Did you know that female and male reproductive organs aren’t all that different from each other? During the first few weeks of fetal development the internal and external sex organs are the same in both boys and girls. It is not until the 16th to 18th week of pregnancy that a baby’s gender can be determined. Basically, the structures are very similar – it is just the placement and purposes that vary. If you compare a woman’s cervix and the glans of a male’s penis you can see how similar they look:
A woman’s cervix (speculum view)
When the cervix is pulled down through the vagina it looks similar to a penis – but without the skin. The cervix (followed by the uterus) is being pulled out through the vagina in the image below:
Female reproductive organs remain inside the pelvic structure while male organs descend. The descent is not complete until after birth, as male testicles do not drop down into the scrotum until about 6 months of age:
Did you know that the uterus and cervix play an important role during orgasm? The uterus is responsible for the strong, sustained contractions; the cervix dips, supports, and increases sensitivity.
Did you know that incidence of testis cancer in men is similar to incidence of cervical cancer in women? Incidence of testis cancer per 100,000 is 6.75, incidence of cervical cancer of per 100,000 is 7.46 (Canadian statistics). Incidence of prostate cancer is much higher at 140 per 100,000.
Given the similarities between female and male sex organs . . .
Why are women’s sex organs depicted as vulnerable and in need of constant examination?
Why are men not subjected to the same pressures? Why have womens’ reproductive organs spawned such a lucrative medical industry?
Why are women subjected to invasive exams so disproportionate to the risk or to the attention given to men?
Why are women castrated at rates that are unimaginable for men?
I might add that the cervix also serves a function to filter the semen with a mesh of mucus it’s gland cells produce. Unfiltered semen cannot be injected into the uterus during an artificial insemination. It must be washed first. A functioning (intact) cervix does the filtering naturally.
I believe that circumcision of male babies and children is totally wrong. If an adult male decides to have the procedure for whatever reason fine. It just seems that so many doctors support infant circumcision and they are probably the same ones who think that amputating a women’s cervix during a LEEP or cone biopsy is just fine too. It is totally wrong and about 20% of women who have LEEP done have dysplasia come back (who knows if the original reason was for HPV infection anyway) . These disfiguring surgeries that cause sexual dysfunction and harm to men and women should be stopped.
While some people might not think that a comparison of circumcision to LEEP is fair, I might point out that what if often behind all the excessive pap testing and treatments is misogyny. Men might have a circumcision for religious reasons or falsely because it is believed to be more hygienic. Then only the minimum amount of the foreskin is removed. Rarely is circumcision recommended for medical reasons.
Men can have HPV lesions inside their urethra and between the foreskin and the glands only they are never scraped at yearly intervals their whole adults life. I might note that homosexual men are being anally pap tested at the same rate as some women. Some of them find the procedures and “treatments” as upsetting as most women. The Gay lesbian trans community have been abused by the medical industry for years now.
to a lot of girls uncircumcised penises look weird. There isn’t any hard proof that it increases infection risk or does anything really damaging but removing the foreskin does allow guys to clean a lot easier, as a girl i wouldn’t want to go down on a guy that has old bacteria inside the foreskin that he missed in the shower, i wouldn’t want a guy to do that to me if i wasn’t clean from the same stuff that builds up in the vagina even after cleaning.
No. Men who have been taught hygiene have no problems keeping themselves clean. My husband is uncircumcised, and as this is a man’s natural state, it does not look funny. Women who think so are suffering from a lack of maturity.
Oddly you can vaginally remove kidneys. Haven’t looked into how. The vagina connects to the uterus via cervix but the kidneys are not connected to the uterus in any way.
Circumcision is useless unless there’s a clear medical reason requiring circ. I never understood how putting an open wound in a diaper/nappy filled with feces and urine with a proven 99% risk of infection outweighed simply waiting till the. Kid was older and willing to choose for himself. We left our son “natural” after my research. As far as religious reasons go, if a god wanted the penis to look a certain way, wouldn’t that god have created the penis to look that way? I read a few articles saying thd foreskin prevents hpv and has antibacterial purposes. Another thing, they say circ reduces smegma. The female labia also make smegma, yet it’s illegal to rempve them.
Actually, I’ve read circumcised heterosexual men are less likely to get HPV and other STIs…
“Heterosexual men who undergo medical circumcision can significantly reduce their risk of acquiring two common sexually transmitted infections — herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), the cause of genital herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cancer and genital warts”
…there are quite a few reports that say the same thing.
It’s certainly easier to clean the area with no foreskin, but that’s not a reason to remove it, just means the man needs to take the time to clean the area properly.
I wonder what the research would show with men who clean the area properly.
I’ve also read older uncircumcised men get a lot more UTIs, but also, wonder if that could be addressed with greater care in nursing homes. (catheter care)
It’s a controversial area, I haven’t spent a lot of time looking at the subject, if I had a son, then it would have been on my research list, along with Gardasil. I prefer to do my own research and ask lots of questions – to someone I trust. I’ve found in the past (and continue to find) the evidence often contradicts the official discourse, particularly in women’s “healthcare” and cancer screening.
It’s funny how circumcision goes in waves, it’s clearly a religious/cultural thing for some groups, it happened around the Great Wars because they believed men could keep themselves cleaner in the trenches when they couldn’t shower/wash etc…they’d get fewer STIs, UTIs etc.
My husband and brothers were all circumcised, it was the done thing in the 1950s and 1960s in Australia, parents were strongly advised to carry out the procedure on their newborn sons, now I suspect the reverse would apply, you’d be strongly advised not to carry out the procedure, my 3 nephews are all intact.
Circumcision on a healthy baby boy is nothing short of sexual molestation, rape and leaves the boy with life long scars on his penis in where he will have to live with his entire life. Where is the law to protect our boys? Such a cruel and inhumane vulgar act done to the most erogenous zone on a mans body. It even scars the baby boys brain, sends it into shock and it will never recover we now know. And we wonder why boys commit suicide 4 to 1 per girls. Enter into life with being tied down and violently raped with body parts torn off and we wonder how could we expect them to grow up normal. And how many boys die every year in North America from this atrocity? 200+ yet no charges of wrong doing, no one goes to jail. if this was done to animals all the whack jobs doing this would be jailed and fined! Rape and pillaging was normal 100’s of years ago yet it died a proper death, when oh when will this cruelest left over from those ages die with it.
What really pisses me if off is that doctors to this day still tell women sex is better after hysterectomy because ‘you don’t have to worry about getting pregnant! ‘Yep this sort of BS is actually spouted in old medical journals like The Lancet. It’s written by clueless male gynecologists of course. What the fuck (excuse the pun)would they know about the female orgasm? That’s why it pisses me off that people pooh pooh women who say they want a female gynecologist. They DO know their physiology better than any male doctor. I read countless articles from people in the medical profession worried about the dwindling numbers of men going into gynecology. Nobody seems too worried that there aren’t many female urologists. Go to hell male gynecologists – you’ve needlessly butchered women’s bodies over the decades.
So true, Mary! According to the same logic, sex will be even better without men’s testicles. We definitely won’t need to worry about getting pregnant! Shall we proceed? 😉 Let’s start with the doctor who said that nonsense about the uterus.
I think men should be banned from telling women what’s better for their reproductive organs, orgasms or how painful (or not) something is. Male obgyns are the biggest nonsense medical systems keep producing all over the world!
It’s true there aren’t many female urologists so I’m not sure whether I’m lucky or unlucky to have had a female urologist treat me after an accident that damaged my testicles. After many tests and delays (requested by me) she eventually convinced me that my testicles were beyond saving and that they’d have to be removed. I doubt a male doctor would have held out for any longer. Anyway, I think I can relate to your concerns: a female urologist removed my testicles, female nurses dressed my wounds, and a female endocrinologist is helping me get my testosterone levels back to normal. All very professional, though.
I found this reasoning as to why men don’t have a test for HPV. After all it is what causes cancer in women so why shouldn’t men be tested as well??
“Finally, there exists yet another reason why a clinical HPV test for men is not yet available. For one thing, we don’t yet know which part of the male genitals should be tested for the virus. Also, it is generally much more difficult to collect a good cell sample from male genital skin than from female genitals, because the male genitalia have tougher and thicker covering than does the cervix. Recent research studies have looked at ways of getting a better sample from men, such as using a fine-grade of sand paper to “exfoliate” the skin; yes, our reaction was the same as yours…”
Obviously this was written by a man because I am pretty sure a pap test feels exactly like someone scraping your insides with sandpaper!! Why isn’t more research being put into testing men? Why aren’t they pressured to get tests done regularly?
Oh that’s right because its usually men who control the funding for research and conduct it and lets be honest they would much rather make women take their clothes off and look inside their vaginas then look at a mans genitals.
Human Papilloform Virus the causative micro-organism for cervical cancer breeds in the cervix. There is no incidence of the same in males.
Hi Kat. Its going to be called ‘cervical screening – thirty years of pap rape’ in it i am going to name and shame my docs. Especially Nurse Grimey. Its only in planning yet. I am just tinkering with the chapters ideas yet tho i have already written the intro and some other bits. Once i’m sure where i’m going with this i will open it up for anyone to contribute in any way. Because we can’t post names here i intend offering up my private email or asking sue to forward them to me. I think the next step in our fight is to prod and poke and embarress individuals outright. I don’t think there’s a whole lot they can do about it. And if they did it, would bring thete misdeeds out in the open.
I’m only trying to walk of that sciatica. Its so annoying. Have you got rid of yours yet?
Have you noticed some creep called dr bidyas bas trying to scratch some words out to us? Whats he/she rattling on about?
@ Dr Bijoy Das. You are misinformed. According to the US Centre for Disease Control (the major public health body in the US):
“HPV stands for human papillomavirus. … HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives.”
“Although most HPV infections go away on their own without causing problems, HPV can cause men to develop genital warts, or some kinds of cancer. ,,, HPV infection isn’t cancer but can cause changes in the body that lead to cancer. HPV infections usually go away by themselves but having an HPV infection can cause certain kinds of cancer to develop. These include cervical cancer in women, penile cancer in men, and anal cancer in both women and men. HPV can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (called oropharyngeal cancer).”
Try googling “CDC men HPV” to find more information. If you are a practising medical doctor then you should know about this very common STD, which turns up in men as well as women.
The main reason why men are not tested is simply because most men would not find it acceptable. There are penile speculums available and a swab of the penile shaft can be taken, anal swabs can also be taken! If I can find the original study/trial I will post this. So yes a man can be tested for HPV and anyone stating the opposite is incorrect. It has been done and can be done. But as all these tests are designed by men they feel they should put the blame and responsibility onto women, selfish and ignorant. Oh I forgot, it’s too “invasive” for a man to accept, great thanks guys, but women just have to do as they are told and get used it, told it is simple and not invasive, just who are you trying to kid! So women get HPV from men, go to “invasive” screening get an abnormal test, sent to colposcopy for more invasive tests/biopsies etc. get parts of their cervix removed with its own complications and then let her return back to the man that possibly gave her HPV in the first place! Repeat the cycle for women over and over again. Disgusting approach! HPV Testing for men can be done but you choose not to put yourselves through it and pass all the grief onto women!
Oh and I just found this one (not the original I saw but will keep looking): https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02897427
and this one: https://mytomorrows.com/en/conditions/2841/genital-neoplasms-male/trials/330849/houston-hpv-related-oropharyngeal-and-uncommon-cancers-screening-trial-of-men
Name – Anal Cancer Screening – Type – Procedure
Description – Anal pap test to test for HPV performed at first study visit. Anal samples collected by gently swabbing the anal area with a cotton swab.
Name – High-Resolution Anoscopy (HRA) -Type – Procedure
Description – High-resolution anoscopy (HRA) performed at first study visit. Liquid solution of diluted acetic acid flushed into anal canal. Colposcope inserted into anus and used to take pictures of possible pre-cancerous areas.
Name – Penile Cancer Screening – Type – Procedure
Description – During first study visit penis rubbed with a cotton-like swab to test for HPV.
Name – Blood Draw – Type – Procedure
Description – Blood (about 2 teaspoons) drawn to test for HPV antibodies
So Yes a man should be tested…..and wow there you go A Blood test is available too!! What a surprise!
The prevailing knowledge (at least in 2016 when he wrote this) was that the symptoms/side effects of HPV was limited almost exclusively to women. That’s why they were only advising teenage girls get the vaccine (that seemed odd to me though. Like is it really that expensive or difficult to make, to not just be safe and do everyone?). There may be new studies that have made the case that there are significant implications for men who have HPV, and I bet that will be the case, if not yet, but the medical community doesn’t shift on a dime because of one or a few studies (thank goodness!!). Also, if he is not a doctor (which I am NOT implying), someone impersonating a doctor can receive up to 10 years in prison. I’m fairly confident he is a doctor, and therefore is practicing what the medical community has deemed is the best methods and procedures that are currently accepted. And I will always ‘ride with’ a medical doctor’s advice over someone called ‘anonymous’ with no visible credentials.
Mike Sands, that supposed doctor who has offered nothing but sound bytes has been pretty thoroughly debunked by cited research. That you choose to believe he is a doctor, and a good responsible one at that, in the face of evidence to the contrary, is your own delusion, since if he even is a doctor he is clearly a terrible one or a deceitful one as he is clearly either ignorant if evidence to the contrary if his opinion or has chosen to ignore that evidence.
Considering doctors get bonus kickbacks for coercing these tests, its not unreasonable to consider he may have a financial interest that he has chosen to prioritize over his patients’ health, since there is to date no medical degree that exempts one from basic human failings such as greed or hubris.
Its far more responsible to believe an “an anonymous with no visible credentials” who presents research and evidence than to believe the sound bytes coming from someone who calls himself a doctor but also has no visible credentials in sight. You know, since self-declaration is not evidence and anyone can title themselves anything over the internet, there’s no good reason to believe claims of medical credential based only on the word of the individual. Especially when that individual us just some person commenting in a forum.
I’m sure you would understand if the person claiming to be a doctor was agreeing with us (as many documented doctors actually do), since your belief in this person’s medical credentials are clearing based entirely on the fact that you agree with the soundbytes he is dropping and therefore are not concerned that they come with zero evidence. If someone claiming to be a doctor was in here merely repeating soundbytes that disagree with coerced universal screening, you’d doubt their credentials, though it would be only because they aren’t supporting your bias rather than for the actually logical reason that people claiming to be doctors in comment sections should never be taken at face value and especially when they just keep repeating lines from.marketing campaigns.
But moreover, as many gyn enthusiasts and supporters seem to ignore, the issue has never been about whether the test saves lives or is accurate or if benefits outweigh risks, but about the right of every individual to bodily autonomy and the right to consent or refuse any test or treatment. Basically, the only person who can weigh the risks vs benefits for any test or treatment offered to me is….me. I’m the one in the body in question, I’m the one who has to live or die with the consequences, and I do not have to explain, justify, or provide any evidence for my decision to be respected.
Even if all the pros screening rhetoric about screening saving countless lives and having zero significant risks was true (and it isn’t), I can reject it anyway. I can decide, for example, that the humiliation of the test lowers my quality of life and that I’d rather live a shorter life without that level of stress and misery. And my decision needs to be respected even if the doctor doesn’t agree, because it is my body and my life and his stays as my doctor dies not give him absolute dominion over his patients’ lives or bodies. A doctor is a consultant, nothing more.
Of course, considering how much you sneer at people here somehow choosing to believe an individual experience counts as scientific evidence (which requires ignoring the fact that a research and evidence section if the site is clearly marked on the page) you have done plenty of that yourself, including claiming circumcision has only pros and zero cons based entirely on the fact that you are circumcised and happy about it. You clearly gave no interest in science or honest discussion when you present your personal experience in lieu of evidence and expect it to be taken and accepted at face value as The Universal Scientific Concensus, then take the contradicting personal experience of someone else and find ways to dismiss it as not counting. Or when evidence is presented and you double down on how the guy singing sound bytes and claiming an unevidenced medical title has more credibility than the CDC or any other evidence linked to. And when it is pointed out that pro-circ is clearly not the VAST majority with our side being some tiny uninfluential fringe anymore, since if it were we would find no one to agree with us irl and that has not been the case, you just keep doubling down on “VAST majority, VAST majority, I can’t hear you!!!!”. (Tip to pro-circ people a look at current statistics and don’t keep assuming things are still like they were in1984, when my mother was given some serious hatred from her doctor for refusing to let his cut my brother (doc actually tried to sneak it past her despite her clearly stated wishes, and got rightfully called on it), who is as happy being intact as you claim to be as a cut guy.)
Before you start pontificating to others about their supposed stubborn ignorance, perhaps you should remove the beam from your own eye first.
I found the research paper about the sandpaper.
Mike Sands, not true, HPV can cause anal and throat cancer in men and also genital warts, they are now maiming boys too giving this vaccine! In my opinion this vaccine was just rushed through, my daughter would have been one of the first cohort to have it in UK but I refused permission, I could not find any study about possibly problem later in life, and since it was rolled out so many have either died or been left with lasting debilitating symptoms! My girl has existing medical issues and I’m so happy I declined this for her!! As already stated there is a test for men for HPV involving penile and anal swabs, are men queuing up to have it?? They didn’t like the finger up the bum test for prostate, so a blood test was developed, women are expected to shut up and submit to smears!!
I just love when I get called an anti-vaxxer because I’m not keen on being the first to get a brand new vaccine developed by a pharmacy industry that is well-known for its monumental greed,sociopathic lack of ethics, and purchasing of laws to exempt them from the consequences of such.
I mean, I’m not anti-vax itself, vaccinations have some solid basis, I support mmr, whooping cough, etc, I know the story of Andrew Wakefield, but I do think there are areas that are less about science or health or effectiveness and more about making money for the corporations with a perpetually applied product trying to chase a thing that mutates too fast to be effective and about virtue signalling for some Neoliberal types (coughflushotcough). I don’t think its necessarily harmful, just that there’s a lot if money to be made in pointless endeavors, far more than in things we need. (I say we need new antibiotics more than flu shots, but there’s no money in antibiotics as they can’t be perpetually applied so mono one wants to make them anymore)
And I’m.just never going to be keen on being first in line for a brand new [insert medical procedure here] and being the guinea pig to make someone else a bundle. Especially since I live in America and can’t afford to treat any lifelong complications that might arise as they work out the bugs (and I don’t trust any claim that they’ll cover such damage,since every corporation also has an army of lawyers who exist solely to find ways to get them off the hook for cleaning up their own messes.)
If my desire to not be permanently damaged as a disposable bit of experimental meat in the pursuit of someone else’s obscene greed is crazy, then I don’t want to be sane.
asob ke valo lage.women penis seeee!!!!
Linda sounds really good ‘! Sorry for the sciatica. It’s literally a real pain! Mines eased a bit but I’m being more careful. I’m also taking care not to lift and bend so much. Yes had noted our new poster! X
It is real! Cos some woman have a real penis
Look at this disturbing article Dr. Bernstein has about a doctor doing clitoral exams on girls to test their sexual response, Bioethics Discussion Blog: Clitoral Sensitivity Study in Children: A Question of Ethics at http://bioethicsdiscussion.blogspot.com/2010/07/clitoral-sensitivity-study-in-children.html. I think this is horrible and it is definitely sexual abuse. Maybe some of you can comment on this article.
Oh my God…this blog is SO IMPORTANT for ALL WOMEN to read!
A hysterectomy or any other vaginal removal procedure should not be done. Everything is there for a reason. Including the appendix which doctors are finding out that it is a gland that releases necessary enzymes and hormones. The same with tonsils, thyroid and gallbladder. Dentists are finding out that you should not remove wisdom teeth unless they are causing real problems. Many doctors will remove these organs to “prevent” future problems. When in truth, removing them causes much more problems and diseases. Everything in your body is there for a reason and should NOT be removed unless it is a life threatening emergency.
I agree with you, Chuck
I’m horrified at the suggestion a hysterectomy is an easy decision after a woman has finished having children. (not all women have children anyway)
I recall a US doctor saying on a health forum a few years ago, “why would a woman want to keep a bleeding, unnecessary uterus that exposes her to the future risk of cancer?”. (think it was Obgyn.net)
Where do you start with that level of ignorance?
The female reproductive organs have a role to play right through life. I have my reproductive organs, tonsils, gall bladder and appendix, I wouldn’t agree to anything being removed, “just in case”.
Of course, with the hysteria over breast cancer, many have their perfectly healthy breasts removed “just in case”. Even those with a genetic mutation putting them at higher risk of cancer need to carefully consider their options, surgery should be approached with extreme caution, and from an informed base.
I lost my wisdom teeth, they were impacted and causing pain in my jaw and neck, I had them out under GA in a private hospital, my sister was brave enough to have them out in the chair.
I came out looking like I’d been in a car accident, severe bruising and swelling, sore ribs (I guess the oral surgeon was leaning on me to get a better grip) and I swallowed a lot of blood. I assume he worked quickly and fairly roughly because I was out to it. My sister found it an unpleasant thing, but faired better, her dentist was careful not to cause more discomfort than necessary.
With the obsession with pre-cancerous this and that, I fear far too many people (especially women) lose perfectly healthy parts of their body “just in case”. It’s madness.
Elizabeth, it’s interesting that the body parts which protect women from disease are the same parts that are targeted for removal. Women live longer than men and are less prone to disease because of the extra protection that our breasts and uteri provide. Breasts are packed with lymph nodes that work to filter out bacteria, viruses, and other intruders. The uterus provides cardiovascular protection. Women who have had a hysterectomy experience three times greater incidence of heart disease: http://hersfoundation.com/anatomy/DVDText.pdf
We are led to believe that these parts are prone to disease and are going to kill us, when in fact they are the parts protecting us, and that give us an advantage over men.
I’d consider having my remaining 2 wisdom teeth taken out pre-emptively. This is only because in the UK you can’t just go in, get booked in, and have them out a week or two later. If we had swift service like that I’d wait and see. The NHS waiting list will be several months, even if you have recurrent infection or terrible nerve pain. I went private and still had to wait 2 months, and was lucky there was even a private dentist in the area that did impacted wisdom removals. He’s the only one as far as I know.
I would never think that ANY organ needs to be removed “just in case,” but sometimes there is legitimate cause to remove things, IMHO.
When I was a teenager I had horrible tonsillitis, ear and throat infections. Antibiotics, diet changes, allergy tests, antivirals, immunotherapy…nothing helped. Eventually the infection just kept going back and forth from the tonsils to the ears, my tonsils were literally rotting messes with holes in them, and I begged and pleaded with doctors to please take them out…only to be told “we don’t do that anymore.” I suffered for all of high school and all of University before I found an ENT who would remove the tonsils. By that point they were so infected that the surgery was complicated. When the tonsils were out, the infections STOPPED. Period. And they have been gone for 15 years now. Taking out the tonsils was the best thing a doctor’s ever done for me.
Another example, wisdom teeth – I had four that were impacted and rotting below the gum line; they were also crushing the other teeth together in my narrow jaw. Removing those teeth saved the others and also relived crowding in my mouth.
So yes, I do think that when we veer to the other side of the spectrum and say that there’s NEVER a cause to remove organs, it hurts just as much as those trigger-happy doctors. I’m not saying that to dismiss the fact that doctors are way to eager to rip out women’s uterii and other reproductive structures, I am just saying we can never say “never.”
I hadn’t read your comment when I did mine above about wisdom teeth. I totally agree that a patient should be able to elect to have surgery because in that case it hasn’t been forced onto them and they haven’t been misinformed. When the health service is taxpayer-funded, surely it makes sense from a financial POV to deal with a problem by performing minor surgery than to have repeated doctor visits, prescriptions, work hours lost (or not being able to work at all), education affected etc…
Absolutely. I worry when I hear about people having “proactive” masectomies and such just because they found out they carry the BRCA gene, but swinging in the other direction where surgery is NEVER performed can’t be helpful either. Informed consent is the important thing.
I’d say that along with the financial aspect, there’s also the most important thing: that needed surgery, performed with informed consent, can have a more positive effect on a patient. With me and the tonsils, waiting for so many years to remove them meant that I sometimes spent as many as 300 days a year on antibiotics. I built up antibiotic resistance, I put a lot of medications into my body, and I was constantly sick, which couldn’t have done good things for my system overall. And whatever bacteria was being hosted in my tonsils had a chance to grow resistant to all the tactics we tried to eliminate it. Taking out the tonsils after a year or two of that misery, instead of expecting me to suffer with it for years and just throwing antibiotic scrips at me, would have definitely improved my quality of life.
The wide abuse of baby boys having their forskin torn off of the glans is absolutely sick and now we see the life long trauma it does to these victims brains, the boys never recover. Yet our society says this is not sexual mutilation, are we that brain washed with religious fanatics? God never wanted this and it is a fact that boys can wash their own penis, what ridiculous garbage to promote such mutilations on defenseless babies. You live your entire life with mutilated sexual organ. Every time you go to bathroom the scars you see, how sad is this to be a man
I also find circumcision a bizarre practice – and certainly not something that should be done unless the patient is a consenting adult. In the UK where I live it’s just not common at all. It’s certainly not standard medical practice, which is seems to be in the US. I’d assume that most circumcisions in the UK are done for religious reasons, which I still completely disagree with. The fact it’s seen as a medical/hygiene necessity in the US, but totally uncalled for in the UK, suggests the medical/hygiene argument is a load of nonsense.
Circumcision might look like a cruel practice but in the babies the foreskin of penis is soft and the procedure is simple fast and recovery is speedy. The glans remains clean and free from bacterial/fungal infections. The Old Testament ordains it so also The Holy Quran. In fact in some tribal animist religions of Africa circumcision is prevalent.
Oh my goodness, I am so glad my parents chose to circumcise me and I’m not religious at all. Ive actually thanked my mother, to her face, for doing it. Appearance and hygiene are probably highest on the list of pros. I can’t think of any cons, if it was done properly and there were no complications (which is almost always the case). And I’m pretty sure that having the head of the penis always exposed, it probably desensitizes it a little, and gives me better control over when I orgasm. I would actually consider having it done as an adult if my parents hadn’t been so kind when I was a baby. Some of my analysis is personal preference, and subjective, but the vast majority of women I have ever heard talk about it, prefer a circumcised penis (without them knowing whether I am circumcised or not. They weren’t being “nice”, it was their honest opinion). Although maybe 1-2% have said an uncircumcised penis FEELS a little better during sex, but most of those even said a circumcised penis LOOKS better. You’re absolutely entitled to have the opinion that it is ‘mutilation’, but you are in the VAST minority. And the emotional/psychological damage you mentioned as a result of circumcision, I’m completely unaware of any examples of that, aside from the doctor botching the procedure.
MANY people I know personally are disturbed by the idea of removing a part of their sons’ genitals without a medical reason, denying them bodily autonomy, physical integrity and the right to consent. I have friends who have gone against a longstanding family tradition of circumcision for this very reason. Moreover, I have a friend who holds a lot of resentment towards his parents for circumcising him as a baby without his consent, which he sees as a major violation. He also experienced a loss of sexual function (even though the surgery was not ‘botched) and this has had a significant and ongoing psychological impact on him and has negatively impacted his intimate relationships. Academic studies have also been conducted around the trauma that can result in boys circumcised as babies. It is a substantial area of research. Just because you personally have not come across such issues or perspectives does not mean that they do not exist, or are a tiny minority. These voices deserve to be heard.
Gem, yes, you are one voice for those people, and you are heard. I’m unaware of any place forcing circumcision though, so I’m not sure what you’re point is. To outlaw it? Well there are religious implications within some groups, so you’ll never infringe on their “right” to do it. But your friend, who holds resentment to his parents for performing that operation.. is it possible that his situation is extremely rare? Might it be possible that he has some other mental health concerns that are manifesting themselves in odd ways? Needing to blame someone for something? It sounds like some mental health stuff, either way. If he has no ill effects because of it, he’s either obsessing about his penis or is using it as a way to feel like he’s been slighted (does that qualify as a pun?). Or just the plague that has infected our society of “the grass is always greener on the other side”? Maybe not. But what can he do to change it? Seems like a lot of wasted energy to hold such a grudge. Like I said, “religious rights” is one of the things that courts will never infringe upon, at least not in the next dozen generations.
The simple answer to the questions…why don’t men have to endure these types of procedures…they will not tolerate it and the doctors over the years(mostly other men) know this.
Need to see it clearly
Definitely agree. That is the reason men don’t get hassled although I’ve heard of some countries, or some areas within certain countries, who are now trying to herd men into prostate exams – notably Canada and the US (where else?!). That said, I don’t think men are so susceptibile to pressure. They (like some women, including myself) see any health procedure as a personal decision and don’t tend to discuss it with all and sundry. The way many women see screening is quite frankly bizarre, and something to be eagerly discussed with female friends and relatives, resorting to bitter, emotional arguments if you disagree with them, instead of being logical and rational about the whole thing.
It would be truly bizarre for there to be a government prostate screening registry with men getting their reminder letters and being asked questions such as how many sexual partners they have had, how many children, if they smoke, take bubble baths, what type of menstrual products their female partners uses, what colour underwear they wear, what type of birth control they use or if they use condoms regularly and then ask them at what age they started masterbating or having sex with other people, if they had any discharge, infection, impotency issues AND PUTTING that all in a database.
I have heard about gay men being pressured and hassled into anal pap tests and treatments by some doctors. They find this just as upsetting as some women. However men who are not openly gay or do not have sex with other men can still have HPV.
Your so write Moo. If You Key in to search engine UCI gyno exam its terrible. These ‘children’ are asked if the mast’ and how heavy their mens’ flow is. Its just disgusting. They’re only enrolling in school to study a degree. Here in Engkand no one would evef be given that form it would be illegal.
Thanks for submitting your piece Linda. Yes it makes us all so angry at the duping and lies which go on in our surgeries. I am so sorry you went through all this. I will be submitting 2 pieces, one on my personal experiences and another on a brief history of the NHS screening programme. Hope to get this finished in the next couple of weeks.
I hope this project is helping you to heal. It will be great to get this information out there.
That always erks me how woman are expected to tell all there sexual business to doctors and I have never seen a form in a Dr office on the men’s side of the sheet about sexuall partners.
Hi Ada Two pieces is great. One of them sounds like the ideal piece for an introduction. I’m sure its going to be fab I cant wait to read them. Submit date is 20th December so plenty of time to work on them. I have already designed the ‘cover’ using Sues logo of the woman with the black hair. It looks professional.
Hi Eliz. We are all going to bring something different to this book. There’s nothing like it on the net. I know there’s a few proper books like Marg Maccartney and some others that touch on smears but as part of a wider discussion on screening. Germaine Greer was panned for hers though which is a shame. Anyway the ‘young’ ones coming along now won’t be interested in buying hardback books from shops they are more likely to dowload ours.
Plus these other writers are confined to publishing conventions and haven’t been able to stick their heads to high over the paraphet.
With ours we can write anything we want.
I cant wait to see Diane’s account I bet she doesn’t hold back.
Anger is a fab asset to do something like this. When i got this ipad last year I kept going on kindle typing in subjects i like and downloading the free books. If a woman types in smear tests, cervical screening or womens health we will be the only free book on the subject. There is no stoping us now.
And if all the women here contribute as well to the book as well as creating their own books to put on kindle there will be no stoping us. We could dominate kindle in no time.
I don’t think it would operate in quite the same way and those personal questions would certainly be off the table.
But I’ve seen a few US TV Shows recently where the man is having a discussion with his wife regarding his doctor’s request to perform a prostate exam because he has reached a “certain age”. In most of the dialogues, the woman is in agreement with the doctor and urges her husband to attend. I’ve had two Canadian women online mention that this is protocol in some provinces over there too and both their husbands are “invited” (whatever that means).
They don’t use databases over there to monitor compliance with female screening if I’m correct, but it is pushed in a sales and commercial-like manner. I’d imagine it would be a similar approach if used on men.
I’m in the doctors with my grandmother for her visit. There’s a poster on the wall telling woman what they “should” have and a pap smear and HPV testing after 30. Omg I’m so sick of hearing what we “should” be doing with are bodies after sertain ages. The poster disgusted me but I guess its no surprise. I was going to see my grandmothers doctor for an illment I had. But heck no I will never be his patent as it seems he made a permanent patent out of my grandmother.
I also hate how woman are made to feel if they do not have or want pap smears.
There have been claims that Gender Reassignment Surgery results in total sexual satisfaction of the subject. I am interested in the case of transwomen. Do they get an orgasm? Does the clitoris fibrillate? Is the cervix lubricated as in case of genetic women?
A friend of mine has put her sixteen yearold on birth control pills because my friend said the she has endo and is trying to keep her daughter from geting it by using the pill. Her daughter has been ver depressed and tslking about killing herself. Now my gtandmother said it caused her to feel like she was anxious going out of her head when she was younger on the pill . Also i read bc can cause or worssen depression. I think my friend has been told by her foctor to get her daughter to come in scaring her about endometriosis runing in her family and prevention. Its just sickening to me. I have been around her and shes been acting do depressed. I think its the pill but her foctor wont tell her that and its sad to see. I know some font have any problems being on them but this is just alarming.
I think both sex organs are beautiful. A girl born with both vagina and penis is just as beautiful as girl with vagina only.
Love this. Can I repost on https://wisewomenredtent.com/
Yes of course I’d be delighted. Thanks for asking!
some things are always wonders
Are those rhetorical questions at the end? If not, it’s probably because most of the woman’s sex organs are internal and not easily viewed by the owner. A man can easily observe and feel *most* vulnerable areas (aside from the prostate. Also a contributing factor (to the larger medical industry associated with women’s sexual health) is most likely that because most of the woman’s sex organs are internal, they aren’t dry, there’s an opening that bacteria and things can enter, their cycle means their uterine lining sheds and is expelled, and all those things can make the pH unbalanced, as well as neglecting proper cleaning or general care. I’m obviously not a doctor, and I am a man, but I’m pretty sure that a very sexually experienced and inquisitive male has seen way more and arguably knows more about vaginas than women who haven’t studied biology extensively. As far as the ‘castration’ thing, I have no idea. Because barbaric men in 3ᴿᴰ world countries are archaic and insecure? That’s my guess, for that one.
I wanted to add: it seems like there’s some angle that some posters are trying to imply that male gynecologists are getting some sort of thrill out of their work or something. Being tested and examined is just purely a diagnostic thing… to try to catch any problems as early as possible. Women’s reproductive systems are just more complex (I mean, they make babies. They’re amazing. But that complexity unfortunately means there’s things that can go wrong) and they’re internal and not easy to be viewed or felt by the owner. The check ups are for the well-being and health of the patient. Just as two examples… testicular cancer and prostate cancer… testicular cancer can generally be identified by the owner by feeling something “different”when touching themselves for whatever reason, and prostate cancer becomes a much higher risk at older ages, so it’s ‘recommended’ to be checked by a doctor every year, at a certain age. Again, ‘suggested’, ‘recommended’ are the key words and the same ones used for female health providers. No one is forcing anything. But you ignore it at your own potential peril.
Have you even bothered to read here a bit, you gracious gift to womankind who knows more about ourvaginas because he stuck his dick into them? You have absolutely no relevant knowledge and do nothing but repeat what we could read on any Jo’s Tosh site, if we were so inclined. Those health checks are often not evidenced-based and pushed onto women. But obviously we don’t know our own experiences, here’s A MAN to the rescue! Thank you for telling us off, my God, what would we do without MEN!
Mansplaining at its finest. The arrogance to think that he is bringing us new knowledge and enlightenment. Gave me a good laugh though.
I apologize. I think in one of those comments I said “unless you have formal education on anatomy” or something like that. In the scientific community, lobbing insults counts for nothing. Cross examine my analysis and tell me where I’m wrong… factually. And if it’s open for debate, make your point and then I’ll reply to your opinion. Unless (and this appears like it may be the case for some of the posters here) scientific theory is being condemned. If that’s the case, how far back should be turn the clock? To putting donkey dung in your vagina? Or is there a middle ground between the two? ‘Eastern’ medicine? And would you change your mind on modern medicine if you were diagnosed with cervical cancer or something like that? Side note: I wouldn’t argue that I know more about the average penis than a woman does. I only know about mine. Which relates to another point above… singular cases, which are often outliers (the circumcising thing above) isn’t a reason to make it sound like being circumcised means you’re “mutilated”. Well maybe it does, if you consider someone removing their wisdom teeth to be “mutilated”. I wasn’t arguing against the right to choose, just the person talking about one instance and making a blanket statement. If that logic is applied to anything, nothing would ever get done, nothing would ever advance.
It’s such a shame that our education systems don’t put more focus on critical thinking skills.
I believe the “critical thinking” you’re referring to, is critical thinking running into paranoia and conspiracy theories. I’m making rock solid points. Cross examine them and tell me where I’m wrong or where your opinion differs. And then I’ll either take that into consideration or I’ll tell you where I disagree. Adult conversations. I’m not over here lobbing accusations or telling anyone what to do with their bodies. Just hoping some common sense can reign in the lunacy of people who are writing off modern medicine. It’s not perfect, but again, if you take the worst case scenario from anything and apply it to the whole, nothing would ever progress. It’s about the “vast majority”. If something works 75%-85% of the time, it’s fairly reliable. 95% of the time is excellent. Or should be hold back on helping 95% of people live longer, healthier lives because 5% of people experience some sort of side effect?
I’m not sure why you have missed my point, given that it was a direct response to the content of your own post. You said that people who struggle with the notion of circumcision are in the VAST minority. However, I have yet to come across a person who is in agreement with circumcision and I have had many of these conversations with new parents. Granted, that is my personal frame of reference, but I have seen in my own life that views are changing. As I said, I know people whose family and religious traditions have always mandated circumcision, but they have kept their boys intact. Indeed, there are religious implications and for that reason it will likely not be made illegal. However, it seems that more people within those traditions are questioning it, for example holding a naming ceremony instead. Similarly, you said that you were unaware of ANYONE impacted psychologically by circumcision, so I gave you an example from my life and signposted academic research around the topic that shows it IS an issue. I hope that clears things up and, for clarity, the voices I was referring to are those of the men who have been harmed. The way in which you psychoanalysed and judged my friend for his very valid concerns illustrates perfectly how those voices are not always heard. Regarding your views around screening, there is a strong evidential foundation underlying our concerns, which are shared by numerous academics and medical practitioners, including the founder of the breast screening programme in the UK. The women on here are extremely informed and have committed themselves to research from multiple sources, including scientific journals. They have made decisions based on careful research and their individual circumstances. Screening is a very nuanced decision, calling for a consideration of both the risks and benefits. Yes… there are risks involved with screening, although I imagine you do not know what they are. If you want to engage in these discussions, I would suggest you expend that same time and energy on research and return able to have these conversations on an informed basis. Read this site in depth, it’s all here. Also, Google is your friend as a basic starting point. I would suggest you search for terms such as over-diagnosis, over-treatment, all cause mortality, informed consent, risks of screening. Dr. Margaret McCartney, Dr. Michael Baum, Dr. Angela Raffle have also written extensively on the topic. I think you will find that they are neither paranoid, nor conspiracy theorists. The British Medical Journal is also a good source. At present, you simply cannot bring anything to these conversations because you have only the most basic understanding of the issue, even though you speak as if you are challenging us and offering us some new perspective. I wish you good luck with your research.
Mike, thank you for proving my point.
Gem: I don’t confuse an obscure website online (this) with actual medical journals or studies. There may be some that are referenced here, but I’m certain there are plenty of other credible ones coming to a different or conflicting conclusion. The overall medical consensus is something that occurs naturally when a critical majority of medical professionals agree on a certain opinion, course of action, etc. yes, progress is made with baby steps, like someone having a different opinion, doing clinical studies and trying to gain influence among those medical professionals but for this particular issue, there obviously hasn’t been enough to move the bar, yet. And upon scrolling through a few things on this site (not cherry picking examples, this is true about virtually everything I looked at) anyone attempting to give a conflicting opinion to someone’s article or comment, regardless of whether the medical community is on their side, is basically called ‘immoral’ or ‘insensitive’ or much, much worse. It appears most of this site is opinion pieces where people who already think a certain way, come to FEEL validated, regardless of generally accepted medical knowledge. You can see this by the comments/replies or the one sided ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ ratings.
On the other issue, there’s a financial factor with virtually everything. So it’s very possible that doctors are over testing, having patients come back more often than is necessary or even reasonable and may even lean toward the worse-case-scenario (not worst, that’s not a spelling mistake. Worser?) when a check up or test results appear inconclusive or not within “normal” limits or whatever. But second and third opinions are always an option, if they’re suggesting something expensive or highly invasive. The financial incentive of someone is just a fact of life that should be considered in virtually all aspects of life. But 99% of well-reviewed and credible doctors are NOT cutting into someone without a absolute need. I’m not a doctor but if you don’t have any odd symptoms and you’re healthy, you probably don’t need to go see a doctor every year. Maybe once every 4-5 years for a checkup. And then once every couple years when you turn 45; and then probably once a year after 55. Both men and women. I’m a male so I don’t know how uncomfortable a speculum is, or whatever else they might use or touch, but I’ve had the old style STD tests (that’s one of those things that is smart to do every 5 years, even without symptoms) where they stuck a q-tip up into my urethra and that was pretty uncomfortable but if they told me to do that every year, I just wouldn’t because it would seem unnecessary with other reason to, other than the passage of time, under a certain age, and if the doctor gave me sh*t about it, I would find a new doctor. It’s pretty simple. Doctors that don’t do what they’re supposed to, or do things they aren’t supposed to… they don’t last very long, as litigious as we are as a country. So most of my point was that average people should have the wherewithal to navigate that type of situation properly. But apparently some of these threads are for the people that haven’t given it much thought or just go along with what someone tells them, with no other considerations. Which is okay. Not everyone has time to stay up on everything or be all that worldly. And I’m not insinuating you (Gem) are one of the naive ones. You actually have been able to reply with reasonable and full, coherent sentences.
Lastly, since I’ve realized that very fact (about most of this site being geared toward the lowest common denominator of personal awareness), everything I have said, that wasn’t specified as something that was an opinion, is backed up (and taken straight from) the current medical consensus on these topics.
And here you return Mike, yet again casting yourself as some kind of higher being bringing enlightenment to us lowly mortals. However, again, you show your knowledge and understanding of the issues at play to be wanting, along with a side order of shaming women who lack the ability to make an informed decision through no fault of their own.
What you do not seem to appreciate is that at the heart of this discussion is the issue of informed consent and the physical and emotional impact of being denied bodily autonomy. Overtreatment and false positives are not just a ‘possibility’, but a fact supported by statistics and an integral aspect of the programme. However, this and the potential consequences of the treatment such as anxiety, trauma and complications to pregnancy have historically not been referenced and are still omitted/glossed over in awareness campaigns today. You say that “second and third opinions are always an option if they are suggesting something invasive”. I think you will find that many women have been called for colposcopy without understanding that their ‘abnormal’ cells may potentially go back to normal and without knowing that a piece of their cervix may be removed at that appointment and the potential associated consequences. Women have reported that this invasive treatment ‘just happens’ to them at colposcopy without being properly explained and certainly without them being given a chance to seek a second or third opinion. This is what medical professionals often refer to as a ‘see and treat’ approach. However, it is not being delivered in a way that promotes informed choice and can be highly traumatic.
Your statement “99% of doctors are not cutting into people without an absolute need” is interesting. How did you come by it? I sense that it was drawn from your own head. If a doctor is removing a piece of tissue because there is a ‘possibility’ it ‘might become’ cancerous but also might go back to normal, I would say that this is not absolute need and yet the statistics show that this is what happens in so many cases at colposcopy. Now, a woman may decide that she is happy for this to happen to her body. Fine. She may have weighed up all of the risks and benefits of cervical screening. She may realise that false positives occur and that there is no way of knowing for sure what tissue will and will not become cancerous in those cells found to be ‘potentially cancerous’ so a proactive approach is taken. She may know that there is a relatively high chance she will be invited to colposcopy and receive a biopsy or treatment and that this treatment could have an impact upon future pregnancies. She may know of the body of anecdotal evidence that it impacts upon sexual sensation and of the women who state that they are no longer able to orgasm. She may know that cervical cancer is rare, and the likelihood of developing it MUCH lower than the rate of colposcopy and treatment. She may know all this and make the decision that screening is still the best way forward for her. Then, it would be her informed choice to enter the screening programme and I would completely support her.
This is not happening. Women are harassed, hectored and coerced into submitting to cervical screening without being told any of the above. At every GP appointment, irrespective of their original reason for attending, they are told to submit and shamed for not doing so. In some cases, women have been denied access to other medication or contraception, or even told that they will be deregistered if they do not screen. Awareness campaigns tell them that they will leave their children motherless and ask them if they are willing to ‘die of embarrassment’ if they do not submit. The procedure itself is a penetrative vaginal examination, traumatic in and of itself for many women, unbearably so for many victims of sexual violence. Meanwhile, the technology for HPV self-testing has long existed.
This is a feminist issue. It is all too easy for you to say, “if I was told to have an STI test every year, I would just not do it” and “average people should have the wherewithal…” and to stigmatise those who are ‘naïve’ (something you can apparently gauge according to whether people meet your lofty grammatical standards). This, to me, is a step away from victim blaming and rape culture. Women are not to be blamed for putting their trust in medical professionals to tell them the full and complete truth and act solely in their beneficence. This is, after all, enshrined in the Hippocratic oath. It is incumbent upon the medical community to promote informed consent and this not happening. The fact is that men (with the exception perhaps of trans men who are now also being pressured to screen by awareness campaigns) are not experiencing the fearmongering, one-dimensional information sharing and coercion that women are into an invasive and potentially traumatic procedure. It is impossible for you to understand the dynamics at play here because you come from a standpoint of male privilege. And yet, you insist on coming back here time and again to ‘educate’ us.
A final point to ponder perhaps is the medical community’s historical practices of clitoridectomy for ‘hysterical’ women, experimenting upon non-consenting enslaved black women, symphesiotomy, lobotomy, the asylum system, to name a few examples. Just because something is an ‘established practice’ in the medicine of that era/underpinned by ‘medical consensus’ does not make it right. In a sense, that is beside the point anyway, because it brings us back to the central issue of informed consent and bodily autonomy. I have the right to make an informed decision about what happens to my body irrespective of current ‘medical consensus’ and, alongside that, every right to speak out against a consensus that is causing harm.
I’m curious Mike, why are you posting on this site? What is motivating you? You say you aren’t a medical doctor, but your patronising attitude towards us seems awfully familiar. You accuse us of acting merely on emotion and naivety and of blindly following what others are saying here without any in-depth research. I would suggest that you are the one who is ill informed. You have no idea of the experiences or indeed the knowledge of any of the women who post on here, do you Mike? As a man, you will have no idea how our bodies are disrespected in the medical setting, no idea at all.
You have made a bunch of assumptions about this site under cover of ‘educating’ us with the ‘current’ medical consensus. How very grateful we should be that you are here to correct us.
As you do not seem to understand the reason why this website is here, I will break it down for you into the simplest terms, hopefully in an acceptably coherent sentence: We want bodily autonomy and informed consent.
Chrissy (UK) — It doesn’t let me reply to each person, I have to go back to the top, to the first one that has a reply button. But Chrissy, maybe put your phone on record, video or audio file, when you’re in your doctor’s room (I’m assuming a hidden camera is out of the question, despite some of these accusations sound like there should be lawyers lining up to get verification of these claims so that they can sue for malpractice). Like with the other person I responded to… find a new doctor. Tell them your concerns. Tell them you had previous issues with doctors refusing service or doing things that made you uncomfortable. Or don’t go to doctors. You can’t have it both ways. They know more than you about the medical field. At some point you’re either going to have to find one that you trust the most and just have some faith, or give up and do what some of these other ladies are suggesting and let your body do it’s own thing and fix itself. Like, I’m just lost at where the logic is here. I came here because I searched one item for a female friend and I saw these crazy comments that didn’t make any sense in a modern society. I hope none of you believe in karma because you’re all tempting fate with some sort of malady that could have been prevented or successfully treated had it been diagnosed early enough. I, do not believe in that, and I certainly don’t wish I’ll on anyone, regardless of how naive on one end, or paranoid on the other, someone might be.
You are extremely naïve if you believe that at least some male gynaecologists do not find the prospect of examining particularly, younger and potentially attractive women, erotic.
The doctor may be medically trained, but he is still biologically male. A fact that you, nor anyone else can deny. You cannot deny the dynamics of biology, and by extension, attraction and ultimately, what “turns” some men on.
Many, many men are turned on by visual images of naked women, in particular, breasts and genitalia. There has been research on this. Why do you try to deny it exists? You are spewing utter nonsense if you believe this is just a fallacy concocted by paranoid women.
Add to this, the power differential here. You will be woefully ignorant to it because this does not affect you.
An older, medically trained male is in a position of power compared to the younger, more vulnerable female he is examining.
If she is in pain, or if she feels uncomfortable, she is unlikely to speak up. This can be compounded if she has mental health issues or has suffered previous sexual assault. The notion of being examined by a man could be extremely traumatic to her. Indeed, it is even traumatic to women who have not suffered in any way.
If you truly believe that this is “just a test” to most women, then you are utterly deluding yourself.
You talk about the “lowest common denominator” here and imply that the women posting here are uninformed, and suggest that they are all following irrational conspiracy theories.
Have you researched this subject in any great depth??
Before you engage with us on any meaningful level, I suggest that you do, particularly before you throw those type of labels around.
You are aware aren’t you that in 2005, the age for screening was increased from 20 – 25?
Why do you think that was??
It was due to a review that amongst many things, confirmed what screening specialists such as Prof. Angela Raffle had been saying for a long time – the risks of screening those below the age of 25 outweighs the benefits due to the number of “false positives”.
This meant that women were being “treated” for a condition that in 88% (quoted in the Bristol University study) of all confirmed CIN 3 diagnoses would never have harmed them.
An Australian study put the CIN 3 conversion rate to cancer at 70%, while a 2013 study by Vink et al. confirmed the Bristol University study.
This meant that around 58% of women receiving a CIN 3 diagnosis in the UK would receive potentially harmful treatment, possibly impacting their chances of stillbirth, miscarriage and other reproductive problems.
Even after the change was introduced, it was observed that testing via cytology was still woefully deficient, because the risks of overtreatment still persisted because as you can see from the studies, CIN 1 – 3, reverts to normal on its own, without the need for further treatment.
THIS is why the UK moved to primary HPV screening in 2019, because it is recognised that HPV is the precursor to squamous cell carcinoma in up to 99% of cases.
So, as you can see, the evidence we have drawn upon, IS the consensus of 99% of the scientific community – well, that of the scientific community in the UK at least.
It is just that they disagree over how we proceed with that evidence.
For most of us, we have decided to follow the Dutch and Australian screening models.
Both those countries offer a self-test for HPV (and before you say it isn’t reliable, go look up the studies. Those tests have undergone and passed RCT studies in those countries).
They only offer a “smear” if they test positive for HPV.
There are murmurings of the UK following this lead (not because they want to) because in the age of Covid, efficiency savings have forced their hands.
So, before you imply that we are relying on hocus pocus to make up our minds, I suggest you look at the evidencebehind screening and the history behind it.
You have stated your case with such an authoritative air that it seems to me, that anyone who disagrees with you is simply wrong.
Go and do some research – who knows, you may even become more informed for it.
When I looked at the whole CC/pap issue, I was shocked to discover the disparity between what scientific research shows – in peer-reviewed journals, university papers, and government data from various nations and what is “standard practice” in clinical medicine. I have discovered similar disparities between the scientific knowledge and data and “standard practice” among physicians – as well as with medications which are recommended and prescribed.
This whole thing boils down to us needing to demand SCIENCE BASED MEDICINE, rather than “evidence based”, which often comes down to “in my lengthy experience as a physician….”. That’s well and good, and I want a physician with experience, but also one who goes where the science leads.
Bethkz – I have had a very brief discussion with two of my GPs with regards to the evidence and science behind screening that I have quoted in my response to Mike Sands, and both acknowledged the evidence. Neither of them disputed it. They couldn’t – the current evidence is what has led to gradual changes to the UK screening programme since 2005.
The OP is truly foolish in trying to castigate us for being fringe lunatics adhering to Frankenstein science when that very same scientific principles has confirmed woeful inadequacies in primary cytology.
Sure, the incidence of false positives are less in those over 25, but with 60% of those aged 25 – 29 testing negative for HPV and smears not really benefitting HPV- women over 30, it is clear that cytology testing still left an unacceptable proportion of women susceptible to overtreatment, which makes the right to make an informed choice paramount, irrespective of prevailing male views on the matter.
Interestingly, going back to your initial point, I’ve often been surprised to read of some medical professionals here, particularly nurses, disregarding the science-led evidence.
It appears to be somewhat harder here for doctors to disregard the evidence because that evidence has led to changes in the screening protocol, which has led them to have to justify some of those changes to baffled women who had come to accept the “standard” clinical practice as some sort of “gold standard”.
But I’ve read of some accounts where women have been told by nurses that self-sampling is not possible because they cannot reach the cervix by themselves 🤦♀️
I think Ada has also highlighted that on the whole, they appear to lack anything that exceeds basic skills, knowledge on expertise on the subject, along with the concept of informed consent.
This is a particular problem in the UK, because unlike the US, screening is performed by practice nurses.
So, as others have pointed out, if these professionals lack anything other than basic training, how are they supposed to promote informed consent? I’m guessing that depriving some of their professionals of science-led evidence in order to dissuade women from dissenting, is the whole idea I suppose.
I actually think you and Dr. Joy should leave this forum.
This is a safe space for women and those who identify as women. They do not appreciate your attitude or arguments, soft coercion or reasoning/man-splaining towards something that is purely and simply an elective test. I alongside other women and those who identify as women in this forum can make their own decisions.
For the record, I am not an anti-vaxxer by association, and have actually been tripled Covid-vaxxed.
Mike Sand I don’t agree with what you say one bit but let’s not forget here it’s our CHOICE what we do with our vaginas, these tests aren’t a legal requirement, but for years we have been bullied and denied care until we have them!! As to keeping clean down there I just read a piece in a magazine form a doc who advises we “ do as little as possible “ to our vaginas!!Left to themselves they will do their job very nicely! And what did women do before all these tests?? We survived and didn’t Hugo extinct! Here in the UK we don’t even have annual physicals and we aren’t dropping Like flies! At nearly 57!I haven’t had a smear in 20 years, refused all my mammograms and opted out of both programs, refused my flexi sig bowel scope and I won’t be doing the S… kit either!!
Also Mike while these exams are portrayed as “recommended “ many many women have been kicked off doctors lists for refusing them, denied asthma or diabetes meds for refusing them or even denied an appointment for anything until they screened! We are asked countless questions about our sexual behaviour even if we have not presented with symptoms! Would a man be treated like that??
Indeed, I was told I would not be able to register with my new GP until I submitted to cervical screening. I had experienced sexual violence just a year earlier and such an invasive procedure would have had a horrifically detrimental impact on my mental health…as it did several years later when I was coerced into it under different circumstances (no mention of the rarity of cervical cancer, or risks vs benefits of course). As a younger women, I endured ongoing harassment to screen at every GP appointment, irrespective of my reason for attending. As a consequence, on multiple occasions, I found myself crying in pain at home unable to access treatment because I just couldn’t face the pressure, the coercion and the intrusive questions. I will always support those who make an informed choice and decide that they still want to go ahead and screen. It is an individual decision. However, coercing a young woman who had recently been assaulted into a penetrative vaginal examination by fearmongering about a rare cancer and telling her that she is ‘stupid’ to decline/postpone is not healthcare, it is abuse.
Also Mike Sands in the British breast screening programme leaflet it clearly states for each woman helped by the programme and saved, 3 others go on to have treatment for something that would never have harmed, and what is that treatment? Mastectomy, with its possibility of infection or death on operating table, chemo and radiotherapy aren’t harmless and for what??
I don’t trust a lot of modern medicine, less is best for me…..
Just seen a piece over on the PHE blog, about adapting and modifying screening programmes, and how they swapped the shit kit test to a different one as “it was cost effective and more acceptable “ to the participants, why oh why don’t they then modify cervical screening!????
Kat, the best guess: because shit test has to be equally pushed onto males and females, while cervical screening is female-only. The medical establishment doesn’t care two hoots what’s “acceptable” when it affects only women. Even more: it will do anything to keep vaginas under close surveillance and supervision, as female reproductive organs are treated like the property of the state in most countries.
Why else would every new patient form at every doctor’s office have a question about cervix and breasts, but no mention of male-specific organs? Questions like “when was your last pap smear?” and “when was your last mammogram?” are asked of women at every turn and opportunity and are considered the norm. Yet nobody is asking men when their sensitive and private organs had tools shoved into them, scraped with abrasive implements, groped, squeezed, squashed or subjected to harmful radiation. Nooo, that would be highly inappropriate and unacceptable.
Find a new doctor and tell them your concerns straight away. Pretty simple. They do want your money. One of the main criticisms of doctors (in general) over the years has been that they give you whatever you ask for. Up until this drug crisis, there was doctors that would issue prescriptions over the phone. I’m assuming your doctor senses he can push you around, and that you won’t care enough to leave their practice. So maybe… leave the practice. And probably report them to the state medical board. There’s probably some valid reason why they would withhold treatment, if you’re not a victim of malpractice. Again, the medical community is on my side.
The notion of anyone else deciding for any woman who gets to insert fingers or objects into someone else’s vagina is outright criminal! Coercion is a form of force, and refusing someone needed medical care unless they first allow their vagina to be penetrated is outright illegal and criminal. I have personally had some guy insinuate that I could not be treated for diabetes, a leading cause of death, until I allowed him to give me a pap test and pelvic exam – which is a cause of death for around 4,100 US women in 2019. No.
Perhaps Mike does not understand what these tests and exams do, and don’t do? He’s just in awe of it because he cannot see it and women’s internal genitalia can make babies. Pap smears are a test for a rare cancer. It does not test for uterine cancer nor ovarian cancer, which while still rare, are much more common than cervical cancer. A pelvic exam can be used to test for various vaginal infection (in his words, in a damp place we cannot see). I guess he doesn’t think we can feel either! Vaginal infections are painful, but most of them are better treated at home. It’s better than waiting a couple of months for an appointment to see a gynecologist, get it diagnosed, get prescription cream or suppositories – when the same things are available over the counter.
Women can feel our uteruses and ovaries. However, a bimanual pelvic exam cannot permit the clinician to palpate (feel) the ovaries in any but the most-thin women, and in some cases, cannot palpate the uterus either – especially in a heavy woman who has never given birth.
Cancer is usually symptomatic. There are pains. There is bleeding. There can be swelling. If someone has those symptoms, she needs a diagnostic test, not a screening test.
And…. in spite of all that “ickiness” that comes out of women, many doctors and nurses suggest to leave it alone. Wash the vaginal area with plain water – no soap. Do not douche with anything, unless there is an infection, and even then a limited amount for a limited time. Seeing the gynecologist is not like seeing the dental hygienist.
All of this is available in recognized scientific and medical journals. Much of it is available on government websites, such as the CDC in the US to see how many people are affected or die. The notion of how screening skews statistics due to lead time bias, length bias, and selection bias is well known in the scientific literature. The pamphlets and commercials of “All women need to screen” are propaganda. They have little information, just claims providing no evidence. That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
And, there’s plenty of evidence on the harms introduced by screening.
Chrissy, I would also like to know what Mike is doing here and what he hopes to accomplish. Mike, care to enlighten us?
Mike, also, this you may not know, but the smear test only picks up certain types of cancers, and even then not very reliably, it rarely picks up adenocarcinoma, the aggressive cancer that mainly affects younger women and is what killed Ms Goody! One third of all cases will be in women completely up to date with their smears! So a woman could have a smear, or present with symptoms, in which case she’d need diagnostic tests NOT an unreliable screening test! So this woman could get a clear smear and time could be wasted doing other tests to try and find out what’s going on!! Really Mike why ARE you posting here??
So since I’ve already stated several times that we are discussing OPTIONAL tests… what exactly are you posting here for? You would like to make these tests illegal? So no one can get them? Or just being an echo chamber of the original piece that’s saying they’re often recommended too frequently? Echo chamber? Or make them illegal?
The thing Mike, which you may not realize, is that these “optional” tests are “required” by nearly all physicians in order to be treated for anything else. Many women have been required to submit to them in order to get birth control pills – and the only recommended test either by the pill manufacturers, the ACOG (gynecologists), peer-reviewed papers, or government publications is a blood pressure test.
This isn’t limited to birth control. Women are pressured into giving their last pap test date and results or into having a pap smear RIGHT THEN when they present in an emergency room for a life-threatening condition. Or, as was my own experience, a strong suggestion that without a pap test I could no longer be treated for my diabetes. I held to my guns, got treatment, and complained. Meanwhile, the whole appointment was taken up with pap sales, rather than discussion of my actual conditions – including the one that is the 7th leading cause of death in the US…. IMX, something that needs to be hard sold to that extent is not worth having.
Numbers don’t make much sense. There are about 320 million people in the US, and half of them are female. The CDC reports in 2019, just over 4,100 women died of cervical cancer, with just over 14,000 diagnosed with it. Pap testing costs a total of about $3 billion in the US, and “follow-on” tests after an abnormal smear result costs a total of around $30 billion. So, assuming that all of the 10,000 women who don’t die of CC but have it diagnosed were saved, that is $33,000,000,000/10,000 or $3.3 million per person. Meanwhile, no one screens for lung cancer, even though it’s the #1 cancer to die of, nor are cardiac screenings routinely done – which is the #1 cause of death.
Of those 4,100 deaths by CC, over half of them have had pap smears according to the recommended schedule.
Uterine cancer and ovarian cancer are much more prevalent than cervical cancer, and neither the pap screen nor bimanual pelvic exam can be used for finding them – except for VERY THIN women. (We’re talking anorexic/life-limiting underweight/starvation symptoms). These are tested using diagnostic tests when a woman has symptoms. Cervical cancer presents with symptoms too.
Moreover, the statistics are skewed by who gets screened (selection bias), as well as the statistical artifacts of early diagnoses from length bias and lead-time bias.
It’s not concern over death anyway. The US has more COVID deaths now every 3 days than die per year of CC, and some people disbelieve it, or for whatever reason refuse to take precautions to slow the spread of that disease. Some complain then that the $100K or so spent on the average hospitalized case is “too much” to spend to (try to) save their life – and from something completely preventable.
If someone went to their doctor, especially with known issues, and was hysterical about having renal cancer – another rare cancer with a little higher-rate per 1,000,000 (men can get renal cancer too), demanding to be screened and tested – even though they don’t have it in their family, don’t have any symptoms of it, doesn’t have any chemical or radiation exposures to increase the risk, any doctor would try to understand why they want it so much, tell them that it’s extremely unlikely, and possibly refer them to a mental health practitioner. So, why do we accept that level of hysteria when it comes to our vaginas from doctors.
Moreover, why are YOU so concerned that women here refuse to give consent to have our vaginas penetrated?
Yesterday I received a seriously blue inked letter from the NHS – reminding me to book an appointment for a flu jab. The letter was basically demanding that I book one – ‘as our records now show you are now due one.’ – As soon as you get this letter ring to make an appointment etc etc….
The thing is – only the evening previous, I had received a phone call from the practice nurse asking me to book one to which I said ‘no. I wont be having anything like that.’ In a tone that clearly said – the subject is not for discussion. At least she had the good sense to put the phone down and not challenge me.
However – a couple of week past – I had also received a letter telling me to book a flu jab.
The warning was that if I didn’t do as I was told If I became ill I could overwhelm the NHS. Basically it was an order to protect the NHS from me — not myself from them.
All these things set off my hysteria over how the so called cervical screening programme used to be operated. The letters would arrive ‘authorising’ me to book one, which wholly duped I used to.
The letters came – ‘your smear test is now due so book one.’ Just like these letters. No mention of choice – not even a mention of the subject being open to discussion. Just an order to book one.
They act like they can demand anything they want from you at any time.
How is it that this organisation has become so powerful they can send out these types of letters out to the population in general. Demanding this and demanding that.
I must remind the posters here any anyone visiting this site to always stand firm against the NHS if they want to do something to you you do not want. Whether its smear tests, mammograms, or even the flu jab. It is your body. Your choice.
Don’t be afraid of this organisation or its GP’s and practice nurses. Be firm. Be blunt.
You have a right for your choices to be treated with dignity and respect.
Linda hiya! So sorry what’s happened, it’s appalling how the NHS can affect ppl and their physical and mental health by their antics!
As you said, remember it’s your body, your choice! You KNOW they can’t make you do ANYTHING at all! Stay strong! You CAN do it! Don’t let this drag u back!!think of the positive effect you had on so many women here, I’ll never forget how you found me and directed me here!
In solidarity, luv , Kat x
Hi Kat. Thanks for your support. You are great. So glad you continue to post here. This site is so good. A real haven to go to. I am strong don’t worry. They’ll never get me again. CU x
Yes! Thank you! The ultimate choice lies with you! Someone with some common sense. You guys, listen to this one. She has a spine. I’m being dead serious. I sound surprised because of the lack of anyone with a backbone on here. Unless it is to stand up to someone from behind a computer screen, and argue something that is completely illogical and absurd. Bless you Linda for watching out for yourself and thinking things over and consciously choosing to opt out, if that’s what you think is best for you. And if they give you any sh*t, go find a different health care provider that won’t. No one on here will consider it when I say it, because I have a male name.
Then why do you keep posting if no one will consider what you say? Some of your points are valid but your tone is very haughty and condescending. It’s all in the delivery. And if you have a “female friend” you searched an item for leading to your discovery of this site, I have a bridge to sell you.
You can find a different health provider after having one that harasses you over screening. And, they will likely do the same thing. So, you find a different one, and they do the same thing. You may find one after the 10th or 20th try. These appointments cost around $200 each, and they take time. It’s not going to be paid for by any insurance or other 3rd party payer. If you’re poor, or have something better to do with an extra $2-$4k, you’re SOL. You may need to repeat this frequently, especially if you do not go to the doctor a lot, as doctors move, change networks, or are otherwise no longer available to a person.
Mike Sand, your comments are dismissed NOT because you have a male name, but because you have no idea what you are talking about. Telling numerous women that cervical screening test is ‘optional’ and entirely their choice when in reality they are frequently and brutally bullied into it is borderline stupid.
Many vitally necessary medications are locked behind a GP script, and women simply cannot get what they urgently need unless they submit to a doctor who peddles some screening because he/she/it is financially rewarded for reaching screening targets, or believes that female patients should have no right to say ‘no’ or solely decide happens to their own bodies.
‘Go find a different health care provider’ is not always an option. Small towns may not have much to choose from, in some countries it takes a lot of time to de-register with one GP and register with another (with no guarantee that the new GP is going to be any better), and in some countries patients cannot do that at all – each area has one designated GP, and the woman is stuck unless she relocates her home. When a script expires and the prescribed medicine cannot be stockpiled in advance or purchased elsewhere, the woman finds herself cornered, bullied and blackmailed. Do you really think that there is a doctor in the vicinity who always respects woman’s choice, but we prefer to sit and write here about our horrendous battle with the medical system instead of seeing that wonderful doctor?
If you, as a male, have never experienced this sort of medical terrorism, lucky you! But please kindly do more reading and investigating before you open your mouth here again.
It is sickening to see an ignorant male poo all over the forum board dedicated to discussion of entrenched medical malpractice and paternalism, and telling the suffering women that their problems are easily solved. These women have enough of this sort of treatment in doctor’s rooms. That is why seeing it again here of all places is revolting.
No Mike what I’m saying is, don’t harass women about this screening!! Don’t withhold care until they have a smear!! And be honest with us about risks as well as benefits!!
I never commented on this website, but I’ve been reading many posts and comments here. I’d like to ask you guys about something: what is the reaction you usually get when you are having an arguement with someone about pap smears, and tell them the realities of these tests, based on evidence and studies?
I just saw a comment on reddit about how “necessary pap smears are”, and I thought I make a comment about the realities of it (how rare it is, what the risks are, etc.), using informations that are easily available on the internet. I got downvoted, while the original comment got upvoted. I don’t really care about the votes, it’s just weird to me that people just don’t listen to actual information about these. I got told that “being embarassed” is not an excuse to avoid these exams, and that women shouldn’t avoid them because they are neglecting their health.
I’ve seen this happen before: I don’t know how this community feels about trans people, but there was this trans guy who was talking about how a lot of trans men are very scared of these exams, to the point of crying, vomiting, shaking, etc. because of these. He provided imformations and studies about cervical cancer, about how rare it is, that it is not necessary to have them, but he basically was told that these informations are useless and trans men should do pap smears anyway.
I normally just have people go glassy eyed on me and say “Well, I don’t know anything about any of that but I just know how important they are/ I just know that five of my friends/I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for smears”. Or, I get more aggressive responses about people who don’t attend being irresponsible/stupid/ and get accused of being ‘dangerous’ by advocating that people miss a ‘life-saving’ test. Or, I get told I’m paranoid and/or a conspiracy theorist. Or, I get told “Well my GP says I need to do it and when you’ve trained for seven years in medicine, perhaps I’ll be willing to listen to you too”. That said, even when I reference medical professionals who have reservations such as Dr. Margaret McCartney, they still won’t engage because apparently they are deluded and extremists and “a disgrace to their profession”. There is no getting through. People get very angry about it!
It’s really disappointing how a lot of women feel comfortable pressuring other women into something they obviously don’t want, and often, don’t need. I guess a lot of them think that they are doing the right thing, they are looking out for the health of women, even though they really are just pressuring women into an elective, invasive exam while infantalising women, acting like they are some dumb little girls who are just “embarassed”.
So, people don’t really respond with actual arguements and numbers to you either. I usually get that “fake support” kind of thing: they tell me that they hope I’m going to be able to move past whatever trauma caused me to think this way. The thing is: I don’t have a trauma, I’ve never been raped or sexually assaulted, and I don’t think I have to have a trauma to feel uncomfortable and humiliated by these gynecological exams. I think my reaction is completely normal, it’s not weird that I don’t want to be treated like some animal, being made to let some stranger poke around in my genitals, inserting a metal tool that looks like some medieval torture device, that often causes a lot of pain for women. I don’t think I’m crazy for not wanting any of this.
Yeah, I think a lot of people act like we are some conspiracy theorists, which often makes me feel alone with my feelings. I have a hard time finding women who feel the same way as I do about these exams, I guess it’s because most of them wouldn’t dare to just talk about this, since they will most likely get pressured and talked down to if they express their opinions. I’m really happy that there is at least this site where I can find a little support and understanding 🙂
I completely agree with everything you said. It’s really sad how women think they are justified in pressuring their friends, loved ones, and now even girls at school via PSHE, into an invasive test that I think many people justifiably find traumatic in and of itself. I do have sexual trauma in my past. However, even before that happened, I had a sense that I just could not put myself through a test that invasive, although I ultimately did get coerced into it and it did not end well. I think your feelings are entirely valid and I agree it’s really baffling to be made to feel like you’re the weird one for having such a normal reaction! That’s why I value this site so much too, no one makes me feel like I’m the strange one for holding an informed and completely rational opinion. It’s good to be able to share and validate each other 🙂
Anonymous, your comparing the speculum to a medieval torture device is pretty accurate.
There was “the pear” – an actual medieval torture device used to torture prisoners by going into a vagina or rectum, expanding, and tearing the flesh. These were reduced in size to become “speculums”, and most (modern) speculums were reduced to 2 “leaves” or “bills” rather than many of these “leaves” or “blades”. Before they evolved into their current form though, but reduced in size as to be not-especially-deadly they were used to “examine” prostitutes in 19th century London – sometimes in lieu of spending a month or more in jail – and most of the women given such a choice chose jail!
It’s the same sort of response women get if they say they are having an elective caesarean (and sometimes even a medically necessitated one), that they are struggling to breastfeed or have chosen to express or bottlefeed, or if they mention that they are struggling with PND.
I could mention a load of other gynocentric issues where similar responses are garnered but there are too many to mention.
Ultimately, I don’t think many of these women have examined the nuances of all these issues or understand that every decision is necessitated out of personal circumstances rather than homogenous ones, but my impression is that they have a conventional idea of what is “right” or “wrong”, or what you are “supposed to do” as a woman.
And if they believe you are not conforming to those ideas or notions, they lash out. That’s my opinion based on my own personal observations.
Even so, I find it really weird.
Linda , I ❤️ this site too, thanks Sue!! And everyone else on here and U2 Linda! Thinking of you x
So awesome 🙂 thanks Kat. And to all of you XO
Oh dear ladies 2 pieces in daily fail, one about the usual my daughter would still b here if she’d had a smear and the other scare mongering about how thousands will die as a result of paused smears! I’m off to find the vomit bucket
MF AMEN! Make your own choices about your body but don’t stuff your horror stories don’t other people’s throats and freak them out and cause them anxiety about going to a medical professional… one of the greatest achievements to date, our medical advancements. Nothing is perfect. But it’s constantly getting better and most of these people in the industry ACTUALLY care about their “customers”. Name another industry where that many workers actually put their hearts and emotions into it. Look a pearly whited thoroughbred gift-horse in the mouth, why don’t you.
Mike, nobody has to come to this site and nobody has to read the comments, if you don’t like it, go away and don’t come back
Mike, please can you stop posting here. You are utterly incapable of understanding the issues. Women like me who value informed consent, struggle with screening in its present form due to past sexual trauma and who have experienced medical abuse come here for community and support. No one is stuffing anything down anyone’s throats and we have the right to tell our stories. People come to this site voluntarily. What you are doing now is verging on the abusive. Please just stop. I will not engage with you any further.
Mike this is the last comment of yours I’m replying to! I name education workers who go the extra mile for their “ customers” the skl I work in has 36 staff off sick, many class bubbles out due to covid and yesterday we had no kitchen staff. Everyone pulled together to get something for kids lunch, everyone is taking on extra duties! Now goodbye
Mike, I’ve just landed on these comments and a bit of clarification. A lot of ladies posting on here are in the UK and are referring to our National Health Service, which is national and paid for through taxes, and not like the insurance based system you have in the US. You often can’t go doctor-shopping here, but are allocated a GP in your area, as Heather has said previously. Insurance-based systems make a lot of money through preventive health care and regular testing schemes, but these are a costly, poor return venture in a system funded by taxes. The UK cervical screening programme needs a very high uptake to run economically and a bar has been set at 80%, so that’s why we have a lot of bullying and pressure to go. In the UK, GPs are given incentive payments to make sure that they hit the 80% mark and have to report their results to the government. They face inspection and eventual closure if they fail to meet government minimum standards. Consequently, when visiting a GP for an entirely unrelated matter, the pressure is on to have this invasive test there and then. It’s totally unethical, and that’s why there are so many complaints from UK ladies on here. You can change your GP to another in your area, but it used to be, that a pap or smear test had to be done on joining the new practice. They had the right to refuse to take on any patient who refused to do so, leaving women with no access to primary medical care at all. It was a serious situation, that has only relaxed slightly over the years, thanks to changes in the law.
The case of the 22 year old woman is so incredibly tragic. She was let down by so many people. However, it is now igniting hysteria on twitter. It’s lit up with women requesting a lower age limit and sharing petitions. So many of them saying they were ‘saved from a certain death’ by their treatment. Interestingly, many of them were tested when they were younger than 25 (and I don’t think they mean pre the latest age limit) so screening does seem to be taking place in the 18-25 bracket. Some people in the UK even saying they’ve been having them yearly since the age if 15?!
Gem you are right not to engage with this obviously disturbed individual any longer. He is playing a sick game with his specious arguments and twisted logic and it is beneath us here. I will also no longer read or reply to his posts and would encourage others to follow suit.
Good point Gem and Judy. It is annoying that the same familiar rubbish we regularly get from the medical establishment got repeated here by that ignorant Mike Sand character. This site is a sanctuary for many, and seeing someone come and repeatedly dump their BS here is somewhat irking. But you are right: the best way to deal with these MikeSands is to completely ignore them. Unlike doctors, which some readers have no choice other than to battle with, he can be ignored easily and entirely.
Lets free him more time and give him an opportunity to go elsewhere and tell some males that they should bend over and have doctors’ hands and tools shoved up their a$$holes at every consult. Maybe he’ll get more attention and thanks from his new audience for that advice. 😀
Sorry – I responded to him with a post on various studies on screening efficacy and cc rates, however I hadn’t seen this post beforehand.
I agree. This individual appears to be trolling to me and there is a subtle tone of liberal misogyny in his comments that I will not entertain further.
Apologies once again.
Kat – Interestingly, while scrolling through the nonsense and all the bewildered comments as to why primary cytology is no longer the default for screening, someone said that her nurse had told her that self-testing HPV kits are on the way.
I’ve not heard it anywhere else though but in the age of covid, it would make sense when all their time is likely to be taken up with vaccinations.
AQ, I hope you are right about the HPV self-testing kits being on the way. I’m concerned what they’re cooking up here, with the COVID vaccinations being rolled out next year. What’s the betting that being vaccinated for COVID will be linked in with a smear test, somehow?
Of course smear tests will be linked with getting the COVID vaccine, at least in the beginning! They’ll already have the victim…. errr woman in their office, worried about getting and spreading COVID, already primed with the notions in epidemiology, and then a pap test suggested “because HPV is rampant”. Plus “you’re already here and it only takes a few minutes”. If that doesn’t work, they will at least sometimes try coercion “To be seen in this practice requires that you be up to date on your pap smears. We will not be able to give you the vaccine without a pap test.” (And sign you up for mammograms, colonscopies, etc, etc.)
The cost of this will be horrendous, in terms of money and human suffering. If somebody pops a positive on one of those tests, “elective” procedures being on hold because of COVID will mean that somebody’s told, “Oh, you’ve probably got cancer. We won’t be able to test you to be sure, or treat you untill…”.
Ada – I hope not however I’ve heard that they are under significant pressure to get as many people through the door as possible with the Covid vax, so while it is entirely possible, I think it might not be too much of an issue in the initial few months anyway, as the vax is rolled out to the priority groups first, especially with partial lockdowns all over the place. I doubt there’s any way they could deny the covid vaccine to a woman who’s declined the smear and I’m sure some vaccines will be administered by non-GP staff. There are rumours that some areas are already beginning to run out of the vaccine so hopefully, all the mass hysteria this year will be preoccupied with that instead.
One other aside, Scotland recently changed their testing protocol this year without much fanfare (Covid providing a convenient backdrop), I wonder if that’s the thinking behind introducing HPV DIY kits? If Jo’s To$$ers and their fanatical followers question it, they can use covid and the move to virtual appointments as an excuse… 🤔