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.

2,231 comments

  1. Hi ladies, we’ve been talking about what’s been going in the uk and how it might be the beginning of the end for this vile exam, if the self screening alternative becomes a major success, and is rolled out nationwide . would it not be possible for our sisters in the USA to follow the example of the uk and lobby their politicians and the medical hierarchy for similar change, it would be amazing if the streets were lined up with their asshole
    gynos sitting on the floor holding up cardboard plaques saying , haven’t eaten caviar for three days
    Malibu beach house to pay for
    Porsche in desperate need of service
    please give generously .
    life would suddenly seem so good
    I believe the term they use is
    “payback”
    hugs Jules x.

    • Let’s hope so. The self-sampling cat is out of the proverbial bag. These gynos should know that self-testing is only a matter of time. They’re not going to be able to avoid it and keep the status quo for ever!

  2. Hi ladies,
    If the cervical screening programme ends up in tatters and self screening takes over, please tell me that this will not be the end of this amazing site with all you incredible women so many have contributed with so much over the years, and deserve praise, recognition and thanks, and I for one look upon all of you fondly and as friends and would hate to see that end.
    Love helper xx.

    • I don’t think there’s any reason to close shop. Even if the UK program falls, there’s still programs in the US and Canada and other places, and worse, countries where its mandatory for all women (I heard India mandates pap smears) and many countries that require it for any woman in public service including teachers, and Poland once attempted to mandate it for all women as a requirement to be employed and is still pretty gung ho in that direction.

      There’s still a lot of battles to be fought! Don’t think for a moment that if it falls one place,there won’t be some kind of extinction burst from the gyn industry, esp in countries where it hasn’t yet gotten hit as hard. Look out for attempts to start mandating it for employment, as they did with drug testing,another baseless invasive highly inaccurate screening test forced on society eith zero evidence in the middle of a public panic that places no consequences on the inaccuracy or failure of the test industry, thereby making it immune to failure, and relies on an emotional security blanket mentality to further insulate it from attack (after all, “everyone knows” that it works and that no drug-free citizen coukd possibly oppose it!), that continues anyway despite the fact that a non-invasive and far more accurate and effective method exists. (Predictive Safety Alert Meter).

      In either case, this is a fight against a well-funded industry of charlatans who will use every resource they purchased with their ill-gotten billions to avoid losing their easy money train and having to go get a real job.

  3. Hi ladies,
    Well the waiting is over, the confirmation letters have come in this mornings post with regards to our opt out , and now no doubt we will be tarred with the “militant dissenters label” at our local surgery (marvellous) I can’t help feeling that this is the best decision helper could of made she probably comes across as quite outgoing and confident, but when you get to know her she is really quite a sensitive soul (if anybody watches the programme Long lost families she spends most of it crying). I really believe that she would of suffered a mental trauma of sorts if she had attended screening, I have my own agenda for opting out, but am not at a stage to talk about it yet. But besides that, know we will be forever indebted to you all for your guidance and information,you are all exceptional women and a credit to your cause. Hugs Jules xx.

      • Hi kat,
        We sent the emails on feb 22 and received the letters on the 1 march maybe they have realised the game is up and are just getting on with it. Helper has been at work the last two days they are having to disinfect and sanitize the salon ready for reopening on the 12th, that reminds me, if the schools restart on the 8th make sure you take care, fweo need all its front line troops now women are starting to question screening.we plan on a girly night in on Friday to celebrate we are planning on watching dirty dancing (my favourite) followed by mama Mia(helpers favourite) and plenty of chianti. Hugs Jules x.

      • Sorry AQ,
        Got you mixed up with kat, I was trying to finish off something for work , (deadline)and was not paying enough attention thanks for your congratulations “we’re glad to be in the club”.

      • Jules – Ah, So lovely that you two get on so well and are a great source of moral support for each other 🤗

        So glad you have both managed to opt out – I never knew the NHS Screening “service” could be so efficient haha!

        If you’re having a night in, don’t forget the chocolate 🍫 😋

  4. Wow. I’ve just come across a few pages on women vs male gynaecologists on Twitter.

    I started off with the odd like or tweet in support of someone’s stance on being able to choose female gynaecologists and now it has errupted into a full blown argument (that probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most of you by now lol 😂).

    There is only the odd male commenting here and there on the issue which I think shows they are in the minority on this one.

    However, I suspect that those who are engaging most vociferously are male medical students who have had a nerve touched and are trying to justify or validate their beliefs.

    What is unbelievably striking is the lack of empathy shown by these individuals and complete disregard for the wellbeing of the patient. Indeed, in my opinion, they are bordering on the sociopathic.

    The lengths that these odious individuals are going to, to justify the lack of choice for women patients is staggering, even going so far as to suggest that rather than give women a choice, cameras should be installed to monitor malpractice!

    I get that some women will choose a male gynaecologist and that’s their right but the sense of entitlement over a woman’s body in the Twitter comments is frankly obscene.

    Clearly, there is still a lot of work to do and also, in trying to push the self-testing message to our American and Canadian friends.

    • No doubt those psychos would love having gynecological exams on film. That used to be a crime they could be jailed for but now it’s “for the woman’s protection.” The same old sentiment meant to mask the same old abuse.

    • Hi ladies, that must be the reason dr Nikita levy video taped most of his patients because he did not want to be accused of malpractice,
      NOT. The real reason they go into this profession is simple, for access to women and plenty of them. Hugs Jules x.

  5. Hi AQ,
    This is absolutely fantastic to hear that they are turning on each other it’s normally us, I wonder if “someone “ were to throw more fuel on the fire how bad it might get
    “lol”. Hugs Jules x

  6. I’m having one of those days when I’m just mad at the medical establishment. There’s no reason for me to see a doctor, but, I know it’s irrational, I’d nearly LIKE to have a (small) reason to go and then tell the doctor off at the slightest misstep, get up and leave in some grand dramatic gesture and somehow… in some way… have a target for my madness, because now it’s all boiling inside me and there’s no outlet because people around me just don’t understand. They think I’m hysterical, at best traumatized, and should get a grip/therapy. Talking to them is not helpful, it’s invalidating.

    • There’s nothing that pisses me off more. As if we’re too stupid to know bad from good.
      Take something in print that says how bs pap really is. Hand it over, explaining you wouldn’t be believed otherwise.
      Let the bookworms propaganda be poisoned by medical print proving they’re wrong.
      Humbling for them. Freeing for you.

    • I know what you mean, Constance.

      I went through this 15 or 20 years ago. I was so mad at how I had been treated by the medical profession that it was hard for me to function day-to-day. And I was so upset that other women had also been treated so incredibly poorly.

      It takes years (decades even) to get past that level of frustration at the normalness of the abuse and control of women by doctors and other ‘sheepie’ women (women who believe everything doctors spout, and how they expect the rest of us to be so blindly compliant too!).

      I’m able to step back now and just shake my head at the poor attitudes of doctors and how deficient their training is when it comes to treating women – and most especially over female problems.

      You’ll reach an emotional place where you feel better to cope with all this, but its a process and it can take years.

      • You’ll also become quietly confident at walking into a doctors office and being able to control what happens to you. Controlling what you will allow them to do, and what you won’t.

        You will now have a highly sensitive bullshit radar!

        You will be able to squash their demands for paps and mammos, and return your consult to what you actually went there for!

    • I have days…. and weeks… where I’m just mad at the medical establishment. I’ve gone through a period of close to a year where my entire life was medicalized – going from appointment to appointment every day for one thing or other – a cascade that came from a car accident! I’d get conflicting advice, they didn’t listen to anything (like when I complained that I’d walked 3 miles to go to physical therapy, where they had me run a arm-bicycle so I’d have “some exercise – since you’re “inactive”). I told them where to put the arm-bicycle as I walked another 3 miles home. Inactive…. Yeah.

      As I get older, they seem to have a big problem with consent – let alone “informed consent”. I’ve got an upcoming appointment, and am slightly around the bend from that. On the pap crap, they get politely told once, reminded that my refusal is in my chart, and that I’m offended by the question. The second time, I point out that I did not come to talk about my vagina, this is an attempt to undermine my bodily autonomy, and penetration of my vagina and/or anus is not up for debate. The law is very clear that anyone can refuse any medical treatment – even ones that immediately needed for life – such as a blood transfusion in an emergency. The third time I walk out and start lodging complaints. That could include the police, the insurance company, the attorney general (I didn’t get what I’d contracted for), the media, the National Women’s Law Center, a private attorney, the State licensing board, city counsel which gives the hospital its occupancy permit…

      I’ve had to get to a point where I’m willing to walk out with no prescriptions to treat either my diabetes or thyroid problems. Diabetes is the #7 cause of death in the US, so you abandon a patient because they refuse an OPTIONAL SCREENING TEST??? That is utterly ludicrous! Any of the above people to issue complaints with would see it the same way.

      Fortunately, I wouldn’t have to go very long. I’ve got copies of the test results. Go to a “doc in a box” through a pharmacy chain, find an online doctor to Skype with or phone-visit, or even now I can go to Mexico to get medication OTC.

      It’s ludicrous that just because I’m a silly woman – and one with PTSD at that – that I’ve got to be willing to go to such lengths for basic medical care.

  7. Hi ladies,
    Wow it’s a shock to the system to go back to work after so much time off, but I have a plan when the clients come back on the 12th I am going to act as advocate for the cause by causualy mentioning the introduction of self testing how easy it is how accurate it is , and how much less invasive it will be compared to a clinic visit, I’m going to try this with all of them maybe I can convert some of them or at least get them think about it. Anyway we are going to get totally drunk tonight to celebrate our new found freedom from paps, sorry AQ we don’t really do chocolate, I’m afraid our passion is icecream (lots of it)
    the only trouble is the waist and hip damage, but what the hell were celebrating haha love helper xx.

  8. Wow I’m so glad for this site. I went in for the annual physical with my female doctor. I had always gone somewhere else for gynecological reasons to another woman Dr.  So when the male nurse ,Rudy who I like very much came in to do weight and blood pressure, THE FIRST QUESTION WAS….( and you old timers know what it’s going to be )… date of last pap?  I never thought about it much before this site. So I asked Rudy, if when men come in do they get asked about the date of their last prostate exam. To be honest I don’t even remember what he said.

    But when the Dr came in and said ” so you are going to your gynecologist for your woman wellness exam”, at this point I just said yes because I didn’t want to get into it right now. I need to have my data ready and I’m still learning. There is a lot here to read. But I asked her the same question. “do you ask men about the date of their last prostate exam and why aren’t there Men Wellness Exams?” She said well if a man was showing symptoms, then she would pull out the gloves and go in the rectum and that happens here at the annual physical. I asked why if a woman isn’t showing symptoms then why are they wanting to do pap smears. She said because it’s a screening process. I then said that I heard cervical cancer is low anyway. She says yes because of the screening. So I’m seeing directly what you are all talking about. 

    I wonder if she knows the father of gynecology was a white slave owner who practiced without anesthesia on his slaves to develop the techniques.

    • Good on you, Vegan! You’re now much more aware of the lies and abuse from doctors and you can speak up and defend yourself. Questioning what happens to you and not blindly accepting things anymore is great.

      Research everything, read papers, trawl the internet, take on board what we say here, and you’ll be in control of your own health.

    • Those answers she gave you are pure BS, and my blood is boiling right now. There IS a screening test for prostate cancer screening (the PSA ;blood test) as well as the digital rectal exam – but they are not recommended because they cause harm. They often lead to painful unnecessary biopsies, surgeries and treatment for a cancer that may never have bothered a man in his lifetime. You know, very similar harms (which we’re not told about) to the pap smears and mammograms that are pushed on us at every turn. The difference is men are protected from the harms of screening and we are not! It just makes me livid.

      • My husband refuses prostate exams. He does allow PSA blood tests. Accurate or not better than nothing. He gets testosterone which is reason to test.
        “Cycling” or flushing the prostate 21x or more monthly, taking aspirin and zinc daily plus high omega 3 diet, tofu, very little meat, protects.

  9. And here’s a tip – you don’t need an annual physical or wellness exam. We don’t do them here in Australia. Research has shown it’s poor at finding anything, and it gives you false confidence that you are ‘fine’ until your next annual.

    I wouldn’t go annually, but I would recommend being aware of how your body feels and deciding what you think doesn’t seem right and bringing it up with a doctor if need be (while still dodging the stupid demands for paps, mammals and pelvic exams).

      • I’m on a roll this morning….. 🙂

        I researched the incidence rates and deaths of cervical cancer here in Australia over the years, and I was shocked at what I found. I’m a biologist, btw.

        Before the cervical screening program, the deaths from cervical cancer occured at the same rate as brain tumours. That was 700 to 900 women every year in Australia died from brain tumours and cervical cancer (700 to 900 for each of them).

        After the cervical screening program was introduced, the number of deaths from cervical cancer per year dropped to 500 to 700 per year.

        So the screening program was saving on average 200 women per year from dying from cervical cancer.

        To do that, we have insisted and forced that about 8 million women in Australia of the appropriate age (from teens to their 70’s – there are currently 12 million females in total here in Australia according to the last census) get a pap to find these 200 women per year who can be saved.

        Cervical cancer is a rare cancer. So rare that testing for it just isn’t logical.

        Doctors will pat you on the head comfortingly and laugh at you if you walk into a consult and say you want to be screened for brain tumours. They’ll tell you they are very rare and you shouldn’t worry about it.

        But in the same breath they’ll ask you when your last pap was and insist you need to be screened.

        For a cancer that is as rare as brain tumours.

        Doesn’t add up, does it?

      • Oz – I would even question if the full 200 was down to the screening programme.

        Rates have been steadily declining even before screening was introduced.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if some of this decline was due to awareness of things like HPV.

        In the 80s in the UK, there was a massive awareness campaign around AIDS & the dangers of unprotected sex which might have played a role in safer sex practices.

        A way of demonstrating this I guess would be looking at reported rates of STIs to also see if there was a corresponding decline.

        Some articles suggest there has been no discernible improvement yo mortality rates as a result of cervical screening.

  10. Oh I love that. Maybe I’ll ask for a brain tumor test. LOL! And pull out data that it’s the same amount of people that get it. Despite being vegan for almost 8 years I still have high blood pressure and she wants to monitor that for medication. And I get the blood tests but they don’t go far enough. Like testing for hormone levels, something that affects women far more than the stupid pap smear tests.

  11. Hi ladies,
    I know that now we are “opted out” it will or should stop invites arriving, but as many know this does not stop them trying it on during clinic visits ,by asking “if we have changed our minds about screening “”or would we like to reconsider “or question our decision, so I have been thinking of ways to combat them on this, and think I’ve come up with a winner, be polite (I know it go’s against the grain) and tell them that you have officially opted out of screening , if they mention it again just remind them of your first answer , if they persist this is the turning point,demand they give you their full name and NHS registration number as you would not like to get anything wrong on the complaint form , and then tell them to go and fetch one, the power dynamics will be a complete turnaround, it’s they who would feel threatened and subservient for a change, use their own tactics on them.this should work on doctors, nurse practitioners or anyone else there that questions your informed decision , I’m sure that once the word gets round the clinic about your “attitude “ that you will be left well alone.
    Hugs Jules xx.

    • Yes, that’s probably a good idea. Don’t give them any explanations, just tell them you have opted out, all the while with a big smile on your face 😁

  12. Hi ladies,
    Could one of you knowledgeable ladies help out with this, all of us have our own beauty regime that helps us to feel good. Mine is a hot bath with scented candles followed by a rub down with body butter cream this helps me wind down from a rough day at work. Helpers idea is similar but she usually goes a step further plucking eyebrows shaving legs, armpits and “other areas “ the whole nine yards, but instead of cream she uses talcum powder, this is why I would like your input, I have just read that talcum has been linked to ovarian cancer if it’s used on your “sensitive areas “. Is this the case, is this a proven research, and if it is why are there no public warnings around, I have read that it is no longer for sale in the USA or Canada this is all new to me as this is the first time I have come across this info, help please
    Hugs Jules x.

    • It’s a small, but established increase in risk. In Europe, there’s probably no warning on it because nobody bothered to fight for it. There are powders available without talc, like Burt’s Bees or Lush.

    • In the US there have been well publicized warnings for years about women
      using talc in their underwear. Johnson & Johnson, a major manufacturer of baby powder, has been successfully sued in class action lawsuits by women with ovarian cancer. Apparently talc contains asbestos, which can cause ovarian and other cancers. As a result talcum powder has become quite hard to find in the stores here.
      Corn starch powder makes an effective substitute.

    • On talc, use of it was linked to cancer because of where it is mined, and it often contains asbestos, a known carcinogen. In 1976, the Cosmetic, It has been associated with increased incidence of uterine and endometrial cancer in the distant past. In 1976, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association (CTFA), which is the trade association representing the cosmetic and personal care products industry, issued voluntary guidelines stating that all talc used in cosmetic products in the United States should be free from detectable amounts of asbestos according to their standards.

      Any on the market in the US, and other countries with similar standards or suppliers, should not contain detectable asbestos.

      https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/talcum-powder-and-cancer.html
      https://www.ajmc.com/view/jama-study-finds-no-link-between-talc-powder-ovarian-cancer
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3621109/

      So, from the looks of this research, going back well over a decade, seems to say if you like talc and want to use it, go ahead. If you don’t like it and don’t want to use it, it’s NOT because it “causes cancer”. The evidence seems quite week – at least since they got the asbestos out in 1976. However, don’t use it from containers that have been on the shelf for 50 years. 🙂

  13. https://www.england.nhs.uk/2021/02/nhs-gives-women-hpv-home-testing-kits-to-cut-cancer-deaths/

    Just seen some good news that miniature cameras which can be swallowed might soon be a replacement for endoscopies and colonoscopies. The tiny devices transmit images as they go through the gut by a sensor worn as a belt for a day. Really good news for these horrible tests, and shows how quickly screening can be made into an acceptable test when men are on the receiving end. But why so tardy with HPV self-testing? I’m wondering how many of those HPV self-tests have been returned so far? But, can’t get too excited about this, as it is only a study set to run until December this year. After that, it will take a year to write up the results and maybe put into practice… I think women need to boycott this test in droves to force them to speed things up.

  14. Thanks so much ladies, helper was a little upset last night when I showed her the cancer links but she has only been using it for a couple of years so any risk should be minimal, she had a clear out last night and now the flat is talc free. many thanks for all your replies.
    Hugs Jules x

  15. Hi ladies,
    Just read an article in the sun on Sunday about the girls aloud singer Sarah Harding,it seems that she has breast cancer which lead to a mastectomy at the age of 39. I find this upsetting as it doesn’t seem that long ago me and my friends used to dance away to this group at the school disco , very sad but in the article the cancer charity coppafeel have made the most of this opportunity,the head of this organisation Baroness Delyth Morgan said that 11,000 in the uk could have undiagnosed cancer due to the pandemic ,they really do love a martyr and scare tactics if it highlights publicity for themselves don’t they she’s now urging people to get checked out , she’s probably in cahoots with the doctors who will see a drastic fall in women’s checks if self testing takes off, and is trying pacify them with a few boobies instead, they just don’t give up do they. Love helper x.

  16. I just saw a comment over on Mumsnet about mass covid testing in asymptotic ppl: mass testing asymptotic ppl is a nonsense and the comment writer is very worried where this is going
    Is the same not true of smears??!!

    • It’s true, Kat, the Innova lateral flow tests we’ve been given for NHS staff are not licenced for asymptomatic people and only give partial accuracy for those with symptoms, so someone at Innova is making huge sums of money for tests which don’t work very well, but that’s been the COVID pandemic all over hasn’t. As NHS staff I’ve been given a box to do twice weekly with nasal swabs. Not sticking them anywhere else, that’s for sure. A lot of people saying it’s a waste of money, but I’ve been doing my tests anyway if it’s not anywhere invasive. I’d draw the line at that.

      On the issue of pointless tests Kat, I wanted to ask if your daughter has received her pink cervical screening blackmail letter yet? My daughter is 24 this year, and I fear the summons will be coming this year. Not sure what she’ll do as many of her friends are older.

  17. Ada, same, as a school worker I’ve been doing the tests too twice a week, though I refuse point blank to report results to test and trace. It’s not pleasant is it??
    Funny you should say, my daughter hasn’t had her first “invitation “ yet and she must be about due. She lives in Wales, not sure what’s going on there. She has said she won’t be going even when she does get it
    On another note, is it true that they’ve suspended the one off bowel scope screening?? I read they couldn’t get enough staff to do the screening?
    Stay safe all x

    • I don’t know about the bowel screening, but I think this may resume soon as a big effort going on to get staff back from COVID support to the other things which have been left, so I bet they’ll be pushing the screening again soon. I did read in a GP magazine that they are doubling QOF points for cervical screening to get it back up to date again. I also spotted that 2 points are awarded for contacting a ceased decliner every 5 years to tempt them to reconsider, but also, interestingly, 2 points are also awarded for having “that chat” with someone who has decided to decline anyway. I would be interested to hear from people on this site if this is true or not. It does mean that GPs can still hit targets and get their dosh even if women decline and opt out, so a bit of progress, I suppose 😑

  18. Ada, I opted out in 2015 and would have been “due” for a smear in 2020 if I’d stayed in the programme. I had heard about the letters practices send and was half expecting one last year as it would be 5 years. Whether my practice have held off due to covid, or whether it’s finally sunk in I will never go, I don’t know
    Incidentally on Tuesday I was “invited” by text from my surgery to book my covid vaccine which is today. I have serious concerns but I’m going. I wondered if they’d appointed a screening czar to try and persuade non screeners to have a smear while on phone booking for the vaccine but no, nothing happened!!

  19. Hi ladies,
    On the news this morning the government are “considering “ whether to make the corona jab compulsory for care home workers, if this happens what next ? , I’ll bet the screening authorities mouths are watering thinking of all those bonuses if this can be applied to female healthcare .
    So much for bodily autonomy
    Hugs Jules x.

    • Not sure if they could do that though. It could be argued for vaccines, except maybe the hpv vaccine that protects against something that can’t be sneezed into another person’s face, since its a contagious and deadly disease (note I’m not approving of compulsory jabs, just pointing something out), but for women’s health which is largely focused on elective cancer screening?

      Of course,in the US we have the ADA, which means that an employer may only impose medical exams or procedures upon employees if it directly relates to their ability to do their job, and while they may impose any medical exam they like on potential hires, including things not related to the job, if complaints are made the burden is on them to prove that they aren’t using that extraneous and unnecessary data to deny employment based on.disability, including concerns based on assumed potential health insurance premiums/claims, or based on assumptions of potential absenteeism. And you don’t gave to be disabled to report them! So if your employer or prospective employer is requiring you get your testified or vagina medically fondled, or unnecessary bloodwork done, etc, crap that has nothing whatsoever to do with your ability to do the job, make a compaint to the EEOC today!

      Thanks to both the elder and younger Bush administrations!

      So while it might be possible to require it for public service jobs here, on the basis of safety, I’m.not 100% how far they could take it. A lot of folks work from.home now.

  20. Hi ladies,
    The compulsory jab for care home workers was on the 8 oclock BBC morning news, by Matt Hancock . I kept my eye on the news all day but did not hear it mentioned again, I hope they don’t think that they could sneak this through as it could have major implications for others, such as ourselves .by altering the laws and human rights act this would remove the safety net we have of autonomy and free choice,I think it might be time for battle stations,this proposal cannot be allowed to go ahead,there must be a show of strong opposition to quash it in its tracks, they have gotten too big for their boots this time, it may be time to go to war, rolling pins at the ready girls.
    Hugs Jules x.

  21. I’m following this too, both personally and as a Trades Union Officer, I’ve even seen employers calling for powers to discipline workers of they refuse to do the lateral flow tests on demand!
    As to screening, I’m not sure. If they just imposed it on women, it could be argued men get bowel cancer too so they should do the shit kit by law and be subject to the same penalties as non smearers or non boob nukers!
    Also only just noted an appalling Mumsnet thread from 3 months ago, a 26 yr old woman asking is she unreasonable to complain about the way she was ambushed into a smear and the appalling way it was given, and also that nursey was really cutting about her weight. The comments were back to the be grateful and sick it up sort. Vile. Stay safe all x

    • Sorry to see that sort of behavoiur is still going on, Kat. Would have said that’s just typical if you’d said it was from 30 years ago, not 3 months ago. Just goes to show we still need to get out there and keep emphasising that this test is voluntary and coercion shouldn’t ever be used. I seem to have read somewhere recently that GP points for cervical screening targets have been doubled to re-invigorate the programme post-Covid rather than let it slip, so women could be in for a tough time for a while.

  22. Off topic but it made me laugh, for once Boris had told the truth when he said capitalism and greed is behind the successful British vaccination programme lol!!( For anyone wondering I’m now a complete anarchist aged 57……)!?

  23. Jules I think it couldbe made mandatory for new employees to have the vaccine, but those already in post it might be harder as it’s not written into the old contracts? Such a big change in what’s basically working conditions would require a review and discussion, most probably with the Unions. Of course this government has no respect for workers or even humans and their rights so you could be right… I’ll find my rolling pin!!!!

  24. Tried to have a breast ultrasound today (checking my implants), said on the phone when making the appointment that I want to talk about my implants/breasts/ultrasound ONLY. Enter gynecologist: Same old, same old. “Why don’t you have paps? Did you EVER have a pap? Well, I need to ASK at least!”. Told him I felt not respected and left without the ultrasound. Will try another MD in a few weeks… what does he think he has achieved? He certainly hasn’t improved my health! (This is Constance with the mushroom in the Twitter avatar – I can’t log in here via Twitter, it always tells me the link expired.)

    • If your in the US I wonder if you could have the images done at another doctor besides a Gynecologist. Someone less likely to push paps.

  25. This is probably something to keep an eye out for in future – opportunist ‘screening’ at a vaccination clinic for AF .

    It isn’t passed by the UKNSC https://legacyscreening.phe.org.uk/atrialfibrillation – it is being funded by a charity https://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/news/af-association-rolls-out-opportunistic-af-screening-at-covid-19-vaccine-centres There is already a national trial for this in place.

    It seems like some charities take over when they don’t get the answer they want from govt. They get a chance to ‘educate’ and they are in there. Since they all do musical chairs in the board room, they are all using similar methods to get their foot in the door.

  26. It feels like no part of the medical industry is immune.
    A couple of weeks ago, I went to a skin clinic to get a couple of dodgy moles on my shoulder checked. The female nurse was lovely and said that she thought the moles should both come off (after getting a colleague to have a look to confirm). An appointment was booked with a male doctor. The nurse then mentioned that because I have a lot of moles, the doctor would want to do a full body top to toe check to make sure there were no other moles of concern before removing the dodgy ones.
    Me: I know my body, these 2 moles are the only ones I’m concerned about, I don’t need a full body check
    Nurse: Probably still a good idea
    Me: I only want these moles looked at
    Nurse: You can keep your bra and undies on and the doctor can lift them to the side to check. You can have a chaperone. The doctor is very quick and professional blah blah blah…..
    Me: Just these moles
    Nurse: Discuss it with the doctor when you see him.

    I have my appointment this week and already I am feeling anxious about what should have been a straightforward mole removal. I’m prepared to stick to ‘these moles only thanks’ but makes me angry yet again at having to even have the discussion!!!

      • I was so impressed when my dermatologist told me I didn’t need annual skin checks, she simply said if I see anything new and was concerned, make an appt.
        Not something you hear very often with the “check-everything-just-in-case” approach these days
        I have vitiligo and see her every few years, I’m amazed it’s a 5-6 month wait to see her these days, she complained at my last appt, “I have so many here for skin checks, I don’t have a lot of time for patients with actual skin issues. I’m really not a fan of medical fishing expeditions, after a certain age, they’re bound to find all sorts of things – things that don’t need to be found!

        Pleased it went well, Bec

      • You’ve had several of these already. Right? So glad you finally get a break AND you have a doctor that gives relevant medical advice.
        What we deserve to hear more often.
        My turn next…

  27. Hi Bec,
    Just ware a top such as an off the shoulder number, or if this has to be removed have something like a sports bra underneath, and refuse to remove anything else, tell them you have no other concerns other than these moles on your shoulder and this should be the focus of their attention, if they start to make you uncomfortable they may need to be reminded of a patients rights of refusal, everyone on here is behind you and wish you well.
    Hugs Jules x.

    • Thanks everyone for your support! Went okay because I firmly but nicely reiterated that I only wanted the 2 moles removed.
      When I arrived, I had to fill in a consent form and I just put a line through all the stuff about a chaperone and understanding that the check would be done in underwear etc and wrote N/A, 2 moles on my shoulder. The receptionist said “Oh, so you don’t want the full body check then?” I said no thanks, the form was given to the doctor who didn’t question me further.
      Yay, feeling better and stronger for the next time I need to say no. Have a nice day everyone!

      • So happy for you, Bec! Good on you. Every time we express our decision and back it to up, it’s helping doctors realise they need to respect the wishes of women. We’re not there to just have things done to us. We have a say and we’ll stand up for our rights until respecting us becomes automatic, not something we have to fight for.

      • Well done Bec and I’m glad it went well for you. 17 year old me also thanks you. At that age I was made to completely strip off by a male doctor, despite my protestations, when I went for an appointment about facial acne ‘to see if it was anywhere else’. I found it deeply traumatic and it taught me that my wishes did not matter and I had no bodily autonomy. Until the day when patients are routinely able to give free and fully informed consent and this is properly taught in training institutions, people such as yourself making a stand are making a key contribution to a much needed cultural shift in medicine. Not that the onus should have been on you in the first place, but well done nonetheless x

      • Take your partner along and ask lots of questions.
        Interrupt the doctor’s rhythm don’t let him/her enjoy doing the exam.
        Ask why parts of exam are medically justified especially if your appointment was for something else not even remotely related to your vagina.

      • Be aware. I have heard of some dermatology clinics taking full nude body photos to “compare” year to year. I might suggest you take a photo of only areas of concern at home and bring them to the clinic if changes are to be looked for over time.

      • I had a skin checkup at a chain/franchise skin clinic after a BCC was removed from my eyelid. The surgeon said go get the rest of your skin checked as there’s usually more than one.

        It was a disaster.

        The check itself was fine, it was everything afterwards that sucked.

        At the front desk the receptionist said the doctor wanted to see me in 6 months, so they’ll make an appointment now.

        I said no thank you. Don’t send me reminders and I’m not making another appointment.

        The receptionist didn’t like that. She then suggested making an appointment for 12 months.

        I said no, if I feel the need for it I’ll contact you. I wasn’t making a pre-booked appointment. Don’t contact me.

        She didn’t like that, but she nodded, I paid and left.

        Six months later I got a phone call saying I must come in for a check up. I said I told you, no calls, no checkups, no appointments.

        The lady said, oh sorry, won’t call you again.

        A month later I got another phone call. I again said I’m not coming in and you told me you wouldn’t call me. Again, sorry, we’ll make a note of that.

        A few weeks later, another call. Then another, and another, on and on.

        Finally I blew my top and told them to remove my number from their records. They said they couldn’t.

        I got another phone call. I demanded to speak to the owner. Got him on the phone, he apologized and agreed the calls were over the top, and agreed with me to remove my contact details.

        Then I got another phone call a month later!

        I went nuts, yelling, blowing up at them, you name it. Obviously they didn’t remove my details as they were STILL CALLING ME!

        Got the owner on the phone again, blew up at him. This time they said they would remove my details. I said I don’t believe you, the calls keep coming, this won’t stop, I’m never coming back and this is illegal harassment and I’m making a complaint with the AMA.

        I then blocked one of their numbers they were using, but I couldn’t block their private number.

        I haven’t had another call since, so obviously they gave up. This is a chain skin cancer clinic in Sydney. I left a Google review saying what had happened to me, and warning people to not go to them. I’ll never go to one of these things again. I’ll get my boyfriend to look at the places I can’t see on my back and leave it at that!

  28. Hi Bec. So glad it went well. I was rooting for you. By standing firm you are helping the next young woman coming along.
    x

  29. Hi ladies! Hope you’re all ok?
    Maybe times r a changing! My daughter is 25 next month and living in Wales. She is adamant she wants no kids, and recently changed doctors. She still hasn’t been “invited “ for her 1st smear. Today she went for a copper coil fitting (don’t get me started) and proposes to get the Pill privately! I was convinced they’d offer her a smear today while they were “in the area “ but it wasn’t even mentioned!!

  30. Incidentally she had decided against having smears, and was relieved it wasn’t brought up, though I think she’d of stood her ground and refused if necessary

  31. Ada yes, the smear word wasn’t mentioned, and she said she just felt a pinch as it went in!
    She was half expecting the offer of a smear, I think she was relieved it wasn’t offered, though she wouldn’t have given in and had one!

    • That’s amazing! I’ve read female doctors complaining they found the process extremely painful when they had an IUD inserted and were taken aback how painful it was. Glad it went OK for your daughter.

  32. Thanks Ada! Hopefully it won’t cause her any problems now it’s in. Can’t say I’m thrilled but it’s her choice….

      • Glad it all went well! My sister needed her IUD changed, and she opted to have it done at a special womens clinic with sedation, as the original insertion without sedation was quite painful. She had intravenous twilight sedation.

        She said it was so much nicer being off with the fairies! I think women should be offered the sedation, but we all know what doctors are like about that – womens pain doesnt exist and we should just suck it up. :-p

      • Great for her!
        If you ever must get endometrial biopsy done insist on this sedation.

      • Yes, I’ve heard those are awful. I only know one person who has had one. They don’t seem to be done very often here in Australia. From what I’ve been reading they’re much more common in America. They seem to do them for the slightest reason.

        No one is doing that to me unless I’m knocked out!!!

        Think its disgusting how they tell women its just uncomfortable with a quick pinch! What rot, most women describe it as the most painful thing they’ve ever had, like torture.

  33. Hi kat,
    Just visiting the site to see what’s new, and kudos to you in regards to your posts on your daughter, this shows the women on here do not impose their own will on others, and just try to educate them to make their own decisions, although you wrote that you weren’t happy about it ,you also said it was her decision and respected it , as Adawells said your a good mum
    Hugs Jules x.

  34. And a big thank you to all the women here, including Sue who’s site it is, for all the help, advice and friendship over the years! I truly value this site, and the ppl on it x

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