Top Five Reasons for Opting Out of Pap Tests

32267_article_fullFor years women have been presented with only one side of the story when it comes to pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. The ways in which pap tests are presented have led many women to believe that they are harmless, necessary, and life saving. This type of messaging has been so well promoted that women usually don’t think to ask any questions when it comes to pap tests. Unfortunately there is another side to the story that reveals there is significant potential for harm as a result of pap testing. Increased access to information, recommendations to increase the age to begin pap smears, recommendations to lengthen the interval between pap smears, and the discovery of alternative and better methods to screen for cervical cancer have recently encouraged women to start asking questions. As a result, women are uncovering the facts and the potential for harm that can result from screening. In other words, some women are discovering that there are many good reasons that support the choice to opt out of Pap tests.  Here are the top five:

1.  The harms of pap tests exceed the potential benefits by a significant margin. Despite intensive screening in countries such as the United States, there is no corresponding reduction in mortality from the disease in comparison to countries that screen far less often (Habbema, Inge, & Brown, 2012). However, there is evidence of morbidity caused by  pap testing (McCormick, 1989). According to Raffle, et al. (1995), in a study of women after a screening round in Bristol, England: “over 15,000 healthy women are being incorrectly told that they are ‘at risk’; over 5,500 women are being investigated, with many also treated, for a disease that would never have troubled them, and are being left with problems that include lasting worries about cancer, difficulties in obtaining life insurance, and worries concerning the effect of their treatment on their subsequent reproductive ability” (p. 1472).

2.  Pap testing programs are not based on scientific evidence that validates their effectiveness. No randomized controlled trials have ever been done to substantiate the oft repeated refrain that pap testing can save lives. Pap test propaganda rarely reveals the facts; such as the fact that in developed countries cervical cancer is a rare type of cancer. Unfortunately, the people in control of research funding are often the same people who benefit from the substantial business that pap testing generates, and therefore it is unlikely there will ever be studies done that could shed light on the facts: “If somebody suggested in 2003 we [should] introduce cervical cytology, no randomized trial would ever show it was worthwhile” admits Dr. Anne Szarewski, clinical consultant for Cancer Research UK.

3.  Pap tests increase a woman’s risk of exposure to HPV infection. Research reveals that vaginal specula can harbor HPV16.  HPV16 is a type of HPV that is associated with most premalignant and malignant disease of the cervix.  In one study, 29 specula after use on different women were examined post-cleaning.  In four cases, HPV16 DNA was detected.  The authors of the study concluded that “HPV infected cells can be found on instruments inserted into the vagina of women with HPV infection, and if these instruments are not cleaned and sterilized properly they will be a potential source of infection for subsequent patients” (McCance, Campion, Baram, & Singer, 1986, p. 817).  In addition, HPV DNA has been found on surgical gloves, biopsy forceps, and cryoprobe tips.  Biopsy forceps and cryoprobe tips can harbor HPV even after sterilization (Watson, 2005).

4.  Pap testing exposes women to risk of psychological harm.  There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that reveals the extent of the psychological harm caused by pap tests.  Women’s comments reveal many different aspects of the psychological damage, such as this one by FerretGirl01 on Psychological Harms of Pelvic Exams: I have a terrible fear of the OB/GYN mainly because my very first pelvic exam was so traumatic. I was a virgin and it hurt so much that I cried. And even after I told the doctor to stop, she kept trying to collect the sample after telling me she would stop any time. I felt violated…scared…and I hurt so bad I had to take pain relievers. I was bleeding when I got home and discovered my “cherry” had been popped because the doctor was too rough and rushed with the exam. That made me terrified of ever getting one again . . via Fear of Gynecological Exam – Women’s Health – MedHelp.  The psychological harm can include trauma, fear, dehumanization, loss of control, invalidation, distrust, and despair. Pap tests can have a significantly negative impact on women’s lives, and yet this issue remains largely unaddressed and/or unacknowledged by the medical community.

5.  For women who wish to screen for cervical cancer, the HPV test is more accurate. Research is revealing that HPV testing is able to detect cellular changes at an earlier stage, thus allowing women who wish to screen to go for much longer intervals between tests.  In addition, self-testing is possible with HPV testing.

Habbema, D.,  Inge, M.,  & Brown, M. (2012). Cervical cancer screening in the United States and the Netherlands: A tale of two countries. The Milbank Quarterly, 90(1).
McCance, D. J., Campion, M. J., Baram, A., & Singer, A. (1986). Risk of transmission of human papillomavirus by vaginal specula. The Lancet, Oct. 4.
McCormick, J. S. (1989). Cervical smears: A questionable practice? The Lancet, July 22.
Raffle, A., Alden, B., MacKenzie, E. (1995). Detection rates for abnormal cervical smears: What are we screening for? The Lancet.
Watson, R.  (2005). Human papillomavirus: Confronting the epidemic – a urologist’s perspective.  Reviews in Urology, 7(3).


  1. I’ve got to ask: why isn’t “Self Defense” first on that list? I mean even IF this wasn’t something that was imposed & IF it was a means to an end, I’d think that a problematic methodology would be a point in the first place. Maybe “sexual dissonance” is the correct term for things being an issue on that level?

    Just thought I’d add all that, since it tends to be a bit hard to put that type of things into words & “distress” seems like it’s more for when someone is trying to impose things. I know someone might argue “Well, that’s not a “sexual situation” because it’s medical,” but the term just denotes the nature of affront. It’s not the same thing as a punch in the face, which is not the same thing as stealing cash (interestingly, if a husband punched his wife, it’s deemed an attack despite that being a “matrimonial situation”).

    You could very easily make the point that this is like saying “It’s not a lethal threat if someone in a hospital tries to kill you with a scalpel, because it’s a medical situation.” You could add in “& I have a non-antagonistic association with that.”

    • Thank you!

      Yeah, the end of the list could be capped-off with “And this is all a human rights violation, by being a breach of bodily autonomy & inviolability.” Something to that effect would make sense, especially since this is a broad effort toward a whole group in a society. A more psychological method of doing things compared to other human rights violations, but still an affront.

      Look at them getting coercive with birth control: this is coercive iatrogenic assault AND reproductive endangerment. It may or may not result in all the various ramifications that can be generated from the risks & inaccuracies of this situation- but coercing, deceiving, and otherwise imposing these situations on people is launching the possibility. It doesn’t matter what specific way they do all that, but given the mechanics it compounds an already present issue.

  2. It appears that my concern about non-sterilized equipment, nonsterile supplies such as gloves and lubricant are well founded.

    If they can pass on HPV-16 this way, what ELSE can be passed on during a pelvic exam and or pap test? The standard answer when a woman comes down with some disease or infection which cannot be explained is, “You might have gotten it from someone YEARS ago and it’s been dormant all this time” or sometimes “Can you be SURE that your partner isn’t cheating?”. Dangers from a medical examination were minimized, or people given the idea that they were zero.

      • This. Hospitals and doctors’ offices can be absolutely filthy.

        My mother was recently in the ICU in a “good” hospital. I witnessed nurses leaving her IV lines and ports on the floor and rolling IV carts over the tubing.

    • I agree with all points of the article.

      Dental offices never given me too much reason to worry about cross contamination. Read their standard (American dental association)(

      Whatever goes into your mouth at the dentist is clean. Even the chair is cleaned. At the doctors office what is clean or even sterile? You complain and they might say “well is your partner’s penis sterile? and you put that in your vagina”. Appalling there is no standards for gyno or family practice offices and few for colposcopy clinics.

      The excuse of “you may have got the infection (HPV) years ago and it was dormant until now” is really wrong. I have yet to find one single article or research study that is actual proof (not theory) that HPV infection to cancer is “dormant” and undetected for decades by Pap tests or HPV tests. A study would have to prove that a woman had exactly the same strain and it was reactivated and not a new infection. I could find several that proved that equipment had HPV contamination.

      “can you be sure your partner was not cheating?” Oh yeah. Tell me that and then ask me some screening questions about domestic abuse, I would rather that they cleaned their office furniture, their sink and used sterile equipment. Not wet the unsterile speculum in a dirty hand washing sink where they threw the last used speculum.

      Since I have five really good reasons why bother with cervical cancer screening at all? Where is my home HPV test Health Canada?

  3. And even after I told the doctor to stop, she kept trying to collect the sample after telling me she would stop any time.
    I wonder if anyone here has ever encountered a doctor who kept that “I will stop at any time” promise?
    From my experience, this promise is often and easily given, and is NEVER kept. It is just a simple lie to make us agree to be tortured and humiliated, to save on pain management, and to circumvent the fact that most doctors have no appropriate skills or desires to be gentle and careful. It also means that we are treated like little children: a bit of lie, and anything can be done to us. So insulting!

    • A promise someone doesn’t intend to keep is easy to make.

      Speaking of being treated like children, apparently this sometimes gets aimed at children. There was a case in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania where they ambushed 59 11-year-old girls with pelvic exams. This was in 1997, but they are more “we’ll do whatever we want” now than they were back then & anything of this nature tends to be deemed innocent as long as it’s done in a complex way or is “in the pursuit of a goal” (even if something WERE a means to an end, that doesn’t mean the components of that methodology cease to exist in their own right).

      I’ve heard of this being made a requisite for school, but I don’t know if that’s actually a requisite of the school (apparently, doctors decide to add that into the back-to-school physical sometimes).

      • Another word for making a promise one does not intend to keep is LIE. Failing to stop when told invalidates consent.

        On the girls in Stroudsburg, PA, I looked up the articles again. The alarming thing was how the case was allowed to proceed, and what was absent. The fact that the girls said, “NO!” was not mentioned, nor any sort of thing about bodily autonomy. Constitutional protections for “persons” is not limited to adults: Minors also have protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. A genital/pelvic exam on an asymptomatic 11-year-old is not even recommended by any medical organization. What WAS part of that case was that the girls’ parents were not informed nor did they give consent for their girls’ “examinations”. No parent can give consent to have someone else fondle their girls’ (or boy’s) genitals: That would be considered sexual abuse, and everyone involved would go to prison. But, you put “doctor” and “medical” in the equation, and somehow it’s right and proper??? Even when it violates accepted medical practice? I fail to see how it’s different.

        I found a similar case in 2005 at a kindergarten where the school nurse did “visual examinations” of the children’s genitals. Looking for genital warts and the like… nevermind that most genital warts are not on the external genitalia. It was “okay” though. The parent’s did sign a consent form. It was buried in the other forms they had to sign to get their kids into kindergarten.

        Moreover, this completely dissolves any assurances that the girls have that they can say “NO” to an uncomfortable, sexual touch, that if their “NO” is not accepted, that the person(s) who did it would be prosecuted for rape/sexual assault/sexual assault on a minor. This left the girls ripe for any non-medical sexual preditor to have his way with them as well.


      • One thing that I’ve noticed is doctors seemed to get very excited and overly persuasive about these exams when it comes to virgins!!! I think that’s why they wanted to exam the young girls in this case.

        I have been in several situations in my late teens and twenties in which a doctor asked if I was sexually active and when I said ‘no’, still proceeded to try to schedule an exam. In one situation, I had a broken finger and went to receive an x-ray to confirm it. The doctor quickly asked if I had ever had a pelvic exam and I said ‘no’. Immediately, she began screaming to the nurse to get the table and stirrups ready – in that dirty trashy facility – not to mention that area of town is known for a high HIV rate. My mom interrupted to say that I was a virgin and they said ‘so what? If she’s never had one she NEEDS one’. When we refused, they refused the x-ray on my hand.

        Also, they would do pelvic exams at the clinic in my middle school. They would send out forms for parents to sign. My mom never signed and they still would hunt me down in class. I wonder if the doctor was lesbian – I ended up having to skip class several times to get away from her before she stopped searching for me!

        One more doctor asked me if I was having sex and when I said ‘I’m not married so why would I be having sex?’ She got this wild look in her eyes and harassed me with phone calls and letters about it and tried to persuade me that my sinus infection could be caused by a problem ‘down there’. Really? Since when does a sinus infection begin in the vagina?!!!

    • I went to a doctor for heavy bleeding associated with the menopause. She used scare tactics to ceoerce me into a smear test which I hadn’t had for 18 years due to PTSD associated with the terrible birth experience I had had with my daughter. I was shaking like a leaf and she got irritated and told me to relax because all my muscles had tensed up in my vagina and she was finding it hard to take the sample. I kept asking her to stop and she kept telling me to relax and calm down even though I was crying.. My eldest daughter who was accompanying me was shocked. Neither of my girls will ever submit to pap smears ..or mammography for that matter.. There are numerous incredibly stressful and or painful procedures women are coerced into enduring. I also had to go for a test for fibroids and had a massive dildo- like implement inserted into to my vagina by a young woman radiographer who pushed and prodded it around inside me in all directions for about 15 minutes having liberally covered it with lubricant. As the pap smear I refer to above came back with a Level 2 abnormality ( perhaps because I am menopausal or was bleeding heavily or because the cells have just changed like my brain cells change when I have a glass of wine ?!), it conveniently meant I would have to be referred to hospital for a colposcopy and biopsy. The result of all this would keep me coming back for more pap smears..leading to more colposcopies/ biopsies thereby eroding the integrity of my cervix and causing me an endless cycle and stress and severe anxiety. We are just fodder for their machine and I am adamant that I will never, ever again have another pap smear

      • Hi Sarah
        Not surprised your pap test was “abnormal” if you were bleeding at the time, also, menopause is a time when we’re more likely to produce a false positive pap test.
        MOST women are HPV- and cannot benefit from pap tests anyway, and you can self-test for HPV, no need for a speculum exam.
        If you were symptomatic, you needed a proper workup, not a screening test.

        Heavy bleeding seems to be fairly common during menopause, I went the other way with lighter and shorter periods, but some of my friends had heavy periods and flooding. I think my group were the lucky ones. One of my workmates was terrified of flooding and ending up with a stain on her clothing or on a chair, we were travelling together for work and she put a towel on the seat just in case, it was an 8 hour flight. It was an uncomfortable and stressful 12 months for her. I know she didn’t want to take HRT, I think she might have taken the Pill in the end.
        Are you going to have the colposcopy and biopsy? Doesn’t sound like it, but if you’re worried, you can test yourself for HPV, I’ll bet you’re HPV-…you can then confidently forget about the colposcopy and biopsy. (and pap tests)
        Menopause can be difficult, I found the temperature thing exhausting, hot, cold, sweating, cold, hot etc….also, insomnia and skin issues. I viewed the process as perfectly normal like menstruation, thankfully, my symptoms have eased or disappeared. I suppose all-up I had 2 uncomfortable years. (but it was manageable, I didn’t take HRT)
        All the best…

  4. Another great article.
    Also, the pap test is unacceptable to some women. I’m pleased the invasiveness of the test prompted me to do my own research all those years ago, if a blood test had been available or self-testing the pressure might have gotten to me. I shudder to think where it would have ended, more than three-quarters of women who screen end up referred for colposcopy and at least a biopsy, many also, face “treatments”.
    Of course, once informed the lies and pressure have no impact at all.

    • That sounds like one of those clinics that treat all woman like walking STDs and push exams at every visit. “She needs one.”. Sees who? Can they back that up with evadence. The words should ,needs, vital are all thrown around when doctors talk about how important it is for woman to have them. It is not logical that every woman is gonna benefit from gyn exams esp when symptom free.

    • Another thing is that the word “need” is used in place of “there could be some utility.” I think that there is a de facto concept that if there’s any potential utility to something, it’s not “pass-up-able.”

  5. Google “ global guidance for cervical cancer”, tons of info.

    My 5 reasons: unreliable screening tool (high false-positives, “treatment” causes permanent damage, etc), dishonest doctors (incentive payments, no info given), too rare cancer (kidney cancer rates are the same/higher but no screening), no informed choice (withholding unrelatd birth control pills especially when bcp are being used for period problems)and my legs only open for my husband. Sorry for typos, on phone. 🙂 I saw someone post about invasive/noninvasive: noninvasive is any procedure via natural opening (colonoscopy using anus) and invasive is any procedure via man-made hole (csection, laparoscopy).

    • It may be the cause of the problem too: the medical community thinks that “invasive” is only when they cut us open. For the patients, on the other hand, bing raped by tools can amount to “invasive” as well.

      That’s how we ended up with pap-propaganda brochures assuring us that pap-smears are non-invasive, easy, painless, walk-in-the-park tests; and with women who bleed, cry, have to take painkillers, develop depression and start having problems in their intimate life after those “non-invasive” pap-smears.

      • I agree completely. Another problem is that gynecology is taught to EVERYONE at medical school including psychology students. Gyn is BIG business. Women are easy to trick into consenting to anything, just use their emotions (“what will your husband/kids do without you?”) and misinform/lie to them. More women need to wake up and inform themselves. If you need to “zone out” to get through something, you shouldn’t be doing it

  6. Well said about the “zoning out” thing.

    What do you mean about psychology students? That shrinks don’t get to be shrinks if they don’t give someone a pelvic exam? Are these people to double as doctors in that field or to just “play doctor” on someone & say it’s therapy?

    [I DO remember that at least one woman on here was a psychiatrist or something along those lines, so I don’t mean to be overly broad with my assumptions- but there is a bit of a reputation with head-shrinkers & I could see a common trait between the two existing.]

      • I was thinking the same, but you never know with America, it also makes no sense that obgyns are primary care doctors, however outlandish misogynist institutional practices seems, it does not mean they can’t be real

      • Also I remembered how Mary Daly wrote a lot about obgyns and psychiatrists,and also therapists, Freud, Jung etc. in Gyn/Ecology, she has been criticised a lot, alongside with second wave feminism, but she said such truths… I am not an essentialist myself at all, but I think she has been misinterpreted a lot, and the transphone Brennan was her student, which does not help the case, but she had the guts to critique the Western mind/body doctors alongside other partiarchal practices such as chinese footbinding and african FGM.

    • They’re similar enough to bunch together, in my opinion. For a psychologist to be a Dr it simply requires a PhD. For a psychiatrist to be a Dr it’s Med school and psych. Gynecology is taught to everyone at medical, to become an obgyn requires 2-4 years extra for obstetrics (in order to do baby care, ultrasounds, csections, etc). Sorry for confusion, i lump all the mental health in one group which is wrong i know. Freud and his ‘penis envy’s theory.

      I found an interesting PDF, I haven’t read it completely yet but I found it interesting that it said women should have paps but men should be informed of all risks/benefits and give informed consent before prostate screening AND only screen if they have risk factors. Go ahead and tell me women are equals in the medical field.

      • They are not all similar. There is a huge difference between medical school and graduate level school in the Psychology field. Getting your MA or PhD in Psychology is not medical school in any way and a PhD in Psychology is not a Medical Doctor. A PhD in Psychology gives you title of Psychologists and they cannot diagnose or prescribe medication much less perform a physical exam. The field of psychology has progressed far beyond Freud and his penis envy theory to the use of researched and validated forms of therapy.

      • My guess is men are more likely to sue, particularly if the treatment renders them impotent. I believe this is the driving force behind giving men informed consent. Women are more likely to believe they have been ‘saved ‘even if they end up with permanent damage to their bodies after treatment.

        The medical profession are simply covering their own backs.

  7. The misinformation about the pap test prevails:
    There is going to be a debate about this in the UK parliament on 1st May, as 320,000 have signed a petition to allow under 25’s to have pap tests on demand. Let’s hope it forces our health authority to own up about the limitations of this test and the damage it does to women.

  8. As if we need a ‘debate’ carried out by a bunch of stuffed shirts who probably don’t even know what a smear test is!
    Remember, there was a review into lowering the age back down to 20 after Jade Goody died? Did the NHS own up to what a rubbish test this really is back then? Nope.
    As we all know, allowing teenagers to have a pap test any time they have ‘women’s problems’ would be a disaster. Great for the pro-pap brigade, with all the ‘pre-cancers’ they’ll find. Even though many of them will have had the vaccine which is alleged to prevent cancer.

    These campaigners really don’t see the big picture, do they? Aside from issues with the pap test itself, extending the screening program is going to cost a fortune – the NHS is struggling to survive as it is, where on earth do these pap happy cretins think the funding is going to come from?

    • I wonder if there’s the same response if someone dies in surgery that they got from an inaccurate diagnosis? What about for a miscarriage caused as a side-effect of years & years of testing?

      I’m curious: Do the women in the U.K. tend toward being self-determined medically or are they servile? I know this is talking in general terms, but I was noticing that British people seem to be more able to think that medical actions can be antagonistic- instead of thinking that reality, effectively, takes a coffee break for medical personnel. It really doesn’t seem that way with Americans (although a lot gets bottled-up in America, so it’s hard to know what someone’s assesments are actually like).

      • I don’t think British women are any more self-determined than women in the US, really. The female population here is just subservient as American women when it comes to the usual ‘women’s health’ nonsense, IMO. It’s just that we’re subjected to less of it. I’m sure that, had the powers-that-be decreed decades ago that women ‘needed’ annual well-woman exams most of the women here would have bought into that.
        I think, though, that over the past few decades, there has been a huge shift towards ‘preventative’ medicine (which often does more harm than good) within the NHS and some people are starting to understand that this obsession with ‘preventing’ disease is diverting precious resources away from the people who need the most help.
        But when it comes to paps and mammos, most British women (present company excepted!) are just as ill-informed as women in the US. Just look at the furore surrounding Sophie Jones – the ignorance of these campaigners is staggering.

      • Kate- I am struggling to understand it too, how come so clueless people go and take up on themselves to “raise awareness”?

  9. I just got informed that because I haven’t had a pap smear in the last couple of years I’ll have to receive one from my campus health services for them to okay my birth control to be refilled. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want the examine but I need my medicine. I’ve looked into buying online but I worry about fraud. Is anyone aware of a reason I can say no and still get my prescription?

    • The only test required in order to get hormonal birth control prescribed is a blood pressure test. Pap tests are not required per any current medical guidelines, and pelvic exams are very nonspecific about detecting abnormalities.

      Unfortunately, your experience is quite typical – to hold birth control hostage for the pelvic exam and pap smear.

      For a possible temporary reprieve, Planned Parenthood has a program to get women temporary birth control pills until they can get a pelvic examination, or some clinics, I understand, use current guidelines – blood pressure only, and recommend pelvic examinations on a schedule.

    • Off the bat, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal. I don’t know where you are, but in America it is (and I remember hunting something down for someone with a similar problem in Canada that blanketed this situation). In England, I think you just have to sign a waiver. Leaving your phone on record in your jacket or purse would work for proving they said “You don’t get this without that.” There’s even a whole slew of little gizmos that’ll do that (watches, pens, etc…).

      Being coerced into this situation is an iatrogenic attack. Actually, I think the whole situation would read out as “coercive iatrogenic sexual assualt and reproductive endangerment.” The properties of a situation don’t change by designation (just like if a doctor were to poison someone with a needle, it’s still murder), so since this is an interface with a sexual area as a product of someone else’s decision-making (specifically, a penetrative one) & it doesn’t work as advertised (there are numerous risks & inaccuracies that are not mentioned but ARE afforded- this adds a dimension of fraud to the situation).

      If they start mouthing off about their policies, don’t worry about it. They don’t have “medical attack” open to them, whether as an individual situation or as part of a pattern. Same deal with them talking about their liabilities- they ARE liable for what DO. Violating you in an unconventional way as a means of self-defense against groundless potential lawsuits is not LESS of a liability. Sometimes just mentioning the term “iatrogenic attack” is enough to end an argument- it’s a word that comes up suprisingly rarely, but it’s a good one to know (not that someone needs to be able to articulate something in order to have a grasp of it).

      Just curious, how is the campus involved? I wouldn’t figure a college would have anything to do with your birth control situation, but I’ve been suprised by them numerous times. Apparently, a small-framed girl was deemed anorexic by a college (Yale) & they threatened to kick her out if she didn’t get treatment (BY THEM, if I’m not mistaken). They backed down, last I heard.

  10. Amelia,
    Your question highlights the shocking abuse of women by the medical profession, all cancer screening is elective, it can never be required for anything. I assume you’re American, there is a helpful article by an American doctor that you might find helpful, if you email this doctor he may be prepared to speak to your doctor, he’s made that offer to other women.
    The pap test, routine pelvic and breast exams have NOTHING to do with birth control, the only medical requirement is your medical history and a blood pressure test. (The pap test is an elective screening test, the other two routine exams are not recommended at all in many countries, they carry risk (unnecessary surgery, excess biopsies etc) for no benefit or no proven benefit)
    Some women here buy their pills online, I’m sure someone will respond to your post.
    Also, some branches of PP offer a genuine HOPE scheme where you can get pills without the need for an exam, but stay alert, some will still try to pressure you.

    You may be interested to know that ACOG have said the Pill should be available over-the-counter, no doubt because all of these unnecessary medical barriers lead to bad outcomes for women. Birth control should be freely available, the alternative carries a lot of risk to our health and lives…abortions, unplanned pregnancies, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, dysfunctional sex life, anxiety etc.

    You could write or email your doctor mentioning these facts and if they still refuse to prescribe without the excess, report them to the relevant medical authority and change your doctor, also, let the doctor know why you’re changing. As more women walk and profits fall, these doctors will soon change their “requirements”.
    I’ve read a few accounts from US women that suggests a lot of doctors try-it-on and when challenged many cave and provide the script. One young woman asked her Aunt, who was also an attorney, to send a letter, the script was ready to be collected a short time later.
    Good luck and welcome to the forum.

  11. Hi Amelia, pap smears are an optional screening test and are not a requirement for the safe use of birth control. All that is required for birth control is a health history and taking your blood pressure. I do believe that such information is available on the ACOG website and the World Health Organization. It can be difficult to be assertive in the Dr’s exam room but tell the Dr that you know that the pap test is not a requirement for birth control and that you have made the informed decision to not screen and that withholding of the pills is coercion which takes away from your informed consent. Any intimate exam that takes places due to coercion such as withholding birth control for the pap test is technically a sexual assault. If the Dr refuses to renew your prescription without a pap test make a complaint with the office and with the medical board. The Dr is acting unethically and often if they are challenged they give in. Many Dr’s receive incentive payments for reaching screening targets for the pap and withholding birth control is an easy way for them to meet their target.

  12. I am so glad that I found this board.

    Let me preface this by saying that I am empathetic to each and every woman who has explained their stories, be it of coercion, assault or simply unethical practice.

    I have always been reluctant to these exams but as a teenager I stuck through them because I didn’t know better. In my twenties now, and employed, I have a totally different outlook. I think that it is atrocious to even consider that women should simply follow through a procedure “for their health” or because “everyone does it”. Every person is responsible for their own bodies, and frankly, if no one wants to police people if they opt to have tattoos, piercings, eat fast food so why should they enforce pelvic exams/pap smears?

    I have had 3 in my life, and never will again. I work for a college that governs family physicians across Canada, more specifically in a department that does license renewal based on a credit system. I work directly in approval of published articles for content of our renewal program. Lately all I see is controversy with OB/GYNs and women’s rights.

    Studies have shown directly that self administered vaginal swabs were just as (actually more effective) ,provided instructions were given to a patient, swabs administered by a clinician. These swabs pertain to detecting the human papilloma virus which as I’m sure you know is the leading cause of cervical cancer and is estimated to cause between 93-100% of cases. Self administered swabs are less invasive, are not a breach of privacy, and they allow women to receive screening with the same efficacy should they wish to do so. Though there is resistance from ACOG and other governing health associations due to the fact (particularly in the US) that it diminishes revenue, eliminates the need for a medical doctor in these situations as a nurse is more than qualified to accept specimens.

    Major changes were made in Canada about screening, yet I still wait anxiously for this screening to become totally optional. There is yet a place I can visit without being asked when my last pap was, and frankly it sickens me. I can opt to have a lung biopsy, so why shouldn’t I be able to opt to screen myself for the potential (I wish I could italicize that word) of maybe developing cervical cancer. (Which by the way for women with few sexual partners, who don’t smoke and have no history of cancer, is like 1 in 2 million) As of yet, I only go to walk-in clinics if I have an issue to address for fear of needing to remove my clothes for a test that is estimated to be between 10-20% ineffective.

    Any other ladies here also refuse breast exams and any other pelvic exams?

    I refuse all.

    If anyone has tips about controlling anger and anxiety about simply thinking about this, please share because it really makes my skin crawl and my blood boil.

    If anyone wants to review this, you may find it through this link below. I believe the latter requires a subscription, though perhaps some of you may already have it. or

    • Great post and welcome. Thank you for providing that stat of 1 in 2 million. Looking at the risk factors that would be my chances of getting CC. I’m still waiting for the day when it doesn’t feel like my head is going to explode when I’m asked about my last pap test. The focus on this rare cancer both fascinates and frustrates me. I just do not get it. As you know there are far greater threats to women’s health than CC. Most importantly heart disease which is the number one killer.

      • Thanks for the warm welcome.

        I feel like these pressured screens for CC seriously deter women from wanting to get screened for other diseases, be it respiratory, cardiovascular or renal. The annual physical has come into question because seldom do they screen women for highly probable threats of disease or cancer for some of the aforementioned branches. I feel like it should go without question that each and every test made available to a person be optional, and have the risks and benefits explained prior to even considering the test. Information is our greatest tool, and deciding whether or not our individual benefits outweigh our risks is simply how decisions should be made. In the situation of women who are under 30, monogamous or have had few sexual partners, use protection, are non-smokers, the risk of CC is seriously non-existant. That being said demographics change with age, but that’s why a woman should be empowered with the knowledge to make her own choice. Canada recently increased the screening age to 25 (though many are still being talked into it if they are above the age of 21) though studies still show the likelihood of women getting CC is still so slim that the risks barely equate the benefits in a numerical sense; and if you wanted to associate a marginal value to how traumatizing, dehumanizing and the emotional stress caused by such an exam could cause you, the decision could be black and white. And age alone doesn’t mean you are at risk for cervical cancer, it simply means that it so happens to become apparent in women of that age group. Age does not equal risk for cervical cancer, how a woman lives her life does. And even if she did live on the wild side, if she didn’t want a test, so be it.

        Women have a say with whom they choose to engage in intimacy with, and they most certainly should be give 100% informed consent if they so wished to be screened. I have a sister in law who is a die hard supporter of the Pap. Yet when I speak with her she has no real idea of how CC comes into effect, who is at risk, or what the risks are to screening. She has been driven into fear that she will die of CC, and so she toughs it up and goes every year. This to me not only makes me sad for her but it puts the lack of information provided to her for the last 15 years in perspective. This goes for all women as they are made to fear this evil that is so insignificant in reality yet made to be a huge, dangerous disease that is out to get every woman. Driving is more dangerous, and so is crossing the street, and yet people do it every day.

        I hope to one day be able to have a regular appointment where threat of a looming CC screen is no longer there.

    • Thank you for an excellent post, and a warm welcome to this group. I very much enjoyed reading your post and hope you’ll contribute many more.

  13. Hi Vicki, welcome.
    Actually if you look at countries with evidence based programs like The Netherlands and Finland they don’t screen anyone under 30, why? Not one country in the world has shown a benefit pap testing those under 30, the same rare cases occur whether you screen or not (very young women usually get an even rarer form of cc called an adenocarcinoma, this type of cc is usually missed by pap testing so these young women are likely to get a false negative) Young Finnish and Dutch women are simply advised to see a doctor with any unusual and persistent symptoms, not for a pap test, but a proper investigation.
    We give women bad medical advice right through life, screen too early, too often, for too long, unnecessarily, inappropriately etc. It produces poor outcomes, but great profits for vested interests. With every effort made to mislead women and keep them ignorant of the evidence, the program has been free to keep abusing women for decades and keep the profits flowing to vested interests. Censorship and propaganda has been a big part of these programs.

    Also, pap testing those under 30 leads to the most over-investigation/excess biopsies and over-treatment of any age group. This is not new evidence, the Finnish program of 7 pap tests, 5 yearly from 30 to 60 started in the 1960s. So IMO, we’ve knowingly harmed women for decades, continuing to ignore the evidence and hide the damage.
    We also, know that HPV testing is NOT a good idea before age 30. About 40% will test positive when almost all will simply clear the virus within a year or two. By age 30 about 5% are HPV+, these are the only women who should be offered a 5 yearly pap test. (the new Dutch program)

    Assessing risk is easier than considering the number of sexual partners, whether you smoke etc. it comes down to one fact: are you aged 30 to 60 and HPV+?
    If not, forget about it and get on with your life.

    This is the information they’ll hide for as long as possible. A program like the new Dutch program would be unwelcome in many countries, it allows women to self-test, no testing at all until age 30 and only about 5% of women will be having pap tests, FAR fewer will be having biopsies etc. (fewer premature babies, miscarriages, high risk pregnancies etc.)
    That’s a lot of money down the drain, here in Australia approx. 77% of women have something “done” to their cervix thanks to serious over-screening and early screening – to screen for a cancer that carries a 0.65% lifetime risk…rare and always, rare. Heads should roll.

    I’ve never had a pap test and my doctor does not mention them, she knows why I’ve declined them for decades, end of story. I’ve also, never had a routine breast or pelvic exam or rectal or recto-vaginal or any of the other harmful stuff they sell to American and Canadian women. (and German and some other countries)
    In many cases in these countries (and some doctors here would still be guilty) there is no consent at all because they tell women, “No Pill without a pap test”, this negates all consent and IMO, amounts to an assault. Some mislead women and say a pap test is a clinical requirement for the Pill, it’s not, a screening test can never be “required” for anything, it’s always elective by it’s very nature.
    I’ve also, declined mammograms and doubt I’ll ever have a colonoscopy.

    It has horrified me for years so many are comfortable treating women this way, may even think it’s preferable. We can hardly say women are equal citizens when they are treated so badly, like mere bodies forced/led into submission for the benefit of others.

    Our program is likely to be changed, but we’ll stay with excess, ensure day procedure is still full of women, and lots of young women, having unnecessary and potentially damaging “treatments” and biopsies. You have to wonder about a program to screen for a rare cancer that results in more than three-quarters of those screening having something “done” to their cervix. The poor cervix is there for a reason, but is now about medical and business opportunities.

    There is very little research, but it would be interesting to know how many women with a damaged cervix go on to lose a baby, require a cervical cerclage, have a high risk pregnancy, end up with cervical stenosis etc.
    I think there is a reason there is so little research into this area: no one will fund it, certainly not the Govt, it might threaten the program and leave them open to legal action. This program is extremely sensitive to criticism for a reason too, they have a LOT to hide.

    • When I did the numbers for US women – the country for which I HAVE the population and the number who had CC in 2009 (last year for which there is data), I got a lifetime risk of 0.0065% for the average woman in the US. It’s more rare than kidney cancer, much more rare than being killed by a lightening strike, and so much more rare than everyday activities that it would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

      It’s sad that the frenzy for druming up fear and requiring this screening, to the exclusion of other tests for more likely things, or even treatment for symptoms a woman goes to the doctor for, delays treatment for those immediate concerns, and even keeps some women away from seeking medical attention. It delays treatment for the immediate concern by a couple of visits, by which time the problem has cleared up or become an urgent condition.

      There’s no thought to evidence-based concepts like “number needed to treat”, or the cost of all of this screening and more testing of false-positives (77% of the population) to find one case of actual cancer. Then, they talk about “overutilization of services” in the next breath they talk about the “need” for all of these paps. The cost is phenomenal!

      • Except it was readily accepted that prostate screening would harm too many men for every life saved, the risks exceeded any benefit.
        No program is in place and I doubt it ever will be, when it’s mentioned lots of urologists and others come out strongly advising against a program. So real information came out quickly and GPs focus on informed consent. (no secret payments for reaching targets)
        Women were not so lucky, no RCTs and a program was rushed into place, the result…well, we all know the answer to that. A program that must screen 80% regularly to be viable means it can’t work with informed consent, but they went ahead anyway. Easy, let’s lie, mislead, coerce, pressure, ambush in consults, scare…disgraceful. That is not ethical cancer screening.
        One minus for men, mixed messages, some men’s healthcare groups promote prostate screening when none is recommended here, that gives some GPs a headache, but fortunately, they can be honest with men without having to dance around official misinformation and push for a screening target.

    • Terrific work on the Demos website, Elizabeth! I noted that the Jo’s Cervical Trust website is recommending to their devotees that they go and check out Ms Slater’s sermon. Wonder how long they will be advertising this on their home page!

  14. Came across this specific article at work today. This article was published in 2001, and yet changes for self-screening have yet to occur in Canada. This article demonstrates that in a sample of random women at a 95% confidence interval, that self-screening was deemed EQUAL to samples collected from a pap smear in terms of efficacy. This was also favored (obviously) by women and were they given the option women would surely decline a pap.

    “As human papillomavirus (HPV) becomes accepted as the central cause of cervical cancer, longitudinal studies are shifting focus away from causality to a more detailed investigation of the natural history of HPV infections. These studies commonly require repeated samples for HPV testing over several years, usually collected during a pelvic exam, which is inconvenient to the participants and costly to the study. To alleviate the inconvenience and cost of repeated clinic visits, it has been proposed that women collect cervicovaginal cells themselves, hopefully increasing participation in the natural history studies. We evaluated the technical feasibility of self-collection of cervicovaginal cells using a Dacron swab for HPV DNA detection. We compared the self-collected swab sample and two clinician-administered swab samples (one from the endocervix and another from the ectocervix) from a total of 268 women participating in a case-control study of adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinomas of the uterine cervix (111 cases and 157 controls). HPV DNA was detected and genotyped using an L1 consensus PCR assay. The overall agreement between the clinician- and self-collected swabs was excellent [88.1%; kappa = 0.73 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.61-0.85)]. The correlation was highest between the two clinician-administered swabs [kappa = 0.81 (95% CI, 0.69-0.93)] but was still excellent when comparing either clinician-administered swab to the self-administered sample [kappa = 0.75 (95% CI, 0.63-0.87) and 0.67 (95% CI, 0.55-0.79) for ectocervix and endocervix, respectively]. The type-specific agreement between samples was higher for high-risk, or cancer-associated, HPV genotypes than for low risk, noncancer-associated HPV genotypes when comparing the self-administered swab sample to the clinician-administered swab sample (kappa = 0.78 for high-risk versus 0.66 for low-risk HPV infections, t = -1.45, P = 0.15). The decrease in agreement for low risk types was largely attributable to an increased detection of these types in the self-administered sample (McNemar’s chi2 = 6.25, P = 0.01 for clinician- versus self-administered swab comparisons). The agreement did not vary significantly by age, menopausal status, case status, or clinic center. We have demonstrated that a self-collected Dacron swab sample of cervicovaginal cells is a technically feasible alternative to clinician-administered cervical cell collection in natural history studies of HPV and cervical cancer.”

    • Vicki, self-testing has been an option for ages, they know many women hate speculum exams and would opt for self-testing. The fear is they’d lose control of the screening population (I call it the herd) and that might jeopardize the program.
      When you’re spending millions, you want to control the testing. So it’s not about reaching as many women as possible and providing them with options or the best test, it’s about getting numbers in for the test that best suits the program. (and it’s vested interests)
      They couldn’t care less about our bodily privacy, comfort, health or well-being.

      Women with these concerns are ridiculed and often left with nothing, they’d rather you go un-screened than give you an option. We see this when women are offered sedation before pap testing or offered counseling to “cope” with pap testing or pessaries for post menopausal women, heaven forbid they simply offer an HPV self-test kit. Almost all of these women would be HPV- and cannot benefit from pap testing. (but they don’t want us to know that!)

      They also, know they have a good chance of “capturing” non-compliant women at some stage, opportunistic testing (with your GP being rewarded with an extra payment for screening an overdue or un-screened woman), pre or post-natal testing, (a bad time to test women, but who cares? They can still count you, another cervix toward their target) women asking for the Pill or HRT etc.

      For decades women have said, “why is there nothing better, something non-invasive?” so they know many women hate the speculum exam, but they choose to ignore it or dismiss our concerns. Some even mislead women and say self-testing is not as reliable, that’s just not true, The Delphi Screener, for example, is easy to us (so I’m told) and very reliable.

      Tampap here was viewed as a major threat, was kept quiet, and locked behind a GPs script, needless to say not many women got their hands on it and then it disappeared completely. Also, it’s unhelpful to have better options if women are given misinformation, UK women have been told they still need pap tests even if they use Tampap and the result is HPV-. Not true. So the disgusting thing is they still want to sell you a self-test kit, but want you in for invasive testing as well, regardless of the self-test result, and knowing HPV- women can’t benefit from pap testing.
      Medical ethics…crickets chirping.

      They know if women had options and choices, few would agree to regular (and mostly unnecessary) speculum exams. Here IF we offer HPV primary testing, self-testing will only be offered to those who refuse the invasive test for 6 years. We’ll also, do HPV testing on those 25 to 29, 40% will test HPV+ (transient and harmless infections that would clear naturally) and they’ll probably be referred for immediate colposcopy and biopsy. I can only assume this was the trade-off with vested interests who’ll lose money with the axing of population pap testing. It means many young women will end up “treated”. We know HPV testing is not a good move before age 30.

      Also, they won’t release women from the program, those HPV- and no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous will still be expected to have an invasive HPV primary test every 5 years until an absurd 74.
      None of this is in our best interests or evidence based…the new Dutch program is the best program in the world, IMO, for those women who wish to test. (but they should freely offer HPV self-testing to all women)

      The document put together by the Health Council of the Netherlands (I linked under References and Education) also, expressed concern about the self-test option, many women might just wait until they were mailed a self-test kit as an overdue screener. (I think it goes out 3 months after the last reminder)
      So most of these programs see self-testing as a threat. To their credit though, the Dutch are doing some research and a trial to assess the feasibility of sending ALL women a self-test kit.
      I suspect word will spread quickly that self-testing is available, but many women here will probably fear waiting 6 years and won’t know they can order and pay for a reliable self-testing device online. (we may even get a scare campaign about their “reliability” if too many women opt for self-testing)

      • Well said!! I’m in the UK and new on here. I’m relieved I’m not alone in how I feel but sad so many other women have been harmed physically and mentally by this programme. In 2015. Why do we still have this degrading humiliating painful monstrosity of a test!!!

  15. I just thought of something: When someone asks what your reasons are for not doing something, just saying “So that it doesn’t happen.” Works so well & it can apply to any subject.

    Makes a point of not being too susceptible to mind games- whatever specific methods are used (coercion, scare tactics, grading someone’s decisions, rushing people around so there’s no time to think, etc…), it’s still a question of whether this takes place or not. Cuts right to the core of the matter.

    Also, someone gets a real good look in the mirror. They’re trying to bring this, whatever “this” happens to be. I doubt that they’re unaware that they’re trying to wrangle someone into whatever it is, but it might point out THAT this is the case. At the very least, they’re seeing that you notice this & if they’ve got intentions, they might not think you’re a good mark.

    I think sometimes people just parrot whatever they’ve been told, but how are they going to argue aspects of the situation & not be aware of their existance? They’d be saying something isn’t there in contradiction to the situation that they are deliberately covering for. This is like someone putting a picture in front of a hole in the wall & then acting like they don’t know that hole is there. They’re factoring it into their actions, so they do know about it.

  16. Hello all,

    I want to thank you all for your wise words and for your commitment to helping women realise the truth about cervical screening. I went for my first smear after being sent for at 25. It came back as abnormal and since then I have been on the merry go round of smears, colposcopy and biopsy.
    I have always refused “treatment” as it sounded barbaric, even though my family tried to used emotional blackmail on me to get me to agree to it.

    Thanks to you informed, assertive, intelligent women, I will now have no problem informing my GP that I will not be taking part in any more cervical screening as I will be armed with the facts about smear tests.

    • Thank you for joining us on this website. I hope you find a great source of comfort and friendship in reading the posts and finding that women all over the world are feeling as you do about these screening programmes. Did you actually go through with any biopsies? What sort of resistance did you get from friends and medical people? They think women are brave to go through these procedures, but the really brave women are those who stand up, ask questions and decide for themselves.

      • Thank you for your kind reply. It is reassuring to find out that I’m not the only one who has a problem with this testing.

        I have had a few punch biopsies but have refused any further treatment. I instinctively felt that something was off about the whole thing. I stumbled upon the 10 000 lost Blogcritic’s comments, which have helped me enormously in deciding that enough is enough.

        I completely agree with you that it is the women who ask questions and decide for themselves who are really brave. It takes a strong person to trust their own judgement when everybody around them is telling them they are wrong. I wish I had trusted my own judgement from the start and refused to participate.

    • Anita, welcome, I’m pleased you now have the information you need to make an informed decision about screening.
      I’m just sorry you had to go through so much to get to this point, a merry-go-round of pap tests, colposcopy and biopsies sounds like a nightmare to me. It often takes a bad experience though to motivate women to go looking for real information.
      So many of us just accept what’s been said over and over for decades, “all women must or should screen”.
      I disagree, the decision to screen or not rests with one person, the individual woman.

      The shocking thing is…your experience was avoidable, if you’d been Dutch or Finnish you would have been protected from this program, they have evidence based programs, no screening before age 30. (that age restriction has been in place in Finland since the 1960s)
      We’ve known for a long time now that screening is of no benefit to those under 30 but that young women produce the most false positives, yet we keep testing young women.
      It’s BAD medicine that worries and harms lots of young women. (and now we know the only women with a small chance of benefiting from a 5 yearly pap test are the roughly 5% of women aged 30 to 60 who test HPV+)
      Thankfully, you refused a “treatment”, that was a smart decision.
      I’ve found GPs back off quickly when they’re confronted by an informed woman, they rely on our ignorance and that’s why real/balanced information has never been provided to women and why there is no respect for informed consent. (and even consent itself is often violated)
      They know they’d have no chance of getting 70% or 80% of women to screen if they provided women with a real choice and were required to contain informed consent. They must get that many women to screen to justify the millions wasted on screening…as I’ve said before, they’re trying to find a few needles in a huge haystack with a defective pitchfork.

      • Elizabeth, thank you for your reply. I agree, doctors totally rely on women’s ignorance and compliance. After I had read about a possible link between dysplasia and the contraceptive pill, I stopped using it. When I mentioned this at my last colposcopy appointment, the doctor said it had nothing to do with the pill and tried to make me feel like an idiot. She was a very unpleasant woman who seemed to dislike having somebody question her instead of just believing what she said. She seemed desperate for me to have a LEEP done. I left that appointment knowing I was never going back.

        It makes me wonder why they want to do this to women. Is it all about money or do they want to control women, making them live in fear of their own bodies?

        I have read from your previous posts that you have never been for a smear. Were you put under pressure to have it done? Have you always felt so strongly about it all?

        That information about the Dutch and Finnish programme is very interesting, I will be sure to mention that when I go to inform my GP about my opting out.

        I’m glad I found this website. The females I know seem to think that without regular smear tests, you are sure to drop dead at any moment.

  17. I have been made to feel like a risk taker by medical staff for not agreeing to a LEEP, but after watching a few videos of it being performed, I thought “no way am I having that done”. I feel terrible for the poor women who have been put through such awful procedures.

    • Have you had any HPV test? Was it offered? Did you get any advice about nutrition or how to heal your cervix?

      • Moo, thanks for your message. I had the HPV test, which came back positive, and I am a smoker, so I know that my risk of CC is higher than average. One positive that has come out of all this for me is I have become really interested in herbal medicine. I was given no advice by the medical staff concerning nutrition, I was told it was all down to my smoking and that I needed to have a LEEP which would cure the HPV.

      • There are a few herbal things you can try such as green tea extract. It does kill HPV infected cells because it is used In a prescription cream for genital warts that is very expensive. Some women use herbal vaginal suppositories, tinctures on tampons or douches with herbal teas or hydrogen peroxide right on the bad areas.

        20% or more women who have keep have the dyslexia come back. It does not cure HPV it cuts off the tissue that is infected (they somewhat guess the are and cut off some around the border). Of course they get angry if you refuse a biopsy at a colposcopy. They make more money if you have them. If you get your own speculum you can put vinegar (yes that is what they use) and put it on your cervix. Any white areas are the HPV infection.

        To me either you have cancer or not. None of this pre-pre cancerous cell garbage. Take some good vitamins with vitamins B. Smoking is bad but I am sure you would quit if it was easy.

      • This is where I’m confused. They tell you that LEEP will “Cure” HPV – BUT if it lives in your bloodstream – how does shaving off part of your cervix “cure” it? Further, just because you are HPV positive – does it really mean you are on a crash course to get Cervical Cancer? I have a feeling I already know the answers to these questions – they are “It doesn’t” and “no” – and if those answers are right, these medical personnel are certainly more than eager to cart women in and out of unnecessary procedures.

  18. Anita UK- There is a bit of a presumption of honesty & accuracy between people- not so much a deduction, but more like when you ask someone what time it is & they look at their watch. You presume it at least says whatever time they told you. It’s pretty weird to randomly lie out of nowhere like that, so usually this isn’t misplaced but some people try to use it against you.

    Look at when doctors say what you “will be having” or “this is what we’re going to do,” it’s presenting things as a fixed situation. It’s trying to convey the idea that there exists no capacity for reality to “unfurl” any other way. This is bullshit, since an action has to be engaged in order to occur. This tactic relies on that knee-jerk “trust.” Seeing them in a lesser light than other people seems like it would help.

    I don’t know if you actually need this advice, I just thought I’d mention it- seeing as you mentioned that you had been made to feel like a risk taker. Apparently, if wrong for a patient to be a risk taker, but it’s fine for a doctor (ex: “advising” all kinds of tests & procedures- regardless of risk, inaccuracies, or alternatives).

    • Alex, thanks for your reply. I have had doctors say to me ” you will have the LEEP”. I just thought, “well, we’ll see about that, won’t we”. They seem to think that they own your body and that you have no say about what happens to it. At my last colposcopy around a year ago, I refused the biopsy and the doc seemed furious with me. She looked at me as if I had just spat at her!

      I’m not easily intimidated by doctors but I know a lot of women are afraid to stand up for themselves in these situations. I wish there was a way to point all these women in the direction of websites like this one, full of advice and FACTS about the true nature of these tests. This website and the 10 000 lost comments website have been a blessing for me.

      • You’re welcome. It’s good that their bullshit doesn’t spook you.

        Not entirely sure how this would come about- but I truly think if they were attacked, this sort of behavior would be reduced. There isn’t enough presence of threat. It’s not like you can fire them, you’re most likely not in a position to effectively attack them, and you might very well have the problem of them being supported in their attacks by law enforcement personnel. I guess self-preservation has to be the incentive.

      • I’m not sure just how you would successfully attack them and this BS.

        I certainly would not advocate any sort of violence. It’s unlikely to be successful. It hasn’t worked even in areas where it’s commonplace. It certainly won’t have anything good happen in the US or other civilized, western democracies. If anything, the attacker will be seen as a kook or (if male) out to control women, and will dig the “imporance” of all of this in even deeper along with prison or the death penalty.

        As long as it is commonly held that women “have to” have all of this stuff, even with all of the science saying that it does no good or does harm, the argumentum ad popularum will keep it in place. As long as the doctor – even if he utterly disbelieves the crap about all of this necessity (one who reads what the science has to say) – has it expected of him/her to push these tests, they will continue.

        The utter and absolute dangers of something going wrong in a medical setting that leads to injury or death have been handled by mallpractice lawsuits. Many states now have limits on the amounts one can sue for – regardless of how eggredious the action was or how much harm it caused. The popular notion is that all malpractice cases are just someone out for money – or to get rich by suing a medical establishment.

        Note that the large corporate hospitals have teams of attorneys on their staffs! The corporations that run them have still more. Do you really think you, or even your lawmakers, can successfully fight these large teams of attorneys with a lot of money behind them?

        One can complain to such things as medical boards or health departments. My own experience with that has been less than stellar in any given instance.

        HOWEVER, if many people complain to medical boards and health departments about how they were harmed, about things which are clearly risks to the public health or public good, can show that certain institutions or practices are violations of laws and dangerous – something MAY eventually get done. OTOH, they may stop telling you exactly what went wrong. Yet, they have to so as to be able to sell the fear that something WORSE could be going wrong, an you need something else/more/different.

        The best tool is education. However, as individuals or even owners of large blogs, we do not have the multi-billion dollar budget that the advertisers of these tests and procedures and equipment have. It has gotten medical issues talked about a great deal, which may backfire in the long run. It will eventually get there – one-on-one, and as people know someone who had an “adverse effect” – injury, debility, disablement, or death – occur from a “routine” care. people willl stop wanting, accepting, or demanding it. Then, the science can take over, and show how these things are unneeded, harmful, or seldom beneficial.

      • BethK: Well, if there was a gang that tended toward this sort of behavior, how would that get dealt with? Education would play a role: not falling into their traps & ideas for countermeasures, things like that- but I still think there needs to be real bodily risk for them, especially since they pose one themselves more & more frequently. I look at them in the same light as enemy troops (and even in an actual invading army, there are those that don’t really match the rest & try to stay out of the stuff they don’t agree with).

        Isn’t there all kinds of strife over chemical or biological weapons being used on the people in whatever countries? Don’t things get brought up about sanctioned abuses of the people- particularly with women? What about imprisonment for not wearing a headscarf & all that consists of? Plenty of times virginity testing is included in that or is imposed on it’s own. Sometimes this is even something done by a person’s own family! Does their being related or their being of the same gender make this any more non-existant? No, so it doesn’t make sense to see doctors pulling the same things as any different- whether they use the same tactics or not.

        As it is, the insurance companies tend to pay for their malpractice suits- the doctor might not even hear about it! It doesn’t necessarily stop anyone- they might just see it as a purchase. They might not get fired, either- since hospitals & such tend toward doing in-house investigations & seem to rubber stamp a conclusion that everything’s fine (that, or they’ll just keep telling them they shouldn’t do that- look at doctors that have a massive amount of complaints against them & are still there to cause problems). This things don’t hit them where they live.

        Another point is that other people don’t just get fired when they do something- even when it’s less than all this. Why should they have a situation where their occupation will take the bullet for them?

        Also, I don’t know how a man’s looking like he’s out to control women if he goes after doctors for being dictatorial with them. He’s not trying to manage her situations, he just takes issue when someone else is pushing her around. I don’t think it’s weird for him to take an interest in what happens to his family, at the very least. If this is the way that surrounding environment is, what reason does he have to presume they won’t try something else, as well? All of this applies to his children, too. It could even apply to him- it’s not like they’d only impose something on women & little kids.

      • + Alex: The education we need to do is that reality doesn’t change because of designations. There is functionally no difference between a doctor and nurse coercing a woman into letting them penetrate her vagina and/or anus than having a street gang coerce a woman into letting them penetrate her vagina and/or anus. What’s the difference between the doctor/nurse telling the woman that she’d die without it, and having the gang tell her she’ll die if she fights it? It’s aggravated sexual assault even if they don’t have a real gun, but something that just appears to be one! The cancer scares are just something that they can tell her is “deadly” when it’s extremely rare. As it stands, the gang members would be sent to prison. The doctor and nurse would not. What’s the difference? That the gang did it in a condemned house whereas the doctor/nurse did it ina well-lit medical office? That the doctor and nurse wore clean clothes while the gang probably did not?

        We’d have to educate the women – and sometimes men who are so coerced – that this really *is* sexual assault under a medical guise. We’d have to educate the juries and the attorneys and judges to. We’d need to have juries who didn’t have stars in their eyes when they saw the doctor’s medical license and/or the nurse’s nursing license. They’d have to look at the actual scientific studies on the matter, but that’s part of researching the cases.

        There are physicians who do “virginity checks” on girls who the (usually religious) parents don’t trust when she tells them that she didn’t have sex on her date. There are physicians who do virginity checks on children when their other parent suspects that their other parent, that parents partner or friend(s) had sex with the child, no matter what the child says. There is functionally no difference between this and what goes on in the middle east. There’s functionally and ethically no difference between the parents paying a doctor to do it and doing it themselves. If they did it themself, it would be sexual abuse. If they asked their neighbor to check their child’s virginity, that would be sexual abuse. If parents ask a doctor to do it, it is still sexual abuse of that child. It needs to be thought of that way when a medical person does it too.

        The colposcopies, biopsies, and hysterectomies really should be looked at as FGM. Again, there is no difference between it being done in a medical setting by doctors and nurses than in a barber shop by a barber or group of women. Well… there is the thing about anesthesia being used when it’s in a medical setting – normally. Infections are a growing concern in hospitals, and while it is not as high as in a north African barber shop, it’s not zero. Consent is lacking in both cases. In North Africa, it may be force, or it is often coercion as the girls thinks this makes them “more modern” and “women” and “a man will want to marry them”. In the US and other western countries, the girls think this is “more modern” than their grandmothers who never had to deal with this stuff, or believing that it would somehow save her from certain death.

        We arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people who penetrate others without valid consent. We arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people who do virginity checks on their daughters. We arrest, prosecute, and convict those who mutilate women’s genitals without valid consent.

        The education has to be that this is without medical use, fraud and coercion are used, and consent is invalidated.

        I’m in another group, mainly men, who are extremely concerned about what happens to their wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, sisters, etc in doctor’s office – and how the men are kept in the dark about what these exams are, how they are wrongly prohibited entry into such examining rooms – as well as someone who has collected over 6,000 names of doctors who have been convicted of wrongdoing – most often sexual. A number of these men have to deal with others – of course the medical people, but sometimes their friends, neighbors, wives, mothers, daughters, etc telling them how “controlling” they are because they “won’t allow them to access women’s healthcare”. It’s nonsense: The women have been sold a bill of goods – as I admit to having been in the distant past before I started looking at REAL statistics. Some women change their minds, and some women attack the messenger telling or showing them this.

      • Bethkz- Thanks (I’m presuming “+Alex” was a thumbs-up).

        I’m suprised there’s a group of men that are doing all that! I’m curious: What kinds of problems do they run into? If they’re keeping something from being imposed on women, how is that being controlling? When that something doesn’t even work as advertised, how is it blocking access to care?

        If they’re saying to them that they can’t come in, they could probably make the point that if they’re not trying to impose anything on the person they’re coming in with they’d have no problem with them coming in with them. If someone is saying that they want someone to come in with them & these people aren’t going to believe them, what’s going to happen when they refuse something? They’re not going to believe them?

        That’s something I’ve noticed: medical personnel seem to have a lot of trust issues & when they get incoming information, they don’t know if they should “give it their trust.” That or they figure that this information needs to be affirmed by them- they’ve got to check with themselves before it’s something they’ll “swallow.” They figure consent is outsourced to them- although what happens is what occurs & if they’re clashing with a refusal they obviously are aware of it, since they can’t aim against what they don’t know about. That’s why I tend to presume malice & that includes when they don’t have a vicious look on their face.

      • Beth and Alex, I think it’s worse than the street gang because the medical profession is in a position of trust and have a duty of care. Medical professionals are in a unique position and can easily take advantage, so harsh penalties should apply for any breaches.
        How often does that happen? Most women don’t complain about criminal conduct or misconduct in a medical setting.
        Interesting, we call an assault in the consult room, medical misconduct, why not call it what it is? An assault, a criminal act.

        A perfect example: the young model who posted here, she was misled and pressured by a male doctor to have an unnecessary breast exam. She made a written complaint to the hospital and they investigated the matter.
        The model (sorry, I can’t recall her name) gave them her account, she was told the breast exam was compulsory and without it he couldn’t give her a medical clearance for an overseas modeling assignment. HE said he offered her a breast exam and she accepted the offer. The investigators noted it was inappropriate to offer a routine breast exam to a young woman. (or any woman, they’re not recommended in the UK)
        So he’s either a liar and molested the woman misusing his position of trust or he’s incompetent.
        He’s given a warning, end of story. He continues to practice as a doctor.

        Compare that to a man who grabs your breasts and fondles them in a park, he’d be arrested and charged with a criminal act, go to a hearing etc. He then has a record with the Police. No one would be happy with a, “we’ve given him a warning”.

        I find it amazing that doctors get away with a slap on the wrist when they misuse their position of trust and assault patients.
        On the evidence I think a jury would have convicted this man, doctor or not.

        We should not allow the medical profession to police their own, we know it doesn’t work, they simply protect these predators to go on and attack others. I imagine they take greater care choosing their next victim, but doubt someone with these tendencies stops and starts acting professionally.
        Personally, I wonder whether these “warnings” are designed to defuse the situation and hopefully, avoid Police involvement. So, protecting the doctor.

        When this sort of thing happens, women are better off going straight to the Police. A dermatologist here happily assaulted women until a woman left his consult room shocked and upset and headed straight to the Police. He was arrested, went to trial, was convicted and now sits in a prison cell. I wonder what would have happened if she’d complained to the Clinic or Medical Board…a warning. (sssh, be more careful next time)

    • This thread is getting so long that I’m getting confused about who or what I’m replying to.

      + Elizabeth
      Yes, it SHOULD be considered a more severe crime if a doctor does something than if a street gang does the exact same thing. They’re in a posiiton of trust with especially vulnerable people. It’s a similar situation if a teacher, coach, step-parent, or priest mollests a child vs a stranger in an alley. The teacher/scoutleader/parent is in a special position of trust – just as is the medical professional.

      These people should be given long prison sentences, not have warnings placed in their confidential personnel charts! Moreover, since they are in a position of trust over one’s health, if it causes any health problems, or delays getting treatment for an actual condition, that should come from the doctor’s pocketbook. Not from any insurance!

      The group I’m referring to is howhusbandsfeel on Yahoo. There are men who find out what is going on. It’s a male instinct to protect the women he’s got responsibility over – wife/girlfriend, mother, daughter, sister… Many times a new man finds his way into the group and tells a similar story: He’d known that there were these (mysterious) women’s exams and special women’s doctors. Women didn’t talk much about it. He presumed that they took blood tests and talked to women about their periods. Then (somehow) he found out what it actually was, and was outraged! Outraged because of how the women are being taken advantage of, outraged because of how another man is doing sexual things with his wife (or daughter, or mother). In the case of a wife/gf, he feels that it’s a violation of the monogamy he’s expecting from her. The wife doesn’t see it that way – as far as she’s concerned, this is necessary for her health, it’s not sexual, and her husband wants her to die. In many cases, the women won’t go to a female gyn when that’s offered as an alternative, because their gyn who has seen them for years and knows their condition can best treat them.

      An observation made by many of the women there is that male gyns are more gentle than female gyns or female nurse practitioners. Women DO seem unnecessarily rough – probably to be sure that no one thinks it’s sexual for her. Men are gentle because…. well…. seduction.

      Some of the men have commented on a sort of smirk on the doctors’ face when he looks at them when they’re in the room, and she’s having such an examination. It’s definitely a game!

      Another complaint from women who are there and the men is that when they try to go to the back with their spouse, they are told that “insurance regulations” won’t allow it. He’ll have to stay in the waiting room.

      BTW, I ran into that with a (female) dentist a couple of years ago. I went along with it: I’d had a toothache for weeks, and been trying to get in with any dentist. I started to write what happened, but let’s say disaster based on her trying to extract a lot of money for unwanted and unneeded care. It won’t happen again without a witness.

      Another book I’ll recommend is _Doc: The Rape of the Town of Lovell_ by Jack Olson. Based on a true story, it involves a town in northern Wyoming, near Yellowstone, where a doctor who practiced there for YEARS took advantage of all of the women in town, subjecting them to pelvic exams and outright rape at every appointment. These women were religious and VERY NAIVE. The young girls didn’t realize what had been happening until their wedding night, and then they were afraid to say anything – as were the older women.

      BTW, the doctor involved got out of prison a couple of years ago. He sued the state of Wyoming for his examination table to be returned! He was never going to practice medicine again, but wanted it… as a trophy????

  19. “Is it all about money or do they want to control women, making them live in fear of their own bodies?”

    Hi Anita

    Once the program came down, women were doomed, because they knew they couldn’t make the program “work” (reduce the already small incidence and death rate) if they respected consent and informed consent. The medical profession apparently had no problem proceeding on that basis, in fact, they set to work to find ways to force women into testing…the call and recall system we see in the UK, which provides greater control over women. (they will probably introduce that sort of system here in a year or so) Coercion – the pap test “requirement” for the Pill or women being pressured or misled into testing during that consult. (to name just two examples)

    I think both of your points are valid and they feed off each other, if you can control women, you maximize profits. (they’d say coverage, “for our own good” sort of stuff) I believe the Pill remains on script to push, mislead and coerce women into pap testing. Cancer screening has nothing to do with the Pill, but this was an early strategy to force women into elective cancer screening and excess. (routine pelvic and breast exams) I consider these exams to be an assault, you cannot consent when you’ve been coerced or misled. The Pill has been proven safe over decades of use and barriers around the Pill can mean unplanned pregnancies, abortions etc. which carry risk, FAR more likely than a diagnosis of rare cervical cancer. (most women are HPV- anyway and not even at risk and cannot benefit from pap testing) Making women afraid of their bodies means they’re more likely to turn up and accept testing, hopefully, without asking too many questions or doing any independent research. That was always the aim, “just do it, like brushing your teeth”.

    I don’t believe this testing is about women’s healthcare or we wouldn’t be misusing the pap test to maximize risk and sending huge numbers off for unnecessary procedures and of course, we miss some real problems wading through all of the excess. There was always a better way for those who wanted to screen.

    “I have read from your previous posts that you have never been for a smear. Were you put under pressure to have it done? Have you always felt so strongly about it all?”

    I’ve always felt strongly, initially became very concerned when I saw so many Uni friends being forced to test to get the Pill and many ending up having some of their cervix removed, I could smell a rat, or a whole bunch of them actually…
    After doing my research (and this was pre-internet) fear fell away because I knew what was going on, I didn’t fear cervical cancer, but certainly feared cervical screening and where it so often led. Most women remained ignorant, hardly surprising, there was no real information available for women, in fact, anything informative IMO, was suppressed.
    Screening was DONE to women. (still is)

    I stayed away from doctors and fortunately, was healthy. I studied the Billings Method because I knew what would happen if I asked for the Pill, that was the consult that triggered abuse and still does in many countries. (and I’m sure still happens here with some unethical doctors)
    I saw a skin specialist in my late 20s but they don’t ask about pap tests. (not in this country anyway)
    I started to shop around for a doctor in my 30s, someone I could trust, someone respectful and ethical. (I had developed some mild asthma) My doctor and her practice have been great, pap testing has rarely been mentioned over the years, when it was, I calmly, politely and firmly explained why I don’t have pap tests, end of story, file marked.
    I recall a female doctor (at another surgery) asking me about pap tests, when I declined her parting shot was, “you SHOULD be having pap tests”. I made a mental note not to see her again.
    Now (at 56) I’d make a written complaint about that sort of unprofessional attitude, you do not TELL someone they should be having screening, that’s our call.

    I have to say MOST of the pressure came from all I saw going on around me, other women talking about their scares and biopsies, tears, humiliation etc. (most doctors were male back then which made this stuff worse for many women) Some women were quite aggressive about pap tests, “I think women must be sick in the head if they don’t have pap tests” came from one of my well-screened and “treated” friends. I said very little back then, but kept reading. Over the last 10 years though I’ve started to tell people I don’t screen and have never screened. I felt it was important, for too long the system has silenced us, so other non-screeners feel isolated and perhaps, afraid. Silence and censorship has protected these programs and the abuse.

    My posts were often deleted or edited and I was banned from a few websites for my “irresponsible posts” that might cost lives, but something has changed over the last 5 years, now most of my posts remain in place.
    I should say my interest in this subject went up a notch when my younger sister had an unnecessary cone biopsy. Widespread carnage to prevent a rare cancer. I still struggle to believe they get away with it, very few women ever take legal action, when huge numbers would have an open and shut case.
    Sorry, but if you’re reading this blog, you’ll know I’m long-winded, I think it’s partly a response to so many years of imposed silence on this subject. It’s also, great to vent. For a long time there was nowhere safe for women to vent, share real information and talk about their experiences. Now there is…
    It seems more likely at this stage that BlogCritics were pressured to shut down our discussion. If not, why haven’t the comments appeared on the new website?
    If you have nothing to hide, you wouldn’t be concerned about people sharing real information and experiences on cancer screening. For too long they’ve had it their way, that’s changing and about time!

    • I’m in the UK and haven’t screened for 15 years, I hate the pressure of it. I hope I’ve now managed to opt out thanks to. Advice from Linda on another site who directed me here but I’ve had a constant stream of “invitations ” and have been asked about smear when I’ve presented with severe migraine!!
      I’m not sure why women are pressured so, I’ve read Margaret mc cartneys book, maybe it is a control thing of women. In which case it has to be opposed and I’m so glad Linda found me on another site and brought me here. Also Elizabeth.. You are spot on your observations!!

      • Hi kat. Glad youre still with us. Don’t worry yourself about whether you have opted out or not. You have opted out. Final. Unless the doctor or nurses physically get hold of you and force one on you. By the magical powers now invested in me by the for womenseyesonly gods i wave my wand and lo it is so. You are now opted out. Xx

  20. You ladies will love this. We all know that women under 30 have almost no risk to obtain cervical cancer, yet HPV is common in this age group and is most often cleared on its own. This is what Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto has now posted.

    Colposcopy Clinic

    We are home to a unique colposcopy unit where research and education in the prevention, early detection and treatment of cervical cancer takes place.

    Colposcopy is a procedure used to examine the vagina and cervix using a lighted magnifying instrument. It is performed by gynaecologists with specific training and incorporates a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment.

    We accept referrals for women with abnormal pap smears or related problems, offering full diagnostic and therapeutic options. This clinic runs on Wednesday and Friday mornings between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

    We have a colposcopy clinic on the University of Toronto main campus, in the Koffler Centre Student Health Service located at 214 College St.

    The unit provides convenient on-campus colposcopy services to University of Toronto students. The university maintains state-of-the-art equipment in this unit, which is directed by Dr. Sara Taman. For more information, please phone the University Health Service at 416.978.8030.

    What the hell? Why would this be common place for university students? It actually makes me sick.

    • It makes no sense for women of traditional university age to be getting colposcopies. It would make sense, at least as much as it ever does, for older students – those who have returned to college after motherhood, a different career, wanting more education in the career she’s in, etc and for faculty and staff, who are very likely to be older than most of the students.

      This is still not commonplace for a majority of the students, nor should it be a draw to get students to enroll. As most universities that teach health care specialties (physicians, nurses, various sorts of medical technician), and the professors are under the same old “publish or perish” mandate, have hospitals connected with them, having the colposcopy clinic is sort of a side-effect of them having this teaching hospital, and will be for as long as this nonsense is in any way “standard of care”.

    • Sounds like something that’ll be kept afloat with all kinds of coercive tactics & false information.

    • Its like they expect there will be alot of girls with abnormals. thats a red flag. and they probly try to force all the woman there to show for pap smears.

  21. Somthing else I want to tell yall. My friend went to a private collage and she came back saying that the school was telling girls that they needed to go on birth control bc there were so many woman at that school being raped. and of course they try to force paps with the pill. And they lined up all the woman for paps before they whould alow them to enter the school refusel whould mean they whould be sent home and they said it was bc they didnt want people comming in the campas and spreeding stds. idk if the guys got tested. that is so not right. I was so madd when she told me.

    • So, it went “Oh, a lot of women get raped here so you need to go on the pill so you don’t get pregnant from that”? I wonder if any of these attackers would use their hands or an implement? Maybe they liked aggressive role-playing? Maybe they were mentioning these women getting backed into something penetrative?

      It’s possible that if they were to level charges of attempted coercive iatrogenic assault & reproductive endangerment, the school would admit them without any arranged probing. The women that this actually happened to could always level the same charges, just without the “attempted” part- it IS an instance of compulsion, after all. Where was this, anyway?

      It’s actually illegal for them to back women into these tests for birth control, so you might want to ask your friend to spread that around a bit. Also, the school doesn’t determine whether or not someone goes on birth control. Now that I mention it, what if one of these women wanted to get pregnant?

    • If there are THAT many girls raped at that school, I don’t think I would WANT to go there. Running for the exits and demanding return of any fees paid is much more reasonable. Effectively, they’ve informed these prospective students that they are not providing a safe environment, nor do they plan to. If they know they have a problem, they need to address the problem that exists – NUMEROUS rapes on campus, and they need to aid in the prosecution of the rapists. Not aid-and-abet them as some campuses seem to do by handling it in-house.

      The school cannot *tell* women that they have to go on the pill. Hormonal birth control is not effective or safe for all women, plus there are women who are pregnant, plan to get pregnant, or women for whom pregnancy is impossible.

      PAPs do not check for any STDs other than HPV. Do they plan on periodic checks throughout the school program for gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, Hep B & C? Or, just when someone goes off campus – boys and administrators/instructors too?

      Something is really amiss here, and they’re all but asking for a host of lawsuits and even criminal prosecutions if they don’t do more to help ensure prosecution of rapists.

  22. well that was about 7 years ago and she felt forced to have the pap when she got there. she didnt question the no pap no pill and sice thin sadly like a robot repeats the acog recomendations for paps and tells me im taking a risk. she wont hear anything i have to say. i belive those girls were all raped the the forced pap smear.

  23. She said they took a swab for stds and another for a pap smear when they arived on campus. And birth control was pushed but not mandatory. She stoped taking it bc it made her bleed all the time.

  24. i dont see how a schhol could leagaly force students to screen for stds and have paps or be kiked out. i dont know if that was a try on but it worked. she said all the girls did it.

    • For one thing, STDs are not an immenent health threat, such as having the flu. It would fall under such things as medical right to privacy, and even the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are no “swabs” for most STDs: They are blood tests. Also, there’s a Title IX issue: If they required the women/girls to have paps and STD tests, or threatened to throw them out if they didn’t, and they did not require the men/boys to have them, this is discrimination on account of sex or gender.

  25. It was a trade school of some kind but i cant remember the name. at the time i looked up the school and it said all students whould get health exams and pap smears. i dont know if anyone has chalanged it.

    • What school was this? Can you find the name somewhere? I’d like to be able to basically rub that in some people’s faces if they start saying that it’s not real & that this type of things wouldn’t happen.

      It doesn’t really make much difference if it’s legal or not- anything at all can be sanctioned & someone’s only dealing with actions, anyway. Plus, it seems that the law is cut from the same cloth- it honestly seems like they would approve of people being subtle like that. It wouldn’t be just the unconventional angle of it, but also that they are entwining one thing with another (as if it’s not there in spite of being on the list- I guess it diverts attention) & that they’d act like they are being bullied if someone doesn’t get pushed around by them.

  26. yeah i know it seemed like they were saying people whould bring stds in the school auming collage kids are all having sex with each other. no stds are not like the flu were u can get it in the air. also schools in texas tried to force girls to have the hpv gab i didnt see how they could judtify that bc hpv is from sex you canyt get it from the air so how did that have any thing to do with going to school.

  27. in the us they do screen for stds with a swab and somtimes the same sample the pap smear is taken . even tho you can screen thru blood and pee. I think its a way to charge for a pelvic.

  28. Just found an interesting article that suggests cervical cancer screening may only be recommended twice in a woman’s lifetime. From the article:

    In recent years, what was once an annual test has become something women are urged to do every three years after the age of 25. That was the recommendation when the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care last issued guidance on cervical cancer, in January 2013.

    But breaking women and their doctors of the habit of scheduling annual Pap smears hasn’t been easy, admits Dr. James Dickinson, the University of Calgary medical professor who chaired the committee that drew up the evidence-based recommendations.

    “There are an awful lot of women in Canada getting annual Pap smears,” he says.

    Moving to HPV testing could eventually provide savings for a country like Canada. Because the test is so accurate and this form of cancer is generally slow growing, the length of time between tests could be stretched out considerably. Some models suggest women could potentially be tested just twice in a lifetime, around age 30 and then again later in life.

    It’s unlikely that approach would be adopted in Canada any time soon. When the country moves to HPV testing, the recommended interval might be something like every five years, with screening potentially stopping at age 59 or 69, suggests Dr. Gina Ogilvie of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.

    The suggestion of a model that tests women only twice per lifetime really highlights how unnecessary and overused the pap really is. Unfortunately the article is also promoting HPV vaccines and is full of misinformation, but at least the article reveals the information about the slow growth of cervical cancer, as well as the inaccuracy and overuse of the current pap test.

  29. I didn’t know where to post this. Yesterday I went to the er at my local hospital. I had been feing anxiety and insomnia. I wanted to get a few days worth of klonopin with out having to go to a doctor. I knew this was just a temperay issue in my life and I don’t want to stay medicated just something to get me thru the next few days and I’m already feeling better. The cheek in they did not ask about my last pap smear, which I didn’t feel like even going there with them. The only thing that they asked was about my last period date. Later the doctor came in and ask me who my regular doctor was. I told him that I didn’t have one. He seemed concerned and said” we need to get you a doctor”. O said no I don’t go and can’t afford it. He sent me home with papers aboutnlow income care places. I was not interested and I don’t see regular doctors I only go to walk ins if I absolutely need care. I know he must have been thinking I wasn’t getting check ups. It was do annoying.

  30. Also every time a TV add about birth control or IUD comes on they walys say” talk to you obgyn about getting this birth control. Is it assumed that all woman have a obgyn? It gets on my nerves no wonder woman think they can only get BC if the see an on and get penitrated every year.

    • It is a little presumptuous. It’s like a commericial that said “Talk to your chauffeur about (whatever thing).” I forget the word for it, but it’s like she’s a freak or somehow deformed if this doesn’t apply to her. Men don’t generally give a shit about being the “oddling,” so I figure it’s one of those subtle things that a woman would pick up on & then be called crazy or whatever for pointing out.

  31. I am so happy to have found this site. Thank you so much.
    I went to my doctor ( don’t go very often ) two weeks ago as I had heavy bleeding. I am and 52 at the end of perimenopause so didn’t think much of it. The doc pressured me into a smear ( I have opted out for 15 years) and it came back CN11. I believe that the fact I had been using a vaginal cup for 2 weeks prior to the visit, coupled with possible cervical changed due to the menopause and a loss of blood affecting my immune system may all have played roles in the result.
    The pressure I got to see a gynecologist was massive compared to the risk, This was all my doctor seemed to be interested in and I became very stressed as I have PTSD from a very traumatic breech birth when my baby and I nearly died and I consequently have major fear of any medical procedures.
    I eventually agreed to see the gyno ( on Christmas Eve!!) who after much questioning told me that the bleeding would have nothing to do with the result and a low does of progesterone for a few days should stop it. I am staggered that my GP did nothing to stop the bleeding and only pushed for colposcopy and biopsy immediately!!!She ordered a pelvic ultrasound but only as routine so I will have to wait for that. The gyno also told me that it is law in NZ to see a woman within for weeks if the result is CN11. Why the urgency if the supposed resulting cancer takes years to develop ?? My doc told me what a lovely family we were and how terrible it would be for them to lose me to cancer. Cancer was mentioned over and over again to scare me into compliance. I felt very vunerable and intimidated ( I was very tearful too due to low ferrin levels) and it was thanks to my wonderful,level headed husband and his direct questioning of the gyno, that I felt able to say no. I hate to think what it is like for all the poor women out there who have to deal with this alone.
    The bleeding has now stopped and I am left feeling pretty angry about the whole thing. I don’t think evil is too strong a word to describe the smear process and follow up procedures for asymptomatic women.The gyno told me that any cancer would be very slow to progress and it would probably take 10 years. So I have decided to tell them that, as long as I remain asymptomatic, I will be back in 10 years for another smear test and we can deal with any changes then. Hopefully by that point non invasive testing will be the norm. Thanks again to all the women who commented on here. I found reading your comments and stories incredibly helpful and supportive. Sarah


    • Hi Sarah. I’m so happy you found us. This site is dedicated to finding women and setting them free one by one. You found us becasue you went searching. That means you want something more than just the lies and hurt they have given you.

      I truly believe the screening programme is falling apart and nothing will stop it now.

      As the first cohort of women pressured against their wishes to have this horrible vile test for a very rare cancer reaches their fifties we are beginning to sit and think what the hell exactly have they been doing to us for the past thirty years or so of our lives.

      Doctors and goverments have colluded either for paternalistic reasons or for money to gather us all up like idiots and do this to us through trickery and lies.

      As I was writing my article for the ebook we recently put together between us, the realisation that they have literally been raping us all really hit home.

      My husband and me were really very innocent when we married – we even had to buy a sex manual just after our wedding day becasue we were so clueless – but that didn’t stop my doctor V. inviting himself in to be a ‘third party’ in our sex lives.

      He took it upon himself (without giving me a choice) to monitor me in a very intimate way in case my lovely husband was giving me cancer when he was making love with me.

      I am so angry – basically they have ‘invited’ themselves in to my marriage to monitor us through a programme of repeated rapes.

      I truly believe 2016 will be a year of new beginnings for you, Sarah Reading these posts and articles on this site will liberate you from the harms both physical and psychological that this programme does to women. i am so glad you are free that I am ecstatic for you. When a woman is freed I will like jumoping up and down with joy.

      Love and best wishes. Please continue to be part of our lively discussions. You are so welcome here, x

      • Oh my goodness Linda..thank you so much for sharing your story with me an for making me feel so welcome here. You really have no idea what it means to me and I sobbed hard when I read your words. My life too has been full of medical rape, doctors fingers and speculums. At the age of 15 when I was anorexic and unable to menstruate, my gp took it upon himself to ” check ” me inside to see what my lack of menstruation was caused by. ) obviously anorexia) .with no glove and just his bare hand and no nurse present. This was my first experience of medical rape and was followed my may others. It culminated in the traumatic birth I spoke about which was 17 years ago. I was induced twice in 24 hours due to pre- eclampsia. This led to hemorrhage of the placenta ( placenta previa) and I bled for 25 minutes on the floor of the ward beside myself with pain. All the nurses were busy and no one responded to the emergency alarm for nearly half an hour. I was totally alone as my husband and mother had not been informed. When eventually I was taken to a birth room and given an internal, the nurses realised my daughter was breech and one turned to the other and said” what do we do now? ” The other replied ” I’ve no idea, you have more experience than me” NO ONE TALKED TO ME AT ANY POINT DURING THE BIRTH. I had stated I didn’t want a male gyno for the birth but got one anyway because of the situation. He was obviously very pissed off about that and crossed his arms and stared at my vagina while I went down into second stage. Fortunately my waters burst all over his head : ) I managed to get my girl out in 2 pushes. Thank God for that. Anyway to cut a long story a bit short, I now have PTSD and go to pieces any time I have to have any medical procedures. Very soon afterwards the gyno decided I should have a biopsy for a borderline/level 1 smear result I had had for 10 years. Because I was still recovering from the birth, my legs shook so much during the procedure that I was unable to stand up on getting off the bed. All for a negative biopsy result. I vowed then to stop having smears. And I actually managed to do it..until I visited my doctor for menopausal heavy bleeding 2 weeks ago as I outlined in my original post . I have been very stressed and tearful ever since but my research on line and now your reply has given me huge strength and the resolve to opt out for good. I have read that the constant round of smear/biopsy and colposcopy can actually increase the likelihood of cancer due to constant damage of the most intimate and delicate area of our body. My poor sister told me that when she had a biopsy, she ended up with a nasty infection and had to take antibiotics. There is a very sinister agenda behind the medical rape and abuse of women and I am delighted to hear from you that the tide is turning. On a positive note, my two beautiful daughters have said they have never and will never take part in any screening because of everything I have told them.Being part of this community now makes me feel so safe and supported. Thank you, thank you thank you. With love Sarah x

      • Sarah, it was great news to hear that in spite of everything you have been through, you have two wonderful daughters. My children are a great source of comfort to me, since I know they will not fall for all this screening nonsense. They are the future and they will speak out for the bad treatment their parents have had to endure for them. They also have loads more information than we ever had and are more confident and assertive. I am optimistic that these mass propaganda campaigns are a thing of the past.

  32. Hi Sarah. When you were the most desperate your doctors and nurses simply abandoned you. Because of their incompetance you are lucky to be alive.
    I truly believe when a woman discovers something or finds out the truth such as Cervical Cancer being rare she doesn’t keep quiet – she tells other women. This sisterhood has operated since the beginning of time.
    You are very strong because you are a woman. You will be ok Sarah. It will be better than you ever imagined. The power from being knowledgable and confident is almost magical. I am delerious that another woman has found us. X

      • Hi Ada. Nice to hear from you. Hope you had a nice Christmas.
        At the moment it is on a site called Smashwords. Its free to join and you can downliad their books just like Amazon. However i have had loads of problems uploading it. First they quibbled about the para indents and made me align them. Then they didn’t like the cover and made me change it. Then they made me remove all our names from the front cover to just put one so i made up one with et al tacked on to it. All the other contributors are acknowledged inside. Something called ‘metadata’ only allowed one name to be the acknowledged author. Also because it has reference to child exams i had to convine them it was ok to include them. However they have made me list it as an adult book .
        You can dowload it once you have ticked the adult icon.
        Its called ‘the truth about smear tests they don’t want you you know.’ Despite all of this it has already been downloaded 40 times.
        Amazon have not quibbled with anything. All our names are on the cover which is graphic to get shock value. However its priced at 99p which is the cheapest they would let me put it on for.
        Can i ask you to look it up on amazon and report the book as free elsewhere to force them to change it. Its not been dowloaded at all there because i think it needs to be free to get people interested, and i’m not allowed to do that as the registered author.
        The fact that the book was downloaded free from smashwords which is a very obscure site in comparison to amazon 5 times on Cris Eve and 15 times on Cris day leads me to believe there is a real thirst for information out there.
        I am already formulating ideas for a new book which i would like to call – ‘dissenters, defaulters & delinquents – the women who reject screening programmes.’

        In the mean time our first ‘prototype’ will be available on itunes, barnes, nook, kobo, and all other platforms once the checking elves at smashwords decide its ok for total release all over the internet.

        I look forward to our frequent chats in 2016 and hopefully collaborating with you on another book

      • Thanks to everyone who contributed to this e-book. I downloaded and read it this afternoon, and I thought it was great. I told them generally about it on HowHusbandsFeel – a Yahoo Group which includes women’s perspectives on this too, along with the link to Smashwords and mentioned that it’s for sale for 99 cents on Amazon. I wonder if it could be “free” to Kindle Unlimited users. I have a Kindle Unlimited account, and there are a number of e-books which are free (or no extra charge beyond maintaining the Kindle Unlimited account) with the Kindle Unlimited account, and have a “cost” of 99 cents otherwise or if I’d want to keep it on my Kindle device or app rather than just “borrowing” it to read. Beth

        From: forwomenseyesonly To: Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 6:51 AM Subject: [New comment] Top Five Reasons for Opting Out of Pap Tests #yiv4439566854 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4439566854 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4439566854 a.yiv4439566854primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4439566854 a.yiv4439566854primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4439566854 a.yiv4439566854primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4439566854 a.yiv4439566854primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4439566854 |

        linda commented: “Hi Ada. Nice to hear from you. Hope you had a nice Christmas.At the moment it is on a site called Smashwords. Its free to join and you can downliad their books just like Amazon. However i have had loads of problems uploading it. First they quibbled abou” | |

    • Thanks so much Linda and Ada My daughters are awesome and very feisty and powerful young women who have been raised to value alternatives when it comes to their health. They will never succumb to screening, I am certain of that. I can’t believe how easily I submitted to the smear after 15 years of saying no and feel mad with myself about it as the result caused so much anxiety. Anyway, it stops here. No more tests and I am changing to a holistic doctor in the New Year. My daughters and I will do all we can to publicize the truth about CC screening and your new booklet. Is there a link they can share on Facebook? Sarah XX

      • Hi Sarah. Don’ beat yourself up over it. I don’t think you woke up and said to yourself ‘i want a smear test today’. I think it is more likely ‘they’ knew you were going to be having one before you got there. Once in there they will have tricked or persuaded you and you just went with it because you were too nice and couldn’t say no. These ‘nurses’ are clever confidence tricksters and they are ready and prepared for you when you come in. However, i suspect you don’t live your life with those scruples i think you are a better person than them and can easily be had. There’s no shame in that just be ready next time. Its only when we have left that it strikes us to wonder how it happened. I can not impress on you enough that these nurses have had lessons on how to trick you. Avoid them at all costs.
        A holistic doctor is probably best. However predators are everywhere. You learn to set the agenda or always take someone with you. Be safe because its just not worth the trauma you then have to live with.

      • Someone has just started a new Facebook page called: Cervical screening – right to refuse.
        Not much on there at the moment though.

  33. I am 35 years old and I am a virgin. The military forces pap smears on females. I had my first pap smear at 21 years of age in boot camp. Females were “put on the spot”. I probably would have never joined the military had I known I would be receiving pap smears. One doctor told me to wait until marriage.

    I wish I had never joined. In 2005 I received another pap smear, and the enlisted hospital corpsman “intentionally tore my hymen”. He states so I do not feel pain during sexual intercourse. Who is he to “dictate” or make that decision? Who do people think they are? I believe his decision to do such a horrific things was stereotype or discriminating in nature.

    A woman’s hymen is supposed to be torn on her wedding night. NOT by the hands of a medical person. My life is ruined now because of pap smears. I will struggle for the rest of my life now. No one can fix it, I will not play cover-up, no on did me “any favors”, and it will never be okay what he did. Thanks for nothing….

    Psalm 23

    • Hi Rainmeadows. I am so sorry this happened to you. The women on this site are aware of the disgusting way women are treated in the military. This is not the first time this happened and it won’t be the last.

      Women are strong and tho we can be hurt we rise up and fight back. I was devestated by unwanred paps that lead to all kinds of problems. Until last year i thought they were mandatory for women. I beleived this lie for 30 years until i stumbled across this site.

      I use my anger now to hit back at those that did this to us. And you can too.

      Read all the posts and articles here and grow strong – you don’t have to put up with that treatment anymore. You were young and innocent so don’t hang on to unecesary pain – you are older and wiser now.

      However, there are still younger ‘sisters’ out there who need our protection. Please devote time to going on sites that young people access and tell them about your experiences. I am beginning to put together a new book for this site which i will ask Sue to to help advertise soon and you are welcome to give a full account of what happened to you.

      Please stay to join our ongoing lively conversation. May you find peace. You are a fantastic person and deserve this


      • I second what Linda said rainmeadow. The women on this site are all amazing. I’ve found so much support and advice on here, and hope this place can be a safe place for you to

    • Welcome Rainmeadows
      You might be in the military but that doesn’t mean you can be abused by medical personnel. I’d lodge a complaint and not just with the military, I’d go higher, stress that informed consent is a legal requirement for all cancer screening.
      Deliberately tearing your hymen without your permission is IMO, medical abuse, that should also be reported. This man was not free to do as he pleased with your body.
      I thought America respected it’s military personnel, yet you’re being abused by military medics. I’m so sorry you were treated so badly and can certainly understand why you’re so upset. It’s only by complaining that we can change the system and it might help you find some peace of mind knowing this man did not get away with his outrageous conduct.
      Also, be prepared for the next exam, read up, know your rights, contact the relevant people ahead of time so you can refuse and stand your ground, no more pap testing!

      • To echo Elizabeth – it is an OUTRAGE that those serving in the military, prepared to risk their lives in the line of duty are treated like this.
        We women in the outside world also encounter pressure but I suppose we do not directly risk our jobs or disciplinary procedures should we exercise our right to be informed.

        I wish you all the best.

    • What happens if a woman refuses in the military? I’ve always wondered that & I’d think that there would be more support FROM other members of the military against things like that. How can you trust that they’ll back you up against terrorists or enemy soldiers if they won’t even butt heads with a doctor? Or the MPs, if they back up the doctor.

      That’s the military for you- either they’re blatantly dictatorial or they act like they’re helping while actually being dictatorial. Altruism doesn’t produce ownership & this is an unconventional attack. One would think the military would be more familiar with the concept, considering IEDs & such.

      This is, in my opinion, characteristic of the national culture. Maybe it came FROM the military, maybe it’s how the military GOT that way- maybe there was a simultaneous situation where it’s a little of both at the same time (they both had issues & managed to distribute them to the other). All the support for the troops & no one seems to give a shit if someone gets strange with them or screws up their parts & maybe their future in a subtle way.

      • The military would charge the woman with “Disobeyance of a Lawful Order”, and she would be punished “As a Court Martial may direct”.

        Yes, they can order an enlisted woman to have her vagina probed, the physician’s whim. If she’s enlisted, she’s got few options. If she’s an officer, she can resign her commission and leave the service.

        It seems that this gets rid of a lot of women who would be good in the military, and gets a lot more to just accept what is dished out. Of course, most are already pre-brainwashed that this vaginal probing is somehow necessary to keep her healthy.

      • Make an interesting point, if they DID do all that- which, if they would do in the first place, there’s really no reason to presume they wouldn’t just pull the trigger on it anyway.

        I’d imagine that would be something that would make headlines & start discussion. Wonder why the men aren’t backing them up? Why would one presume that they wouldn’t bolster a contradiction if these chicks were to ask? I mean this semi-sarcastically- seeing as they ARE military & don’t seem to go off on people for fucking them over with burn pits, stop-lossing, wars over shit that doesn’t exist, denial of benefits, and whatever else I’m missing. There’s probably enough to fill a book & yet there doesn’t seem to be one body bag being filled over it.

        Not sure why women are looking to get into combat roles, if this is how the military’s going to act. I know I wouldn’t trust someone that’s selective blind, especially about sneaky attacks. I’d think that’d be a MAJOR issue in that line of work.

      • I’ve been reading up on the treatment of women in the US military, horrible and totally unacceptable, something should be done about it.
        We had the same problem, but finally, this issue is being addressed, it was not just women either, males were also being bullied, assaulted and sexually harassed/assaulted/raped…

      • The military is not really so patriotic as I thought it would be…My time on active duty was good because I did very well as a service member, yet the negative experiences can make you dislike it…

      • I read of a woman in the US army who had been ordered to undergo a pap and the full works. Apparently, she declined the order and either threatened to sue or went ahead with suing. The outcome was that the medical team backed down when threatened with legal action. I think this occurred a couple of years ago. I cannot remember any more specifics, my apologies. I don’t know what the process is for enlisting women in general.

        Out of interest, is there a male equivalent for these sorts of tests in the military?

    • Interesting comment here. The same thing happened to me today when I unknowingly got a pap smear at a walk-in clinic here in Baltimore. The pain was worse than before and when I wiped myself with one of the cloths they gave me, I realized I was bleeding. I read on a couple of other websites that when a woman bleeds after a pap smear, it’s usually normal and would go away within a day or two. Like you, I’m also a virgin (or was) at this point. Never expected my “first time” to come from a pap smear. But seriously, I told the doctor who examined me and the medical assistant about it and they gave me a pad at my request. The doctor seemed a bit alarmed like “that wasn’t supposed to happen,” but it did. If the bleeding doesn’t go away by early next week then I’ll consult my PCP. Worse case scenario, I’ll end up in the hospital. Part of it was my fault though for not moving down further enough. But, after this, I’ve decided I will no longer get a pap smear. They hurt like hell and the only reason why I went to a walk-in clinic is because I wanted to know if I had a urinary tract or yeast infection (which I did and am now taking three medicines for it including the one-time diflucan for about a week). But, I was overdue for a pap smear. After this year, never again.

      • Hi Jenine
        The tragedy is there was no point testing you in the first place, women who’ve never been sexually active can only be harmed by pap testing. The ONLY women who might benefit from a 5 yearly pap test are the roughly 5% of women aged 30 to 60 who test HPV+
        If you’ve never been sexually active = no HPV

        It’s as simple as that, or should be….so many women are put through painful/embarrassing or traumatic exams and end up having excess biopsies and being over-treated after false positive results…almost ALL of this damage was completely avoidable.
        By the way, you don’t need a pelvic exam to check for a yeast infection or UTI, a simple urine test or self-swab is all that’s required. (unless you had some further symptoms)

        Also, you can never be “overdue” for an elective screening test, IMO, that language is used to keep women in the system and neutralize our right to choose, to make an informed decision.
        I’m pleased your poor cervix will now be left in peace…and so will you!

      • You’re right. I personally feel that the only reason any woman would need a pap smear is if she’s sexually active or had sex at least once. But, it’s usually older women over the age of 30 who do get these. It’s just so many scare tactics used to talk women and young girls into getting a pap smear regardless of sexual activity.

      • I wish I’d never gone for them myself as well but you learn from experience and never again for me also!

    Thank you, yes, the language used IS disrespectful and inappropriate and does not acknowledge that women are free to make their own screening choices. The current approach needs to be called out…some of you may care to post a comment, I have but it hasn’t appeared yet.

    Am I “slack” for making an informed decision not to screen? NO
    Is the woman who finds the test repulsive being slack? NO
    Is the older woman who bleeds and is left sore (and possibly left with a UTI or soreness) after testing being slack? NO
    Is the woman who finds the test embarrassing and unacceptable being slack? NO

    Screening is a choice for women too, about time they started acknowledging that fact, whether they like it or not. Incredible we go on about women’s rights, but overlook this one huge issue: my body, my decision!
    Of course, young women choosing not to screen are making a sound decision, one backed by the evidence.

    • Exactly. Terms most frequently used in the UK media about women declining smear tests are: ignoring, dodging, skipping, too embarrassed, failing to attend. Making an informed decision to decline testing just doesn’t feature into their equation.

    • Hi Elizabeth – I sometimes take hiatuses every now and then, due to work, or being busy etc which is why I may post quite frequently one week, not to be seen again for a few more weeks!!

      I’m always posting on websites on this issue whenever I can though so if I had looked at your comment earlier Elizabeth, I would have posted on this site.
      I was trawling some articles today, having come across an article on natural childbirth and how the culture of “natural birth at all costs” has led to some pretty horrific abuses of women such as refusal to refer women to obstetricians when problems occur, denying c-sections in life/ death situations and even denying pain relief. I just thought that this culture of denying choice to women in childbirth mirrorred what is happening with regards to mass enforced pap screening, due to perhaps, deep-seated, deep rooted misogynistic notions of what qualifies as “motherhood” or “womanhood” in the health system. It is really depressing… Just a dichtomy I picked up on, don’t mean to digress, but in the midsts of following that article, I saw a link to abother article in the “fashionable”, “trendy” Guardian about a woman gearing herself up for her “routine” smear and whether it was or wasn’t painful…

      It was loaded with ill-informed, sweeping generalisations as to the “great success story” that is smears and how we should all pull ourselves together and just summon the courage to go. Hmmm…

      Lots of posts saying how “necessary” they were but how the process wasn’t easy etc. Interesting that over half of these were from menopausal or post-menopausal women imparting their “wisdom” on the younger population.

      I just wondered as a side note (and this is just a suggestion on my part) but might it be worth creating a page where we can all list links to various websites so that perhaps we can pick this up and then comnent? Just a suggestion..

      Also, Ada – you’ve mentioned previously that you receive updates from parliamentary websites whenever cervical screening is on the agenda. Could you post a link on here so that I can register? Had a quick look, not sure where to register. I’d be very interested in registering and posting my views on screening, where appropriate.

      • AQ
        I’ve often wondered why these unacceptable attitudes toward women persist in medicine, they seem so resistant to change, even as more women become doctors and gynaecologists. I can only imagine these attitudes are passed on very quickly in medical school. Why don’t more students challenge this thinking? Perhaps, they do, but eventually the system wins. I know it was students who refused to do teaching pelvic exams on unconscious women in theatre when there was no consent.
        I don’t think the medical profession can see the wood for the trees, it’s almost innate, all women must screen, just a Q of finding ways to get the reluctant ones on board. We don’t see coercion directed at men, we don’t see inappropriate genital exams, I certainly don’t hear the same “high moral ground” scolding of men if they don’t screen. Anything goes though to get women screened, even lies. Some understand this is abusive, some know it’s unethical and possibly illegal, but they choose to play along or prefer this system, maybe they don’t respect women, maybe they enjoy the power, maybe it gives them pleasure or satisfaction.
        I think it means women have to call out these attitudes and refuse to be treated this way, that’s certainly starting to happen, but we still see the same approach being trotted out, “more women skipping their Pap tests”…why is elective such a difficult word when we’re talking about women’s cancer screening?
        Probably because these programs don’t work when women are treated like human beings, that wasn’t a problem for them in 1960 but it is today…and so we see more and more women questioning or walking away from these programs, we see more push back.

        These programs will become unworkable as numbers continue to fall, that will be a happy day. Maybe then we’ll see a Dutch style program for those who want to screen and a scaling back of breast screening, I think it should be scrapped, but that’s unlikely, at the very least they must fully inform women of actual benefit and the risks with screening.

    • My husband uses a GP in the CBD but decided to use a local Clinic yesterday, just to get a new script. I waited for him and noticed the new patient forms on the counter, I took one, noticed straight away,
      “When was your last pap test?”…just assuming women have pap tests, there was a space for a date. (yes, they send out reminders)

      Do you need information on bowel screening?
      Oh, yes, men are involved so far more respectful….

      (for women 50 and over) When was your last mammogram? Date?
      Yes, we send out reminders.

      I was also disappointed to see, “when was your last breast check?”

      So we see (once again) a lack of respect for consent/informed consent in women’s screening, pap tests and mammograms are treated as “must have” tests.
      BUT, how is it so many GPs don’t seem to know breast exams have been out for years, they’re not recommended. Unless these GPs are getting express informed consent, they’re playing with fire, GPs have been told over and over again, do not do routine breast exams!
      They should be advising patients, “this is not recommended but I still recommend the exam for these reasons etc. do you consent?”
      I’ll bet that’s not happening, the statement on the form made it sound like a must-have exam as well
      Honestly, what will it take to stop doctors doing unnecessary exams and tests that do nothing more than risk our health.
      I won’t be using this Clinic in future, I suspect they’d be trouble…starting with their New Patient Form!

      • I went to a new clinic and they gave me a form to fill in to hand to the dr. It had “when was your last pap”. I wrote “I have made an informed decision not to test”. I found other questions very intrusive like “what is your sexual orientation”.And then I thought about it some more while I was waiting and I decided not to give the dr the form and she didn’t ask for it. And now they annoy me with text messages offering flu shots etc. Glad I didn’t put when my last pap was because I surely would have been getting text messages to go for one.

      • It’s a problem, Mary…
        I’m looking for a new doctor, my GP is retiring very soon, it’s depressing, the new patient form doesn’t work for me, I’m crossing out most of it or want to write, “none of your business”. I might try another doctor in the same practice, not as good as my doctor but better than starting with a new patient form that assumes I have pap tests and mammograms.
        When was your last pap test? …/…/….
        “Was it normal?” etc.
        Nowhere to put, “never had one, it’s elective”

  35. I think PTSD can be present in women who go through the test and there must be an alternative to the test!

    • There is, it’s just that they’re not offering it to you!
      Hi Bridget,
      There is absolutely no need for a speculum exam for most women, (who choose to test)
      we’ll be offered a “free” (hardly, our taxes pay for it) HPV self-testing kit if we decline the invasive HPV test for 6 years under our new program. (informed women who choose to screen will simply pay for a self-testing device when it suits them, ordered online)
      They’re already telling women here that HPV self-testing is not as reliable as a physician-administered test, the Delphi Screener is reliable and easy to use (so I’m told) but it’s no doubt more expensive than whatever they’ll offer women here….they can also deter many women from self-testing by claiming it’s less reliable than leaving it to your doctor.
      It’s all about keeping the herd under control…it’s plain cruel when many women find the speculum exam painful and/or unacceptable.

  36. My reason for opting out: too bloody painful the one time I was subjected to it, and I am so low-risk it’s ridiculous to suggest I need one. Also, when I mentioned this to my current doc, she said that it’s only a specific type of (?) HPV that’s connected to cancer, so there is far less need for pap smears than used to be thought.

  37. Hi there

    I had an experience recently when I went for a pap test and got told that the doctors don’t do them now and they had tried to fob me off with coming back another day when I was psyched up to go that day so I had said to them well if that’s the case I don’t want to do it and the doctor kept on at me hoping I would back down so I said I had the right to refuse to give my consent and then a nurses appointment miraculously became available prior to that it wasn’t which I think was a con to get me to do it.

    I then went into the nurse and she took some details and I got undressed and on the bed and whilst on the bed I became angry and thought life’s too short for this crap got off the bed and put my clothes on and then an argument erupted when I said I was refusing to give my consent as I didn’t want to do it and she asked why so I said how I wasn’t wasting my time being made to feel stupid and embarrassed there and they asked who had made me feel like that and I said I didn’t want to talk about it and she kept on and I said very slowly I don’t want to do it and there’s nothing you can do about it and you can’t make me do it and walked out of the surgery and my friend had told them to back off as well. What annoyed me is the way they kept on when I had made it clear I didn’t want to do it rather than screening itself. Its how its managed that upsets me and how I was treated by refusing to give consent which is my right.

    Anyway after the surgery I rang up the screening office and requested another opt out form as I had filled one out years ago to get them off my back with the letters but did have a couple of smears in the intervening years 2 were fine and the last in 2013 had been traumatic as I felt humiliated by the way that was done and how I was treated so never again. I wish I had rung the screening office sooner to ask for another opt out form as no way am I being treated that way again and like I said before life’s too short to be putting up with this crap!

  38. Hi Joanne
    I think consent and informed consent have largely been ignored in women’s screening, doctors and nurses have been allowed to get away with shocking conduct. Our legal rights have been violated for decades. For many years women were coerced into testing just to get the Pill, it was never a clinical requirement, just a way of forcing the test on women. Heads should roll – consent and informed consent matter, it’s about time they stopped treating women like mere bodies and numbers on the way to the screening target. (and target payments)

    It will take time to turn around these attitudes, it’s been going on for so long but as more women get to the evidence, make a stand in the consult room, make complaints, opt out of screening or do something they prefer like HPV self-testing, they’ll be forced to change. They’ll kick and fight change, but it’s happening as we speak, you’re another example of a woman whose made a firm stand on the subject.
    There are many reasons why women choose not to screen, these reasons should be respected and accepted, a simple NO should suffice, instead, we find these programs, doctors, and others think they have the right to challenge, analyze, judge or dismiss our decision. Some women (incredibly) still believe screening is compulsory, that’s obviously how it feels for these women…like they had no real choice. I believe, that was always the intention of these programs – make women believe they MUST screen or they’re stupid, reckless, childish etc.

    The tragedy is most of this testing is pointless, it just risks our health, most women are HPV- and not at risk of cervical cancer. The test should simply be offered to the roughly 5% of women aged 30 to 60 who test HPV+ but the system chooses to worry and harm as many women as possible.

    I’ve never had a pap test, and never will…I knew we were being told a pack of lies at the very beginning and went looking for answers, so glad I did.
    But, it’s also why the evidence has been locked away, they know it’s harder for women to fight back when they don’t have access to the evidence, it’s easier to pressure, embarrass and overwhelm.
    It says a lot about the way the medical profession and others view women….

    Welcome to the forum…

  39. My friend who wanted a pap recently, will now wait to have the HPV test. Because she has been in a monogamous relationship for at least 25 years, I am very confident that her HPV test will come back negative. But because she had some abnormal paps in the past she thinks, like so many women, that she had a close call. She even had a “friend’ say “well it’s goodbye to you” ! When she comes back to tell me that it’s negative she might finally believe me that she only had a false positive as she just rolls her eyes at me because I’m not a doctor and why would doctors lead her up the garden path?

    • Hi Mary
      Oh, I know the feeling! You’re not a doctor, doctors would never do a test unnecessarily or deceive me etc.
      Most of these women (HPV-) though will continue to have a 5 yearly invasive HPV test, until they’re in their 70s, think the program will end when women reach 72 or 74.
      The speculum exam can be very painful and damaging at any age, but especially in older women, some end up with UTIs, soreness, and bleeding.
      These women might choose not to have any more tests or fewer tests if they were given the information they needed to make an informed decision but…no, we’ll continue to feed them through the screening machine.

      • …and of course, they might choose HPV self-testing if it were readily available too…and if it was promoted as safe and reliable. Women here are already being told HPV self-testing is not as reliable as a sample taken by a health professional. I think the Delphi Screener is very reliable, women might choose to pay for a more reliable self-test if the free HPV option is indeed less reliable than the test taken by a doctor or nurse. The Medicare funded HPV self-test option will only be offered to those women who refuse the invasive HPV test for 6 years…unless you’ve never tested or haven’t tested in many years.

      • Yes Elizabeth. My friend was told by her GP that she couldn’t do a pap test on her because she is post menopausal and her vagina had atrophied and she didn’t have a small speculum. So it was only because the dr couldn’t do the pap that she didn’t have the pap. I gave my friend a link to the delphi screener so she can avoid the speculum when she does the HPV test. I don’t know why women still have to put up with painful speculums when there are far more comfortable options out there. But I forgot we’re women we should put up with pain.

  40. It’s callous, putting women through a speculum exam when there is another option, a far better option like self-testing, it shows how little they actually care for our health and well-being when women are left distressed, bleeding, sore/bruised and/or end up with a UTI. I spoke to an American woman online, almost 70 when she was talked into a pap test, they actually caused a tear with the speculum…but they still hassled her to take some oestrogen cream and try again in 6 months – why? It makes no sense at all, unless you enjoy distressing and harming women.

    • Hi

      I had a really bad experience with this test when I ended up abandoning it about 12 years ago and what had happened was they had put the speculum in really hard and then opened it up hard and then wondered why I was bleeding and I was absolutely terrified as that had never happened to me before except when I had a period and it had caused me distress as well which was most unnecessary and a similar thing happened at my last test and the abandoned one a few weeks back when I had told them to fuck off with their bullying and had rung the screening centre and had asked to opt out and have signed the form and sent it back to them. I wish I had listened to my instincts and never had bothered with them at all as it would have saved a lot of heartbreak for me. For me no more I say and should there be problems of that nature you bypass that wretched test anyway!

  41. Pap smears are the cash cow for clinics. Get the octoblot blood test!! Google it and get informed. Stop being used as cattle and lab rats. Theirs about 160 million females in the USA and only 13,000 came out having cervical cancer, that’s around 0.0084%. You have about a 5% chance of being a multimillionaire via the lottery!! Just to give you an idea of the redicialus odds of getting cervical cancer. Around 4700 died, but they where already terminally ill cancer patients that had malignant cancer running through their whole body. The rest had no mention to what type of cancer they had before the cancer spreading to the cervix. Getting a Pap smear to check for cancer or std’s is like taking the car to the mechanic and him opening the trunk to check your front breaks!! The rational is that crazy! Also, nearly 75% of all people in the nation have HPV and will live a full life without ever knowing it as the immune system will supress it. Also, their are nearly a hundred known strains and its 16 &18 that are supposedly related to cervical cancer but no real hard prove that it’s those strains that actually cause it. Pelvic and Pap test are serious money makers. Skip them, go get a octoblot blood test for a nearly 100% accurate cancer screening of not just the cervix but many other organs and via blood you’ll also know about possible std.

    • I googled the test you mentioned and this is what it says on their website:

      “Due to a sale of the technology, our labs are in a transition phase and as a result the general availability of the ONCOblot® test is limited. We will not be accepting new tests at this time. ”

      So the technology is being sold. I wonder who’s buying it and what they are going to do with it. Probably hide it from people so they’d keep going for their pap tests like happy little sheep.

      • In Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph’s magazine Body and Soul they had an article about the self HPV test. This is great that women will now be aware of it. However, as they say in the article “it can only be accessed through a doctor”.The name of the test is never mentioned, I suppose so women can’t google it themselves. But the article says they have been available online for sometime now -$30 to buy and $50 for the lab test.
        The doctor they interviewed, Dr Rhonda Farrell says it’s only recommended for some women. This is a quote from her ” Having the test done by a health professional is still a better option” but “it’s better than not having the test at all.”
        Here’s what really irks me. ” Farrell warns women against bypassing the GP completely with the online Pap test purchase. “Tests which are sold online could be problematic as women have to pay for them, they are not engaged with a GP who can explain the importance of the test and how to perform it properly, and they have no pre-test or follow-up counselling. This could potentially create more anxiety around the process”.

        They also say it will only be available to women over 30 who have never had the test or are over due by 2 years or more. I really hope that women reading this will hold off and deliberately wait until they are 2 years overdue. I think there will be a lot of
        But here’s the thing, it says women who get the test through their GP will be added to the National Screening Register.
        Accompanying this article is a list of other self tests. HIV, Bowel Cancer, STIs, UTIs, and allergy tests. Now do any of these other tests force you to go through a doctor ?- I don’t think so. I heard something mentioned on the radio how gay men are accessing the HIV test quite regularly on their own. They were surprised as they thought that they would not be so popular but clearly these men want to do it in the privacy of their own home too and I don’t blame them. I can imagine them not wanting the doctor, the person taking the bloods, the doctor’s receptionist (perhaps), and the lab technicians all knowing that this person wants an HIV test. We all know what gossips people are.

        If I get time I will write to this Dr Farrell and ask for some references to her claim that it is not as good as a professional doing it and tell her that counselling is non-existent from GPs.

        I don’t know if this article is available online. It seems some are but some aren’t.

      • Until a test gets final FDA or whatever gov office for whatever country, it is only going to be available as a trial or test. From their literature it seeks this test is only available to patients with some diagnosis so it is not considered a screening test. So one would have to diagnosed with a pap test and colposcopy to even be considered for a trial.

        Didn’t trovogene urine test for HPV get FDA approved but they discontiued due to lack fo sales?

      • I checked up on the company. So, it seems they must of really been cutting into the profits of physicians. Now, you can’t just pay and have the test done unless a physician orders it after a full physical which includes a full pelvic exam for women and genital exam for men, including rectal if the man is over a certain age. To many people where skipping the doctors and went solo for a straight answer. Greed has no end, even in the face of saving lives or providing a peace of mind!! But, GREAT NEWS, their are other blood test that a person can still order with out the need of a pap or rectal intrusion. for cervical cancer check its the DR-70, heres a link to many other blood test at a affordable price as the oncoblot was reaching $1400 a test. If math is not your strength and you want to know what are the percent of women who actually get cervical cancer in you country use this calculator, Just enter the number of actual cancer patients or women with cervical cancer and then enter the number of women in your nation and it will solve the equation. In the USA 13,000 woman got cervical cancer and according to the census 157million women live in the US. So thats 0.0082802547770701% of 157000000. I had calculated it at 0.0084 but made a math mistake, I was off by 0.0002 please forgive that HUGE number no no, lol.

  42. Paps kill. My unborn baby died from a pap. I had to stay pregnant for 1month with my dead little girl. Paps gave me vaginismus for 27 years. I start to get better and boom after every pap rape I always bleed and vaginismus returns. Who would nt have lost a baby while getting pap raped.

    • Hi Judith. I was pap raped by the NHS 7 times. On one occasion they caused a miscarriage. It angers me that there will never be closure for this. My rapists have got away with it because it is veiwed as a medical procedure. It would have been better to screen the mental health of women before forcing them to have unwanted vaginal examinations. Shame on the NHS.

  43. I found this for the UK –
    GynaeCheck is a home test kit for the human papilloma virus (HPV) £129.00
    • No need to visit your GP
    • It’s comfortable and easy to use – no scrape of the cervix
    • We supply the kit, you do the test and post back
    • Sample is tested in state of art laboratories and results are with you within 10 working days
    It also lists the Pros & Cons, not in much detail though:-
    Cancer screening can miss a number of cancers and provide false reassurance: no cancer screening test is 100% accurate.
    Cancer screening can lead to unnecessary worry and investigations when there is no cancer present.
    A positive screening result may cause anxiety by diagnosing a slow-growing tumour that may never cause any harm or symptoms.

    Not sure if this goes through to your GP or the Screening Programme?

  44. Reading this now:
    FAQ: I have an abnormal smear. What is the chance that I have cancer?
    “Whilst about 1 in 20 women will have a smear test result which is abnormal, only about 1 in 2000 will have cervical cancer. That means approximately 1% of women with any grade of abnormal smear will have a cancer. So statistically speaking the risk that you have already developed cervical cancer is very small even if your smear is abnormal.
    The exact reason why CIN tissue turns white with acetic acid is not fully understood. Also it is important to say that some areas of acetowhite do not indicate CIN at all. One of the challenges facing the colposcopist is to decide which areas of acetowhite truly represent pre-malignancy and to avoid treating minor conditions.
    Normal tissue on the outside of the cervix stains dark brown when iodine is applied. On the other hand, pre-cancerous abnormalities may not stain with iodine. The cells on the inner part of the cervix also do not stain brown.
    Read what you can, as it is interesting to note the uncertainties with these tests.
    We must also remember that for all involved in cervical screening, they need to keep up to date with their accreditation to be able to continue, meaning their smear tests performed have to reach a certain quantity every year, this also includes a minimum amount of CIN1/2/3 and they must reach the numbers! This is quite frightening really as if they are low on their numbers they may report more just to get to that target!

  45. From the same site above: A hysterectomy is very rarely used as a specific treatment for women with abnormal smears. It may be recommended after 2 or 3 local treatments have failed to remove a pre-cancerous problem, or if for technical reasons further smears cannot be taken from a cervix having had multiple treatments. Other women suitable for hysterectomy may have other difficulties such as heavy periods and abnormal cells making a hysterectomy a practical common solution. A hysterectomy may be recommended for an early cervical cancer or a glandular abnormality.

    But if most have HPV and continue to do so, it still does not mean cc is imminent so having a hysterectomy IMO is not a practical solution, this is no easy operation and has many risks and side effects.

      • I had a smear test a year ago (28) and it came back borderline and hpv+. I went for a colposcopy and the doctor said it look like hpv. I was checked 6 months after again and the doctor said it has much improved but hpv still slighty showing. My smear is still showing a mild abnormality and they want to do another colposcopy. I am currently pregnant so they said they would do it after I have had the baby. I wish I had done my research before I had ever gone for a smear. I wish I had never gone for a smear test at all. I was just looking to you ladies for a little reasurance. I went through a stage of trusting in my own body and knowing I wasn’t going back to the clinic, however I am worrying slightly now and doubting myself ( could be my hormones ). I know how common hpv is and how likely it is to clear itself. I dont want to be on this constant conyeyor belt of all these tests!. Thank you for listening!

  46. Hi Em! Sorry you’ve had all this worry. Some of the other ladies could probably advise you better but…to start evidence suggests its not a good idea to test under 30 year olds precisely because its so common and a vast majority of under 30s have it.. As you found out! You were checked again and of its improved then I’d guess your body is clearing it. I think it can take up to 2 years to clear. And now you’re pregnant. If you decide to take the colpo after you have your baby I think I’d wait a good few months because done too soon after birth it can throw up false positive crazy results as a result of the birth and changing hormones. I’m so sorry you’re stressing like is at what should be a happy time awaiting your new baby. This programme has a lot to answer to. Remember in future its entirely your choice to screen or not and you can opt out altogether. Please let us know how u get on!

  47. Em you’re welcome. And that’s the other thing about these programmes. Its so sad women feel they can’t trust their own bodies and instincts. We managed perfectly happily for thousands of years without these tests! I’d say trust your body and instincts. YOU are the expert on you! Please let us know how u get on! X

  48. I did a pap smear test two months ago and I have not had my period since. The doctor stayed extra long checking inside and at one point she pushed and hurt me inside tat I told her to stop. Did she stop my period? I am beginning to wonder what is happening. I never missed my periods before now. I feel a lot of discomfort and I am sorry I went to the doctor as routine test. What do I do? My body is going through so weird changes very bloated stomach, period symptoms buy no bleeding. Help.

  49. Hi A. I don’t think your periods stopped because of this examination. It would be very unlikely in fact.

    It could be something else. I don’t know how old you are but my periods didn’t settle til i was in my twenties and i started when i was 13. Poor nutrition can affect periods as well as huge amounts of exercise. If you are older it could be menopause. My periods have always been strange i think this is the experience of most women. It could be the pill if you are on it. If your involved with a man you could check if you might be pregnant.

    Don’t feel you have to go rushing off to a doctor right away just bide your time take a wait and see approach. If you go to a docs you will only be subjected to more examinations which i’m sure you dont want. Sooner or later your periods will show again i’m sure. The trick is not to panic.

    I hope they return to normal soon.


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