you everyone for your condolences x
    Now they are asking GP’s to reduce referrals with incentives……but not for screening!
    CCGs are formulating plans to scrutinise practices’ referral systems after a leaked NHS England memo showed they have promised to incentivise peer review schemes in order to reduce referrals by 30%, Pulse has learnt.

    Thank you adawells for the link – what a waste of valuable money and time spent on this rubbish.
    I don’t want our local authority poking their nose where the sun don’t shine! It is not up to them to encourage/coerce/bully us women as we do have minds of our own.

    “This edition of Health Matters outlines how local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and GPs can all play a key role in raising awareness of cervical screening and encouraging women to attend screening.”
    “there were still 726 deaths from the disease in England in 2014 and a total of 890 in the whole of the UK.”

    That led to another link, I think this totally takes out the “informed choice” route!
    “Local authorities can work directly with GP surgeries to raise awareness of screening as well as through:
    •local resident magazines, issuing press releases and using digital channels such as social media
    •posters and information across a wide range of venues including hairdressers, pharmacies, libraries, gyms, children’s centres, job centres and public toilets
    •directly with women in their communities
    •through targeted information provision”

    • That vomitable cervical screen 1 website advocates beauty therapists getting in on the act. As women get their vaginas out for waxes act presumably not embarrassed there they’re the perfect ones to talk about smears and hassle the client to have one.Since women also have genital piercings maybe the piercing parlour should also get in on it too!

  25. I had a few thoughts recently & would like to share them. I don’t know what this subject matter would be called, but here it is:

    I was thinking about how the Ben Franklin Principle & the Consistency Principle (which I’ll explain next) seem to be things that are at work when women & girls get corralled into things at a doctor’s office.

    (1) The Ben Franklin Principle is basically getting someone to do something that matches a particular situation to try to create a mindset that matches that situation. Ben Franklin would get his political rivals to do him little favors, the reasoning being that it theoretically matches them liking him & it would theoretically create a sort of Stockholm Syndrome.

    (2) The Consistency Principle is simply the idea that the more someone does something they’re more likely to do it again.

    Frequently you see cops using both principles when they’re asking an intended target: “Can you get up for me?” “Can you sit down for me?” “Can you come here for me?” All this “for me, for me, for me” is meant to get someone to think that they like this person & are supportive of their actions toward them, as is supposedly proven by all the times they’ve done “favors” for them in the past.

    So, if a woman is doing all kinds of things again & again in a doctor’s office, isn’t that potentially having an effect? It sinks in as “I’m on board” or “What they say goes” & doing things time after time makes it harder to stop. At least potentially.

    What do you guys think?

    • Alex, I find the whole manipulation thing regards cervical screening very creepy. It’s all been very carefully worked out in the UK, where we don’t have ObGyns. The Pap tests are all done by nurses at your local general practitioners office or you can go to a genitourinary clinic if you want.

      The nurses might be very nice, but like the police, it’s all a carefully rehearsed front. They may use terms like “my love” “my dear” at the end of every sentence. I don’t know what terms are used in the US, but everyone has their favourite terms when they want to baby someone. Then the language surrounding screening is carefully designed to make it appear a normality for everyone, like getting a haircut. The nurse approach always fosters a “we”re all girls together in this” feeling, and “I’m your best friend so you can tell me all about your sex life” and there’s something wrong with you if you don’t want to be girls together. Promotional literature is just like recruitment for the armed forces: they emphasize civic duty, cameraderie with womankind, and encourage the feeling of being part of a female herd, suggesting that those not joining are not real women. The talk must never reveal women have a choice and could decline. What really grates with me is that now that many women are declining, they are suggesting it is through ignorance and lack of knowledge about the test, when in fact the opposite is true. The nurses may be very nice people, but they often don’t know much about the test themselves and are in no position to answer questions about it that women may have if they are having doubts. The lack of knowledge in the front line keeps women from finding out more and prevents any in depth discussion about the test. Just what the vested interests want to keep the status quo.
      BTW I’m just off to visit New York for a few days. Does anyone know any cheap places to eat?

      • In NYC, no.

        If you’re in Massapequa on Long Island, Smokin’ Al’s is great & it’s a lot of food for restaurant prices.

      • I looked up info questioned my 88 yr old mother needing a mammogram. this is what I found

        Laura Corio, MDFollow Laura Corio, MD
        Laura Corio, MD
        Obstetrics & Gynecology
        24 Answers
        1,692 Helpful Votes
        You always have to have a mammogram, every year, and it’s more important as you age, because the incidence of breast cancer increases with age, so that if a woman gets to the age of 85, she will have a 1 in 7 risk of breast cancer. So, a woman has to continue doing mammograms forever.
        This is bull to put some one that age through a mammogram.

      • Ada, enjoy New York!
        I think the weird attitudes with pap testing certainly pushed we toward the Medical Library and made me even more determined to protect my cervix from the craziness.
        Why the outrage? The anger? The strident stance taken by many women, doctors and others? Why did I feel so bad when women were talking about their Pap tests, why did they feel the need to speak in that manner? Many of these women were calm and rational on other topics.
        I’ve always felt mind control was used against women, it was all carefully engineered, I’ve read they consulted psychologists at the very start. The system knew most women would not want Pap tests, so they had to create the climate of fear and oppression so women who hesitated, were jumped on, silenced, admonished and even forced to test.

        I recall a female doctor asking me if I was “up with my Pap tests” when I was about 37, I only saw her once, we’d just moved house and I needed a repeat, think it was for a skin issue.
        I felt very uncomfortable but lightly said I didn’t have them, I considered myself low risk, the cancer was rare…well, it was like throwing a switch in the consult room.
        I thanked her for my repeat and got up to leave, she then said, “you SHOULD be having Pap tests”. I left the room quickly, but the thing that stood out to me, she’d been fine during the consult, chatting about the suburb, nice market, but instantly changed when pap testing was rejected…and it was the contained anger in her voice that was most disturbing – why did she feel so strongly about a screening test for an always rare cancer? Why did my rejection of the test apparently amount to nothing? Why was optional being treated as mandatory?
        I don’t think screening incentives were in place at that time.

        I’ve always felt these highly emotive and aggressive attitudes were irrational, were out of whack with the risk of the cancer and the likelihood of benefit from the test – and what about the risks – false positives, excess biopsies, over-treatment.
        I feel this program used an approach similar to the brainwashing we’ve seen through history, when those in power wish to control a target population – you control the “information” released to them and others, you shape thinking and attitudes using propaganda, you make abuse somehow okay because it’s for their own good or what’s best for the country etc.
        When women are denied a voice and a say in what happens to their body, it amounts to serious abuse. I’ve never considered our programs to be screening programs, they’re a different beast entirely…

  26. Ada have a lovely break. And you’re right about our screening programmes creepiness and “girls club” mentality. I’m notorious for reading stuff and not noting sources but I remember a practice nurse commenting on a blog. She worked In an inner city deprived estate and I think she felt the patients were..shall we say a bit rough. She said when they came for smears she was always nice as pie as if they were her best friends. Not because she particularly cared about them or wanted to put them at ease but she was more scared if the smear hurt or was problematic.. What their reaction would be?! Talking with their fist maybe?!
    I left a comments on PHE pointing out I didn’t think awareness or embarrassment was the problem but why not send surveys to service users is women asking for their views on the programme and pointing out is a choice so why be surprised if they don’t to? I think I’m now on their blacklist… As to the all girls together… Blergh!

    • Hold up, I don’t get something: this is marketed as some lesbian bonding thing? I don’t get the sisterhood angle- they’re not being very sisterly, after all.

      • Let me add to that: sisters don’t, to my knowledge, do stuff like that with each other. Am I missing something here?

      • Hi Alex…no not a lesbian bonding thing and your right women as in the sisterhood context don’t act “mean” to each other over smears ect. Linda said in her book part of the sisterhood is about getting the word out about smears to other women and to support them if they’ve had a hard time of it.
        Smears are presented by the powers that be as “just part of being a woman”, that its something all women have to do and as Ada said its part of the herd mentality. If you don’t take part you’re ostracised and ridiculed. It’s presented as a no brained..why wouldn’t you? Why won’t you join this exclusive women’s club? Why won’t you open up to this nice nurse who asks you I trusive questions while she’s violating your vagina doing your smear?

      • Ah, I see. Has anyone tried the tact of saying: “So I’ll turn into man if I don’t get these tests done?”

        And then, “Well, I’d be a lot stronger than the nurse, then- wouldn’t I?” Makes the point that the nurses put on all kinds of pressure & whoever’s speaking would now have more emotional fortitude to turn them down.

        A third possible option is the ask: “So if I get more of these tests than every other woman, do I rule all of womankind?” Kind of an odd question for a female to ask, I suppose, but it makes a point about there being a social dynamic at work- instead of people plotting their own course of action or even basing decisions on medical viability.

      • Alex three very good points and comments! Just goes to show the logic built around this test by the powers that be is complete b…….

      • All of this pap smear sisterhood crap gets me so sick that I rather not hang around my female friends anymore; All they freaking do is talk about gynecologists and put me down for not having these exams. Many don’t even want to be around me because of it anymore. You’re all correct, it’s like a damn cult! My male friend with Asperger’s is probably the only one who even cares to be my friend anymore. Why should I have to submit to getting medically raped just to have friends?

        By the way, I wonder just how likely you can get cervical cancer as a 25 year old virgin who has never had any sexual contact whatssoever, therefore has never been exposed to hpv, and has never smoked either?

  27. SULTS

    The mean age of the 216 women was 81 years. Sixty-three percent were Asian, 91% were dependent in at least 1 activity of daily living, 49% had cognitive impairment, and 11% died within 2 years. Thirty-eight women (18%) had abnormal mammograms requiring further work-up. Of these women, 6 refused work-up, 28 were found to have false-positive mammograms after further evaluation, 1 was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and 3 were diagnosed with local breast cancer. The woman diagnosed with DCIS and 1 woman diagnosed with breast cancer were classified as not having benefited, because screening identified clinically insignificant disease that would not have caused symptoms in the women’s lifetimes, since these women died of unrelated causes within 2 years of diagnosis. Therefore, 36 women (17%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 12 to 22) experienced burden from screening mammography (28 underwent work-up for false-positive mammograms, 6 refused further work-up of an abnormal mammogram, and 2 had clinically insignificant cancers identified and treated). Forty-two percent of these women had chart-documented pain or psychological distress as a result of screening. Two women (0.9%; 95% CI, 0 to 2) may have received benefit from screening mammography.


    We conclude that screening mammography in frail older women frequently necessitates work-up that does not result in benefit, raising questions about policies that use the rate of screening mammograms as an indicator of the quality of care in this population. Encouraging individualized decisions may be more appropriate and may allow screening to be targeted to older women for whom the potential benefit outweighs the potential burdens.
    Using elegy women as genuine pigs terrible

  28. Hi Diane
    My 85 year old mother is now out of screening, we don’t want her remaining years to be a medical experience, every “abnormal” result also causes fear and worry. If you screen an older person, you’re very likely to find something “abnormal”, will it lead to their death?
    I’d say you’re more likely to die with your abnormality, than from it. (and you might have multiple “abnormal” results at 80+) Actually, I think (screening) “abnormal” findings are usually nothing to worry about at any age.
    Mum will obviously respond to symptoms, but no more fishing expeditions, we feel there’s a strong possibility she’s already had at least two unnecessary surgeries, they alone could have taken her life, and they certainly took months that she’ll never get back, recovering from the surgery, getting her medication straight again, building up her strength etc.

    My mother had a lesion/cancer removed from her bowel, it was picked up by a screening colonoscopy, would it have taken her life? Who knows, but when you know it’s there, most people will have the surgery. Mum failed to thrive after the surgery and we almost lost her.

    After that…it was follow up screening, has the lesion/cancer returned? That scan picked up “something” on her left kidney. Gilbert Welch talks about the risk of picking up harmless kidney “cancers” during abdominal scans, he suggests you ask for a scan of your bowel only, not sure how that’s accomplished, most radiology centres check the entire area to ensure there has been no spread, I didn’t feel it was my call to limit the scan. (it might be different if it’s simply screening, not post surgery for a bowel “issue”)

    So my mother worried about the “kidney cancer” for a few months, she was still fairly weak after the bowel surgery – her specialist said they should watch and wait, of course, for many people it becomes watch-wait and worry, they feel they might have a ticking time bomb on board. The specialist also told Mum if it spread, he wouldn’t be able to do much for her.
    So naturally, Mum had the kidney removed – thankfully, she recovered from that surgery fairly well and her remaining kidney is working well.
    When they picked up “something” on her thyroid, not sure what they were checking at the time, my siblings and I felt we had to intervene – if Mum faces surgery to remove every “cancer” and “lesion” or other “abnormality”…well, what sort of life is that?
    We felt they’d kill her if we allowed it to go on and on…
    Mum seems to have moved on, we spoke to her GP, he spoke to Mum, she doesn’t seem to be concerned about her thyroid, but that could partly be due to her early-mid dementia.
    As I mentioned earlier, the confusion/memory issues started after a screening colonoscopy – probably a small stroke on the table.
    If I get to 85, I can assure you I’ll be doing all I’m capable of doing, and that’s not sitting around waiting for the next screening test or in pre-theatre ready to have the next “abnormality” removed
    from my body!

    • thanks for your reply. prayers for your mom. I am with you , I will never sit around for screening test. I don’t know. My mom goes to Dr s way too much. Its way of getting attention I feel.
      We are not close these Dr’s make her more crazy than she is. she is a narcissist.
      Bad enough she dragged me to shrinks as kid, wanted a diagnosis. ( I am a chronic Dr phobic).
      I don’t cholesterol pills, do screenings. my parent re in there 80’s and 90’s and have high colesrol.
      The is another medical sells the US.
      I am 58 and healthy do take a natural thyroid med. I stay away from Drs ! Saves me so much anxiety!

    • Screening leads to overdiagnosis. Where have we heard this before.

      Thyroid cancer is overdiagnosed. I can find many articels about that trend. https://thyroidresearchjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13044-015-0020-8
      People are told to first take cholesterol lowering drugs, then the high blood pressure meds. They are told to reduce salt intake. The salt in North America needs to be iodized but by avoiding it and not supplementing the deficiency results in thyroid problems.

      You’d think that a person in their 80’s would want some peace and enjoyment but the dcotrs seem to scare and make money off the elderly more than ever. I was once told by some religiojs person that god promises the faithful three score and a dozen years so every year after 72 is just bonus. If they worried about where they were going after that then they were not faithful.

      Fine to not like doctors touching you. I hate having people touch my hair. I never cut my hair, not for years. People think that is weird.

      • in florida Dr’s over charge elderly patients all time. constant cases of medicare fraud. people like my mom who have enough to pay Dr are getting constantly going Dr. apts.

    • I hope we all live 100 years and can tell everyone what we had to endure with this screening crap. It’s a story that must go down in history. Every time I see something on the Papanicolaou’s test being a great invention I think just how many lives has it has really saved, and whether it is more than the lives lost and blighted through unnecessary treatment, hysterectomies, preterm births, miscarriages, etc

  29. Elizabeth, I too have found that at a consultation with a nurse or Dr, as soon as you reject their offer of a smear test, their whole attitude and demeanour changes. They seem to go from “nice and friendly” to openly hostile just because I have said no to them. Luckily for me I am more than capable of shutting them down but I can imagine how intimidating it must be for a younger or more vulnerable person.

    • Its tough when you are vulnerable anxious and afraid to speak up. I have had horrible treatment my medical office staff. those ‘ bitches”. think they re so powerful. They don’t respect patients boundaries, ” they don’t understand ” don’t touch me”. I am not nasty just very anxious and don’t like being toughed. I agree you down a screening or a medication the whole attitude changes.

    • There are charities that sew reusable cloths for menstruation. It was pointed out to me by some charity mission workers that some women have absolutely nothing to use when they menstruate. They are so poor and lack even clean drinking water. They have a lack of hygeine due to no toilet facilities and often stuff leaves or dirt up their vaginas when they menstruate. Yes, that is shocking. Forget safe sex because how can anyone buy condoms?

      For the charities that sew the menstruation cloths they sew two types: one has a belt that can be used alone and the other is meant to be used with panties that also have to be provided. They provide instructions in how to use the pads and how to wash them and DRY them outside in the sunlight. So the belt types are often more useful because these come with a light colored cloth that is folded up to use and could more easily be washed and hung outside to dry. These sewing instructions can be found online. I might find a link.

      I hate that funds are spent pushing cervical testing when they might be better used to build latrines, promote diapering, resusable SANITARY menstrual pads, and condom use.

  30. Thank you adawells for that link, interesting part to note just under the sanitary picture:
    “Poor genital hygiene has been found to be an important factor for the development of dysplasia and cervical cancer, and the use of pads made from reused cloth increases that risk, studies have shown. ”
    I have never heard any GP/Nurse/Study mention this, it has always been HPV focused only – AGAIN we are being lied to! So DNA can be extracted from blood….and as we know urine. Also worth remembering that most real cervical cancer worldwide is from developing countries.

    • Chas,
      Certainly in this country, HPV has only been mentioned fairly recently, prior to that it was “all women are at risk if they’ve ever been sexually active”…

      Of course, that’s not true, only about 5% of women aged 30 to 60 are at risk in the developed world (those HPV+)
      About 40% of those under 30 are HPV+ but we know with their robust immune systems, they usually clear the virus on their own.
      In fact, most women, regardless of age, will clear HPV over time.

      For many years, pro-pap groups would claim that Africa had high rates of cc and we had lower rates thanks to our fabulous cervical screening program, this is deceptive and misleading – our rates were always much lower than third world rates, it was always a fairly rare cancer here, even before we started screening.
      I do wonder how many women have actually been saved by pap testing, I think the incidence would have fallen as more women gave up smoking, improved standard of living, fewer babies etc.
      There are no RCTs so we’ll never really know, the convenient guesstimates of lives saved don’t convince me, I do know FAR more women have been harmed by pap testing, even if a few have been helped.
      We know most women with HPV clear the virus within a year or 2, we’re also not sure why some women move from HPV to cervical cancer. Is it HPV and smoking? Is it HPV and an impaired immune system? Is it a combination of factors?

      There are more cases of cervical cancer in Africa for a lot of reasons, many add up to one thing: a poorer immune system, so they’re less able to fight off the HPV infection
      You cannot compare Africa with Australia or the UK or Canada…

      This is a good summary of the situation:

      “Persistent HPV infection is a necessary, but not sufficient, cause of cervical cancer. High parity, poverty, poor sexual hygiene, never schooling, multiple sexual partners, tobacco smoking, co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus, Herpes simplex virus type 2 and Chlamydia trachomatis, immunosuppression, oral contraceptive use and dietary deficiencies of vitamin A are all co-factors that are necessary for progression from cervical HPV infection to cancer [3,4]. These co-factors are none, but the un-addressed prevailing public health issues in the undeveloped sectors of the world. Reducing poverty, improving the standard of living, achieving universal education, increasing investments in program aimed at preventing the development of unhealthy life behaviors and improving access to family planning methods can have immense medical, social and economical impact on these resource-constrained developing nations and far greater consequence of decreasing morbidity and mortality not only of cervical cancer but also of many preventable communicable and non-communicable human ailments. Intervention to reduce the occurrence of these non-HPV risk factors of genital malignancies may have profound impact on incidence of gynecologic cancers in developing countries.

  31. Another good read: http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/cancer/psa-based-screening-reduces-deaths-from-prostate-cancer-finds-new-review/20035219.article
    A re-analysis of available evidence has found that Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)-based screening does reduce deaths from prostate cancer.
    The findings, published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, defies existing UK guidance which does not currently recommend universal screening. Although the findings suggest that current guidelines – recommending against routine PSA-based screening – may be revised, the researchers point out that questions remain about how to implement screening so that the benefits outweigh the potential harms of over-diagnosis and over-treatment.
    In the UK, the NHS’s resistance to screening for prostate cancer is based on a recommendation made by the UK National Screening Committee.
    ‘However, the real question is not whether an occasional death can be prevented, but whether the costs to men’s physical and mental health caused by the inevitable over-diagnosis and over-treatment can be justified. The present evidence is that it cannot.’

    Oh but of course, the point about Men’s physical/mental issue is important – its a shame the same does not apply to women! Any biopsy or treatment could also cause sepsis followed by death but again never a mention to women going through colposcopy!
    Don’t forget to read the health professionals comments

    • It would be very interesting to see how this pans out. I get the distinct impression that the NHS would rather screening hadn’t been invented for anybody older than a newborn baby. I think this is why screening has been put under the umbrella of Public Health England. They seem to have separated it from mainstream healthcare, as it’s now part of additional services which GP’s can choose not to offer. Preparation for privatising perhaps? I think Virgin Healthcare seems to have bought up a lot of sexual health clinics. As article says, it’s all the private health companies which are running a ton of screening programmes. I sense primary health care being broken up and privatised.

  32. Hi ladies!can I draw your attention to the latest from PHE blog screening inequalities and what we’re doing about them. Its nauseating. They admit that some people do not wish to screen or be treated. They then bang on about informed choice and about providing high quality info. People who don’t screen might with better info. Then the usual poor people bame groups ect don’t screen . Also men are less likely to take part probably because they’re not pestered Like we are.. Cervical screening is of course held up as an example with PHE teaming up with Jos trust at cervix savvy workshops in areas of low take up to brainwash thousands of women…they’re now looking at ways of increasing uptake in all programs including texting screening appointment reminders instead of letters..and I thought screening was a choice!. Soon they will be teaming upqith CRUK and other charities to increase pestering to improve uptake of mammograms and bowel screening!

    • Kat, every time I look at the PHE screening blog I see your posts published, but I can’t get any of mine past the moderator! I have another one in moderation so I expect to get the email from them soon that they can’t print it! I’ve read the new blog and see what you mean. The postal bill for the NHS programme must be substantial. If 1 million women don’t attend every year after 3 letters that’s probably costing nearly £2 million every year alone, so I know they want to switch to texting where possible, but I don’t think they can do so without your permission that you want to be contacted in this way. They’re really piling the pressure on young women, as I’ve read in many places that if they don’t attend when young, they’ll have lost them for good.

  33. Ada I tried to leave a reply today but it got wiped! No sign of it even in moderation. Imagine if they get a campaign ip for breast and bowel screening. ….be breast brave. .have a mammogram! Don’t end up in the s…! Have bowel screening. .. and be cervix savvy

    • What gets me about this latest campaign is the big drive to increase uptake in screening amongst the disabled. The disabled will have far more contact with the Medical profession than anyone else due to their being disabled, so this group would have had far more opportunities to be screened than able bodied patients, had these people wanted it. They are either likely to have declined or carers decided that it is inappropriate for them, yet the screening zealots are set on calling this an inequality that must be corrected.

  34. I looked on Jos about cervix savvy. It disgustingly uses the 220,000 abnormal smear results to try to scare women into testing. It doesn’t state it’s due to the inaccurate test or that a tiny % of results go on to be cancerous

    • I find this charity so utterly offensive, their campaigns treat women like sexual little girls, and the way they sexualise cancer makes me feel quite ill. There is something quite perverse about this whole outfit.

  35. It’s all about targeting the weak! I am just reading this now and thought you may wish to read from the Jo’s site….YUK!

    Click to access cervical_screening_in_the_spotlight_-_final.pdf

    Targeting young women, Targeting women with a learning disability, Targeting refugee women, Targeting Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, Targeting surgeries with low coverage, Practice Cancer Champion Programme, Screening coordinators working directly with GP practices, Training non-clinical cancer champions, Training frontline healthcare and support staff – it just goes on and on!
    just an example here:
    Training non-clinical cancer champions
    The Heywood Middleton and Rochdale Public Health Team and CCG, and the Greater Manchester
    Screening & Immunisation team have worked together to train 20 non clinical cancer champions.
    These champions undertake activities including following up patients who fail to engage in cancer
    screening programmes, assisting in the development of radio adverts to be played in local gyms,
    discussing take up rates of service with CCG Primary Care leads and attending the Practice Nurse
    Forum to promote actions they can take to increase uptake.
    Training frontline healthcare and support staff
    Dudley Council has delivered workshops for GP staff, including receptionists and practice
    nurses on how to improve interaction and patient experience when booking cervical screening,
    share best practice and identify opportunities to raise awareness of cervical screening. They
    also delivered training to student midwifes, Healthy Living Pharmacies and optician staff who
    identified opportunities within their own roles or organisations to raise awareness.

    If a Gym, Receptionist, Pharmacy or Optician approached me about this I think I would without a doubt go mad at them! It’s bad enough as it is without this kind of pressure, it’s complete nonsense!

    • It made me feel ill when I started reading this, but about halfway through I realized just how desperate this charity sounded. GPs are in such short supply, they really don’t have the time to listen to these campaigners. I know someone who goes around GP practices and they don’t have the time of day to do this additional stuff. I can imagine they’re treated politely but glad for them to go. They may have volunteers who stuff a few leaflets here and there, but who looks at it and it’s been done before and the uptake still falls. This charity is always blowing it’s own trumpet, I got the impression a lot of this is very low level stuff that goes in the bin once they’ve gone. The NHS services are now so fragmented no-one knows who should be doing it anymore. There is a lot of apathy for continuing with these campaigns, I sense the half of authorities that are not doing so (what a joy to read that so many are doing nothing!) are using the fragmentation of services to quietly bury the scheme altogether. I hope so.

  36. I read the article with horror. This cancer charity is actively promoting forcing different groups of women into screening. They behave like Nazis towards screening. I shudder to think if they had more power than they already have. They would be frog marching us to our screening appointments. How can they continue this line when PHE is supporting the notion of ‘choice’ at long last?

    Do they not understand what it was like to feel you have no choice but to go through with this examination. It feels like rape. According to the law – it is rape!!!!

  37. Oh my days Ada screening zealots who hammer their theme to busy GPs! Linda hi hope your good and I agree its Nazis but if they do as threatened and work with charities to increase uptake of breast and bowels screening men could possibly be chased and told don’t be embarrassed… Oh you’re here with a cough? Well before I deal with it you really must sign up for flexi SIG….
    I seemed to remember reading about the amazing cervix savvy road shows being pilloried and researched. I was right. In 2008 Jo’s trust teamed up with Camden council and there were numerous complaints from outraged women. As I recall the campaign was featured using MEN telling them about their cervix. The men were pictured as having faces. Women supposedly reporting their experience of Cc weren’t even names and had a silhouette. No photo. Women felt this was patronizing and that it was somehow shameful to have the disease and be such a pariah you weren’t even named. And were these actual women or made up propaganda? Worst was to come when they ran a series of” excuses ” for not having smears which were then rubbished. You’re never too busy for your haircut every 6 weeks. Smears are 5 mins every 3 years blergh. Then there was ” because its disgusting” and horrifically JO’S TRUST ANS CAMDEN COUNCIL agreed.. Not disgusting for the woman mind but for the POOR doc or nurse carrying out the test on these women’s disgusting vaginas! When they’d have us believe its like our eae or arm to them? And poor body image and embarrassed women is also supposed to be a barrier?? This reason was removed and the campaign altered. It would b funny if it wasn’t.. DISGUSTING!

  38. To the point about haircuts and smears being part of your beauty routine. For many years I was probably classed as a lower socio economic poor woman. During that time I couldn’t afford or justify spending money on the hairdresser. I got into the habit of standing in front of the mirror and shipping bits off and actually never had a real disaster. Now I CAN afford the hairdresser I still can’t justify it as I can so it myself and still don’t! I even manage to dye blonde all by myself…guess I’m still classes lower socio economic then! Which is patronising in itself. If someone is poor it doesn’t make them stupid!

  39. Hi Kat. Its great to see you still posting. I read all your comments and those on the PHE site.
    I don’t post much now only when I feel the need not every five minutes like I used to. However I keep up every day with the new posts.

    It bothers me that the head of Jo’s trust is a man. His name is Robert Music. His wife or daughter I cant remember which died of cervical cancer a few years ago. However its now his life;s mission to drive as many women as possible into screening. He’s overly worried about young women’s vaginas which is very creepy.

    I think Ada right when she said that GP’s might be binning the literature from this trust. The cats out of the bag now. The cervical screening programme has been run more like an operation of mass rape and women are waking up to the fact and refusing to screen. Doctors know how it was run more than anyone else. Numbers are falling away with every passing minute. It should never have operated this way especially with such a poor test anyway.

    I occasionally post on the PHE website but no matter what I write my posts don’t get through. I suppose they are frightened about all those future rape allegations they might have to deal with. They wouldn’t want women waking up to whats been done to them it would be a legal nightmare for them. And a lot of money. The crown prosecution website is very clear about what is considered rape in this country there is no getting round the law now. The average payout for a rape is ten thousand pounds so I was done 7 times that would be 70 thousand. Imagine if more women questioned how they were forced into having an unwanted examination the NhS would be bankrupt so they are desperate for my allegations of rape to be silenced.


  40. Hi Linda! You could be right about doctors and Jos and also Ada when she says docs are running out of steam. My surgery has gone from 6 pink posters about smears to 0.and I’ve not been hounded for a while.
    Glad you’re doing good and in a better place . This test has a lot to answer to! Yes I’m still posting and I’ve you to thank for finding me all those years ago.I wasn’t informed then. I just knew I didn’t want smears or any more hounding and when you caught up with me and I started reading up I got bloody angry about the way I wasn’t told anything and was so hounded. I’ve always been political and not afraid to speak out. I’m still bloody angry…not so much for me now but about the arrogance of the powers that be and for all those other women out there. So I’ll keep going ….

  41. Hi Kat. I’ve often wondered if doctors read the posts on this site. We have no way of knowing who accesses this site and where they are from. Perhaps some doctors are better informed now.

    I also cut my own hair. I haven’t been to a hairdresser for ten years now and I look ok.

  42. I was reading through some of Alexs old posts yesterday. I miss him as he doesn’t post anymore He had a very unusual way of saying things but he was good in what he meant.

    • It’s a great post and very good to see. This thread is the most used of all the PHE screening blogs and appears to have most comments. I think someone posted early on that it was just a few complainers making unjust comments about a wonderful programme. Well, we’ll see. This thread has run and run and more people are still commenting, none supporting the programme.

  43. I’ll try to post this link…www.pulse today./clinical/more-clinical/-areas/sexual-health/how-we-boosted-cervical-uptake-by-11/20035225. article.
    Have the vomit bucket ready . opportunistic smears are the order of the day plus weekly reminders and a video of smears on a 200 minute loop plus pink plus a feminine handbag / shoe theme and still only an 11% increase. Brainwashes.

    • Kat, I saw this and read through, then found I couldn’t access the article again as was behind a subscription service.
      It made me feel quite ill, but I can’t have been the only one. A medical professional has added in the comments that all the pink everywhere was enough to make her weep.
      Yes and all that paraphernalia achieved what exactly?
      Apparently this doctors surgery had only got about 55% uptake in the beginning, so increase was hardly huge, and just how many cases of cancer did they find, I wonder…

    • With Pulse you only get a certain limit then need to pay but we can’t unless we are GMC registered, basically you get to see it once as a visitor then it locks you out.
      This definitely made me want to vomit! If any Receptionist rang me to say I was overdue then they had better be prepared to take what’s coming to them, I’m overdue nothing if declining their offer! Like any of us wish to discuss our intimate areas with a dam receptionist! The pink themes are awful the really are. Thank you for the link.

      • Thanks Chas. Agreed. If they texted or rung me every week they’d find themselves blocked very quickly and a complaint to PHE for illegally harassing an opted out woman!

  44. Not sure how I got into it as now into says I have to register…but maybe someone is registered!

    • Kat, I checked out this St Mary’s surgery in the NHS reviews section and some of them are hilarious, especially the ones from the Poles. 😂😂😂
      For all their award which they got from Jo’s the patients gave them 🌟 🌟.

  45. I may have posted this PDF (76 pages) link before but I went straight to colposcopy appointments on page 43, a whopping figure of 433,624 new and return appointments! Wow clearly keeping many in jobs!

    Click to access nhs-cerv-scre-prog-eng-2015-16-rep.pdf

    4.2 Appointments for colposcopy
    4.2.1 During 2015-16, a total of 433,624 appointments were reported at colposcopy clinics, a decrease of 5.7% on 2014-15 (459,804 appointments). Of these, 54.1% were new appointments (i.e. all appointments offered for a first visit), an increase from 53.7% in 2014-15. Return for treatment appointments made up 8.2% of the total, and 37.8% of appointments were follow-ups (see Table V).

    • Thanks for this, Chas, I hadn’t seen this before. Some interesting figures:

      Only 71% of women turn up to colposcopy appointments.
      Much less for follow-up appointments.
      Whether you get a biopsy or worse on first appointment varies hugely by the region you live in. Women in NE England 30% more likely to suffer treatment. Doubt any of them are told true risk.
      Of all biopsies taken: approximately 25% are CIN 1 or lesser infections. A further 25% are CIN2. That’s 50% of biopsies for harmless conditions.
      As you say, keeps them all in jobs.

  46. Over 433,000 colpo appts and around 200,000 abnormal smears a year. Hmmmm. Large smelly rat alert. …this will be the next target. Rounding up the defaulters. Seriously though it really is scary. I get Elizabeth phrase now guarding her asymptomatic body….

    • https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2017/09/20/health-matters-your-questions-on-cervical-screening/

      Kat, this is the latest from PHE blog, I thought you’d enjoy reading Q10. Our “world class” screening programme will not be bringing in 5 yearly HPV testing until 2020, although I think most women in the UK are 5 yearly or more these days. All this and the elephant in the room is that you can get an HPV self-test online for the price of a pair of shoes and get the results in 5 working days. Keeping the herd in the dark and keeping their jobs springs to mind. And who pops up again in every PHE blog but their buddies that vile pink charity. I wonder what their medical qualifications are for producing their research, and being in such close cahoots with government policy on this? We don’t see Macmillan popping up everywhere like they do, or even their chums the Eve Appeal. All claim to represent gyne cancer. Very suspicious.

      • Oh my days Ada as you once said will ànyone actually still be attending at all then? Don’t they realize their programme is dying? I doubt Crapita wI’ll do much to help and I can see a lot of women not wishing to have data on their sexual health held by them..and 2020 roll out? When CC is such a massive threat to women lol you’re right. They’re watching their own backs! Thanks for that link!

      • The obsession with uptake really gets on my nerves, as it’s just so meaningless. We live in a university city where the university practice only has a 25% uptake which brings down the overall city average to 69%. So they want to work on this so that the citywide average goes up, but it’s so pointless. The vast majority of people registered at the uni practice are under 24 so don’t qualify, and only a small number are eligible for screening, and as these will have a brain between their ears it’s hardly surprising they’ve checked out the evidence and declined. But the health zealots can’t understand this and are trying to set up campus campaigns. It’s nauseatingly pathetic. As you saw from the link, it is acknowledged that it’s the endgame, and it’s about how to wind the programme down, without revealing the harm that’s been done to us in the past. It’s these health zealots (often with no medical training) who seem to keep fanning the flames of misinformation, and keep terrorising women into compliance, often telling these women to spread the word and convert others to their way of thinking. Cervical screen1 for starters, and I’ve seen other young women taking up this role as online “advisors” as they’ve had 1 test and don’t know what all the fuss is about. Just let them wait and see.

  47. Hello, all. Did you guys see these sites where you can get birth control shipped to your house?

    (1) Nurx
    (2) PRJKT RUBY
    (3) The Pill Club
    (4) PillPack
    (5) Pandia Health
    (6) Planned Parenthood Care

    All this was on Bedsider.com, if anyone wants specifics on where different ones are available & what you can get from there. Might be good to post this on the birth control subject, I don’t know if there’s one on GETTING birth control or just one that discusses coercive penetration when someone tries to get birth control.

    • Doubt there was mucho any critical discussion at that forum, I imagine it was basically a lot of people agreeing with each other. Interesting they allow about 30 minutes to bowel screening, if you believe in screening, you’d think the risk of the cancer would determine your level of interest in the screening program…nope, the huge focus is still on a cancer that was always fairly rare here. We waste a lot of money on cervical screening the wrong way, funds better spent elsewhere..
      This is what happens when vested interests, politics and misguided (many also well-meaning) people are in control

    • Not that bloody woman again. She’s always doing articles like that, but Cosmo is a chav mag after all. I can’t stand these people. They have next to 0 medical knowledge, but have set themselves up on social media as pseudo medics preaching to the masses what they should be doing to their health. They are usually all under 25, I’m sure most of them are smokers and are probably pissed most weekends.

      • Moo (10/23/17) you’re right. How many times have I said this? Per EXACTLY WHAT doctors are trained in med school to do: My husband’s former best friend the anesthesiologist said — “To get a complete biopsy we use the spatula and fully scrape off the top layer of tissue.” The STANDARD they are taught is “SCRAPE HARD/DEEP ENOUGH ULTIL BLOOD IS VISUALIZED ON SURFACE OF CERVIX.”
        IF you are infected this is a GUARANTEE that the virus will become a permanent part of you. No chance to fight it off.
        RE the “endocervical brush.” Depends on type of brush utilized. Sometimes a very fine nylon brush is used. Other times however, the brush has STEEL OR BRASS bristles studded within the nylon bristles. This is to puncture your tissue, obtaining blood and cells from below surface.
        Same thing results.
        The only “safe test methods” are the self-tests such as urine, blood, or self-harvested mucus (Delphi). Anything that abrades the cervix can also perpetrate a permanent infection.
        For Kleigh:
        The Marie Clare article serves only to gently embarrass us for rebelling. Their way of calling us stupid w/o saying so.
        None of these asinine rags gets the picture (or are printed in denial of it) that we despise pap and will refuse it the first chance given. What message isn’t getting through? Or is deliberately ignored?

      • Kleigh such was the horror over the changed wording of the “invitations” it was actually debated in our Parliament with our Women’s Minister arguing to a room of about 3 people the wording should be omitted again as the idea was to increase the number of cervices scraped not reduce it ! I actually emailed her pointing out if they did tey would in fact be guilty of withholding information from women that they needed to make an I formed decision and also that I opted out two years ago after 15 years spent refusing to screen prior.. I never got a reply lol

  48. I saw a Tweet the other day suggesting smear tests should be compulsory! I wish I could find it now. I was outraged.

    For many years I wasn’t informed. I suffered them as I thought they were mandatory for getting birth control. It was certainly made to seem that way by many overbearing nurses I saw. I eventually stopped taking birth control to avoid being bullied and now I have found this site. I understand the risks and for me, I will not screen.

    I’m so pleased I am now informed and will never be bullied by a medical professional again.

    • I am with you after yrs of being traumatized with attempts at exams I finally said enough! I nam so happy not to bullied and abused

    • That’s terrible. I feel for the U.K. Woman. I whoulnt want to be chased down to have Pap smears or be reminded about them. So disrespectful.

  49. Oh my days gang! Instagram is the only social media I’m on (for my cat!) I looked ip the loathsome cervicalscreen1 page. I kid u not it starts cervical screening 💚! I bet they do really adore it too…

    • I read years ago that women are more likely to do what the medical profession and others want them to do for lots of reasons but one tactic was to adopt the good girl, bad girl approach. I notice regular Pap test women can be almost pious, looking down on “the unscreened”, they can be judgemental, rude and aggressive too. I believe this behaviour is shaped by the system deliberately manipulating our thinking.
      The official discourse reinforces that message too, responsible women have regular Pap tests, the rest of us are labelled all sorts of derogatory things like ignorant, lazy, silly, lower class etc.
      I know some women have been called a “silly girl” when they decline a Pap test, can you imagine a doctor calling a man a “silly boy” for declining a screening test.

  50. I always thought HPV could be contracted without sexual contact, maybe only a small risk but still a risk!
    Should you wipe down your gym yoga mat to avoid germs?
    A US surgeon – Dr David Anthony Greuner – recently issued a more serious warning by claiming that herpes, a virus more commonly associated as coming from sexual contact, could potentially be picked up from dirty mats.
    He says in a blog post: “Making skin contact with a dirty yoga mat covered in germs and bacteria can lead to skin infections, acne, toenail fungus and even transfer of the herpes virus and staph and strep infections in susceptible individuals.”
    Meanwhile, a study in Sexual Health, a medical journal, also found a low risk of getting human papilloma virus (HPV), an infection which can lead to genital warts, by using unclean bike seats at the gym.

    • Easy solution. Get your own mat. These are not expensive. Each time you use it cover it with a long towel to fit and wash that. Roll up the mat separately since it contacts the floor which may not be clean.

      Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer and use it. You can ask the gym what soluti. Can be used to wipe off exercise equipment before and after use. Most gyms ask their members to do this.

      We have had many discussions about dirty exam room surfaces. The medical profession is really lax about this compared to dental practices whcih tend to sanitize surfaces between patients and always use sterile tools.

  51. Hi ladies. A new post on the PHE blog how do we help ppl decide if screening is right for them. A Canadian woman on their system. Bullying all the way. ..

    • Kat, I check up from time to time, but hadn’t realised how much this had grown in numbers. It is wonderful to see, but also that they are actually posting the comments. After a couple that didn’t get through I then had a few comments posted and I was very pleased about that.

      • I have left a resonse to the canadian lady on the phe website. I dont suppose it will get through. I will look on monday as i left it late fri aft.

        It annoys me that someone high up in the NHS and gov decided in around 1987-88 that all british women would receive these examinations whether they wanted them or not. They are culpable for what they did. It was a human rights abuse that is finally coming out in the open. Someone needs to be reprimanded for deliberately targetting one half of the british population to have this vile ugly exam often against their will.

        The lies, mistruths and falsification of facts were all done to deliberately mislead women into testing. My heart breaks for the damage done to women as well as myself because of so called further treatments for problems we did not even have. In my opinion the whole programme is a criminal operation that needs exposing and bringing up on charges.

  52. Tried to post there too but awaiting moderation, Linda I can’t see yours yet either.

    Duncan posted on on 06 October 2017
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    You are right we have all been led to believe that it was mandatory in the past. The harassment for me was like you, on every GP visit for unrelated issues, and apparently for a woman to refuse cervical screening we “require counselling” – what a joke! It is our right to refuse any test/procedure/treatment. Abnormal cervical screening can be for many other reasons like hormones/menopause/bathing products/simple infections etc. It has got to the point that I no longer visit my GP and deal with my own health issues, which is ridiculous, I should be comfortable seeking help when I need it but sadly this isn’t the case.
    If you search Google “the truth about smear tests” you can research more on cervical screening, it is very enlightening to say the least.

    My aim is to get this Canadian lady to FWEO site, but sadly my comment is still not posted. I thought if I kept it short it may slip through!

    • What a load of bollocks! A ‘selfie’ is where you take your own photos – are the women here using the device on themselves? No, it’s still ‘necessary’ to have this thing stuffed inside you by a nurse, still an invasive procedure. So much for progress.

      • My thoughts exactly, its ridiculous! They will try to capture women any way they can! UK has already managed to increase uptake for women with learning disabilities with the help from the woman’s carer or guardian, I doubt they gave truly informed consent either? But it increased their dam figures closer to their targets for that payment! It is so infuriating!

    • That lens looks quite big and it doesn’t have a tapered end for easier insertion. They don’t explain, but it’s my guess it gets put inside the speculum once it’s fully open, so is likely to be even more painful, not to mention very difficult to sterilise.

  53. Hi All. It is apparent that PHE don’t intend to publish my comment to the Canadian lady. They never publish any thing I write and I wonder how many others comments don’t see the light of day either. For all their talk of ‘choice’ PHE is still the draconian organisation it always was, closely gate keeping who can say what to whom. I have cut and pasted it below – decide for yourselves whether i’m bang out of order or just saying it as it is.

    Dear Canadian lady

    Women the world over are being harassed to have cervical screening. It is not just in Britain but America and Canada too. In some countries it is now a legal requirement when applying for certain jobs. (Teaching, child care the police and military)

    I don’t think Papanicolau (the inventor of the smear test) imagined in his wildest dreams the repercussions for women the world over. I think he would be very sad to hear that his test is forced on us by the overbearing medical profession.

    This terrible situation has gone on for thirty years in Britain.

    Since getting married in 1987 I have had 7 tests forced on me because I was lead to believe by my GP they were necessary to get access to the pill. I now realize I was lied to. In my opinion there is nothing more unpleasant than being forced to accept an unwanted genital examination.

    I applaud Public Health England for changing the wording to the leaflets and letters they send out. I wish it had been the case all those years ago while I was being duped. I am also happy to see they are making women aware of the possibility of further testing when abnormalities are found and also the very real problem of false positives (as well as the more worrying false negatives)

    Slowly women are waking up to the fact they have a choice and more and more are declining to have this invasive and horrible examination. Despite self testing being well known, no one is informing women of this more acceptable option.

    However, even very recently I am still expected to defend my position on the subject during appointments for other health concerns. The fact the test is now a ‘choice’ needs to be transmitted to the country’s GP’s

    • It’s worth taking a look at their guidelines for posting. It says they don’t post comments if they’re making the same points which have already been made by someone else. If you can re-angle your argument and take a new line, it might work.

    • It seems a bit hit and miss, I was surprised my comments got through, maybe they’re getting so many negative comments, they’re holding some back. For years they only published the positive comments, even if it was ridiculous stuff, now they seem to allow some of the critical comments through…
      I wrote to one site a year or do ago and was told they liked to keep the threads balanced and so some comments were not published, interesting, for years that balance was missing…
      So many are still so fearful of women hearing about negative experiences with testing or hearing of screening alternatives or reading anything that might inform and put women off screening.

  54. Support group for women who’ve been left with issues after LLETZ, the so-called “minor” procedure. Of course, we know most of these treatments were/are unnecessary and avoidable.
    These groups would concern the program, esp. if women work out exactly why so many women ended up worse off, did this testing and the treatment really save them from cc? Was it really necessary? Were they misled?

  55. Interesting, they mention CC & poor Hygiene!
    The world’s ‘better’ countries, with greater access to healthcare, experience much higher rates of cancer incidence than the world’s ‘worse off’ countries, according to new research.
    Only cervical cancer went the other way, with rates of cervical cancer five times higher among the 10 worst countries. “This may be because of poor hygiene in the 10 worst countries, which is especially important in cases of cervical cancer,” Professor Henneberg says.

    • The article totally ignored the environmental causes or cofactors in cancer development. It is not all about genes. Even with HPV, the cancer protein genes get turned on probably by other anaerobic bacterial infections in cervical cancer.

      How does testical cancer and lung cancer go with more developed countries? Just more exposure to cancer promoting chemicals. Showering might have something to do with lung cancer rather than smoking.

      Most types of Cancer has nothing to do with natural selection because these types of cancer become a problem in later adulthood AFTER their most fertile years. If these were childhood genetic conditions then these peoole would never have grown old enough to reproduce.

    • “if a woman has only one self-collected test at age 30 then she will have rediced her risk of cancer by 40%”. ???? Will this magic test will this protect her like a vaccine? Sounds too good to be true!!! Pass the vomit bag.

      • I’ve read up on this and it’s true. Age 30 is a key age and just one negative test at this point often means no further tests necessary. Most women will have settled down with a long term partner by this stage, and if they’ve ever had HPV, will be over it. If women only ever have one test it should be around this age. A positive result at 30 means you’ve probably had HPV which isn’t clearing..

      • It means if a woman only ever has one test in her entire lifetime it has most effect around age 30, more than any other age. She’s most likely to have found lifelong partner by then, and got over any HPV infections, hence 40% fall in risk.

      • Just one test at age 30? It depends on the woman. I know a woman who was a virgin until she got married at age 45. She had a pap test soon after that event and told she had to get a leep. She was over the magical age of 35. Same could be for a woman who divorces and remarries or has a different partner. She could be infected with different hpv virus strains and clearing them might take time.

        If HPV self tests were available to any age women no strings attached and she could decide if she wanted a doctor to view her results, I might agree.

  56. And now on the soap Eastenders they are using the storyline of Cervical Cancer to raise awareness. They took their time getting to which cancer it actually was for dear old Linda…..but of course I new it would be cc! Makes me sick!

    • I haven’t watched this in years, but let me guess the plot:
      Linda has been binning those invitations because she is silly and embarrassed, and thought that the over 50s didn’t need to get smears, so now she’s committed the crime of being overdue and will pay the price of death.

  57. I’m sure you all have read this before. I found this article and it made my blood boil! Those selfish f*ckers! And this article shows that gynecologists are a bunch of legalized perverts who only care about themselves! By complaining about these things, it’s obvious they don’t care about the patient!

    • Holy shit! And I’M an asshole? That’s a hell of a thing- to be involved in what basically amounts to large-scale medical fraud & to bitch about the conditions. Don’t they corral women into these situations most of the time? It’s not like she added a coercive probing to the schedule when she went looking for birth control.

      Also, if these people want less arduous conditions at the workplace they can always just inform their patients/marks of the bonuses they get for reaching target quotas.

      That is, if things aren’t too distracting for them. Oh, wait- it was declared to not be a sexual/seductive environment for them. Which can’t be affirmed without being true, of course. If it WERE that way & it was made obvious, they’d likely have business problems. So it stands to reason that this is always the truth & actually matters- since gratification is nothing more than an accentuating factor in any kind of affront, whether it’s subtle or not.

      • How discussing, along with a vile picture to boot. That’s the most ignorant and self-serving article I’ve ever read. Its bad enough women are coerced into having these mostly unnecessary exams, but heaven forbid, the poor gynecologist feels uncomfortable! This just proves that’s its all about what’s best for the medical “professional,” never for the woman!

    • Woman are expected to see a gynecologist where they make woman think the only way to preventing pregnancy is to use the hormones they get paid to prescribe. Getting paid to grope healthy woman on a yearly basis.

  58. Have any of you seen the speech done at the recent woman’s march by scarlet Johansson? She was really shoving the gynecologist down those woman’s throughts. Her mom asked her if she’d been To see a gynecologist at 15 . And how her friends said planed parenthood saved her friends ass and found pre cancerous cells. I loved scarlet and her movies, but Now I don’t think I can see her in the same way as I used to.

  59. Kleigh, that’s unfortunate. It really highlights how the women’s healthcare industry and lobbyists use popular culture to brainwash women into thinking these exams are an essential part of life. They also do this by linking gynecology to women’s rights and empowerment when we know the opposite is true, its meant to control us, not empower us.

  60. I found something interesting in this DM article : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4998554/Men-5-oral-sex-partners-highest-cancer-risk.html

    “Our research shows that identifying those who have oral HPV infection does not predict their future risk of cancer well, and so screening based on detecting cancer-causing oral HPV infection would be challenging.”

    Imagine if they said cervical HPV infection rather than oral! It would mean that cervical screening is a bad indicator of future risk of cancer, this shows how little they actually know about HPV virus behavior and its association to cancer.

    If HPV oral cancer seems to depend more on the number of partners than catching a HPV infection, could it be applied to cervical cancer, therefore forcing the medical community to acknowledge that not all women are equally at risk of cervical cancer. They keep saying that women who get this cancer can be low-income but most of all not getting tested, comparing the test to some sort of vaccine that would prevent the virus infection and subsequent cancer, while I rather think it’s in fact the opposite (instrument sterilization, destroying protective cell layer through scraping, etc), what if it could be more about a certain threshold of sexual partners (just like any other STD) combined to not using condoms that actually rises the cancer risk?

    Despite rising rates of still incredibly low rates of oral cancer, they still refuse to organize a standard screening test, but always low and now declining cervical cancer has never had its screening doubted.

    • Could be related to immune system reactions to different person’s proteins, general health and nutrition and other types infections other than HPV. Patients with AIDS tend to have greater death rates from HPV related cancers.

      I agree that scraping an area wich may contain hpv infected cells when the hpv infection results from small abrasions in the skin due to sexual activitiy (or using tampons) is how the hpv virus gets into the cells, then put a brush up the cervical canal which is a very thin layer of cells. Doesn’t make sense to me. Think of bagel being spread with peanut butter.

    • This is confusing the hell out of them. ” Men? Having HPV related cancers in the mouth? Well, we can’t scrape the backs of their mouths. They’d all gag. None would cooperate with screening….” But it’s ok to medically rape women for same specimens…
      They will probably next double down on forcing women back to the stirrups. This time, claiming that we need to protect ourselves from men.
      Pap is the standard; and it’s the money-maker. Break them from pap and the status quo do-gooders will feel as if all control is lost. They’ll never get over their power trips of protecting us from ourselves and in keeping control over our bedroom lives.

  61. What might actually happen to the medical community if “women’s” cancer screening programmes were suddenly cancelled and replaced. Let’s say all pap tests were replaced by an HPV urine test that could be bought a pharmacy and results reviewed online by the user and mammgrams were canned and thermography and genetic/nutritional/lifestyle counselling was used instead for those who were interested.?

    1. Politicians couldn’t claim they were champaigning on “women’s health issues” and then they might actually solve real problems such as equalizing pay gender gaps, getting a daycare system that worked, supporting women who need help.

    2. Doctors would have more time to actually take care of sick patients rather than doing well woman exams and taking time out of consultations to pressure patients to get cancer screenings. How much of doctor’s consultations and fees paid are actually about this?

    3. Women might actually make their own healthcare decisions including getting hpv testing or hpv vaccines if they felt it was right for them.

    4. Hormonal birth control might actually be made available over the counter and reduce the number of unwanted preganncies and abortions.

    Can you all add to the list?

    • What’s happening in the UK is that the test is still exactly the same as before, but the sample is tested for HPV first and only if its positive then cytology is done too. If positive but cytology negative it’s normal recall in 3 years. If both are positive it’s off to the butcher’s shop.

    • Moo, you can be sure they’ve left a little something for vested interests, we’ll start HPV testing, the invasive test only, you have to decline the invasive test for 6 years before you’ll be offered a self-testing option unless you source it yourself online. Of course, the Delphi Screener option seems to have gone, websites are blocked, it’s the usual approach here when women find something better or something else they prefer – block it and force them into your dodgy program.
      We’ll do HPV testing from age 25, there are lots of worried women here because we currently test very young women, some research showed some GPs have even tested girls under the age of 17! So we naturally have lots of women who’ve had a “scare” when they were young, you see the telling comments, “I would be dead if not for that early pap and treatment for my pre-cancer”…yeah, sure, I’m sure this makes many in the know have a quiet chuckle at their ignorance.
      We all know the truth, these women have no clue, they’ve been misled for decades, led to believe they had a close call.
      You only have to do basic research to find HPV testing is NOT recommended before age 30, but if we started our new program at age 30 though, they’d be a major panic, “it’s cost-ciutting”…I’m sure some vested interests would join that chorus.
      So our serious and prolonged over-screening means we’re unlikely to ever see an evidence based program, or it’s far into the future.
      They have to be careful not to lead women to the evidence, to discover the horrible truth – they were tested against the long standing evidence, which led to huge numbers of unnecessary biopsies and over-treatment.

      So about 40% of our women aged 25 to 29 WILL test HPV+ – I’ve read differing accounts but I assume these women will be referred for a colposcopy and biopsy. We know this group of women clear the virus in a year or so, it’s the 5% who test HPV+ at age 30 to 60 that might benefit – but we should not be pap testing or doing HPV tests on women under 30.
      Instead we’ll waste scarce health resources and continue to worry and harm women. The lack of respect for women is appalling, including the thinking behind blocking the Delphi Screener and other self-testing options like Tampap (that women might prefer and benefit from) also, the misinformation, the manipulation – this is the way women are treated in Australia in 2017. Don’t talk to me about women’s rights and reducing domestic violence while we continue to allow these programs and vested interests to abuse women in the worst possible way.

      • For sure I would rather all the money wasted on unneccessary cervical cancer screening tests and mammograms be used for programmes to prevent relationship violence and help those victims. When politicians try to make an issue about “women’s health” I have to wonder exactly what they are specificly referring to abortion, access to contraception, ?

  62. I sent an email to a political commentator yesterday, he has a program on Sky, I tune in now and then, he’s usually fairly balanced, but I was disappointed to hear him “reminding” women about breast screening recently. I sent him a note pointing out women need better information, not just reminders and that many of us have made an informed decision not to attend. I referred him to the NCI summary and a couple of local sources of balanced information (we only have a couple!)
    I think he’s the sort of man who’ll look at the research but it says to me that even intelligent and politically aware people just seem to accept that screening is a good thing to do…it seems only a few have the ability to critically examine the official discourse, to doubt and question, and it seems we come from all walks of life.

    • I don’t know how it’s been for ladies in other countries, but October is supposed to be breast cancer awareness month in the UK, and I’ve hardly seen anything about it, and definitely no pressure to have a mammogram. No statistics shoved in our faces about how many are failing to “take up the offer” as they now call it in the NHS. No women saying, if I hadn’t had that mammogram I’d be dead by now. No funny little men popping up in the press telling us we’re too silly and embarrassed to save our lives. No statistics released to say how women are “unaware, unable to read, act, or think for themselves” from our university research departments. Quite a contrast to what it used to be. I’ve seen a few ads to be aware and look out for symptoms. Just how it should be.

  63. I don’t know if any of y’all are familiar with the American t.v show monsters inside me? Tonite they had a lady that had a uterine ablation for painful periods. She was having horrible pain and Oder weeks after the procedure. Her first thought was that her husband was cheating and she had a std. She went back to her gyms and was told it was a vaginsl infection. Later she felt something pushing out of her. Went to the hospital had a X-ray. Turns out her gynecologist left a sharp rod inside her. She said she felt betrayed. I wonder how often this happens? Gynecologists seem so egar to do invasive procedures.

  64. Hi, thanks everyone for commenting and keeping this blog alive! There are over 11,000 comments site wide, and this discussion forum post has almost 4,000 comments now. This is awesome but as a result this post is a bit slow to load and scroll. I have posted a new discussion forum for your commenting pleasure: https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2017/10/27/unnecessary-pap-smears-discussion-forum/ and will be closing this one to comments. Please click on the link to the new post to comment, or of course any other post!
    Sue 🙂

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