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.
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208 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.

  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!

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