Pelvic exams are currently up for review by the US Services Preventive Services Task Force. The task force reviews scientific evidence to determine the effects of preventive services, such as screening tests for cancer. The task force makes recommendations based on the evidence, and provides guidelines to physicians and other health care providers.
The task force is poised to make recommendations regarding whether or not the pelvic exam should continue to be performed routinely on asymptomatic, non pregnant women. As part of their review, the task force is seeking input from the public until July 25.
Now is the time for women to have their say. The task force tallies the harms and benefits when conducting reviews, but women’s experiences and voices seem to be largely unrepresented in decisions about what happens to them in health care settings. The human cost of pelvic exams for some women is significant. To learn that there is a lack of evidence in relation to the benefits of having the exam is devastating.
Two years ago the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommended against performing pelvic examinations in asymptomatic, nonpregnant, adult women based on a systematic review of the literature from 1946 through January 2014. The review found no benefits to performing pelvic exams. The authors of the review concluded that “screening pelvic examination exposes women to unnecessary and avoidable harms with no benefit (reduced mortality or morbidity rates)”http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1884537
The task force has disclosed “that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms” and that the “evidence is lacking and of poor quality, and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined” http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/draft-recommendation-statement157/gynecological-conditions-screening-with-the-pelvic-examination
The psychological harms of pelvic exams have not been sufficiently studied. The task force states “No studies quantified the amount of anxiety associated with screening pelvic examinations”. Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence and qualitative studies may not be recognized in the task force’s review. For example, this study http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02646839308403222?journalCode=cjri20& describes how gynecological procedure can cause PTSD that is comparable to post-war veteran’s experiences of PTSD, yet the results of this study may not be considered in the task force’s review.
The toll on women is evident in the study. Some of the phrases used by the women who took part in the study to describe their experiences include:
-‘dehumanizing and painful’;
-‘degrading and distressing’;
-‘my opinions were dismissed as irrelevant’;
-‘hurting and feeling violated’;
-‘very brutal internal was excruciating’;
-‘it felt undeniably like rape’. https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2015/01/10/gynecological-procedures-can-cause-ptsd/
The physical harms as a result of pelvic exams have also not been sufficiently studied. For example, false-positives that may lead to over treatment such as unnecessary removal of the ovaries has not been quantified.
Women now have an opportunity to have their voices heard and hopefully to be given the same consideration as those of vested interests. The task force’s decision on recommendations can make the difference between these exams continuing – or not. Given the lack of evidence to support the efficacy of the exam, and the harms experienced by many women, the choice to discontinue the exam seems clear. If the task force does not recommend discontinuing the exam then at the very least doctors need to start disclosing the lack of evidence to their female patients, and to ask for consent prior to going ahead with the exam. Women have the right to know that the exam “exposes women to unnecessary and avoidable harms with no benefit” http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1884537
Link to task force for input: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/us-preventive-services-task-force-opportunities-for-public-comment
The pic of the legs up in stirrups is disturbing. This invention is barbaric.
I agree and fear is overwhelming due to the procedures endured while in that exam. The medical professional learn early that patients rights interfere with their profits and own adgenda.
I’ve always cringed at that sight. It’s just so submissive and embarrassing. What really makes me nauseous is the sight of a male gynecologist at end of exam table.Makes my skin crawl.
Me too! I think it’s evil. Something is seriously wrong.
In the UK gynaecological examinations do not tend to be performed using the stirrups. I can understand the distress suffered by women who are examined in this way for a routine check-up. It’s bad enough anyway without making it worse! Thanks for highlighting just how traumatised and violated women can feel after this procedure – especially when it’s not always necessary.
Emma you are right. We don’t have such exams in the UK as they are deemed unnecessary. UK women often find it astonishing that American women put themselves through this pointless and degrading ordeal on an annual basis. Here in the UK, we have private gynes who are trying to promote this way of thinking, hoping to get the business of the worried well. I hope very much that US women will be successful in wiping this scourge out of our healthcare systems and exposing these fraudsters for the sordid business sharks they are.
Hi Ada yes, like you, I am astonished anybody could endure this type of examination on a yearly basis, and if what you say about private gynaecologists trying to scare women into unnecessary and humiliating examinations in this country then that’s outrageous too. Having said all that, women in the UK are offered regular screening for cervical cancer, and while this does involve examination with a speculum, the procedure is relatively quick, less invasive and in most cases does not have to be done on a yearly basis. Healthcare professionals on both sides of the Atlantic need to start realising patients undergoing any type of gynaecological examination have feelings!
Well, if you notice, on a lot of levels- America is like Britain’s knock-off. Not all of them, but a lot. In spite of the whole “freedom & independent decision-making” reputation, A LOT of people are more or less “bent-necked” about everything. They see it as “bad” to be running their own course a lot of times (especially if it’s not “party-approved”) & oddly enough, they look at the people running over them as something to not contradict because they’re “running their own course.” “Hand’s off- you’d be getting in the way of their actions & blocking their freedom!”
I’ve heard a lot of people say: “Well, you can just go somewhere else”- the problem is that this, for one thing, might not be all that feasible or might cause hardships & it also allows for whatever behavior to continue. On top of that, there’s always the possibility of all the different “someones” & “somewheres” to act the same way. If someone make a point in favor of “deforming” the doctor’s behavior, the other people are against it- of course, it doesn’t have to be anything medical-related. It’s the same idea that someone has every right to do whatever they want with their business- meaning that it’s right for them to do whatever it is they chose to do with that business. Curiously, this is not the thinking when someone owns a machete- they don’t swing it at who & what they please.
Anyway, America is not usually as rebellious as people would think. Americans are always in favor of receiving good situations, but they’re not very big on dissolving the bad situations that ruin them. Vitiation OF vitiation is only seen as a problem when it’s countering someone being an asshole- particularly if they do it in a subtle way.
This brings back memories. I remember in high school i was asked a girl what gyns do because she said she went to one. She said in a joking way and ill never forget “legs up”. That made me sick to my stomach.
Thank you Sue for the new post. I’m wondering – just wondering what this new task force will
actually do and what they will actually accomplish. It would be the first of it’s kind in the U.S. I think that this site and other sites have played a large part in influencing the members of this task force to finally take action.
I’m sorry for not posting in such a long while. I have been looking and checking our site though. I have read and given thumbs up to our veteran commentators as well as the new commentators. However, I realized that maybe I should take a step back and be more of a listener for a while. Although I definitely find gynecology and childbirth practices to be a perverted, disgusting sham for males who managed to sweat through medical school and residency, I haven’t been through all of the horrors that everyone here has been through. One new commentator, it sounds has had profound psychological trauma. Her comments were more like a cry for help as she expressed severe harm to her mental, physical and emotional state. I hope she finds the help she needs; she hasn’t commented in a long time. Her comments made me realize that I should be more of a listener as my heart aches for everyone who has been through these horrors. Our members in the U.K. and Australia – and around the world – have really had it bad.
One of my favorite actresses on TV – not sure if I can mention her name, but she was on a very popular military detective drama. She evidently went on a campaign to get women to get tested – to get pap smears. I saw her commercial – unfortunately a few times – where she says she went so long without testing she scared herself. She evidently has the sheeple mindset, sad to say. Part of me thinks she did the commercials for money as she hasn’t acted consistently in a long time. She got a pap test and talked about it as dismissively if she said she bought a new pair of socks or something. Her test was negative, but since she scared herself, she thinks this is her authority to go on TV to get women to follow her (foolishly) and get tested. I was sooooo disappointed – nearly heartbroken to see someone who played such a phenomenally strong woman for years – be brought down to doing these commercials. She never mentions that cervical cancer is rare and that it’s a women’s option to be tested; she just went on the – it will save your life – soapbox. I hope she finds the truth – but likely she won’t publicly rebut her statements as she was a paid endorser.
Although you’ve just put up a new post, I was thinking of requesting to make a guest post myself – after enough time has passed for our commentators to post to this post. This topic I’ve had on my mind and heart for a while, and have done some research on it. The problem is I don’t know how to properly do a guest post to our site. I tried copying a picture to a post once, but it didn’t work. I’m not sure what is involved, Sue; if there are clearances are copyrights to be considered. Please let me know, Sue. Thanks.
Everyone be blessed.
Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you posting, and also supporting the veteran and newer commentators on this site.
The task force has some clout as they make recommendations based on the evidence, and doctors and others tend to look to their recommendations for guidance. In addition, insurance companies may not pay for tests that are not recommended by the task force. So, if the task force does not recommend pelvic exams in asymptomatic, non pregnant women, and highlight how the exam exposes women to risk with no benefit – then insurance companies will not pay for these exams. If insurance companies do not pay for exams, doctors tend not to perform them.
In other words, doctors will likely stop performing these harmful exams if the task force vetoes them.
The problem, however, is that the task force seems to be on the side of vested interests. The task force must face incredible pressure from those who profit from pelvic exams. Unfortunately, the task force claims there is not “sufficient evidence” to make a recommendation. But according to the extensive review of the literature in 2014, the evidence clearly indicates that the exam “exposes women to unnecessary and avoidable harms with no benefit” http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1884537
What other evidence does the task force need? Very upsetting to see the way the task force is leaning on this. If the task force refuses to recommend against routine pelvic exams then women will continue as fodder for the hungry gyno industry. Exposing women to continued unnecessary and avoidable harm – with no benefit.
I would be very interested to discuss a guest post with you. Would you agree to an email from me about this?
Thanks for responding. Thank you for the information. Yes, please send an email to me with information about the particulars for doing a guest post. My topic has to do with a variation or different uses that doctors have for the pelvic exam.
Hi Penelope, will do. Thanks. The topic sounds interesting.
Bad Science: Big Harm
I’ve read the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft Recommendation Statement, and the June 2016 Evidence Synthesis, upon which it was based.
This is simply bad science. This is dangerous science. First, a quick summary of other recommendations:
American College of Physicians (ACP) AND the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend AGAINST performing screening pelvic examinations in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adult women based on review of the evidence.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends FOR performing the exams, despite finding “evidence to support or refute the benefit of annual pelvic examination or speculum and bimanual examination in asymptomatic, low-risk patients” (cited in USPSTF).
NONE of the reviews by any of the groups concluded that there is evidence to support the use of the exams.
Here’s where I think the USPSTF moves to embrace bad science – and to perpetuate sanctioned harm by the medical industry.
The American College of Physicians (as stated in the UPSTF synthesis) included 14 cross-sectional and one cohort study examining harms and “concluded that the pelvic examination may lead to pain, fear, anxiety, discomfort, or embarrassment in some proportion of women (range, 10% to 80%)…” and further noted “Additional cross-sectional literature suggests that certain populations of women—especially those with a history of sexual violence or abuse chronic pelvic pain, or obesity—report more negative experiences from a pelvic examination and, as a result, may avoid seeking medical care” (see http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/draft-evidence-review148/gynecological-conditions-screening-with-the-pelvic-examination , page 18).
The USPSTF chose to exclude ALL of this research on harm. Their reason is flimsy – these studies were of sufficient quality to be included by the American College of Physicians AND these studies represent the BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE. The USPSTF has evidence of harm. They simply choose to IGNORE the evidence.
Choosing to ignore this evidence by leaving all of the available evidence on psychological harm out of the analysis is similar to the way the pharmaceutical industry has been found to exclude medication studies that don’t show evidence of medication effectiveness, or that show harm. The USPSTF decision is tantamount to telling all of the women in the multiple studies on harm that their input doesn’t count, that their voices aren’t heard, and that their experience of harm is irrelevant.
The USPSTF draft evidence review and recommendations represent bad and dangerous science. Women in the US have an opportunity to comment on the drafts, but it is telling that the deck is already so stacked against them. These exams simply appear to be too lucrative and appealing for some groups to allow a lot of evidence to get in the way of their desires.
I have a doctor’s appointment in a half hour and I’m afraid they will MAKE me have a pelvic exam and pap since I am a few years overdue for one. I’ve had a baby vaginally and had lots of pelvic exams (I’m now 62) but I am SICK OF THEM. I am getting more and more stressed by the thought of them. They hurt, are hummilating, barbaric, etc et all. I now have some research indicating they aren’t necessary and I have been brainwashed….I have had breast cancer 15 years ago and had an abnormal pap about 25 years and had some hideous treatment (SPEAR??) that I have blocked. Last time the LPN said , “You know, you can refuse to have one…” I about kissed her!…but now I am stressing about going in 20 minutes…..I made a copy of “do new guidelines and tech….”
Thank you for this site…..I feel a bit empowered…..(and sick to my stomach)
Actually – Thank You – for acknowledging this site. Wow – I wish I’d caught you when you wrote in. I’m wondering if you had this site on your mind and you resisted that pelvic.IF you did – then AWESOMMMMEE. If you had not, then please – don’t beat yourself up. Either way – it takes courage to tell doctors no – after years of having them. You’re reckoning with a belief system of about 40 years; it may take time to undo. I hope for your sake, that it won’t take long. Always remember, Tracy – NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU HAVE A PELVIC EXAM. That is one of the biggest lies of this century. All you have to do is consider that men aren’t put through the same changes. If they get their genitals looked at by a doctor – it’s because they want the doctor to. Seen many campaigns to get prostate exams, lately? There’s no campaign to pressure men to get into the doctor’s office – nor are there stirrups.
Alot of women – especially women who have had years of pelvics – still deny that they are wrong. So we’re so glad you’ve found this site – and BELIEVE. We’re glad you know that they are unnecessary. Alot of women still don’t know. Their doctors told their mothers – and their mothers told them – never mind the instinct that it’s just wrong. Women get blackmailed into thinking they have to – and it works on their thoughts about themselves – the fact they have children – how they feel about sex – make them believe they have to get checked. It’s a lie. Doctors with long careers acknowledge they have never diagnosed any woman by sticking fingers inside her; and they may have seen only one case of cervical cancer in their entire careers. If so, the patient already had it when it was diagnosed – with MRIs and scans for other issues. The ob/gyn’s last captive audiences – they presume – are pregnant women and women with incontinence issues. Your LPN has some company – it’s acknowledged that pelvics aren’t necessary for pregnant women. The urogynecologists have yet to be officially reckoned with, but I believe women have caught on. The bimanual or cervical check only introduces germs to the unborn baby; the baby comes no faster if dialation occurs early – so it doesn’t have to be checked every hour – not at all really. There’s no printed study that confirms that. Please do read up on that if you have daughters or daughters in law; nieces – any woman you know of childbearing age – and tell them. Women with incontinence issues need not be molested just to get a pessary and a pamphlet.
You already know that they are barbaric and humiliating – and you are now trusting your feelings and your instincts. Alot of women though, convince themselves that – they have to get it done. They also think that because it’s in a sterile room and not a candle lit bedroom; that the doctor is in a white lab coat and not a black rob, that pelvics can’t be sexual for the male ob/gyn. We should know by now that men – lab coat or not – just need an imagination and a picture or image to get aroused. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Nikita Levy case by now – and there’s countless more about these sham artists being brought to trial and convicted of sexual assault. Let that sink in and think about it the next time you get a notification for an exam. If it’s not about arousal then it’s about power. The power to get countless women out of their underwear, in the stirrups and doing what they want to their most intimate parts. I look at the internet pictures of these jokers on their websites and imagine these were guys who who couldn’t get a date in high school or college, and so this is what they choose as a career – to have women at their beck and call all day long because of that white lab coat. They tell women the great lie that it’s not sexual. They don’t stop being intimate organs just because they say so. Thankfully their days are numbered. And I’m presuming you have a male. If you have a female ob/gyn – it’s evident that she’s in it for the incentive payments – yet she still isn’t honest with her clients in telling them that it’s an unnecessary procedure; that cervical cancer is rare and that there are self-testing kits out there. She’s only following her male predecessors in perpetuating the sham for her career.
I imagine that you’ve already discovered alot of this for yourself and may feel disgusting – please – don’t beat yourself up. And – please excuse me for telling the truth – I’m very passionate about this as we all are here. I’ve really not said anything that hasn’t been said on this site – but I want to be sure to tell it to you. Use the knowledge to empower yourself. These women on this site have learned the same thing and are now fighters against this sham of a profession. Don’t go into denial and keep getting them knowing how horrible it is – how it makes you feel. These women on this panel have been through it worse than me, and yet they found the strength to put it in perspective – dare I say develop a sense of humor about it – and move on – forgiving themselves along the way.
Not to be remiss – Congratulations that you have beat breast cancer. Please keep up your resistance, Tracy, to these pelvics. Please keep reading the comments on this site – keep posting if it helps you vent – and know we have your back. Be empowered – Be Blessed.
Penelope: You’re mostly right about how things are different for men, but I want to point out that on (I think) CBS there’s frequently a commercial advertising prostate exams. It’s the one with some German “doctor” (probably an actor) saying that he’s done whatever number & a half prostate exams- the whole thing revolves around trying to direct focus to the doctor’s supposed issues with the situation & urging someone to get one.
I don’t get what the tactic is supposed to be with that. Is it that someone should put up with whatever is directed at them if it’s worse for the doer than the one it’s done to? I guess someone should take a punch if it hurts the attacker’s hand more than their face? Also, they never mentioned imposing these things on someone in the Emergency Room (like if someone comes in from a car crash or a fall, seems coming in “for trauma” is the connecting pattern). That’s the other thing: men get moved on in that way, too.
I think probably a lot of men get attacked in medical settings, it’s just reported even less than with women. Functionally, a running theme is the knee-jerk belief that amounts to a man having, not fighting ability (despite injury), but magical discretion-based sway over the situation as a concept. If he gets attacked successfully, it’s on him. It’s nonsense, but ego-driven bullshit is common here.
Besides prison (or, rather, getting locked-up in the broad sense), the medical setting is the one I figure is the most dangerous for a man on that level. The America I know is generally big on “twisting the knife” & therefore big on whatever the “knife” is.
It’s also the risk posed by these exams, false positives…which usually means women having further invasive testing and even unnecessary surgery, some losing healthy ovaries. It’s been known for a long time that hysterectomies and oophorectomies in the States occur at more than twice the rate found in countries who don’t do the routine pelvic exam. (see articles by Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, US gyn)
How often do you read on a US health forum, “worried…my doctor found something on my ovary during my wellness check”
Normal ovulation has been painted as something “possibly” sinister to scare women into annual routine pelvic exams. There’s a male gyn (American) on You Tube who recommends women continue with routine pelvic exams, we see the young woman sitting on the exam table saying “my doctor felt something during my yearly routine pelvic exam, tests confirmed it was nothing to worry about” but then she says:
“I didn’t even know it was there, it could have been ovarian cancer so I’ll be here next year for my pelvic and pap”
This woman had an unnecessary exam that led to unnecessary further testing only to find she had a harmless cyst, a normal part of ovulation – we don’t need to know about harmless cysts and don’t need treatment for them.
So instead of being angry she was put through a lot for nothing, she fears it “might” have been something and will be back next year…this is the power imbalance at work, IMO, the doctor chooses to mislead, the woman trusts her doctor and doesn’t have access to real information or might not believe it after her “scare”, if women are getting mixed messages, they often play it safe and stay with the exams. (I wouldn’t call this playing safe, it’s playing with fire!)
So it’s not only psych damage, it’s also physical harm, possibly even death when you’re talking about excess surgery. The doctors pushing these exams are desperate to protect their business model, IMO, they couldn’t care less about the evidence or women.
Well said Elizabeth, as always. It’s very interesting that the task force is not including the evidence of harm (re F.L.’s post) in their review. As you have pointed out, there is considerable harm, even potential death, when women are led to unnecessary surgery. Not to mention the psych and other physical damage. There was also some mention of infections and UTI”s in the evidence of harm.
You mentioned mixed messages, and how women often play it safe when this is the case by staying with the exam. This is a great point, and it also seems to be the case with pap tests. Under 25s and virgins are often not mentioned in guidelines, and is left vague in directives and other information about pap tests. The lack of clarity about younger women and virgins likely leads these women to believe they should ‘play it safe’ and have the exam.
wow you just described me, I would like to talk more about this but I want to make sure you will see this message let me know! 🙂
Do invitations for cervical screening provide sufficient information to enable informed choice?
The full text for this seems to be fully downloadable.
I’ll read that with great interest, I know someone at the Nordic Cochrane Institute was looking at cervical screening invitations, they were kind enough to respond to one of my emails last year (or it might have been in 2014)
I sent them copies of the brochures available here, although many women get no information at all, they’re just ordered into screening, “when was your last pap test?” is hardly respecting choice and consent.
I passed on my long-standing concerns, women being pressured/coerced, misled or scared into cervical screening, what about consent and informed consent?
They’ll ignore the study here, we had the first article on informed consent last year, (yes, in 2015!) the crickets are still chirping. It will take more women standing up and refusing to be treated so poorly before deeply entrenched paternalistic and abusive attitudes and conduct are called out…and we see change, women finally being treated like competent adults, not lumps of meat/public property
The new thing out in the UK is for GP’s to clear out their lists of “ghost patients”. Each GP gets paid GBP136 per patient on their lists, and a good number are thought to have long since disappeared off the radar. From next month they will send out letters to every patient they have not seen for 5 years or longer. This will be followed up with a 2nd letter and final reminder to contact the surgery to remain on the list before the patient will be removed if there is no reply. I wonder what the wording of the letters will be, and if this will be linked in with a request to visit the surgery for a health check of some kind? The cervical screening programme is based on GPs lists. Not got a GP, and you shouldn’t get a screening summons…
Hi Ada. I am very concerned about this. It will make every one forced to register or not have access to healthcare. That way they will be able to enforce compulsory health screening along with mandatory vaccinations. Peopkes diets and habits along with any vices will be documented. Our entire bodies and minds controlled by the state. This is already being pushed in America. I am bothered by thus new technoloogy where they implant a chip in you which has your details on it.
Ada I don’t agree with the new plans but even if your asked to visit the surgery you could presumably refuse the health checks.. No I don’t want to be weighed, I don’t want to talk about my sexual history or diet? You’ve made contact and they’ve seen you? Linda hi! How’s things with you??
My own local GP surgery had its report issued last month by the Care Quality Commission, and it has been rated indequate on every level and been placed in special measures. It will be re-inspected in 6 months time, to see if it has implemented any improvements. It has sent shock waves around the neighbourhood, and there will be a meeting for any patient interested in going next Thursday. The GP who assaulted me in the 1990’s will be there to face the music. I’m in 2 minds whether to go or not, as seeing her will make me anxious to say the least. She should be lynched for the appalling care she has dished out to patients over the years. I can’t believe it has taken the CQC all these years to find this out. They found that care standards were at a level to be a danger to our health. Vaccines beyond sell-by date, lack of digity and respect for patients, doctors not listening to patients concerns… Funnily enough their cervical screening rates are some of the highest in the city. A pity the CQC can’t marry these 2 issues up.
Revenge is a dish best served cold eh?! I don’t know if you went but if they are still investigating this practice, now could be the perfect time to submit a letter detailing how you were treated and more importantly, how it made you feel x
Hi Kat. I’m fine. Been spending time in my garden and taking it easy. I keep up with the threads but no longer feel I need to comment every two seconds. I’m much more relaxed about the whole thing. If we do need to go and have some Nazi styled test in order to register with a doc well then thats it for me i’m afraid. I will simply not have one. They’ve never been all that good anyway. Its just a matter of being aware of health matters and taking care of yourself and family. I’ve been reading up on the scale of deaths world wide just from vaccination alone. Apparently all sorts of animal and human fetus matetial are used as carrier material for jabs which I never realised went in to these things. Thousands of kids have been ‘murdered’ by them over the years. No one ever asks what exactly is in medicine we just ‘trust’ and never question them or their motives. On top of chemo and incompetence and rapes i don’t feel very safe in doctors hands anyway. I look at the medical proffession and ‘pharmakeia’ in a very suspicious light.
I’ve always felt ‘healing’ should have a more ‘spiritual’ approach anyway not just involve shoving poison down our throats.
Linda, I’m glad to hear you are well. I love my garden too, and just got back from holiday to find it “abundant”!
I think we’ve turned a corner and we’re on a new trajectory now. The pro-screeners know that they cannot get away with herding people into these screening programmes without being publicly challenged. The doubts are there, and there will be further developments I’m sure this year.
A woman just recently posted her screening summons letter on twitter. All they have done is insert a 3 lined paragraph saying: “It is your choice whether to attend screening. The leaflet gives you details on the pros and risks. Make sure you read the leaflet before making a decision…etc” There is no mention of what to do if you decide not to attend: how to reply, how to stop the letters and opt out. No you’ll just get clobbered by the GP at your next visit. Business as usual.
Hi Linda glad you’re Ok. I noted you weren’t commenting but hoped u were. Healing. You seem to be. School (and kat, as she works in one) is out for summer so I’m looking forward to the rest and relaxation!
Sciatica is improving I credit moo and her curcumin tablets! Hope you continue to heal x
So happy to hear that Kat is being helped by curcumin. I have been googling natural treatments for years now and almost totally avoiding all doctor visits.
I am concerned about vaccines especially with terrorism. These vaccines are m aufactured with very few people involved in the process and I worry about security. My husband had his flu vaccine in the fall and his shoulder/arm started giving him trouble the next day. This trouble flares up since then and he is suffering.
I would like to share an experience how some greedy doctors get false diabetes diagnosis for more payments. There seems to be an “epidemic” of type II diabetes. For some people it can be helped of people watch what they eat and lose weight. Some people lose enough weight and their diabetes goes away but this is often by fasting (water and vitamins only for a few weeks). There is a doctor who monitors patients doing this. Most doctors will tell you that type II diabetes is incurable and people have to be medicated and monitored for the rest of their life.
But some medications can cause people to get a bad blood glucose level so they get a diabetes diagnosis and it stays in their medical record. A patient is told they have a bladder infection oddly with no symptoms (burning, bladder feels like not empty) but shows up on a urine test. They are prescribed a “new drug just for bladder infections” called macrobid. Then they are told they need a fasting gluocse test. This drug affects the blood glucose test. So then they get skewed result. I know people and they all have similar stories. I had a bad experience.
While diabetes can have serious complications it might be good to have a home test for it. I absolutely do not trust doctors anymore. I demand to see all test results and reports and get copies.
Yes moo thanks again. I’ve gone from being in more or less continual pain and being legally stoned on pain pills to just odd twinges!
Odd twinges and no pain pills I should say
“Renée Pellerin is a former CBC health journalist currently working on a book about the history and politics of breast cancer screening. ”
I’d be pleased to read a copy of her book, when it comes out.
Need to get something unrelated/sort of related because it has to do with women’s bodies – off my chest – no pun intended.
On google news – under the health section – there is horde of pictures of women breastfeeding exposed. Definitely a WTH moment for me. We all know that breastfeeding is the best way to nourish a baby. Yes. Yes. Yes. However most moms according to comments on websites agree that women should COVER UP. HOWEVER, the bastards in the media are using it as a way to exploit women’s bodies – AGAIN. On google there are pictures of women with exposed breasts breastfeeding. I’ll put it another way…..BREASTFEEDING WITH EXPOSED BREASTS. Now I know this is controversial, and I don’t know how the women on this panel feel about it, really, but to look at it for what it is, it’s another method of exploiting women’s bodies in the media. These women are so busy breastfeeding that they’re not stopping to realize or care – because they’re in mother earth mode. They are too self centered to see that they are being exposed for pornographic not maternal reasons – for none other than bastard male photographers eager to get pictures of their exposed breasts. They don’t care that men are looking at the pictures and probably getting aroused….and they are causing it by living in a vacuum as if no one has ever done what they have done – too self important to wake up. These are people that insist in a world filled with images of naked, half-naked, nearly naked, implied naked women, that their breastfeeding pictures are innocuous and have nothing to do with anything. Their men, I’m sure disagree about how unsexual their breasts are….they play with them during sex and who knows when else. Women wear dresses with cleavage cut down to their waists to attract men. But women think – attach a baby and the sexual part goes away. We’ve heard this argument with gynos who swear they turn off their desires at pelvic exams – both outrageous self-serving lies.
They contribute to the exploitation of women and I can’t be outraged enough. We have to think – would these stories REALLYYYY get published if there were no pictures of exposed breasts; if the women were covered as they should be. Sex sells – this is a form of it with baby attached. The unimaginable, unbelievable part is that these women think it’s okay because their babies are attached. Their breasts are more exposed than the babies heads. Do they really think the media would care about breastfeeding and babies if they couldn’t expose their breasts?????????…remember these are mostly salacious males (and some misguided females…..)making the decisions on what to publish…..
It seems that if the media isn’t exploiting women’s bodies for medical reasons with mammography pictures and pelvic exams, then they’re exploiting them with breastfeeding pictures, with the excuse of the baby in the picture to say it’s not pornographic. Either the FCC is asleep at the wheel or turning it’s head and condoning it. ITS PORNOGRAPHY WITH A BABY ATTACHED. I’m soooooooooo disgusted.Between the self centered women and the bastards taking and publishing the pictures, women continue to be ridiculously exploited. We don’t see women of class and status in this…just common women who behave as if they’re primitive and have to be exposed…..never mind they’re in a modern society with a cell phone and SUV. I think for some women who don’t feel particularly attractive after pregnancy, this is a slick way to be attractive. In their normal lives the rebuke pornographic magazines and prostitutes, and behave as upstanding citizens who wouldn’t do anything improper, but think they can get away with exposing themselves because their babies are attached – never mind they are being pornographic and prostituting themselves before the camera – with their babies as the excuse…..it’s soooo disgusting. I’m sickened – just sickened.
Thanks for listening. Be blessed – have to tell myself that Ioo after today….
This really is not [moderated]
Even when women are covered up with burkas men still have sexual fantasies about them. It is their problem not yours. [moderated].
If you feel some need to promote private breastfeeding them donate some breastfeeding capes or breast pumps and bottle feeding paraphernalia the needy mothers or donate a tent shelter to the local mall so mothers do not have to sit in some dirty toilet stall to breastfeed privately. Are nursing mothers supposed to stay home all the time? [moderated].
At last – we get to interact. I’ve only read your posts in all this time that I’ve been watching this site.
Thanks for posting the article, Moo. The author and the commenters are mostly – except, like, one, on the side of covering up. It’s what normal and decent in a civilized – but unfortunately, overly sexualized regarding women – society. It’s just that after reading what you typed afterwards, that I’m not sure which position you take. Those that are against exposed nursing (tired of saying breast feeding…..when talking about men’s issues, we don’t throw around the words penis, scrotum, and testicles all day long..the media makes sure of it…not so much with women’s bodies….)..recognize that, although a great experience for the mom, it’s indecent to those around. No one is saying go to a dirty bathroom or toilet stall. People are saying, that as women for generations have been doing, to cover it up if sitting in public. Breast pumps are only about $25-50 (translate that for U.K. and Australia currency….) for a good one….No, mom’s shouldn’t stay home for the next 2 years nursing…that’s ridiculous. It’s just that, why, when a mom plans an outing with her baby, she has every last detail down to the baby bag, but doesn’t think to pump some milk before hand. Any woman can get a towel or light blanket or cotton cloth, like from a dollar or discount store or even grab one that she received at her baby shower…….and take it with her. I see that alot. If a women can’t afford these, then that’s deplorable. I shudder to think of the poverty these women live in – are raising their babies in. In other countries and cultures that aren’t modern, where it’s not an overly sexualized society, women are exposing themselves to nurse. However, the cameramen are right there to capture and exploit their relative innocence. And – Moo,in countries where women wear burkas and are sexualized nursing under such a heavy garment, we know there are deeper problems than just that. Those countries beat and kill women for the slightest thing….let’s not get into that, but it is an extreme.
It’s not a new phenomenon, nursing…rather it is a new phenomenon amongst this current generation who most agree act entitled to everything and disrespect others. These are the kids that were raised in the electronic age with everything thrown at them by guilty parents – never mind making them earn it. now that they’re old enough to have children, they think they should just pop out their breasts in public and no one should say anything. Right. And then you have slightly older women joining in nursing uncovered – so glad to have a kid at an older age – nursing uncovered as I said before, to glorify their bodies….not such much to show the baby. You have to see some of these pictures I’ve seen before from world breastfeeding day last year.
I look at the big picture and it’s why I’m so sickened and disgusting – maybe I shouldn’t look at the health section of google anymore, but it’s bigger than that. We have a media that is over the top with sexualing women’s bodies….any way possible now. In the big picture, men are largely covered – only exposing some chest at very chosen strategic times. Men only show their butts when joking around or to be funny. However, women’s nudity is all over the place, and we wonder why there are so many predators out there who don’t respect women. Women who insist on nursing uncovered in public are adding to that…and that’s why it’s so disgusting. Women have made strides, in so many fields, broken down so many barriers to get away from the barefoot and pregnant image. This actually sets women back to a primitive stage when they are encouraged to not cover up. It’s never been about promoting covering up….it’s always been in a civilized society….for generations…instead NOW it’s about promoting women to NOT cover up. It’s for titillation by the media – more than any purpose to glorify nursing babies. There’s a legal definition of naked…as long as the areola of the breast and the butt crack of the backside isn’t showing, the entire body isn’t considered naked. What a load of untold horse manure. Sooooo the bastards who aren’t pornographers but who want to show women naked, have for years now been getting around that by showing women naked in strategic positions, in ads from everything to shower gel, to body lotion, to deodorant, for breast cancer awareness, PETA ads, mammogram pictures, pelvic exam pictures – childbirth pictures….with the said areola and butt crack covered. And if that isn’t enough, let’s add nursing women who no one should say anything about because – never mind her size D breast is fully exposed – but her areola is covered by the baby’s head. Rrrrrrright.
I hope you can agree on some level, Moo – very sorry if you do not. I’ve seen nursing women in public covered up, thankfully, more than exposed. It’s possible. It’s not expensive, it’s not too much to ask. For those who live in third world countries, it’s already the norm to be somewhat exposed…but they shouldn’t be exploited by the media as if they’re wild life. No one is saying go to dirty places, but if they’re going to do it in the middle of a restaurant to just have respect for others and cover it up….better yet, pump it before they go. That’s what our mothers did.
I agree 1000% with you. I don’t honestly know what the deal with these women is that they don’t see the attention and the sensationalism for what it really is – men gawping at women’s breasts.
We also have the danger not just of men being turned on by it, and I believe, a great many, many are (especially the stranger types), but also paedophilia. This is totally and morally reprehensible and irresponsible.
At the same time, we are seeing growing pressure on women to breastfeed (the same with smears and childbirth), and cue the relentless pictures of earth mothers breastfeeding (while some covertly bully everyone else to do it). What better way for men to jump on the pressure bandwagon in the name of “baby”? Baby gets its “needs” (for the “greater good”) and they get their kicks, under the cover of doing the “right thing”. Win win.
I have very strong views about this. I am of the view that as long as you and your child are both content, safe and healthy, everyone else should just jog on (in the strongest possible terms). If you want to breastfeed, do so; if not, then so as long as you love and care adequately care for your child, it’s none of mine (or anyone else’s business). I hope I don’t offend anyone with my views.
Unfortunately, a lot of women don’t see the problems as they really are and are part of the problem.
The “you should breastfeed”, and you “should not have unnatural or pain free births” message is part of a weird endemic view of women on our society, and it is s view that underpins the screening programme. You know what else? I am often finding that it is a myth (and view) most often perpetuated by women FOR women.
I can’t stand the whole “you should breastfeed” and “you should do it uncovered”. Also, doctors and nurses try to guilt new mothers into it. In some hospitals, nurses bust (no pun intended) in the room with the baby and start making it latch to the mother (who already made it known that she wouldn’t breastfeed) while the mother is to drowsy to refuse. Thus, triggering her body to respond and make too much milk and then she has to breastfeed or be in pain.
Also, the media and society promote the idea that men should always try to marry the most beautiful woman possible. Breastfeeding damages the breast; formulas are just as good or better for the baby. Therefore, when a mother is forced to breastfeed, it sets a precedent for the husband to leave for a younger woman when her breasts are no longer attractive. It is the same when doctors cut the woman’s vagina during childbirth; it makes her uncomfortable for later intimacy with her husband and then he leaves making her a single mother.
It definitely seems that society really is bent on making women miserable and diminishing their powers, but making them think it’s for their own good.
Okayyy Moo….reread my long post. Meant to say I’m sickened and disgustedddd, not disgusting – no Freudian slips, here. It feels disgusting though to come across these pictures – still unexpectedly – while on the internet. I’m not used to how outrageous this world is, but I’m trying to put it in perspective. I am – disgusted – by this whole thing. It breaks my heart that women are being exposed in this way. Nudity. It’s not just for pornographic magazines anymore – it’s for women in any situation, including medical – even childbirth…and now this. That’s what breaks my heart.
In Canada women have the right to breastfeed wherever they want. Breastfeeding is not disgusting. That is your own opinion. Women even post up photos of themselves breastfeeding on the internet. Breastfeeding is natural, wholesome.
I do, however, would have an issue with someone taking a photo of a woman breastfeeding in public without her permission. So if some womem are concerned about that they might want to get some qualified legal advice. Otherwise people doing activities in places where privacy is expected, should get privacy such as changerooms, washrooms, medical facilities.
Sigh – Hi Moo:
I’m afraid your missing the whole point. Women with exposed breasts are being used for sexual purposes – regardless of what I think, what you think, what the mother thinks. Women who knowingly expose their breasts in this world of rape culture and exploitation of women add to the problem because they don’t have to do it exposed. We don’t live in the Garden of Eden. Women can’t walk down the street naked and expect nothing. Some can’t walk down the street clothed and expect nothing to happen. So whipping out breasts in public has nothing to do with anything. Okay. I didn’t say that breastfeeding is disgusting. I said that women exposing themselves with naked breasts in the middle of – wherever they happen to be – in an atmosphere where exploitation and nudity of women is all over the place- is wrong and disgusting. Why do women insist on being naked in public. Men stay fully clothed – they uncover when they feel like it. They have more respect for their bodies than women do. Too many women think they have to be naked any way possible or they are not worth it. This is the workings of men who encourage them. Breastfeeding – Nursing – in itself is not disgusting. Rather, it’s disgusting that they are knowingly exposing their breasts in a world that already exploits women – instead of covering them. In other words, they’re exploiting themselves. You mentioned that tents should be set up in public places for nursing women. That would just add to the spectacle of it, don’t you think? I’m walking by in they mall with my latest purchase and where a water fountain should be is a white tent with about 20 women with their breasts hanging out. Down the way children are sitting on Santa Claus’s lap or if it’s spring time – the Easter Bunny is hopping nearby. All women have to do is cover up. The generations before us so far haven’t been wrong as they covered it up.
When a woman deliberately nurses uncovered, they are inviting men to gawk – with no respect or concern for others. Pictures are optional -but you have to admit very common in a world with cell phone cameras and social media. So, women get their pictures taken whether they want to or not. Knowing this, these women are asking – begging to be exploited. This self-entitlement and “the hell with what others think attitude” is very much what is wrong with this world and not any particular country. You don’t see women of class and status – doing this, just common women with no self-respect or respect for others. I can go on, but I already have said what I can say. If you want to deny women are exploited and this is another way that they are, then there’s not much more that I can say to get you to understand. I’ve already posted several times to explain. If you live in a country – in a city or town where women aren’t exploited and raped – because of the exploitation, then that is good for you. The rest of the world isn’t that way. Check out the comments on internet articles and news stories regarding breastfeeding in public. The stories you’ll see are quickly shot down for being indecent with those pictures. You’ll see that I’m far from alone in my opinion. I guess we don’t have to agree on that., then. At least we agree on pelvics and paps.
They’re not giving in that easily.
It looks as though East African countries are already switching to self-testing right now.
Self-testing the norm in Kenya.
Kenya has a better screening methodology than we do?? How the wheel turns… :O
Why oh why does our NHS refuse the self test option if they want more women to have screening? Tracy hi! Reading your post brought back the memories for me, as you’re where I was 16 years ago. I walked out of my last smear. Test and vowed never again. And I’ve stuck to my guns.I never even realized back then just how crap the test was, I only found out last year when the “invitations” to screening started arriving again. By this time I’d decided I couldn’t xopw with any more letters(or phone calls) and took to Google where I was found on another site By Linda.
Penelope is right, I never realized until recently how bloody angry I am about the test and the system, but I don’t blame myself because I trusted the medical profession! More than once I’ve come on here and vented and felt better. Hope you can too. The level of support I’ve had on here has been amazing, a few times I’ve asked for advice on natural remedies for health problems and have always heard back with advice. Hope you heal and stay with us x
Thanks for your supportive words. GOOD NEWS! I went to the doctor armed with the article from Journal of Women’s Health I found on this website, and told her I just wanted my regular exam and blood work. She asked if I wanted reschedule a pelvic exam in a year or so, and I said, no, I never wanted to have another pelvic or pap again. She said FINE! .and that I had a very low chance of getting cervical cancer and that was that!!! Maybe the medical community is changing!
I think most doctors only “change” when they’re faced with an informed women, let’s face it, the dirty tactics and misinformation don’t work on informed women. In fact, doctors have to be careful with informed women, you can feel the power dynamic change in the consult room.
The system relies on our trust and ignorance, that’s why it was imperative to keep the evidence from women, and to deny choice and consent/informed consent. These programs wanted us to believe all women must have pap testing, to just accept this test would be part of your life. I once read, “pap testing should be viewed like brushing your teeth, you just do it, make it a habit, part of your routine”…
I’ve found medical attitudes change when they’re dealing with informed women, we may even get some honesty.
I hope I’m wrong but I suspect while targets and target payments remain the focus, not much will change for other women. I’m sure doctors and others have noticed some push back with this testing…this abusive program will collapse one woman at a time.
SO glad for you Tracy!
Sounds like your doctor is finally respecting you – and has found her soul. Just be sure to keep up some guard as she may backslide and “test” you – in the event she “forgot” your wishes. Just like Elizabeth and Katrehman said – the medical community is changing one woman at a time. Too slow for me – but change takes time. I’m glad there far fewer males in the profession also. Unfortunately they are finding their way into IVF clinics and urogynecology where they think they can’t be denied. That will hopefully change very soon also. Those procedures are more barbaric than any one pelvic or pap, but they figure women are so desperate that they’ll do anything. It takes strong informed women to expose their perversion and lies. YOU Tracy, are one of them. Please keep up with Sue’s site. Keep posting. I don’t thank her enough in this world still full of support for this barbaric, sham of a practice. IF these gyno’s are so concerned about women’s health – they will – as adawells has been pointing out for other countries – start offering self-testing kits. We shall see.
Hi Kat, I thought you might like this interesting article.
I wanted to share a new link I found with the site owner and other women who have been doing all this great work on the PAP test book.
It seems to be a link from a US-based company, offering a home HPV test for women and men: https://selfcollect.com/store/products/hpv-high-risk-virus?&mkwid=stkkCvNY9&pcrid=90829912116&pkw=%2Bhpv%20%2Btest&pmt=b&pdv=c&gclid=CK_4lvmtq84CFU1ahgod7DAEvw
What are your thoughts? Does this look legit? Would you advise women concerned about their HPV risk try it out?
The website does not have certain information about the company such as their physical address and phone number. That is a huge red flag to me. Also are they licensed by the FDA? So if you are sending them money then are you sure they are a legitimate company?
They claim privacy but have some statement about having to report certain infections according to state laws. So if you come positive with some infection do they give your name and address to the state health board?
If you get a positive HPV test then what are you going to do with that? Would you seek treatment or just retest after an interval of time? Most HPV infections go away after a few years.
There could be reasons why people might use these services because they are doing surrogate parenthood which they might want to keep quiet about. Surrogacy for payment is illegal in Canada. Plus sometimes people just want to keep their information out of the public registries.
His ada! Yes read with interest. It make you wonder how the generations before us managed to stay alive what with all the micro management and tests we require now according to doctors
Elizabeth I loved your comments the system will topple woman by woman we are really seeing that aren’t we? Screening figures are going down and more women are finding this site. .hope the programmes just keel over and die!
It’s been a long time. Saw your post – didn’t want to miss you. Thank you for your support.
You know – you’re right in that men get attacked in the medical office. Problem is they say nothing – or not enough. There is a website – haven’t seen it in ages though – Patient Medical Modesty – that has stories that men shared of being exposed and molested by women nurses and doctors. I notice that these are married gentleman of a certain age who expect modesty. There’s another site for husbands – where this guy – acting much like a troll, though, has waged war against female nurses and doctors indicating that they molest men. It happens to be on a site like ours that are against female pelvic exams and pap smears. He picked the wrong site there as there’s another guy who is equally on our side and they have this – two way battle going on. I haven’t seen it in a while as the site has is recently overcome with just their comments and it’s past ridiculous.
However off the hook that commenter may be – he has a kernel of truth. Men are expected to be studs – because they are portrayed that way in the media, movies, and tv. They act like that socially – to be ready anytime, anywhere to interact sexually with women. Men aren’t raped and exploited to the point women are. You may get me for this one, but women have better sense. They want a decent meaningful relationship – and marriage – and aren’t afraid to let men know. There are those that “take charge” of their sexuality and are aggressive – but you rarely hear of them raping men. Men – if they want meaningful relationships – aren’t that forthcoming….they have to like a woman for a lonnnnng time before they admit they care. We know that if they are too fast – then we know it’s just about sex. There were two stories recently about women on college campuses getting raped – and the good male coeds who stopped the rapes. Don’t hear or read too many about men getting jumped drunk in a bar by women. So probably after those stories were posted, a man was brought into an emergency room on the ground floor. Maybe two floors up another is getting prepped for surgery. Both handled by female nurses who may have seen those articles and now think nothing of exposing ad handling the men – because – after all – their minds have been seared to think men don’t care – and want women any way possible. However, that’s just it, though. You don’t hear of men reporting getting raped as they don’t want to ruin their image. Yes – men then need to start speaking up too – and forget about that image if they want change.
As for the campaigns, for men to get their sexual organs tested – you have to admit you don’t really see them. The one with the supposed German doctor is one in a sea of thousands of ads for breast cancer and pap and pelvic ads, literature, and internet posts. And as these ladies have stated – they get annual notices. I KNOW men don’t largely get those. You have to agree that male doctors don’t insist on examining their male patients genitals – it’s a man thing after all. The doctor doesn’t want anyone to touch his junk either. But then they will turn around and ask their female patients when was your last pap smear and insist they get one. Double standard for sure. People barely know that urologists exist. But we know all about ob/gyn clinics. Shameless.
Be Blessed, Alex. Thanks again.
Oh, yeah- it’s way higher with women. I just noticed it & thought “What is this? Trying to advertise Nazi-esque situations?” Seeing as it’s a German & all that with the Third Reich with their assorted tortures (whether they called it that or not).
The other thing is that it’s not just women toward men, it’s also male-on-male. I never got where the whole same-sex thing was brought up- if a nun were to molest a young girl or there was a situation with two guys in a prison cell, no one makes the point that it’s fine since they’re the same gender. What’s the idea? That they have the same type of anatomy so it’s the SAME anatomy? If a woman ran another woman over with her car, nobody’d bring up that they’re the same gender at all, never mind as some argument of innocence.
It doesn’t make sense on the level that “they don’t get turned-on by whatever it is,” either. It doesn’t make a difference to begin with- they might not get aroused or otherwise gratified by murdering someone, doesn’t mean it’s not what happens. Also, someone could always be attracted to someone of the same gender- definitely seems to be a massive public awareness of this fact, what with all the LGBT-rights type of discussions going on lately.
Hi again Alex – I hate posting the wrong thing. Embarrassing. That site is Medical Patient Modesty……not Patient Medical Modesty……
The other site if you wanted to take a look is Topix – How Husbands Feel About Male Gynecologists.
“Dr Anne Mackie wrote an article on the main PHE blog some time ago about informed choice that quickly became our most commented on and discussed blog. So it clearly hit a nerve!”
Hi Ada and ladies! Instead of reading the book, Ann Mackie would be better off actually acting on some of the points we raised and by bringing iin the self test option! Or by sending out questionnaires asking for service users(women) feel about screening. I’m guessing not much will change really though I hope I’m wrong! What do you other ladies think?
My comment to this blog is still awaiting moderation, as I’m sure many others are! I doubt they’ll publish it, but it’s always worth a try…
I think the pressure for self-testing is building, especially so since news of other countries offering self-testing is now on social media. It can only be a matter of time before women do their own thing and order self-testing. The problem is the incentive payments to GPs. That’s what keeps women under their thumb.
Adawells I wrote a scathing comment also awaiting moderation.I wrote it under the name” Maggie” because I don’t want my family member to be identified.
Kiwi I could hardly believe my eyes, when I found a reply from them on my phone today. They have actually set up a webpage on opting out of screening, and said it was in response to comments like mine and others. Perhaps they were deluged with complaints. I hope so.
Awesome! I love the comment about discussing questions and concerns with your GP or someone from the screening programme ha ha ha! It looks like things are moving in the right direction in the UK. Maybe women with damaged crevices are beginning to question whether what they had done was necessary. They are lucky my cervix wasn’t damaged because I would be pulling my medical notes etc. In NZ it is just being mentioned that LLETZ procedures can cause premature rupture of membranes etc. Most women have no idea and think the programme is wonderful. I am trying to post here wherever there are articles about the screening age being raised. The uninformed are complaining. There has been very little in the media so far though, which is surprising.
Nick waddall and Ann Mackie sorry! But also wish there was some way of re training doctors and nurses that screening is our choice
Ada snap I too received a reply as well earlier. I think mine said they were blogging again tomorrow?
Kiwi on the “invitation” to breast screening I got last year I was advised if I wanted help deciding whether to nuke my boobs or not(my sarcasm..) I was to please ask my GP! (Hollow laughter..like really what would they say lol)
Just received a revised e email PHE are blogging Friday
I see there is an article directed at Aussie doctors and nurses, “How to make a Pap test more comfortable”…sadly, I can’t link it,
As usual, they cover all sorts of things from warming the speculum to prescribing oestrogen cream for older women or putting a condom on the speculum (with the end removed)
Clearly, it would be better to offer HPV self testing, MUCH better – these considerations should only apply to the roughly 5% of women with a small chance of benefiting from a Pap test. (HPV+ and who choose to have a Pap test)
Instead we brutalize so many healthy women, so many women end up with bleeding, soreness, UTI etc. It says to me they have zero respect for women and couldn’t care less about our health.
What is the situation in Australia at the moment? Last January Susan Ley was going to bring in charging for pap smears, and there were the usual misinformed petitions taking off. The charges were supposed to be starting in July. Has this happened?
I understand the test is bulk billed so it’s “free” (hardly, we pay a hefty Medicare levy every year!)
IMO, this was a beat up, started by pathologists, creating a frenzy of concern to force the Govt to back down on a change – getting rid of financial incentives to encourage pathologists to bulk bill. Here’s an article that explains the situation.
We had all sorts of hysterical ravings, but IMO, it was a frenzy created by vested interests to protect their interests, nothing to do with the welfare of women.
“the Medicare rebate for the procedure has not been changed” and,
“Ms. Ley said claims relating to increased costs were false, adding that pathology corporations were using Medicare payments to cross-subsidise other business costs”
Thanks for this update. I think UK is closely watching how other countries make the change. These crazy, misinformed campaigners are preventing a sensible change to a much reduced HPV programme.
I attach a link to big paper from the wonderful Gerd Gigerenzer.
Hahahaha!! Er, sorry, what? They want to put a c0nd0m on the speculum?!! Crikey, these zealots are many loaves short of a picnic aren’t they. Got to laugh at it otherwise I’ll go mad. But these sort of tactics scream of sheer desperation to me. Maybe the ccs programme is in its early death throes (let’s hope so).
Elizabeth in NZ I have seen a pic of rose petals on the plinth and they advocate a darkened room to make it more acceptable to Maori women.
There has also been talk in the UK of how to make it more acceptable to BME women as well, who are apparently a very difficult to reach group because of cultural sensitivities – er, good luck with that. Other vulnerable groups – DV victims, victims of sexual offences and disabled women also appear to be a target. They seem to target these women by gently coalescing them into screening, no doubt by telling them it is in their best interests, it is for their own good and, although it is their “choice” (NOT), it is just “so important”. There was an article about a specialist clinic doing smears just for such victims reported in The Guardian – funded by taxpayers (of course).
Elizabeth I agree totally! In the UK they must spend silly money doing surveys how they can “empower” (brainwash) women’s into “accepting” their “invitations” to screening. They throw money at campaigns “my mum missed her smear test” and bombard us with “invitations” calls and threats. The cost and waste of time is truly scary. These are supposed to be educated medics! The scare campaign stop working so they try another scare campaign. A woman doesn’t respond to 10 invitations, let’s send another. Meanwhile women who dwxine screening are ridiculed , disrespected and told to suck it up, sometimes by other women!
I remember saying to Ann Mackie on the PHE blog, if the danger of cervical cancer is really so much why don’t they make a new teat and she fudged saying its all under review. Yeah RIGHT! If they gave a toss there would be self testing or blood testing or something more acceptable. You’re right they truly don’t Care.
“Empowerment”. The most overused patronising word that they use to describe anything a woman does these days (cause let’s face it, we can’t do anything on our own without being “empowered” these days). They even use it to describe women who get naked. I hate that bloody word.
Decline screening sorry I can’t type on my tablet!
New screening guidelines for Alberta for Canadian ladies.
Sorry I sent before typing. It suggests starting age is a choice and women may wish to start screening at age 30 if you click on the FAQ page.
Sounds bl00dy fantastic!! Despite their similar screening rates, I have always suspected that Canada’s enthusiasm for screening is based on misguided liberalism rathee than sinister patriarchy, as in the conservative areas of America.
I didn’t know where else to post. I’m driving myself insane here. I have myself convinced I have cervical cancer. The problem is that I have not had a pap smear. I was sexually abused as a child and just the thoughts of the exam terrifies me. Even going to the Dr. for any reason gives me anxiety. Lately I’ve had some bowl issues and was told it was ibs due to stress. I have some back/tailbone pressure and once when I touched my cervix I had some minor bleeding. I know if I am worried I should go but I just can’t. I keep flip flopping between “it’s rare” and “I’m dying of it.” Any help?
The problem here, sweetheart, is that doctors love their speculums too much and seem incapable of conducting any kind of exam or test without using one. They also seem to have this attitude that penetrating someone’s sexual organs against their will is perfectly acceptable as long as it’s for medical purposes. Bullshit.
Minor bleeding from the cervix when touched is far more likely to be due to inflammation or a cervical erosion than cancer. As scary as the name sounds, it’s a perfectly harmless hormonal condition which usually resolves on its own, and it’s incredibly common.
An exam may be appropriate in your case – an erosion can be seen quite clearly – but a pap test is not a good idea. It’s not a cancer test, it’s a very primitive and highly unreliable skin test. When they perform the test, they are simply scraping a particular area of the cervix to obtain a sample of skin cells. If your cervix is so sensitive right now that it bleeds when touched, a pap test is likely to do so much damage that the sample will be unusable. Even if a decent sample can be obtained, it’s likely to be classed as ‘abnormal’ due to the hormonal changes which will lead to a lot of unnecessary medical procedures.
If I were in your shoes, I would ask for a visual inspection – no prodding, poking and scraping. I would insist on them using the smallest size speculum and absolutely refuse a pap test. If the doctor refuses to accommodate my needs then I go elsewhere. Whether you pay for their services via taxes or insurance, THEY should be providing the service that YOU require. I’m sick of the so-called ‘caring profession’ trying to push me into things I neither want or need just so that they can make a few extra bucks or hit government targets.
I’m speaking from experience here – I had an erosion when I was young and meekly allowed doctors to do whatever they wanted to me, and I’ve had nothing but problems since. If I knew then what I know now, I would have left the office after the erosion was diagnosed and never allowed these butchers access to my private parts again.
I wouldn’t say that I just touched it and it bled. I did feel around it a fair bit and some blood came out. Not enough to stain my panties but when I wiped there was some pink on the toilet paper. It’s not just the Pap test it is having a dr down there at all. No matter the speculum size or if they touch me or just look. I honestly cannot imagine it… I’m just so anxious right now…
Hi worried, sorry if I came across a bit flippant – I do appreciate how you feel, I really do. I’ve never been subjected to sexual abuse but I always felt repulsed by the idea of having a stranger examining my private parts, and I never bought the ‘they’re professionals, they see it every day’ garbage. And after what the so-called caring profession has done to me over the years, I am both disgusted and furious about how medicine abuses women under the guise of healthcare.
I was just a little bothered by your initial line about having not had a pap test. Evidence shows that pap testing women under the age of 30 is of little benefit and does a great deal of damage, so it’s not a bad thing that you’ve not caved in to the brainwashing.
Now you’ve explained the situation, I don’t think there’s any need to worry – these things do happen! When I had my erosion it would bleed at the drop of a hat without any contact.
Come to think of it, if you had decided to visit a doctor for an exam, they probably would have tried to force you into having a pap test anyway, because, ya know, being female is dangerous and our lady parts are always trying to kill us so we need constant medical surveillance to ensure we’re not about to drop dead. It’s a miracle the human race
ever survived before gynaecology was invented!
So yes, if you’re concerned about your risk then HPV testing is the way to go. Personally I would rather order a kit online than rely on the NHS – I don’t trust the system anymore.
I don’t know your age, but if you’re worried about cc and you’re 30 or over, you could do a HPV self-test, if you’re HPV- (like most women) you can forget about cc and pap tests. If you’re getting lower back pain and were told you have IBS, you could get some advice about that…they’d probably try you on a special diet. If that doesn’t work, then you might need to take a closer look at your symptoms. Also, how long have you been symptomatic? I always give my body time to sort itself out and it’s almost always the case…just as I’m about to make an appt with my doctor…it’s gone.
I am 30 and have considered the self-hpv test. I am in canada. I had some symptoms of ibs that started in November and came back in March when I went to the dr about it. I was told it was ibs and given antispasmodic meds that worked and things went back to normal. The pain has been around for a week or so and when I felt around my cervix and had some pink on the paper was about 2 weeks ago. I bled after sex twice in my life and can, without too many details, I know the reasons why. I have however always had some lower back pain as far back as early high school… Thanks for your reply.
It appears that a self testing kit is coming to Canada this year. Right now I feel like that is my best option. I’m not going to let myself die but given the rarity of cc and the rate of over testing and over treatment with the trauma it will cause I feel comfortable right now waiting for that to come out. Thanks once again
I know it’s a bit late in the day to be messaging you, but what you describe actually sounds very common (particularly in your age group).
It could even be hormonal changes or changes caused by BC or even tampons. If so, it is likely to clear for you relatively soon (I’m a bit of a tomboy so don’t normally discuss my own issues but I will reveal I’ve experienced what you describe on a number of occasions, which was probably due to hormones, and it cleared).
Also, you’d never have thought it but some things completely unaffiliated to reproductive organs can cause problems. Some women get excessive thrush for example due to excessive blood sugar levels, and so is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
I don’t know if you’ve seen anyone for it. If you do plan on doing that, could you take someone with you (maybe an assertive older person?), and follow Kate’s advice. Insist on visual inspection only.
Alternatively, if you haven’t been yet, keep an eye on it (but don’t stress yourself out!) and take good care of yourself.
Hopefully, as I said, it should clear up for you soon. Lots of love xx
“Moving beyond disrespect and abuse: addressing the structural dimensions of obstetric violence”
6th item down on list on open access.
Definition of obstetric violence:
“The appropriation of women’s body and reproductive processes by health personnel, which is expressed by a dehumanising treatment, an abuse of medicalisation and pathologisation of natural processes, resulting in a loss of autonomy and ability to decide freely about their bodies and sexuality, negatively impacting their quality of life.”
Just about sums up gynaecological violence too.
Following a strange few months, I’m back from my hiatus!
I hope you are all well 🙂
I was wondering whether any of you would be interested in commenting on this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3792463/Why-NEVER-miss-smear-test-Cervical-screening-saves-2-000-lives-year.html#reader-comments
The culture shift is changing but a lot of women are still not getting the bleedin’ message about informed consent – or consent at all. So infuriating.
Also, did I read right that the screening rates in Scotland are now approaching below 70%??
Hang on while I crack open the champagne bottle?!!! 😀
I just find it so annoying that doctors try to pretend that women don’t have hymens. I had one experience where the doctor knew that I was a vírgin but still told the ultrasound tech to feel free to do a transvaginal ultrasound if she couldn’t see anything with the abdominal ultrasound. So, basically she should feel free to rape me??? I have explained time and time again that I am a virgin in every sense of the word and have never even used tampons or douched.
The second experience was my doctor that I trusted pretending that he had never heard of pelvic exams damaging a hymen or affecting someone’s ability to wait until marriage and now he keeps asking if I want one saying “I’m just trying to keep you alive”.
I feel very upset because not wearing tampons for all of those years is miserable; pads itch!!! And I did it all to make sure that my husband sees and touches me first and I want him to know that he’s first. Why do doctors try to pretend that’s not important? At this point, I’m afraid to ever have to be hospitalized because I’m afraid of someone forcing the exam on me.
Welcome to our site.
I was thinking about what you wrote. You definitely deserve to be commended in this day and age to want to be so very serious about your virginity. You have my great respect. So many women do not consider their virginity. TV and movies unfortunately have shaped their minds to think it’s nothing to give themselves up to a guy. They figure something is wrong with them if they don’t have sex by the time they are out of high school or before they graduate college. This doesn’t count the women who are raped and molested – they had no say in the matter. Hopefully they recover their self worth and respect and feel as worthy as a woman who isn’t promiscuous; worthy to be married to a good man, also (and promiscuous women were likely raped and molested, too – it’s what brought down their self esteem in the first place…..) .
Yours is the first post to make me consider the fact that gyno’s don’t have much respect or concern for virgins – women and girls. It’s something to consider indeed. They’re so wrapped in the fact that “they’ve seen it all” that they forgot that the women and teens that come into their offices are not commodities. They are living and breathing females – ladies of all ages.They forget that they deserve – RESPECT and CHOICE. It’s particularly galling for the male gynos that still exist. This sham of a profession has been a boys club for sure. I believe that they not so secretly like thinking they are “the first” for a lot of teens whose sheeple moms dragged them in their offices and for virginal women. They must think that no matter who is the first man to actually penetrate them, the doctor himself is their actual first doing the transvaginals (they put condoms and lube on those things!), bimanuals, and rectovaginal exams (all useless – ACOP says so). They can’t be further from the truth. I think they secretly love pregnant teens are who are young, nubile, shapely. In the delivery room they are very compliant.They spread their toned legs to the male doctor who must think he’s dreaming. Their moms are still so torn between their child having a child and their eagerness for the grandchild they overlook all the unnecessary cervical checks. (I recently read a nurses’ website article on male nurses. Whoever wrote that trash that they shouldn’t be afraid that they won’t be able to be in the delivery room and do cervical checks is a disgrace.) Of course these doctors can’t say a mumbling word, but they must like the pleasure and power to have young women who come in to their offices at their will – or why would they remain in the profession for decades – beyond the retirement age for most professionals.
Good for you, LeaveUsAlone. Keep on fighting. Don’t allow yourself to feel like it’s a fight or you may feel like giving up as this tide hasn’t ended yet. Rather, treat it as your normal right to refuse – and be just as casual when you give your doctor the what-for when they ask about your last pap smear. Don’t engage – say what you will – the more you let them know you’re informed, the more they will be astonished (the doctor may not show it though, chalk it up to built in arrogance…..). Listen politely, then smile and tune them out. Even if they keep on asking – YOU have the upper hand.
LeaveUsAlone: I’m very late replying, but there are a couple of obvious and not-so-nice reasons that doctors kind of dismiss the existence of hymens or appear to have the notion that their tinkering-around down there doesn’t change her virginity status.
It’s a combination of a version of the old practice of Droit de Signeur (Right of the Lord). Specifically, it was the right of any (medaeval Lord to have sex with any bride on her wedding night – so HE would be her first, kind of shoving that in the face of her new husband. It was an act of humiliation on a class basis. So it today – except rather than a title of nobility, it is a title of “doctor”.
This is not about sex. It is about power. It is about keeping people submissive and in line.
Then there’s the notion of gaslighting. While girls are cautioned against heavy lifting or strenuous activity as well as using tampons or (horrors!) masturbating by putting anything inside as this may damage her hymen, they insist that their speculums which are significantly bigger than any penis will most certainly NOT damage a hymen.
I know this site is for women but as a loving husband I had to speak up. My wife in her mid 20s was told she needed a cone biopsy after a bad pap. I was a paramedic at the time and did not think that sounded right. After fighting to get her records from her colposcopy exam I was right all the biopsy’s had come back clean the Dr had stamped the copy’s of her records MAY NOT BE USED FOR SECOND OPINION. After that it was a few years between Pap’s but in her mid 30s she had another bad one went to a female Dr who convinced her she needed a LEEP done to take care of the bad pap and also needed a saline induced transvaginal ultrasound because she felt the uterus was thick and large she was wrong about the pelvic and the biopsy’s came back good. Again it was several years before she went back to a GYN he removed a polyp did a pap all good same thing the next year all clear. We thought the worst was behind us until the last 3 1/2 years
she has had 2 good paps but two different Dr one GP and one Gyn have said her uterus was thick and enlarged so she has had 2 ultrasound 1 vaginal ultrasound and 1 endrometrial biopsy guess what they were wrong it all came back fine and her uterus was not thick or enlarged it was normal and his reason for the biopsy he thought he felt something. Thank god I found this web site as she will NEVER let them do another Pelvic again unless she having pelvic pain or bleeding. I think the worst part was the male Gyn saying I thought I felt something I can’t believe there wasn’t anything I was ready to order you a D/C but there’s no need now see you next year WRONG. Men and women need to step up put pressure on the Dr and stop this abuse of women young and old.
Thanks, Penelope for your kind words.
Bill, you’re right. My wake up call was when I spent almost a year trying to find a GYN that would do a consultation and abdominal ultrasound because they all wanted me to get a pap as soon as I walked in without knowing why I was there. The ultrasound came back clear, but the dr turned around after reading my results and still asked if I wanted a pap. There was no need for one as the ultrasound showed that there was no problem.
The next year, I had another ultrasound and the doctor quickly read my results and started to run out of the room claiming that he had another patient that needed immediate attention. He then stopped and said “if you let me give you a pap, I can stay for that.,, after all, you’re here and I might as well look since you’re here”. That was very creepy coming from an old man after he just told me that all of my pelvic organs looked fine on the ultrasound.
This is really a form of sexual assault. There is nothing medical about it when there are ultrasounds, MRI, and CT scans that give much better information than a horny dr penetrating a woman could ever give.
You’re welcome, LeaveUsAlone:
Excuse me if I may but, EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!
There, got it out…….
That doctor said he’d stay if you let him do a pap smear. EWWWWWWWWWWW!!! Sorry about that. My creep meter just went beserk. Yes, yes, LeaveUSAlone; it is not a form of sexual assault, it is INDEED legal medical sexual assault. He must’ve seen so many gullible women that he thinks nothings of saying that. He must be convinced that you’re really dumb and brainwashed – perhaps by other gyns or even your mother and older female relatives whom he thinks have gotten pelvics done for decades. However, he knows that you know something, so it wouldn’t hurt to try again before he goes on to another woman whom he believes is gullible. Otherwise, why rush off to her figuring that he couldn’t get anything else out of you. Please tell me that he was a fill-in and that you won’t have to encounter him again.
I am glad that you insisted on the abdominal. A famous gyn once said that the transvaginal puts eyes on the pelvic. That is-really a load of horse manure. She’s evidently, conveniently overlooked and forgotten about the abdominal. There are women who have even allowed themselves to have live pelvics on tv as well on the internet. These self -important women are no better than the medical models I was mentioning – believing that they are doing some good for all women by allowing themselves to be penetrated in front of an audience. EWWWWWW again! They’re medical prostitutes. I hope they are in a room full of supportive friends when they realize that what they did was sanctioned TV porno. Because it’s in a medical setting doesn’t discount the fact that the audience knows they’re naked under the drape and that the gyn is penetrating them. It was a female gyn. Guess they convinced themselves that it must be okay to have a female do it – likely wouldn’t have aired if it were a male gyn – that makes it too obvious that it’s sexual in nature. These women believed that by doing that on live tv that women will run and line up in the gyns’ offices to get it done. Sad. Very sad.
I could go on and on about how the media manipulates women into all forms of nudity and sexual exploitation. Not just the obvious porno, but also the deceptively innocuous ads for skin care products, childbirth shows, so-called women’s self empowerment articles that have pictures of women in strategically naked positions (?!); perpetual and casual references to vaginas all day, etc. It’s so obvious because men aren’t exploited; the word penis isn’t thrown around in countless articles; erectile dysfunction is the proper term and not penis malfunction. Men aren’t told to go nude to not be “ashamed” of their bodies; that it’s for art; science, medicine, or to make a movie great. Only legions of gullible women have fallen for that. It’s completely a man’s decision which is why it’s so rare and strategic. But, you already know and I don’t want to take away from your post.
I just want to say “You’re welcome” and please keep up the good fight. So glad you don’t give in to gyns’ and from the looks of things, you won’t. You know what you have is special and you protect it as if it’s gold. You are a revelation. Please Keep Posting! Let us know when you find your happiness and are getting married. I believe our site will be around for whenever you make your announcement. I hope we can celebrate with you!
I am actually working on a documentary about this very subject: At Your Cervix, exposing the unethical ways of teaching pelvic exams to medical students & the revolutionary methods to make them respectful & pain-free. Our website is http://www.atyourcervixmovie.com.
Sue, we’d love to speak with you more about the project. Seems we are quite in sync!
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The nerve. This documentary reeks of shill. Clearly she did not take the time to read a lot of the information available on FWO. Cool, her documentary states the obvious. But totally missed the mark on acceptable solutions. Still preaching that pap scrapes are important. Nothing or no one would ever make a pelvic/ pap not feel violating, I don’t care how empowering or pleasant the person doing it is. Not too sure how many donations you’ll get around here…
You call yourselves activists and feminists and claim to be speaking for womankind, when, in fact, you promote the same patronising control over womens bodies as that pushed by doctors during the 1970’s and 1980″s. This test condemns women to unnecessary “treatments”, abuse and hysterectomies. There’s nothing liberating or empowering about this 1920’s procedure, which should no longer be routinely forced upon women.
The film would be empowering if they mentioned routine pelvic exams are not recommended, this exam should not be a major feature in our lives but confined to symptomatic women who might benefit from the exam. The Pap test should only be offered to about 5% of women aged 30 to 60 who test hpv+
HPV testing can be carried out by the woman, if she so chooses.
STI testing does not require a pelvic exam
A script for the Pill does not require a pelvic exam or for HRT
Most pelvic exams during pregnancy and childbirth are unnecessary
So MOST pelvic exams should not be happening….
What do I find empowering? Having the knowledge to make an informed decision about Pap testing, pelvic/breast exams and mammograms. It’s a NO from me…now that’s empowering, my body, my health, my legal right, my decision.
To suggest a speculum is empowering is bizarre…it should be nothing more than an instrument used when absolutely necessary, instead, IMO, it’s been horribly overused as an instrument of abuse.
I’ve heard this argument before…that we should embrace the exam, overcome embarrassment etc. IMO, it was a tactic to knock out the natural and normal feelings women have about the exam…for many women the exam IS an ordeal…humiliating, violating, etc. etc.
It’s time we stopped telling women how they “should” feel or how they can cope with these feelings and started listening to women for a change…and respected and accepted their feelings without judgement.
Biggest issue is being pushed into the tests in Prime care docs office Is getting in the stirus twice due to they are not qualified to judge your health but want the money for the lower paid nurse to do the tests. The real gyn cant charge for no tests. Worst thing happen to me is sexually abused by lesbian nurse in prime care office. I went to my dr office for physical intending to skip a pap smear again. But being pushed I agreed under duress since the nurse saw it was overdue 6yrs. I have always had overwhelming negative emotional effects and even more so afterward lasting days – weeks depending on the events. I know that the anguish and emotions instigated are effects called transferance and is due to unresolved past sexual traumas. The hopelessness is due to the feeling that I will forever be submiting or saying yes while feeling NO it sets up the same emotional responsive mode as felt during sex abuse situations. I was hoping the tests could go quick and i knew my body wont agree so it would hurt. I appologized and explained (no details) that it was not about her but I have a hard time with women touching me due to past abuse from both genders and i have anxiety and still afraid. That must have been why she next decided to treat me in a sexual manner throughout the exam. Finally I felt like puking on her. She had turned the entire exam sexual but it took me a while to realize this since just seeing that it was not the same as other times i just had not caught on until she was caresssing my calves up/down and then my inner thighs saying “down, down, down” then I stopped her after touching my “Button” with her fist? I still thinking she was a straight women trying to help me. I felt bad that I was sick about it instead my body clamped shut and she couldnt get the device inside. I made her stop. When I got home my body felt raped I felt very violated. That night on the web I had trying to leave a review that was very vague but to warn others also to see if anyone else replies that the same thing happend to them. I did say she tried to get me to relax but didnt mention sexual behavior. My review didnt show up. But next I saw on the web she is a lesbian since a webpage showed up with photos and its clear and obvious that she is. I wish I got a chance to know that ahead. I feel i have a right to know that. We do all have a right to choose who we are comfortable with. That exam is a very wrong possition to have any woman in if expecting them to respond favorably to a sexual act. This was a sick idea and a sick possition to be in if approached sexually. I cant believe she would be that stupid. Many women favor another women NOT ME, NOT NOW, OR EVER! I want to know about the sexuality of the person with their fingers in my body. Asking gender is not enough now must ask about their sexuality. We have a right to know and decide if we are comforable with a lesbian doing that gyn exam. NO straight women would do that to me but No professional would either.
I am so sorry, Mia. This is also one reason that, even after marriage, I will be reluctant to get the exam. A lot of women in the profession do mentally identify as men, which is likely the reason that they enter the profession.
I almost had a similar experience, but I quickly realized what was going on. I had a severe respiratory infection and I was seen by a nurse practitioner. She obviously identified as male, which at first, I didn’t really care about.
She did some weird things, like kept pressing my stomach and under my breasts during the respiratory exam. Finally, she had a wild look in her eye and asked “when was your last pap?” I said “I don’t do those until after marriage”. She then called me “asexual”. I said, “I’m simply waiting for marriage and that’s all”. She then tried to actually convince me that my respiratory infection could be caused by cervical cancer and that cervical cancer comes out of nowhere, with no connection to HPV or sexual activity.
I didn’t fall for it, because I studied to go to medical school for years and changed my mind at the last minute. I declined the exam. She said that she was making an appointment anyway.
When I didn’t show up, she harassed me with letters, phone calls, and voicemails for two months saying that my life was in danger, I could have serious reproductive illnesses, etc. This male identifying woman was very desperate to see and penetrate my virgin private parts and she had become obsessed with the idea of touching a virgin. It was as if I were her only patient because she had so much time on her hands to harass me!
I definitely think that sexuality needs to be known to the patient when she is considering an exam (if symptomatic). I have no doubt that this woman would have raped me because she was already acting inappropriately during the simple respiratory exam!
This is a few years old. This company mandated breast exams and pap smears for all women or else they couldn’t work there. However, the men were only told to consider prostate exams after fifty and no colonoscopies “because those are invasive”.
Excuse me? So a colonoscopy is more invasive than an exam that requires women to be naked while a male doctor performs sexual acts? No, colonoscopies require MEN to be naked too. They can’t have that.
Women, especially those of child bearing age, are easier to bully with coercion of cancer scare. At doctors practice its all about profit and at least a steady income flow since patients like most men that only go to a Dr. when sick don’t guarantee a steady income and this is NOT a way to pay their bills. Men can NOT be bullied like women. SAD is that is other females (technically female) who take the stance “let me exploit you now since its been a mans world for so long” its these types who identify with males and out number male gyno docs. This type of female misidentifies with other women since truly female equates to victim usually when its about un-consensual sexual acts which is truly what the exams feel like to patients with a history of sexual abuse and trauma and that describes a large amt of women maybe those nonhetero docs so they chose to be on other side of fence.
As a female with a healthy reproductive system Ive been bullied for decades into exams that take a toll on a patient with history of sexual trauma and abuse like me. I can say I am not a rarity. Dr offices have a lower paid nurse do these exams and even a doc has difficulty with the pelvic exam and its ancient outdated by today’s technology. The doc offices depend on a steady cash flow from their healthy patients and use coercion of cancer scare since bullying is an acceptable practice. BUT not all exams are necessary and as often as have been being performed, due to the growth of certain types of cancer (eg. Breast cancer SLOOOW growing) and today’s technology is better for detection than say the Bi-Manual Pelvic exam that is found useless for healthy women yet is emotionally painful to sexual abuse survivors. These exams done every year have been known to be overkill for decades yet it has taken a bad economy to exposed it. Bully tactics and Cancer scare is controlling patients into compliance for yearly exams. Dr. Offices everywhere benefit from having Less patients who are healthy keeping unnecessary visits to being the opposite as seen with most men -only go to doctor when sick – since that would be a very unpredictable and unstable income. I wont go to a gyn doc unless also delivers babies. I discovered the majority of female gyn doc I met were lesbian or NOT hetero and I am leery of their intention since also being lied to by a gyn doc who only did surgery. I have learned that women in my age group who are not hetero prey on other women and find the healthcare system perfect guise for gettting their frustrations out.
Just found out on Saturday my aunt went to ER thinking she had appendicitis only to find out she has stage 3 ovarian cancer that, as of today, is also in her colon. It’s terminal. I’m absolutely numb. She just turned 39 in April, she’s the baby. I’m scheduling a complete hysterectomy (and possibly double mastectomy) when I return from it all. I’d rather go through the bullshit “required” gyn tests so I can get a hyst rather than go through this. She looks horrendous and she’s alone (no kids or husband).
Very sorry to hear about your aunt, it’s hard to understand and accept how someone so young can be struck down with a terminal illness. A family friend was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer at just 42, she has 2 young children, it took a while to diagnose because no one really suspects stomach cancer in someone young, active and otherwise healthy.
Her prognosis is not good so they’re overseas at the moment, enjoying time together.
I assume you’re scheduling a hysterectomy and mastectomies to prevent various cancers, I’d take some time with the decision, it shouldn’t be a decision made in haste or out of fear and shock. Also, you might find it difficult to find someone prepared to do the surgery, unless you have a much higher risk of getting these cancers. Even then, make sure you understand the odds, so often they’re overstated and misleading.
Removing healthy breasts, uterus, ovaries “just in case” is a serious step – also, it can cause other health issues – early menopause, the need for HRT, the risk of surgery etc.
It also doesn’t stop you getting other cancers or illnesses, bowel cancer is more likely than uterine and ovarian cancer, much more likely.
Anyway, my thoughts are with you, look after yourself and take some time, let your emotions settle, I know how I felt when my late SIL was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer…shock, disbelief, anger, grief, anxiety, fear – it’s a difficult time.
Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for the info and kind words. Unfortunately, this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. I’ve thought about it for almost a decade. The only reason I hadn’t done it sooner was the hope that I’d be able to have a kid. My aunt’s cancer is the 8th non-breast gyn family cancer in under 10 years. I also have endometriosis and large ovarian cysts (the last one to burst was 4 months ago), so they’re definitely not healthy organs. I’m done with pregnancy, especially taking into consideration my kid’s birth conditions. I’m also already in pre-menopause (at 27!). My cycles are 28-42 days and extremely heavy, but I can’t take birth control due to my kidney condition. The earliest the dr can see me is March, so I have until then to fully decide, but I’m 100% sure of my decision. The benefits far outweigh the risks, and I don’t plan on doing HRT. Considering there’s only been 1 case of breast cancer (85 year old great grandmother), I don’t plan on getting any mastectomies. I’ve looked at all alternatives, but I can’t see any other option. Thank you again. If you can think of any alternatives, I’d love to look into them.
I’m sorry to hear about your aunt’s condition.
I understand the fear of ovarian cancer and I fear it as well. However, do not allow the doctors to use this fear to push you into irrational tests. Keep in mind that pelvic exams cannot detect ovarian cancer and many women die of ovarian cancers after years of pelvic exams due to being mislead.
If you chose to have a hysterectomy, it can still be done without a pelvic exam. Doctors can use ultrasounds and ct scans to do the procedure. Yet, unless you stand up for this, they will not tell you. Please do not let them use your fear to misguide you for their s*xual pleasures. When I was your age, doctors constantly lied to try to get into my pants and they still do.
Sorry to hear about this. It’s horrible to hear. I just want to ask have you had genetic testing to see if you are at risk for ovarian cancer? I don’t know if I would consider it if I didn’t carry the faulty genes. Also, have you had a blood test (FSH test) to see if you are in perimenopause as usually periods get closer together when you are in perimenopause, not further apart. And if they are very heavy perhaps consider locally administered progesterone like the Mirena. I am have not heard that having kidney issues would preclude you to using the pill. I only thought it was an issue if people had liver problems as the liver has to process it.
Hi Mary! As far as I know, I do not have BRCA, but my past OBGYNs never bothered to do anything that would tell us what’s wrong (BRCA, laparoscopy to even confirm endometriosis and cysts, etc). Also, studies say BRCA is only related to up to 40% of ovarian cancers, some articles say 15-20%. Hormonal contraception definitely cause kidney issues; getting a hold of the full info sheet shows it causes kidney stones, benign and cancerous tumors, decreased GFR, and other kidney issues. In my experience, my GFR dropped to 45. My FSH and other hormones say I’m definitely starting menopause, midwife said some women have closer cycles while others have longer cycles. Most of the time, I’m NOT ovulating so my periods are the result of the uterus lining getting too heavy and simply forcing it to shed. I’ve looked into every option and feel this is the best one. I’m done having kids, I don’t want to risk the family history of cancer. Out they come
OIA – Please please look at this before you agree to a hysterectomy on facts
Then the4 video http://www.hersfoundation.com/anatomy/
My 65 year old friend had the hysterectomy and thereafter 3 more operations to repair the damage they caused and a prolapse of the bladder, a hysterectomy is a very serious complex procedure, nothing simple about this op at all. Take care.
No problem Over it all. I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I also forgot to say there is the drug tranexamic acid which is supposed to cut blood flow dramatically. I just want you to be really sure about a hysterectomy because my mother had one for heavy periods and it created lots of new problems like incontinence, and vaginal prolapse which have never been resolved. So it was not a good decision in the end because she fixed a temporary problem but in return got permanent problems. She had further surgery to fix the prolapse but it didn’t work at all.
“In recent years, an increasing number of studies have shown long-term adverse effects of hysterectomy on the pelvic floor and some studies have demonstrated unwanted effects on other health aspects. Long-term effects of hysterectomy on the pelvic floor that should be considered in surgical decision-making are: pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, bowel dysfunction, sexual function and pelvic organ fistula formation. These outcomes are particularly relevant as life expectancy has increased and sequela may occur a long time after the surgical procedure and severely impair quality of life.”
I agree, Mary, it’s a big decision.
Overitall, all the best, sounds like you’re taken your time with the decision, thought long and hard, and the decision has come from an informed place. That’s the best any of us can do…
One point that might be of interest: a woman (online) with a strong family history of ovarian cancer had her ovaries removed but left the uterus in place, she didn’t have prolapse or incontinence issues. Her specialist had advised leaving the uterus in place to reduce the risk of incontinence and prolapse.
Uterine cancer has a better prognosis, it’s usually diagnosed when women are symptomatic, usually bleeding after menopause (it’s mainly older women who get uterine cancer)
Unlike ovarian cancer, it has a reasonably good prognosis, usually treated while confined to the uterus.
I’ve spent 20 minutes looking for her posts, but can’t find them, thought it might help to “chat” to someone who was in the same position, from memory, her sister and mother both died from ovarian cancer before 60, not sure if the BRCA gene was a factor in her case.
It’s a fairly rare cancer so it would be unusual to have multiple members of the family with ovarian cancer unless there was a BRCA issue.
Also forgot to point out that a hysterectomy as you know, removes all the organs that are in fact holding your body in place, I have seen many women who have reduced in height and their breasts have dropped towards the gut. The bones no longer have those organs to keep them in place, absolutely awful for the women.
A reduction of height and sagging breasts are a result of aging, not hysterectomies. Both men and women can shrink as they age. Bones are not held in place by organs, but by ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
It’s Christmas Eve, Everyone:
Christmas is nearly here and the new year is upon us. We’re such good warriors against this scourge, fighting all year-long, that we now deserve a rest this holiday season. Let’s stay on the alert for those who need our help on our site. However, let’s try to relax. This has been an incredible year with uncredible moments. I don’t know about everyone else, but I want to just put my problems aside for the holiday, however brief the respite. Hopefully, we can find moments of peace at this time, away from all our concerns that would disturb our Christmas peace
Merry Christmas, Everyone, and Have a Blessed and Happy New Year!
Am I being censored? I seriously need help. What do you say to the doc when they won’t prescribe BC without a pap, because it is “the standard of care”. Common Laddies I need help!
I found out I can complain to AMA, but I’m feeling like it’s not gonna get me anywhere
If I get pregnant again and miscarry (Do to my chronic ITP), or deal with a high risk pregnacy, I’m going to be furious! And probably worried and scared.
I have been researching my butt off and I feel like my condition will be the death of me. I can’t find anything specific that says pap scrape is “standard of care” to receive BC.
You could contact Dr Bob Hatcher, on his website a woman posted a comment about coercion, the pill and Pap testing. He agreed the Pill was unnecessary and even offered to contact her doctor. Or, you could send his article to your doctor, make clear you won’t be having a Pap test and ask whether that means you’ll be denied the pill. If you stand firm, hopefully, you’ll get the pill.
I assume you can’t order it online…or travel to California or Oregan where you can buy the Pill over the counter from a pharmacist.
All the best
Did you see my reply on your other post? I suggested trying Planned Parenthood. Explain your situation, and do so in a calm, well-thought out manner. Last time I went to get birth control, I was “overdue” on my pap but they didn’t seem to care. I think they took my blood pressure, updated my health history, and gave me a three month supply of pills before sending me on my way.
It may be worth pointing out the obvious: doctors do not care about the results of the pap smear. They care only about doing it. If they cared about the results, or if the results were relevant to obtaining birth control, they would wait for the results to come in before giving you the pills. This isn’t the case–as soon as you submit to the pap, they’ll write the prescription.
Some women might try printing this out and giving it to the annoying receptionist, practcial nurse or doctor who insists that an exam with a pap test is required for continuing hormal birth control prescriptions. Leave them around the waiting room.
I often hear that women can get only three months supply and then they are required to come back in and pressured for an exam. So how many practioners are being truthful when they say the stats are around one third say they require it.
Please petition politicians to make birth control more availabe at a pharmacy without a prescription. However then would it still be covered by most insurance? That might be part of the debate.
My boyfriends doctor insists on writing him a script for prilosect (heartburn medicine) so he doesn’t have to pay the OTC price. That one is actually a little pricey. When I was pregnant with my first I took iron so doctor prescribed colace so I paid four dollars less with it being prescribed.. Whoopdy doo. So it has nothing to do with OTC making it more expensive for the well insured. Doctors know what they’re doing.
Thank you ladies. Yes, I seen the reply AS, and Elizabeth, thank you for the resource.
I work nights as a custodian for a private college, so my insurance is very good. But I pay a lot for it out of every pay check. I just can’t see paying out of pocket or going to a different state to get birth control, when I shell out money and work really hard to afford good insurance. Any other prescription I need is covered and so is the pill, but they only want to give it to you at the expense of a pap.
Throughout all my research and digging around, I think I came across you, Elizabeth, writing comments on other articles. Some as far back as 2010. If that was you, thank you!
There is something that’s REALLY bothering me and I want somebody like minded whom I could talk to. I’m 25 years old and never had a pelvic exam. I was supposed to have had my first at no later than 21. I really do not at all want one at this time. I have all these people in my life pestering me about it. The main reason why I don’t want this exam is because I’m a virgin -and honestly, this also really bothers me as well because I’m very frustrated sexually and in the mood every waking moment of my life. But that’s another story for a different time. Being somebody who had never done anything at all sexual yet, the idea of having a mere stranger put their fingers and cold creepy tools inside me creeps me out like you wouldn’t believe. I was always taught that those were “private parts” so, I find the idea of somebody looking at them very mortifying. I really don’t want a boyfriend or husband, just a friend with benefits; I may never want a relationship, I’m just curious about sex and want to experience these things and explore my sexuality. Yes, he may just be a “friend”, but this friend would be somebody I actually like and somebody I’m comfortable with. Somebody of my own choosing. And unlike a gyno, I won’t be lying there all vulnerable and helpless as my fwb plays around with my private parts; The fact that I’d be touching him as well, for mutual pleasure, makes me feel better. The idea of a doctor’s fingers in me makes me physically ill. I want my future fwb to be the first fingers inside me! I want him to be the first to touch my breasts, also. I was told that losing your virginity and a pelvic exam are completely different, and I understand what they are saying. But for me, the feeling is all the same. I want him to be the first to explore this area. When I think of a doctor playing around with my virginal vagina that’s yet to be seen by a sexual partner, I big time freak out! I start crying, shaking, screaming, sometimes I feel too sick to eat. I’m really not worried about the exam causing physical pain. I’ve been playing with vibrators and dildos on a regular basis for the last six years, so I’m already stretched out enough! I think you already figured out what I’m afraid of! I would feel a lot more comfortable having this “much needed” “life saving” pelvic exam if I could wait until after I lose my virginity. I have to go right now, but I will post more later! By the way, I agree one thousand percent with the posters who call these exams “medical rape”.
Hi Allison, stand firm and refuse this invasive exam. Pelvic examinations are of poor clinical value and not done in the UK or New Zealand where I am. What is to be gained by someone inserting fingers, speculum etc into a perfectly healthy woman? The thought of a virgin being pushed to have this is disgusting. The PAP or smear test is also unnecessary in young women as cervical cancer is rare in women under 25 and actually an uncommon cancer. A virgin most definitely does not need these tests.My daughter is 25 and she is declining smear tests.She may decide to do a self HPV test when she hits her thirties should she decide to screen and it IS a choice! I am 53 and have declined any further cervical screening and breast screening. I am not prepared to risk the overdiagnosis and overtreatment that occurs with these screening tests. If you are researching avoid the information from the screening authorities and pink ribbon charities etc. These people want women to screen and their information is heavily biased. Look at info from the Nordic Cochrane centre, Dr Margaret McCartney, Professor Michael Baum, Dr Gilbert Welch. Elizabeth, who posts here and on various sites, is a wealth of research and information. She has never had a PAP test. I wish I had done my research years ago like her. My advice is as a young, healthy woman, stay well away from Obs and gynae Drs.
Hello Allison! I’d be glad to be the like-minded person you were looking for 😉 I feel exactly the same way as you about these sorts of exams and procedures and I want to tell you that everything will be ok. I just turned 27 in January and Ive never had a pap or seen a gyno. I was a virgin until 21 when I met my boyfriend who was also a virgin. I got the whole ‘Oh well you’re having sex now so you have to start seeing a gyno’ talk from EVERYONE and I just couldn’t stomach it. The whole idea of someone just invading my body like that seemed totally wrong. I have trust issues (sounds like you do too maybe?) and I don’t want anyone near me unless I know they love me and want to make me feel good and protect me. It’s not wrong, it’s not weird, it’s ok for us to feel this way.
I really just couldn’t stand the thought of going through what other women go through and I couldn’t understand fort he life of me why they would go along with it. I began to wonder if this test was really as absolutely vital to my life as everyone made it out to be. Even just a little research shows its not- especially for women like us who are virgins or in a relationship with another virgin. I don’t remember all of my sources (CDC, ACOG, everything the wonderful gals here put together) but I calculated out my risk for getting CC and it was estimated to be 1 in 800,000! This is because you and I cannot have the type that comes from HPV we can only have the other type which is very rare and often not picked up on a pap since it typically starts in the deeper layers. I also have never smoked and have never taken birth control and rarely drink alcohol which lowers the risk even more.
So if you’re like me then we share the same 1 in appr. 800,000 chances of getting CC. so we have to choose between a 1in 800,000 probability of getting CC vs a 100% probability to feel traumatized, degraded and terrified. And people wonder why we feel the way we do. Also try to find yourself a good sympathetic caring Dr. like I have. Although I rarely see him (that’s how it should be IMO) my Dr is a wonderful man and I was able to have this conversation with him and he understood. Most of all don’t worry, your body belongs to you and you say who touches you when where and how. Be confident knowing that this is your choice. You either choose to have a pap at some point in your life or you choose not to. Isn’t that such a wonderful feeling? You’ll be fine dear
Just so people know there are URINE tests commonly used for STD. That might be ok for some adults to ask for when they are dating no matter their age. They tend to only give them to young adults.
I’d say that urine tests for STD are the standard now, for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Syphilis, Hep B and HIV requires blood test, herpes can only be tested if an open sore is present, I have read that the herpes blood test is somewhat unreliable since most people are likely to come back positive as they are healthy carrier with no symptoms for the oral virus strain. I think the herpes blood test isn’t offered everywhere and more expensive since it’s not as common as the other STD tests.
And since they came up with urine tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea, one of the reason I’d say was to encourage men to get tested, how suspicious that they can’t come up with the same for HPV : men can get health problems from untreated STDs, but rarely suffer from HPV related complications, except warts, and these will be visible so it’ll be obvious they are infected. But the blackmail business of pap tests with women is way too lucrative to give it up I guess. If HPV is a sexual transmitted disease, why can’t they test it like any other STD? Why still rely on that stone age procedure that spouts total gibberish results? What a hoax!
Check your official government health agency web site and print out the guidelines and bring them with you if you want to get tested with urine samples, you’ll have the proof that these are approved and be able to challenge any reluctant nurse or doctor. Nurses might push the cervical swab for women, as they’ll claim the swab is more accurate than urine sample, even though I found nothing of the sort in my online searches. I found that urine samples are equal in accuracy for women without symptoms as they are for men. The “I’m on my period” lie is a strong argument as well, I’ve used it in combination with the printed guidelines and got my urine tests successfully. You don’t need to submit to a pap test to be screened for STDs either. The nurses reluctantly took blood for HIV, since I’m at very low risk she said it wasn’t necessary, but now at least I got the proof on paper after getting tested for HIV so many times for life insurance, who don’t “discriminate” on risk behaviour. The nurse I got was actually pretty nice and I was surprised at how few questions she asked, she never mentioned pap or even the HPV vaccine, I must have looked mature or something.
In Canada you don’t need to be followed by a GP or have a GP’s script to get tested if you go directly to a STD clinic, and ask to receive a paper copy of your results. That’s something I think anyone should ask from a potential partner, if you’re old enough to have a sexual life you’re old enough to prove you’re clean, it’s a matter of respect for each other and your own health. I’ve realised that lots of people don’t think they have something when they don’t have symptoms, and they don’t always say that to bullshit you, it’s just that they were never told. It becomes a little less acceptable these days with so many resources online.
I’ve noticed that it’s widely believed (mainly by men) that in the US women automatically get screened for STD when they go to the OB/GYN, but I’m not sure if it’s true or not? I have read that chlamydia screening was done at the same time as pap testing for young women, but I’m not sure if it’s uniformly done or just another opportunity to bill more stuff to insurance companies.
In a word – Fabulous.
Thank you for the link. It really is refreshing to have another male point of view on our site – one that is also in support of us. I’m sorry that you’ve been assaulted as well by unwanted invasive exams. It’s good that once you saw the light, you chose not to have them routinely. Men, as you’ve found, though, get more choice, and are not hounded to go to exams like women are. However, since you’ve been through it, you’ve been affected too. I’m so glad that you recognize that although men have invasive exams, exams designed for the exploitation of women’s genitals far out number men’s exams and are far more invasive and disgusting. It’s legalized sexual assault, really, seeing that still male and even a number of female doctors withhold the truth that would allow informed consent – where women would chose against pelvic exams and all of the other exams. They. in this day and age of advanced technology. still lie and insist putting women in stirrups is the best way to exam women. These same male doctors would never consent to stirrups for men or anything else that men don’t want; that they don’t want as men, themselves.
Self testing should be the norm by now, but the so called doctors are getting too much money and too much pleasure assaulting gullible women who allow these exams. These are women who refuse to believe that because it’s in a sterile office and not a bedroom, that the male doctor isn’t getting pleasure; that because the self-centered woman doesn’t like it, that the male doctor doesn’t like it. We all know by now that men don’t need a bedroom to have sexual contact with a woman; they just need an imagination. Rapists rape in alleys, after all, so why not a white sterile office. The younger sexually active woman, more concerned about what she may have caught from so many sex partners than the doctor’s real intentions when he does a bimanual, allows herself to believe the lies and allows the so-called exams. “At least he’s in a white lab coat and can be trusted and not the guy who just broke up with her or had a one night stand,” she must think. The older women who are simply brainwashed by what their mothers told them, simply submit without question. Women who have had children – older or younger, simply gave up after they were assaulted with cervical checks -another unnecessary “exam;” unwanted, unnecessary manual birth assistance, and all the male interns that showed up unannounced; and she didn’t know to tell the cervical check nurses and doctors to stay the hell away from her and kick the interns out of the room.Truly sad.
Every time I see a pregnant woman or see one that just had a baby, I become sad because I know that the pregnant woman likely will be abused – and for the woman that had a baby – she’s likely, as so many other women, to push down the birth trauma she went though by focusing 200 percent of her energy on the precious baby in her arms.That’s where doctors and nurses think they have the right to stick their hand clear up women’s vaginas and int their cervixes as many times as they want; because the woman is so worried about her unborn baby and this gives them a locus of power, playing God. In two words – emotional blackmail. “You want your baby? Well we’re going to sexually assault you under the guise of medical care and take pictures and video because all you should care about is that baby – right? You’ll do anything to have a healthy baby – even prostitute yourselves to us – right? As long as the baby is healthy?” is what they must think. Otherwise, where do the ob/gyns and labor/delivery nurses get their arrogant, perverted nerve? Women have been having babies without all that for centuries, but in the latter 20th century and 21st century where society is so sexualized (this includes ob/gyns who are exposed to naked women on the internet and – gee – have sex), they want women to think that it’s absolutely necessary. Even children in emergency situations have delivered their moms’ babies and they certainly don’t know anything about medical interventions.
The babies are coming out regardless of cervical checks. If given time, the placenta will come out. It was never necessary for the ob/gyn to shove his hand clear up into the woman’s uterus. I think it’s somewhere between the sexual excitement of the woman’s open legs in front of him (remember that imagination……) and that he’s perhaps in a rush to the next patient – next golf game….that he or she has the nerve to do that to a woman – and expects her not to react. It causes the woman’s uterus to clot and not stop bleeding – so they’ve literally caused a mess. How many women have sued – and the hospitals quietly paid out in nondisclosure clauses. And if the woman is at that much of a risk, then there is the c-section, but cervical checks aren’t necessary to determine if one is needed – only time. A doctor’s degree isn’t necessary to know that. There is a reason for postpartum depression that women aren’t mentioning – and I think this is it.
Sighhh. Well – the good news is that more and more women are becoming informed and educated and refusing the so-called exams and every thing else.
Thanks again Pete. Please do contribute more information.
Money is the objective for Nurses in PCP offices where its considered acceptable to bully women into Unnecessary pelvic exams since Insur pays and nurse is scoring points on the job, not to mention the power trip of keeping the “Patient” dependent in fear using scare of cancer. They twist the facts to support their own agenda. Its so demeaning to be taken advantage of a the doctors office especially when you have health problems and they hate your insurance so ignore your symptoms but order more unnecessary test that are covered instead. Its about keeping you coming back on a regular schedule for a steady income.
There is a urine test developed for HPV and can be used instead of a pap test. However it is not widely known or sold in all areas. It is from a company Trovagene.
How about a pharmacy available urine test for HPV? Then the option to buy from the pharmacist a vaginal pill based on green tea extract to treat the HPV infection if the urine test is positive?
See this study on green tea extract and CIN (HPV infection that shows up on pap test).
There is already a prescription product on the market for treating genital warts caused by HPV that is mostly green tea extract in a base of petroleum jelly. Some people have treated their warts by mixing a capsule of green tea extract with a tablespoon of petroleum jelly.
Much more acceptable and less expensive than going to a doctor for a pelvic exam or going to a gynocologist for leep treatment?
Men wont tolerate the abuses women do. The female body is EXPLOITED to the MAx by healthcare system in the USA, under the guise of preventive medicine.Todays technology is why the archaic method of manual pelvic exam is not even necessary. Women under the fear of cancer keeps a constistent income for doctors offices vs the unpredictability of people getting sick. I live with chronic health problems not covered yet the only thing covered is preventive exams and test of which i dont need.
The female body is exploited in many ways, by the fashion industry, in commercial settings (selling cars, furniture etc.) the media and advertising, music videos, etc.
I was shocked when I watched “Game of Thrones”, the amount of gratuitous full frontal FEMALE nudity was absurd, it was like a group of high school boys had worked on the script. It made me so uncomfortable, never watched another episode, I checked the internet and others were concerned too, great lengths taken to protect the male genitalia from view but no holds bared with young females.
I think this sort of thing promotes the idea that the female body is fine to exploit and display, fine to use to make a sale or give a movie a ratings nudge, but a different standard applies to the male body.
A colleague attended a “fashion” show a few years ago and was surprised how little the women were wearing….and how much the male models were wearing, mostly suits and even overcoats! Some of the young women wore nothing but a triangle in the front, string up the back with a few feathers and a sheer/see-through dress or tiny bra.
How is that fashion? How many women are going to head out in that “outfit”?
I think the exploitation of the female body shapes attitudes, you see this level of exposure and in various settings as normal and okay. The male body should be hidden from view, but anything goes with the female body, especially young women.
It’s deeply entrenched and won’t be easy to turn around…
I recall some of the young women in the office were disgusted with a music video some years ago, the men in suits, the women naked except for a flesh coloured triangle. The premise of the song was, “you say no, but I know you want it…”
I’ve always felt that the female body is basically viewed as public property. that’s partly why consent and informed consent are largely missing from women’s cancer screening, it also, leads to disrespectful attitudes so we see the warped attitude that it’s fine to mislead women, keep them in the dark, coerce them into invasive and unnecessary exams and testing etc.”for their own good”. Women have babies (or might have babies) so the attitude goes…women have to get over feelings of modesty and just accept that frequent exposure and invasive exams and tests will occur throughout their lives.
It starts with individual women making a stand, my body is mine, I act as gatekeeper…it can be very hard especially when we’re vulnerable, we need the Pill quickly to avoid a pregnancy, we go into labour, we’re scared we might have cancer etc. Knowledge is the key, it’s surprising how much control you suddenly have when you balance up the ledger. I think doctors and others are careful when they’re dealing with an informed woman. It’s no longer safe to treat her like a piece of meat, it might come back and bite them. Let’s hope we continue to move in that direction…
Hi Eliz. When i was teaching in 6th form the refectory had a number of screens showing music videos. The students used to watch them during break and lunchtime. I’m no prude but i got sick of watching all those writhing bodies on screen. It was always females such as Gaga, madonna as well as Kylie Minogue and others. The male singers always wore clothes and just got on with their music. It made me sick with frustration at the polarity of it. Womens bodies are just for adornment and making sexually suggestive moves and wear nothing at all while men are considered as prof musicians. It just isn’t right.
To let you know i downloaded a copy of the new pamphlet cervical screening helping you decide a few weeks ago. Things are really changing for the better in the uk. However i’m still angry at hiw i was treated all those years ago. I’ve been silent on this site for a while so i could get over my anger.
I’ve been working on a new book ive called it ‘the british cervical screening programme – thirty years of pap rape ?’ It should be ready in a few weeks i’m just finishing it off. I’m really letting them have it this time.
This was how I was always examined legs up and all of that-(No other options or explanations given). Though I always found it very strange and extremely upsetting, that these Doctor’s always refused to answer my questions as to why exams without any clothes on were being done. “Sure” they give you either a paper or fabric “covering”, but then they just rip it off of you, as soon as they walk back into the room, very upsetting and eerily similar to what can only be described as rape or a horrific series of rapes! I’m NOT saying ban these exams altogether exactly…. But for goodness sake all countries okaying these practices, need to at least require that all Doctors performing these exams clearly explain-(either on paper or verbal) to young girls and woman that these procedures are legally optional! These threats and demands, such as certain death by cancer and or loss of medical coverage has got to STOP! When Doctor’s are going about the business of asking a patient about their medical history, then they already have a pretty good idea of what type of medical exams and procedures should and shouldn’t apply to each individual patient individually and what they should and shouldn’t recommend- (key word recommend to NOT demand of that patient!) These exams should NEVER be based simply on age or used as an excuse for getting young girls prior to starting their first monthly period or shortly there after into the Doctor’s offices, merely to be used as pawns in a very twisted get rich quick scheme! Sadly these medical abuses are NOT and Cannot be legally labeled as rape-(at this time) the same way that an “actual” rape can be, though the emotional and physical damage is identical or nearly identical in both forced situations! I was even punished by my Stepmother for my cursing, screaming and crying during and after the exam when I was a young girl and she absolutely refused to allow for my angry letter at that first OBGYN Doctor to be sent off with or without changes being made to it! I want more than anything for girl’s and woman to feel safe in saying NO to anyone and everyone who DOESN’T have permission from them personally to be touching them in this way! A parent or Guardian saying it’s ok for their child to be touched in this way DOESN’T make it ok and it should be illegal for them to ok it on their child’s behalf- in cases where it’s done more as a ritual than it is out of any very real medical concern warranting of such invasive procedures!
There are opportunities for the US public to comment on Cervical screening here.
This is a review I had posted in regards to the last Doctor who had abused me both physically and mentally, that I had posted it to a Doctor review website on March 30, 2015. Even, though the incident it’s self took place back in early 2011, because I was too, messed-up to have posted it there any sooner. And then it took me awhile to stop feeling guilty for NOT having posted it any sooner and for NOT having posted it about still more Doctor’s.- And I gave it the title of “Fair Warning”- “Doctor K. had seemed like a nice enough Doctor at first and most of the initial staff was nice (went to her for a little over five years), but then things quickly went horribly, horribly wrong by the fifth year and with more and worsening staff changes, she became far too, pushy with the over scheduling and phone harassing of un-necessary appointments and medical procedures . During one of these rather Un-necessary appointments and procedures she had me waiting alone in a cold room for two and a half hours for a very embarrassing and as it turned out abusively painful procedure I didn’t need!!! However, when I did need a referral to a specialist like the time my ear drum broke and then when I was getting very severe headaches she and her staff left me waiting around to the point to where calling them several times a week for six months, before they finally got “around” to sending out my referral slips! (They said they kept “forgetting” and that they’d get back to me later in the day) Needless, to say I was very pleased, when a change of insurance finally freed me to go see a different more respectable Doctor elsewhere with a bit more grace, dignity and compassion, than this!” -(Ok so, it didn’t really work out that way in the end… However, I did manage to avoid any additional unnecessary procedures at the last Doctor’s office I went to between late 2011-late 2014) … So, to all the people mostly woman on this blog who have been through similar situations, I would like to Thank You all from the bottom of my heart for helping me to NOT feel so isolated and alone in my feelings about these issues. Throughout my teens and twenty’s and even as recently as earlier this year I have been brought up by both Family members and Doctor’s alike to feel as if I’m somehow “Strange” for my wanting to avoid pap testing Doctor’s like the plagues that they are! Thank You again and Happy Holidays.