Unnecessary Pap Smears Discussion Forum

This post has been created to provide an additional forum for discussion, and is a continuation of the old Blogcritics’ Unnecessary Pap Smears discussion.  The original Blogcritics Unnecessary Pap Smears discussion had more than 10,000 comments, but the comments were deleted following changes to the Blogcritics’ site.

Fortunately, the comments from Blogcritics have since been recovered and are preserved here: http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/   This post also provides a ‘part three’ continuation of the ‘part two’ discussion forum that exists on this site: https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2013/09/22/discussion-forum/

Thank you Alex for suggesting the addition of an open forum devoted to discussion on this blog.

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
Gallery | This entry was posted in discussion about unnecessary pap tests, discussion about womens health, pap test coercion, unnecessary pap test, unnecessary pelvic exam and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

270 Responses to Unnecessary Pap Smears Discussion Forum

  1. Judy says:

    Elizabeth, since this woman is an American and over 75, it probably means she has decent health insurance coverage through Medicare and a supplemental plan, and doctors know this. Besides the intrinsic need to keep woman controlled and in fear of their own bodies, it’s all about the $$$$.

    • Fear of their own bodies sums it up so well.

      The amount of women on social media banging on about smears being ‘imperative for your well being’ and other such cliche nonsense. Many really do believe their cervix is a ticking time bomb.

  2. adawells says:

    The UK breast screening scandal seems to have gone very quiet. The impromptu helpline took 14,000 calls in the first week. I wonder how many calls it’s taking now? The charities are bleating for more money and expansion of the programme, saying that the mammography service will be overwhelmed by these hundreds of thousands who weren’t offered a final scan. The tabloid newspapers are full of what a great catastrophe it is. Although the apology letters are going out, it will be interesting to see how many take up the offer. The women concerned are aged 70-79. The letters will offer a scan but also make clear that there is little to be gained from a mammogram at this age. It will be interesting to see just how “overwhelmed” the screening services are over the summer.

  3. katrehman says:

    UK ladies. Today’s daily fail. Capita told 87 women they no longer needed smears and “invitations” to 1,963 women were delayed in August 2016. Even the daily fail admits no one was harmed or killed by this but it’s the usual smears SAVE lives it’s awful outcry….

    • I commented on it….couldn’t help myself

      An American woman was on there very upset women in the UK aren’t having annual smears and mammograms. Honestly, some people lap up that Kool Aid.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Americans are brainwashed that Western medicine is best. People do not ask and challenge. This is why Dr’s here get away with being assholes to patients and their families.

    • adawells says:

      Seems nothing but these screening “blunders” in the news. I don’t get it why it’s all happening this month. Hunt wants to privatise the NHS, and I can see why he’s bashing it, but these screening services have been largely outsourced to private running already, and here’s Hunt and the Daily Fail, saying how shambolic it all is. Is it to trigger a national
      enquiry into screening that might drastically reduce it?
      I’ll be intrigued to see just how many women in their 70s turn up to the offer of an extra mammogram. It is already clear in the leaflet that women over 70 can request a mammogram every 3 years if they wish. How many do? There can’t be that many or they wouldn’t have had to introduce the AgeX trial in extending the screening age to 73 – plenty of women would have been going anyway. Awful hysterical article in the Daily Telegraph recently with Breast Cancer Now charity saying that the missed 70 year olds will overwhelm the system, and that it must be hugely extended immediately. Seeing as these women could have picked up the phone and made an appointment anytime, I don’t see that there’s going to be massive demand for the service somehow. We’ll wait and see. Would be so funny if all the letters go out and nobody wants one.

  4. Mykie says:

    Hi everyone.
    I’ve been a long time reader here, and I was hoping some of you could give me some advice and support. I’ve been trying for a few months now to get on a hormonal birth control pill to stop my periods, they have become less of a natural cycle and more of a chronic illness for me, I bleed so much I become anemic, my cramps are so bad that it hurts to breathe and I can’t get out of bed, I get such bad migraines I wear sunglasses inside, I can eat nothing but plain crackers and chicken broth for a week out of every month. It’s crippling.
    The problem is I cannot find a doctor anywhere who doesn’t require a pap smear and pelvic exam before they will even consider giving me the pill, I have talked with my state health department (I live in the USA) planned parenthood, every general practitioner and gynecologist, and midwife I can find. I even called a website called “project ruby” that promises safe and easy access to birth control, and I was told by their reprsative on the phone that I would have to have a video consult with their doctor to find out for sure, but it is possible and likely I would be denied eventually if not right away if I don’t ever have a pap smear and pelvic exam.
    I’ve already been raped by a doctor doing a so called pelvic exam, which I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from, and I suspect that I have vaginismus as I have been unable to use tampons since. I would rather die than ever let someone violate me like that again, and if I have to continue to live like this to avoid it I will.
    I honestly live every day of my life in fear of the day some other doctor will try to rape me again, because its treated as an inevitably that it will happen evetuanlly, I have no one in my life who understands this, my own family has called me stupid for this, I regularly cry myself to sleep because of this.
    I’m only 21, and I’ve lived this way since my rape at 16, I am miserable and no one will help.
    Does anyone here know where I could turn for birth control?
    Thank you all for standing up for women like me, not many people do, and even if I don’t actually know any of you I have so much respect for you all, and I’m deeply grateful for just knowing that someone out there understands.

    • CHASUK says:

      Firstly, Welcome to FWEO Myke and sorry you now have PTDS.
      No you do not have to have any exam for birth control, it is a complete try on and makes them more money and increases their figures for targets! This is your body & your decision. No-one can force this upon you….ever! I would suggest that anyone telling you different is reported immediately or at least threaten them with this…..see how quickly you will get your pills after that threat! All this crap about “required” “have to have” “should have” “must have” it is all nonsence!
      We don’t have this in the UK like many countries! Please see this link for USA:
      http://www.choosingwisely.org/patient-resources/pelvic-exams-pap-tests-and-oral-contraceptives/
      “Do I need any exam before getting birth control pills?
      You should have pelvic exams and Pap tests based on your age and health history. But you don’t need them just to get a prescription for birth control pills.
      Before you get birth control pills, your doctor should always do a basic medical exam and:
      Check your blood pressure.
      Ask if you’ve ever had blood clots.
      Ask if you smoke.”

      Then this link for the UK:
      http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/conditions/sexual-health/a2256/the-contraceptive-pill/
      “Incidentally, some people still think that you need to have a vaginal examination before going on the Pill. That hasn’t been the case for many years.”

      Wishing you luck and take care.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      What to the assholes say when you tell them a doctor once raped you? RE vaginismus. A pap is the last thing they should be trying due to the instant spasm you’ll have once the speculum is stabbed inside you. If cold steel even worse response; and I seriously question anything not sealed as these are supposedly sterilized with generic bleach. Yeah.
      I’m not a doctor…but I’ve gotten out of pap scrapes.
      I’ve written substantially about a company called Trovagene here on this site. They once offered a 93% effective urine based hpv test. Pap is 53% accurate.
      I once used Trovagene.
      Now what I’d suggest.
      At your o/v take your husband or a friend. Never go alone.
      Tell them the vaginismus issues you have etc, right to their face. Tell them how you react.
      Now, a pap is useless w/o any Dx of you having hpv or not. If they pap and no dna is done on your sample then you are no better off nor do you know anything more.
      Offer to accept from Dr the cotton swab. This is sterile; and usually goes up inside your endocervical canal. But tell them no speculum or else they’ll pap you anyway and lie about it.
      IF and only if the cotton shows dna do you later consent to having a try at pap. If no hpv then no chance of CC period. Tell them and hold your ground.
      Try to purchase a Delphi Screener at a Canadian, Mexican, or Australian pharmacy. This is an alternative since Trovagene d/c their excellent test.
      Also try to get your hormonal Pill from any of these same pharmacies. If you have a valid Rx for birth control use the number on the bottle as leverage. In Mexico proper they don’t require paps…
      Really lay it on them the BS re pap. If they say it’s regulations, any excuse, demand it in writing. There are protocols, but even these have exceptions. You’ll need to get these from a Dr you already know or the others you don’t know may be suspicious of you.
      If it weren’t for my husband I’d be just like you.
      We despise this useless harmful test.
      Go on youtube to view any gyn procedure you wish to see.
      Love and prayers. We’re sorry.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Remind the do-gooder doctors that it takes 10 years average for hpv to develop into anything else. Unless the Dr disturbs the site via scrape as you have only 1 layer of epithelial cells lining your cervix and endocervical canal. If you have virus, these are what gets scraped away and then the virus can implant and thrive as it’s now been put behind your defense network.
        Did you know that some of the swabs used in colposcopy have metal spikes in them? Yeah. Go look.

      • Moo says:

        Read the product brochure
        http://www.nlma.nl.ca/FileManager/Practice/docs/Sure_Path_Poster.pdf

        Note it says not to rotate the brush too much as to cause bleeding. How does HPV spread from person to person during sexual activity? If we are told that HPV is spread Through small abrasions in the skin made during sexual acitivities then why is the pap test also spreading hpv around the cervix and into the cervicla canal?

        Note the small print where it says not to use the brush should not be used after 10 weeks of pregnancy. So if a woman shows up and says she thinks she is pregnant and missed maybe one or two cycles but not sure does she get a pap test? If ithe manufactuer recommends that the brush not be used after 10 weeks just exactly what would likely happen if it was used? So what might happen at nine and a half weeks?

      • Mykie says:

        Usually when I tell them I was raped either I have to follow up with the details to justify it to them and they laugh and say *that wasn’t rape, honey, that was just a pelvic exam* to qoute one doctor exactly. Or they tell me how they’re not a rapsit meanwhile they try and convince me to be raped again.
        It actually isn’t just the pap smear part I’m worried about, I never want a doctor to look, touch, swab, or get near down there EVER again under any circumstances. If I get cervical cancer and die I’d still rather that to allowing myself to be violated again like that.
        I’m also very low risk for HPV because I only had sex one or twice before I was raped which has prevented me from having any kind of a sex life.
        I do usually take my boyfriend or my mom with me anywhere I might encounter a doctor or medical professional, even if I’m not the patient. They’re the only two people who know to handle the anxiety attack and epiosde of dissociation that will follow it.
        Thank you.

    • Kylie (Aust) says:

      Hi Mykie,
      I’m also a long time reader here. I was sexually abused long-term at age 7-8 by a paedophile doctor, sometimes in surgical setting. At age 20 pressured into a traumatic pap test, then I developed a phobia with 100% avoidance of doctors. The phobia nearly killed me and took away my option to have children. I finally see some light at the end of the tunnel in my late 30’s. I want to say a few things;

      Trust yourself – don’t let them convince you a pap smear is merely an uncomfortable inconvenience – you will know when you are ready, stand your ground.

      I second cat&mouse and consider taking along an advocate to doctors appointments for you.

      Look after yourself – I know sometimes it’s not easy and sometimes seems impossible, but look after your PTSD, get therapy, try whatever it takes, get your life in order and stable, look after your health/diet, no drugs/alcohol etc. If you are not in a stable situation do whatever you can to get in one. You need a lot of support, foster an environment to make it happen. Think about long-term goals, and working towards being able to have a gyn exam if you eventually, genuinely need one. Yeah pap tests are not necessary, but unfortunately what has happened has happened, and there is a chance that you will need a pelvic exam sometime. You are still young, could be months, years or decades away before/if you need one – who knows if/when – don’t worry and fret about it – don’t pressure yourself – but work towards it slowly and do what you can.

      You need treatment for your PTSD. It can damage your life more than you even realise. Don’t let it control you.

      Take to the doctor any supporting documentation, print it out and highlight bits – eg anything in your jurisdiction guidelines that supports your choice to not have a pap test. Also your PTSD diagnosis and documentation supporting why the pap is impossible for you. Maybe a letter from a therapist. Having things in writing also saves you having to say the whole story over and over if that is difficult for you.

      If you ever go out of town/state, try going to a doctor and saying you forgot your script/pills at home. It worked for me a few times (in Australia).

      Best wishes.

      • Mykie says:

        Thank you, I have no intention of ever getting a pap smear or pelvic exam ever again.
        I always bring my mom or boyfriend to all my doctors appointments with me, as well a stun gun that looks like a smart phone, police grade pepper spray given to me by my uncle who is a cop, and my boyfriend has a concealed carry permit so as far as self defense goes I’m pretty good on that. But it doesn’t seem any amount of another person advocating for me does much good, one doctor even told my boyfriend *you don’t even have a vagina, you don’t know what you’re talking about* when he tired to explain to them because I was dissociating too much to talk.
        I am in therapy through better help.com which is what works best for me, it’s cheaper, and there’s actually therapists who know how to work with PTSD there while I do not have access to an in person therapist who knows much about it. I have weekly video calls with my therapist and an unlimited texting resource to use as well, and it has helped.
        I was also able to request a female therapist which would have not been possible for an in person therapist.
        I will certainly try to go out of town and lie and see if that will work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try NuRx!! They are not available in every state but they are expanding daily. I detest doctors like you described and it’s about time that was a way around their nonsense. But only requires you enter some basic info and a blood pressure reading which you can get at most pharmacies. They also accept insurance. https://www.nurx.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIo8jB4tar3AIVhENpCh3AEwAlEAAYASAAEgLxpPD_BwE

    • Anonymous says:

      I posted earlier about NuRx the only thing I am not sure of is if they limit what kind of pill you can get based on age. (Some of the online companies will only allow Progesterone only pills if you are over 35) I am over 35 and had problems with progesterone only methods (Nexplanon arm implant) and wanted the combined pill so I emailed them to ask but never got a response. Other than that they have great reviews online and I would definitely give them a try!! I wish they had stickers I would go post them on the doors to gynecologists offices lol!

      • Judy says:

        Thank you again for posting the information about NuRx. Even with some limitations it may be very helpful to someone. I wasn’t sure if you were originally replying to my post about my doctor’s appt. but I’m actually on blood pressure medication, not birth control (I’m 57!), but during my visit the doctor starting suggesting I should hook up with a gynecologist, etc. Very aggravating. Wish I could get my BP meds online and not have to deal with this!

  5. Moo says:

    New trchnlogy for breast cancer detection. http://micrima.com/ Trials are being conducted. The difference between mammogram and this new method is there is no dangerous radiation (xrays) and no compression. A woman would still have to undress and have another person positions them. I was surprised that one article mentioned that 80% of women had dense breast tissue that makes mammograms almost useless.

    The big question would breast screening system be changed or scrapped? Would there br most needless cancer treatments and deaths of women who have slow growing and non life threatening tumours? We cannot see the future; we can only guess from using the past.

    • Alison says:

      Interesting. They use radio waves. I suppose it’s better than x-ray exposure but more and more info on the dangers of radio frequencies (i.e., cell phones, Wi-Fi, etc) is starting to emerge. It may not be the “friendly” alternative after all…but it’s a start.

      • katrehman says:

        Alison uou have a good point. And also if they’re working on a spit test for prostate cancer why can’t they develop a no invasive test for female cancers? Are our bodies really so different and our cancer cells so different from mens?

  6. katrehman says:

    Just read on news website patients are wary of taking stations once they found out doctors are paid to prescribe them( I didn’t know they were). Article makes no reference to the fact doctors are paid to smear is too and that’s one reason among many we don’t want them..or maybe it doesn’t know..
    Moo I think I read about the new breast test. Don’t you have to undress lay face down with your bombs dangling down a hole into water and the radio or ultra days pulsed through the water?I didn’t know about the sense breast population being so high something else we aren’t told…

    • Julie (UK) says:

      Yes, they are incentivised to get people on statins. NICE changed the 10-year cardio-vascular risk threshold from 20% to 10% at which GPs would then prescribe interventions such as statins. An article in Pulse said that some GPs leaders were concerned this would “encourage GPs to prescribe statins without discussion around whether patients should be taking them – something that will ‘jeopardise patient choice’.” They also said that some clinicians were concerned that it would “lead to ‘over-medicalisation’ of healthy people and divert GPs’ time and resources away from their unwell patients.” I know this is something Margaret McCartney has spoken about many times. My mum had some blood tests a couple of years ago and the practice nurse told her that her cholesterol was too high and she’d have to go on statins. Mum said she didn’t want to go on medication so the nurse said she’d give her 6 months in order to try and reduce the cholesterol by lifestyle changes but if it hadn’t reduced she’d have to go on them. She’s been to the GPs many times since but they’ve never brought it up again or asked her to have another cholesterol check, which I find strange, so it can’t have been that much of an issue. If Mum had just accepted what the nurse told her without question, she’d probably be taking them now. Another thing they opportunistically ‘tried’ on Mum was the shingles vaccination. She was seeing the practice nurse about some worrying symptoms and she was quite anxious about what might be wrong. The nurse told her she would have to have some blood tests and then promptly asked Mum if she wanted a shingles vaccine. I chipped in immediately and said she’d think about it as I know Mum needs time to think about things and being put on the spot is difficult for her, plus I don’t it was right to bring it up at that time, when Mum was clearly worried about her health. Following that appointment the reception staff phoned her at home to ask her about having the vaccination and then when she went to the surgery to pick up a prescription for my Dad, the reception staff hounded her again and told her that it was important to have it and how terrible shingles is and that they must tell them if she was having the vaccination or not. They provided no information at all about how common the condition is, side effects of the vaccine, etc. I’m sure I researched it online at the time and I think the protection only lasted for a certain period of time (a couple of years?). She said she’d think about it and they haven’t mentioned it since. I know it can be an unpleasant and painful condition but we have a right to make an informed decision.

      • Hi Julie, according to this article it’s probably a good thing your Mum never went ahead with the shingles vaccine: http://info.cmsri.org/the-driven-researcher-blog/merck-admits-shingles-vaccine-can-cause-eye-damage-and-shingles

      • Julie (UK) says:

        Thanks for the link to the shingles vaccine article, Sue, it’s scary stuff about how it can affect eyesight. The GP reception staff were so pushy, it was two of them onto one, making her feel a silly woman for not immediately signing up for it. I’m pleased she stood her ground.

      • adawells says:

        Julie it’s good to hear that your Mum stood her ground. I’ve recently read a very interesting article about osteopenia. Turns out it’s a pre-osteoporosis condition, like pre-diabetes and pre-cancer. No proof at all that you will go on to get the disease itself, but by creating these fake pre-diseases and defining us as ill, drug companies can get everyone onto a lifetime of daily drugs and medical testing.
        Back to your mum’s experience at her local surgery, it seems to be a very common problem that the reception and nursing teams, don’t seem to have any awareness of our human rights and our rights to discuss and make an informed decision about medical treatments, and these arguments often take place in front of a busy waiting room too. The reception staff at my own surgery have frequently been described as rottweilers in NHS reviews, and it has been raised at Patient Participation Group meetings. Under new rules GP practices are obliged to put the details of the PPG in the waiting room so that any patient can contact them and ask the issue to be raised with the practice at the next meeting. Putting your views onto the NHS choices reviews should also get them to sit up and reply publicly. My own surgery never used to reply at all, and the reviews were a torrent of complaints about the service. They were put in special measures and now actually deal with some of the complaints.

      • Moo says:

        I was viewing the CDC site on shingles vaccines that just made me somewhat confused. The newer shingles vaccine is more effective. However it wears off.

        As for the eye problems the vaccine can cause, that is probsbly why it is recommended for people over 50 because likely they have eye problems already. If any vaccine caused joint pain and arthritis then it would be recommeded only for the elderly right?

        If the insurance will cover any procedure then for sure a patient will be harrassed to get it. Because it is mostly all about the money.

  7. katrehman says:

    Statins not stations

  8. katrehman says:

    And boobs not bombs though of course of we don’t screen we’re told we are cancerous time bombs….

  9. Unknown says:

    Turn off your auto correct function.

    I do suspect doctors receive some kick back from over prescribing from some pharmaceutical companies. That is why I often refer to medical doctors as pharmawhores. They also over subscribe diabetes medication, cpap machines and colonoscopies. My current peeve is the “epidemic” of diabetes. Anyone with a A1C over 6.9 is considered diabetic. Over 5 is considered prediabetic and might be medicated. Most older people are going to score higher anyway but see the point of medicating everyone. I have also read that statins can “increase” the risk of diabetes and reducing cholesterol really does not prevent heart disease. Cholesterol is actually a building block of most of the body’s hormones including the stress hormone cortisol. Doesn’t it make sense that a person who is experiencing stress would make mire cortisol and thus need more cholesterol. Also if the body does not get enough cholesterol from diet, the body can make it.

    All the time, the medication usually masks the symptoms and does not address the causes.

  10. adawells says:

    An interesting piece of news, I’ve recently found out that the UK NHS is drastically cutting back on its printing of leaflets to save money. As from next March, (2019), they will only print enough leaflets to be sent out with a summons letter. There will be no leaflets available anymore for awareness campaigns, charity stalls, doctors waiting rooms, noticeboards and all the other places we keep seeing this wretched crap. It’s a small step, but it should hit those awful awareness flash mobs pretty hard.

    • Moo says:

      The article does not mention two important facts. There are two shingle vaccines. The later developed one is more effective than the older one. The other omission in the article are the symptoms of early shingles. It is an itchy rash, the same looking as chicken pox, usually first appearing on the back just above the hips. It is near the nerves where the virsu hides in dormancy. Usually people ignore it until the get worse with pain in their body. When someone gets the rash they need to get the antiviral quickly because it might reduce the really bad symptoms and pain that can come on. I have not hear abut any adverse effects of the shingles vaccine except for the cost so it might be worth getting.

  11. Horrible story in the news today, male GP filming Pap smears and wasn’t using surgical gloves either, multiple victims aged from 17 up to 60. Thankfully, someone noticed the filming equipment and no gloves and went to the Police. Good idea, go straight to the Police!

    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/doctor-charged-over-secretly-filming-patients-pap-smears-and-not-using-gloves-in-victoria/news-story/57cc20100146f50282e9a22662487c87

    • ChasUK says:

      Thank you for signing. I sign so many petitions mostly relating to the horror that animals go through, but this one caught my eye, disgusting!

  12. katrehman says:

    Just when you think it can’t get worse. To end screening inequality it’s proposed to send nurses to disabled and bedridden womens houses to do their smears. Email alert from they work for you…

    • linda says:

      Hi Kat. Where is this going to happen. I think its terrible.

      X

    • adawells says:

      Yet very many elderly people can’t get help at home when they need it, but there’s always money for that.

      • katrehman says:

        Precisely Ada. A 62 year old colleague of mine who just had HIP replacement and her younger sister who has mental health problems are struggling to look after their 80+ year old mother….

      • adawells says:

        It’s quite disgusting. I’m sure a smear test is top of their “to do list”. They keep grinding on about tackling inequalities in screening and it’s such utter nonsense. It’s a problem they’ve invented to justify rounding up non-screeners. The truth of the matter is that more and more people are declining to test, and they need to find a politically correct way of rounding up those dropping out of the programme.

  13. katrehman says:

    Hi linda. Think it’s a uk wide initiative. I agree it’s bloody awful. Anything to boost coverage and the bed bound really are agrwful captive audience..

    • adawells says:

      Kat, it’s just shocking. Anybody aged 25-65 who is significantly disabled must be getting regular medical reviews. I’m sure these would have enabled a discussion about whether these women really want this test or not.

  14. katrehman says:

    Ada i totally agree but the lunacy doesn’t end there. A 2004 document about good practice in ceasing women from cervical screening suggests that even terminally ill women are still entitled to receive their “invitations” and should be treated ” normally” for as long as possible though it does concede it’s up to the woman if she “accepts” her “invitations” !
    Do you think they’d chase her up of she declined or offer a colposcopy if she accepted and showed abnormal cells? Stop the world i wanna get off..

    • adawells says:

      Kat, I thought this would make you smile – I’ve seen a lot of women posting about the time taken to return their smear test results, many saying it’s between 6-10 weeks and they can’t understand why the delay, when a quarter of women don’t go, so you’d think they’d be under capacity. It sounds as though they’re really running the service down. I’ve also seen health care people post that they can’t get on the training to become a screener because it only runs once a year. Oh dear! Didn’t think they bothered with training at all, but just rammed it in hard, from my experience. Another colposcopist has posted that referrals are going down and down week after week. Let’s hope she’s out of work soon and they’re all down the Job Centre signing on!

      • katrehman says:

        Ada I really hope they’re quietly running it down behind our backs. Can’t wait for the hysteria from the screening nazis. .btw any more news on the new data protection laws and it’s relationship with screening? I’m expecting my summons to the one off bowel screening test next year and am considering opting out ahead of time. Anyway there’s no way I’m actually going. ..!

    • adawells says:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/patient-confidentiality-in-nhs-population-screening-programmes/nhs-population-screening-confidential-patient-data

      The latest is here. See section 9 for how the GDPR affects screening.

      It certainly sounds as though there is a “behind the scenes” attempt to wind down the services. I had thought myself, when I’ve seen women post that it’s taken weeks to get results, that if they are having a quarter not go, why are they so swamped with the work? Also seen that the options to train new staff are very limited. Same with the breast screening. Huge outcry last month that they’d never be able to fit in all the women who didn’t get their final summons. Really? a) most probably wouldn’t want to go, b) only 72% of routine punters will be taking up the offer anyway. The cervical screening prog is supposed to be transitioning to HPV testing everywhere in UK by end of next year, but they’re keeping it very quiet so far. I doubt very much self-testing will be part of the programme somehow. We don’t have bowel screening here until age 60. I’m expecting a mammo summons this autumn, and am toying with the idea of opting out, but sometimes it’s useful to get the invitation to monitor their approach and check on the wording. I did find out a while ago, that even if you opt out of screening permanently, you are still counted as part of the “eligible population” so we are still part of the ever growing % of non-attenders, and very good it feels to to be part of that group.

  15. Emily says:

    HI everyone…I think I might be in trouble and looking for any helpful insight you might have. I missed my period 😦 I’m always super regular, super predictable and should’ve started between the 16-20th. I have some mild period like cramps and backaches but nothing. It feels like ive taken about a thousand pregnancy tests but all of them are completely negative and not even the tiniest hint of a 2nd line

    Hubby and I have been considering trying for a baby because I really do love kids and he wants one sooo bad. I came to the conclusion a couple months ago that i can either do it now while im still younger (28) so that I don’t make it harder on myself by waiting longer or keep delaying until i miss out and regret it forever. sort of a damned if you do, damned if you dont scenario. I’m trying to be brave and go through this trial by fire style.

    Is it possible to just randomly miss a period for no reason? Is it possible to have that many pregnancy tests be false negatives this far in? I’m reluctant to use any herbal remedies to induce a period because if I did conceive I’d like to keep it. I’m also reluctant to go to a Dr because if I’m not pregnant then theyll want to run god only knows what for tests and I just don’t know if I have the fortitude to deal wth that. Any ideas ladies?

    • Fleur says:

      Emily, yes, it is possible to miss the period or have it suddenly delayed for a few weeks. The list of simple causes is very long: certain foods, activities, climate, changes in life, minor infections like flu, stress… If you are not in abnormally severe pain, feeling ok, and dislike doctors, the best thing at the moment could be just to calm down and wait for a bit more. The more you stress, the more you skew your cycle.
      Regarding trying to concieve, don’t rush unles you are 100% sure that you are 100% ready. 28 years is still very young. These days many women have healthy first babies at 35 and beyond. You are not going to miss anything out any time soon. Also, if/when you are pregnant, you will be subjected to a myryad of invasive tests for months to no end. Every Tom, Dick and Harry will be shoving tools and hads inside you, and you will have no autonomy to stop this process. You have to want the baby badly enough to go through all this. Otherwise it will all become intolerable.

      • katrehman says:

        Emily I second Fleur. I wasn’t ready for a child until I was in my 30s. My first (and only) child my daughter was born just after my 32nd birthday. Scary I was the oldest mum on the maternity ward..hope all comes good 4u x

      • Judy says:

        Very sorry, I down voted your excellent post by mistake, meant to up vote. I don’t have children but have always thought it appalling how many tests and procedures pregnant woman are subject to. It really is like your body doesn’t belong to you anymore.

    • Moo says:

      If you want a midwife, them move on booking one. They give the best care. Much better than any doctor.

  16. ChasUK says:

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stopped-or-missed-periods/
    Emily, have a read of this link first, but most importantly please do not panic! All women are different and there are a number of reasons why you may have missed a cycle. In my time I have missed many and couldn’t even find a reason why, and I did not feel the need to visit the doctor as often these things resolve itself. Best of luck to you.

  17. Mint says:

    Just like the unwanted cervical screening invitations, I have just received – a day after my 60th birthday, an invitation to submit a box of **** for bowel screening.

    Question – do I ring the number on the letter to opt out, having not opted in, or do I let the NHS waste resources sending me letters and boxes every two years?

    • adawells says:

      Of all the times you’ve dreamed of sending s**t in the post to some organisation that won’t stop sending you letters, when you get the chance it’s for something like this. I think it’s so bad that they do this on your birthday. Is it really so difficult to get the computer to time this a couple of weeks later? My husband never did his. He was tempted, but too slothful to do it. Why isn’t Jo Waller doing research into why men can’t put intentions into action? Oh but, it’s only women who are so desperate to be screened, that their little brains don’t allow them to take action.

  18. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I recently saw about 10 minutes of “The Doctors” (then turned it off) – a US “healthcare” panel of 4 or 5 doctors – they were interviewing a female gynaecologist who had some “amazing preventative health advice”.
    ALL women should take the Pill, (until they reach menopause) whether they need it for birth control or not – it reduces your risk of ovarian cancer by 60%…
    No mention that ovarian cancer is fairly rare, no mention that some women can’t tolerate the Pill or develop health problems/issues as a result of the Pill.
    Now if the Pill is so safe that this advice is a no-brainer, why is the Pill still on script?
    I think this is just another way of filling up waiting rooms and forcing all sorts of unnecessary exams and tests…let’s get all women on the Pill and keep them coming in every 6 mths.
    My female ancestors didn’t take the Pill, they all (but one) lived long and healthy lives.

  19. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Also, my female paternal ancestors did not have lots of pregnancies either so would have had regular periods up to menopause.

  20. Judy says:

    I started seeing a doctor recently due to elevated BP readings on a home monitor and was reminded today why I avoided them for nearly 20 years. All was well and good through several visits for adjusting my prescription, etc. and I thought he was warm and caring. During today’s visit, he told me I should “hook up with a gynecologist.” I told him I don’t believe I need pap smears as I’ve been married many years and if I caught HPV from someone in 1985, my body likely cleared it long ago. His reply, “the pap smear doesn’t just test for HPV.” I replied, “but isn’t cervical cancer caused by HPV?” His reply, “not always, it looks for precancerous changes and things like that.” Huh? I let it drop because he wasn’t being nasty and I need a primary care doctor for this prescription I’ll be on the rest of my life, and in this screening obsessed culture there are those who would drop me from their patient rolls. So I’m forced to be pragmatic about this, but it feels so dehumanizing, like I’m some silly woman being irresponsible with her health. Sigh. I had hoped the medical community’s attitudes had changed in two decades, but if anything they’re worse.

  21. For the Australians here, you have three months to opt out of the My health record scheme. (If that’s what you choose to do) i’ve opted out, this scheme was originally opt in but they didn’t get the numbers so now it’s opt out, their preferred model.
    There’s a few decent articles online setting out the cons…the only pro may be for those who suffer from serious allergies, but even then, it may be better to wear a medical bracelet.
    I certainly don’t trust the govt with my medical information and find the increasing intrusion into our private business is annoying and concerning…and usually unnecessary!

  22. adawells says:

    https://www.bognor.news/news/cervical-cancer-screening-saved-my-life-please-go-and-get-a-test-now-urges-mum-kady/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    No dear, you had symptoms, you went to get the symptoms diagnosed and further tests confirmed it was cancer. The smear test did absolutely nothing for you, and made no difference to your outcome, and now you want people to give money to these con artists.

    • Goodness. So many people spouting the “smear tests save lives” mantra and when you dig into the real story, it’s a load of rubbish.

      I went to leave a comment but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to do so on this one.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Not that these articles provide enough detail, but by the sound of it this woman has been having regular screening – it would have been mentioned if she hadn’t.
      So it would seem that testing did affect her outcome – it failed to detect a problem at an earlier stage, gave her false reassurance, delayed her seeking help when she had symptoms and resulted in radical surgery. How deluded do you have to be to think that such a test is ‘wonderful’ when it fails do live up to its promises? Sheesh.

  23. Anonymous says:

    First thank you so much for this site!!!

    I don’t know if anyone has posted about this before but some gynecologists not only hold birth control hostage but also refuse to remove long term methods like IUDs and implants!! I say this from experience. It took me a year and a half of misery to get my doctor to remove my Nexplanon arm implant and then only because I said I would do it myself if she wouldn’t. Over that time I had to come in for numerous appoints and of course pelvic exams, although they never mentioned when making the appoint that one would be required, only to submit then be gaslighted every time that the implant couldn’t cause any side effects. Just to be clear these were pretty sever side effects (anaphylactic episodes, fainting, hives, stroke like headaches where I couldn’t speak coherently) and I had two other doctors recommend getting it removed to see if it was the culprit. She also said if she removed it she wouldn’t let me go back on the combined pill I was on previously (and had no problems) instead she was pushing for me to get an IUD or tubal. Like I would ever let someone else be in control of my body ever again! At least with a pill I can stop taking it if I have a problem I don’t have to make an appoint and see if the doctor will “allow” me to discontinue it. Gynecology is so oppressive to women and so barbaric.

    Sorry for the rant and thank you to those who read it. Sadly this is not that uncommon of a thing if you look on line. I have read numerous accounts of doctors refusing to remove long acting methods. Again thank you for your site, I found it when I was going through all of that and it was a huge help.

  24. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/20/cervical-cancer-testing-drive-will-aim-to-tackle-huge-surge-in-no-shows

    Here we go again. More awareness raising rubbish.

    Not surprising there are no shows when women are sent an invite for something they never said they wanted to attend.

    • Mint says:

      I really don’t understand why there is always money for an awareness campaign for a cancer that is never out of the news. If you are registered with a GP, you will received an “invitation” every three or five years depending on your age. Women are not responding because they don’t want the screening. It’s not rocket science.

    • katrehman says:

      Agreed! I’m sure awareness is known even among the space aliens on Mars lol….

      • adawells says:

        I thought uptake rates were the lowest amongst Asian women? Whatever makes them think a vile, gobby racist like Jade Goody, who spewed racist hate against Asians in the Big Brother House, is going to encourage Asian women to go for cervical screening?

  25. adawells says:

    Just wondering if Goody’s family have run out of cash and are using this to relaunch her perfume/book/merchandise?
    She was such a hated figure when she was alive. Is her racism and bullying any more acceptable now? I think there is much less sympathy now for her.

  26. They are always thinking of cunning new ways to harass women and surveil their cervix…. https://www.iplato.net/smear-test/

    • adawells says:

      I wonder just how many women will agree to get text messages and act on them anyway. Also, who is paying for this?

      • Mint says:

        I wonder how this roll out will get over the sticky issue of consent. I refused permission to be contacted by text or telephone by my surgery. Letters only. I recommend a spam/cold caller number blocking app. Women don’t forget. Women decide what is important and act. Cervical screening isn’t a priority for many women as evidenced by the drop in attendance levels.

      • From the article I assumed PHE were paying for it out of their £4,510,000,000 but I could be mistaken… that’ll pay for a lot of nuisance text messages.

  27. Linda says:

    Women rarely forget to do something. If they are not booking appoinments then they dont want one. Why cant they accept this.

  28. Jules says:

    I’ve been a long time reader of this forum but never posted. You’re all such inspirations to me. I opted out of paps years ago after getting on the smear/colposcopy (due to inflammation) roundabout I couldn’t get off. After nine more years of negative smears (not one ever showed precancerous cells) I was out. I won’t be having mammograms when I’m 50. The thought of them makes me feel physically sick. I’m also very concerned about the guilt trips women are subjected to who decide against these types of tests.

    Anyway you guys are the best!

    • adawells says:

      It’s really nice to know that the posts are being read. Thank you for following and welcome. I only discovered this website by accident when I became ill and Elizabeth found me posting on another website. I’m only sorry I wasn’t aware of it sooner. I’m sure there must be many more women out there keeping under the radar of this whole sorry business.

  29. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Hi Jules,
    Welcome to the forum.
    When I read all the horror stories, feel the anxiety coming through…I’m very pleased I’m not on that nasty conveyer belt, pleased you managed to get off it. Even the women who think they were saved, well, it’s clear very few are saved by pap testing…it’s also clear lots end up worse off, previously healthy asymptomatic women. Breast screening, over-diagnosis and over-treatment is a serious issue.

    My advice is to do your reading, if you’ve made an informed decision not to screen, the guilt trips etc. simply don’t work – you know why you passed on the “invitation”…(read summons!) I’ve found GPs usually move on when it become clear you know the evidence.
    I’ve found it’s usually women who haven’t got a clue that get vocal and judgemental, even angry and emotional, the celebrities who promote breast screening just parrot off the party line, that doesn’t respect our right to make an informed decision. Most are well meaning…but honestly, if you’re going to strongly recommend a screening test or pressure/scare women to have screening, at least take the time to look at the evidence, they might choose not to act as ambassadors for these programs, if they opened their minds.

  30. adawells says:

    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/gp-topics/it/cervical-screening-text-message-service-may-boost-uptake-by-25000-claims-nhs-england/20037157.article#.W2CaRTr3Lig.link

    From August they are trialling text messaging to get women to come for cervical screening in London, UK. It will run for a year to see if it increases uptake, if not it will hopefully be dropped. Patients must opt in to get this and cannot be texted just because they have given the surgery their mobile number, but since when has our programme ever abided by the law?

    • It says “saw a 3.7% increase in uptake between patients receiving no text message reminder and those who did.” Wow, a whole 3.7% for all that investment!

      And then the best bit “However the research also saw that a GP endorsement was more effective than a text reminder for increasing uptake.”

      So basically a good ole bit of GP coercion is still the best method of harassing women….

      • katrehman says:

        Caroline and Ada love your posts, and actually can my last post, I opted out of smears in 2015, signed disclaimer and all. Under data protection laws it’s illegal to harass an opted out woman further about screening. This didn’t stop a certain GP at my practice from continuing to pester me……..

  31. katrehman says:

    Ada I don’t think women will be flocking in droves to get this,,…I maybe naive but would data protection laws prevent them just texting everyone.? Though a text would probably be cheaper than all the “invitations “and reminders…..

  32. adawells says:

    I’ve read in the research that the only thing that has been proven to increase uptake is to offer self-testing, but they don’t seem to have promoted this in any way at all. Could it be that it really is going to be on offer next year when they roll out our HPV programme, or are they keeping quiet, because they don’t want a load of ladies hanging on until the new test comes out?
    I saw a good article about GPs sending text messages, but can’t find it now. I don’t think it was a great success. You must give consent and opt in to be text messaged. Some surgeries are getting the iPlato App, which you download on your mobile. It is supposed to enable you to book appointments and receive reminders easily.

    • Moo says:

      Using a phone text app to book appointments might seem convenient because you don’t have to call and talk to a real person. The problem is when you sign in for that feature you are probably going to have to get all the reminders for vaccines and cancer screenings as well. If you think that going for the phoning in to the receptionist instead to avoid all that is going to be fine, think again. The clinic can just stop having a live person answer the phone and only have voice mail messages taken. They are still going to punch in your name to computer and ask you about the cancer screenings that you have refused every time.

      I can’t see the appointment booking app working too well since some people would be trying to get too many appointments. Imagine you are very sick ine day and there are no appointments available for ten days. This happens to people I know so they just use walk-in clinics when they are sick.

  33. adawells says:

    https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(18)30442-3/fulltext?dgcid=raven_jbs_etoc_email
    Whatever possesses women to have these devices fitted after giving birth is beyond me. From my own experience, you are tender and sore as hell down there for weeks afterwards, and don’t get any sleep for months afterwards. Is a “fish hook” up there really what new mothers want? I am amazed that women put up with this sort of harm. I was once on a training course where a woman owned up to having one, and she was met by quite a bit of indignation by the others in the group, I am pleased to say. “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it”, she kept telling us, but I think we were all glad we hadn’t.

    • katrehman says:

      Ada I was actually offered one…I declined using the description wire coat hanger. ..my cousin had one fitted around 3 months after having her baby. Problems from day starting with agonising flooding periods. Then constant pain and diagnosis of inflamed tubes. She asked if it could be the coil and told no but by then had enough and insisted it was removed. Doc couldn’t find the strings. Off to hospital to get a scan. It’d moved of course. The straw that broke the camels back was when she was told as it’d moved she could have got pregnant lol….she was panicking shed have to be knocked out and operated on to get it out but her GP went fishing as it were and removed it…all before Christmas too….

      • adawells says:

        Kat, I’ve heard of babies being born with the device grown into their bodies. Makes me feel quite ill thinking about it. I understand quite a lot of women end up getting it removed. I became quite ill on 2 attempts of using the contraceptive pill, that I was very glad I could stop taking it instantly. I have heard many accounts of people on hormonal implants feeling very depressed but unable to remove them themselves, they are stuck with them.

  34. ChasUK says:

    NHSE held its first stakeholder engagement event with representation from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, Cancer Research UK, the Institute of Biomedical Science and the British Association for Cytology. You can read a summary of the meeting here http://britishcytology.org.uk/go/news~126

    And there you “representation Jo’s CC Trust” what a surprise!

    • ChasUK says:

      Sorry I got the above from here: https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2018/03/01/primary-hpv-testing-update/

      I am shocked with the amount of info I keep finding! Its never ending.

      • adawells says:

        Loads of women posting in the UK that it is taking 10-16 weeks to get results. Music has issued explanation on Jo’s Tosh that is due to shutting down of old cytology labs (about 50 of them) and reducing them to about 10. About 80% cut in workforce of screening programmes now underway. He has had to explain that takes about 10 years for cervical cancer to develop and that the delays will have no consequence.. He is very worried women will lose confidence in the screening programme and not come back. 😂🤣😂

      • Anonymous says:

        It was not clear if self sampling tests for HPV were going to be implemented or not.

      • adawells says:

        With the latest KPI data you linked to recently, I noticed that both cervical (under 50s) and breast screening are running at under the 70% minimum viability thresholds for the UK screening programmes. It’s only the over 50’s who are boosting the figure over 70% because there’s about 75% take up of the last 3 tests in the screening programme. The figures can only go down. There is nothing they can do, but bring in self-testing to boost them.

Speak your mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.