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.

2,180 comments

  1. Ada, an interesting article, I’ve read a fair bit about the watch and wait approach that was adopted in NZ by Dr Green.
    Dr Green was very concerned about over-treatment, he could see it was a huge concern with women having conizations and hysterectomies for CIN 3, including many younger women who may have wanted children.

    He was certainly right about over-treatment – I was astounded when I finally found some research showing the lifetime risk of colposcopy (and usually a biopsy) under our program was a huge 77%

    It explained why so many women were being referred with “abnormal” results. I’d like to know the lifetime risk of having abnormal cells removed, that must have been high too because it’s just so common – so many women have had “bad cells off”…

    I note they talk about ignoring informed consent back then, I’m not sure there’s more respect for informed consent these days, I think the profession has been very slow to view cervical screening as elective and one that requires our informed consent.

    I still see Clinics mention on their websites that women on the Pill “need” cervical screening…quite clearly, that’s completely incorrect, the two are unrelated and no one “needs” screening.

    There’s still a lot of resistance here, controlling women and their bodies is still firmly in place here, that’s why self testing is only for women who decline the invasive test, the so-called hard to reach groups, and the self test has to be carried out in the doctor’s rooms or in their toilet.

    It’s also why the Delphi Screener (last I heard) can’t be purchased by Australian women, if you want to self test, you have to self test within the program. I noticed the site was blocked shortly after the new program started, think it had been possible to order the Delphi Screener online for about 4 years – but (from memory) your result was sent to your GP. (so they could still control the woman)

    I do wonder how many women have actually been helped by all this testing, the cancer was always rare here and in natural decline – seems to me an awful lot of grief could have been avoided.

    When we’re considering tests to screen for a rare cancer, it’s important to weigh up the impact it might have on the vast majority who’ll never have an issue with the cancer – that certainly wasn’t done in cervical screening, harm was maximised with far too much testing and early testing.

    Yet most simply say the program is a success story – if you save some women, and the numbers would be low, rare is rare – how can you justify the damage this program caused to so many women, those who would never have had an issue with cc?

    I don’t think you can…it can only be justified if the health and well being of the majority of women is considered unimportant.

  2. I’m 32 years old i live in the US and I have never had a Pap smear or any of those procedures . I received a call from the clinic reminding of an appointment that I never made for a Pap . Since then I haven’t slept ate or maintain focus I’ve been stressing it I ended up in a depression because of that stupid call !!!! Ughhh pls ladies I need your support!!!!

    • First off, Esther, calm down. I’ve worked myself up into a sleepless anxiety-fueled depression over these too. Your body, your choice. No means NO. Cancel that appointment which they made without your knowledge or consent. You have a legal right to refuse any medical procedure, test, or treatment – and that’s much easier to enforce if you don’t go into the clinic, and don’t take your clothes off.

      • Yes I can’t sleep I wake up every hour I’m trying to be my old self but, the call got me really depressed! And not to mention anxiety . Thanks for hearing me out

    • Hi there Esther, I know how you feel, I’ve had pap smears since I was 19, luckily they have always come back normal, my last one was just over 3 years ago and I’ve decided not to have anymore, I’m 47 and have had enough of trotting of to the drs every 3 years, getting myself into such a state of anxiety, and then being anxious for 2 more weeks waiting for the results, I would feel quite liberated at my decision, but because I have health anxiety and have had some bleeding issues for 4 plus years, i worry that I’m doing the wrong thing, I hope I can put it behind me, but it’s now made me phobic about having sex because of a incident of bleeding after sex 7 months ago, unfortunately that’s the last time I had sex with my husband of 30 years poor man as it scared me, also i recently had a 7 week period, anyway sorry for going on to long, if there is anyone who can tell me about there issues and how they dealt with it, also I do not smoke, only ever had one other partner before him, but the drs and media make you feel like cervical cancer is rife, and theres also the conflicting issue, does hpv reactivate as you get older, all these thing just add fuel to my anxiety, I’m convinced i must have cc, as this is what we are being told all the time, i just need help to get over this.

      Thanks ladies

      • The way to get beyond health anxiety is with real information – such as from a reputable medical journal, and actual statistics. In the US, it’s slightly more likely that you will die of CC than die of being hit by lightening!

        A 7 week period, missed or skipped periods, very light or very heavy, is part of normal perimenopause, which I would expect at 47. I dealt with it by just “dealing with it” – always wearing a pad since I could not predict.

        If HPV “reactivated” after years of dormancy, that would fly in the face of the whole field of immunology or virology. Pathogens run their course. Sometimes, their course is a lifetime. If things could go away and reactivate, no one who had mumps, measles, chicken pox, etc would have immunity, nor could vaccines possibly work at all. Yet, at the same time they claim that HPV (uniquely) “reactivates”, they give people Guardasil vaccines. No, you might become re-infected, as immunity tends to fade with time, but does not reactivate.

        The more you look for CC, the more likely you are to find it. There are “incidentalomas”, which are cancer, but so slow-growing they will never bother you (but the treatment sure can!!!), or false positives. Do enough tests, even with low odds, and you’ll have a false positive. If a woman follows the current US guidelines on screening, even with a “low” false positive rate, she’s got a whopping 77% chance of having a “follow on test” over her lifetime – biopsy, LEEP, even hysterectomy – all with inherent risks and pain. Well, that’s better than the 95% it was with the schedule of “annual” from puberty to grave.

  3. Thanks for making me feel a little bit less anxious and less scared about the situation. I just hope I can get through this !!!! And be me again !!!!

    • Make it clear to them that penetrating your vagina is not something open for debate. Your refusal is final, and not open for discussion or debate. If they try to coerce you by refusing you some other medical care because you refuse a pap (an optional screening test!), that could be considered rape by coercion. It’s just as coercive if a doctor refuses to treat your real medical issue if you will not allow him to penetrate your vagina (by instrumentation) as it is if another professional will not provide their professional service if you will not allow them to penetrate your vagina, if an employer makes it a condition of your continued employment and paycheck that (he) will penetrate your vagina, or a firefighter will not extinguish the fire or rescue your children and pets if you do not allow (him) to penetrate your vagina.

      Get them on record. If it’s legal in your jurisdiction, record the conversation.

      • I’m going to do the no call no show and blocked them this is stressful for me . I want to smile again and all this got me sooooo depressed 😭

  4. Thank you
    I will do the no call no show better all of this is to stressful for me to deal with . Thank you for your kind and empowering words . Life in the US is very stressful and difficult. I can’t keep feeling like this !!!!

  5. I was just researching anti-fungal creams, and it brought back unpleasant memories of being absolutely grilled and interogated by a chemist/pharmacist as to WHY I wanted a vaginal anti-fungal cream.

    I used to battle ear infections a lot, and whenever I was prescribed antibiotics I always ended up with vaginal thrush afterwards, which scientifically was to be expected. I absolutely hated going to the chemist to get thrush cream because I was never allowed to just buy the vaginal cream. As soon as I said the words, ‘vaginal thrush cream’ the chemist’s ears would perk up and the grilling would begin –

    ‘How did I know I had thrush?’,

    ‘Have I seen a doctor?’,

    ‘What are the symptoms?’,

    ‘How long have you had the symptoms?’,

    ‘Have I had more than a few thrush inffections that year?’,

    ‘How do I know its not a STD?’,

    Blah, blah, blah blah.

    This always infuriated me no end. It’s a level of surveillance of my vagina (or any womans vagina) which is so unnecessary. Because the stupid creams are kept behind he counter, there was no way to avoid the ‘interview’ to see if I was a stupid, clueless woman who didn’t know what I was talking about.

    I always fought back with my own questions.

    ‘Why does what my vagina is doing matter to you so much?’.

    ‘Why do you presume I’m stupid?’.

    ‘Do you think I’m going to stick it up my nose instead of my vagina?’.

    ‘Do you think I’m going to stick it up someone else’s nose?’

    ‘Why do you think I don’t know what thrush is?’.

    ‘I’m a biologist and know a hell of a lot more about candida albicans than you do, so cut the crap!’.

    ‘Of course I’ll see a doctor if this dioesn’t clear up or I develop more serious symptoms, why do you think women can’t think for themselves and need to be told?’.

    ‘What is it about being female that you think means we’re all empty-headed?’.

    I used to send regular emails to the pharmacists guild here in Australia saying that treating women like stupid little children over thrush is quite offensive and not based on reality. I was always told the same thing – this is a controlled medication, you might have something more serious, we reserve the right to question you, what if you have diabetes, blah, blah, blah. So nice to know that the bad treatement of women coems from the top! Which is just a repeat of being treated like a stupid woman! As if anti-fungal cream is dangerous…. (big clue here – it isn’t!!!!!)

    I did used to try buying it on-line but when I did, I was either called or emailed the same stupid questions. Of course, sometimes I just lied and answered the questions like a good little girl with the ‘expected’ correct answers, using a bored robotic voice. And then say thank you for allowing me to have this precious gift of anti-fungal cream, and I promise to use it as instructed and not kill myself or anyone else, with it!

    Since I had several operations on my ears I haven’t had to deal with getting the cream, but I’ve just had a quick research of comparing vaginal and foot anti-fungal creams, and guess what? They both contain the same amount of active ingredient – Clotrimazole 10g/g. There is no difference between the two. The vaginal one, of course, is more expensive than the foot one. And the vaginal one comes with an applicator.

    So if you, like me, resent being treated like a moron, then just buy the foot anti-fungal cream instead. No questions, no problems. You might need to buy the vaginal one ONCE to get the applicator stick, but after that make sure you clean and dry the plastic applicator (some are paper, some are plastic).

    I think all of this is just an extension of the same old medical treatment of women. Men get respect and asked what they prefer or want. Women get TOLD what we’re having, and not allowed much say in it (especially when it comes to our reproductive parts).

    Anyone else had this done to them when they tried to get the cream?

    • YES! I only get the cream occasionally but the last time I did, it was so embarrassing. I asked for the vaginal cream (like you, kept behind the counter and brought out by the male pharmacist) and was asked if I would be applying it to the external skin, internally or both! What business of his is that!!??

      Thanks for the info about the foot cream similarities, that will make it much easier in future!

      • You’e welcome Bec! It’s so ridiculous. And asking if you were using internally or externally?! Holy cow. I have no words. Should have said, ‘Oh, did I say vagina? Silly me, I meant my big toe!’. LOL

    • Oz this is shocking, it’s also juse another big con by big pharma to rake in the profits, I remember over here I think it was Nurofen being told off for marketing Nurofen specially formulated to attack period or headache pain faster when the active ingredient was still ibuprofen, which can be bought even more cheaply as the generic ibuprofen! Obviously the “targetted” Nurofen was wayyy more expensive. ….

  6. I’ve never had a pap either, and I’m in my forties. After researching all the facts (which doctors never tell you) and finding out the payments which doctors get for performing a pap, I’ve always declined them. It’s a battle sometimes, and I get the disapproving looks/speech, but I will not jump on the pap merry-go-round for anyone. If I have symptoms, I might have one, but otherwise, no way. The risk of getting cervical cancer is so damn small, I’m very happy to forgo a pap test.

    Same for mammograms. I will not get routine ones and I wil certainly refuse to participate in the screening programs. And I look forward to the day I turn 50 and start getting the automatic appointments and demanding letters, because I’ll give them hell!! My body, my choices.

    I believe that as long as you research the pros and cons, know what the symptoms are, know what the diagnostic tests are, and make careful choices about how you will procede, this is the best thing to do with paps or mammos. Don’t let yourself get thrown under a truck with painful testing or demands for this-or-that. Be informed and tread carefully, and stop seeing a doctor that demands your compliance!

    • Oz, no one ever gave me a hard time over mammos, at 51 I got my first “invitation” , pre booked summons actually, with a request to please cancel if I wasn’t going, which I did purely so someone who actually wanted it could go, opted straight out, never a word even though at first I was still hassled about smears after opting out.
      The topic came up incidentally when I sought help for menopausal sweats and flushes and was emphatic, no HRT. The doc asked why no HRT and I said: not convicts safe and anyway I de idea no cancer screening and there’s a link btween HRT and breast cancer? She asked from curiosity why I didn’t have any screening and I explained my reasons for both smears and mammos. She couldn’t actually disagree with anything I said and I left with clonidine. There’s less pressure here for mammos and the one off bowel scope, and after covid I think they’ll strugg9to get smear uptake back to even before it was pre lockdown!

    • Thank you OZ for replying what you wrote made me feel a little more comfort. I’ve never had a Pap neither and I thought I was the only one !

    • Thank you OZ I thought I was alone yes I’ve never had a Pap reading a lot of testimony of all the lady’s that have never gotten a Pap is making me feel better about myself !! And less anxious

  7. I have to say, when I had very serious bleeding problems with heavy periods, no doctor was ever concerned with that. I was refused help over and over again. Its amazing what ‘things’ the doctors treat as serious and what they don’t, because theire doesn’t seem to be a lot of logic in it, and they’re still guided by out-of-date ways of treating women.

    My heavy periods started in my teens and I would regularly miss school because I could not leave the classroom often enough to change a tampon and pad every 15 minutes (teachers would get abusive and derisive and say I was ducking out of work and should go to the toilet before or after class! And these were female teachers). I was abusively told by doctors that I was whinging whenever I asked for help with the heavy bleeding. I was even denied blood tests to see if I was low on iron when I was becoming absolutely exhausted! And that is ridiculous.

    I had a nervous breakdown and became suicidal when I couldn’t finish my university degree and graduate because my periods were so heavy, I physically could not sit through exams (which were 3 hours long) if I had my periods. A super tampon and super pad would last 15 minutes – if I was lucky. Sometimes as soon as I changed myself and stood up, the blood would flow straight out and I had to start over again.

    I did end up getting my degree, by appealing and obtaining special permission to have exams re-sceduled whenever I had my period. It was a battle though. The admin staff always gave me disapproving looks. I felt like a bad student for causing a fuss. I should never have had to go through that but I have no doubt some women at uni still have problems like I had and they struggle to get help.

    Becase of what I went through, I now treat doctors and the medical profession as more than a bit useless, and I carefully pick and chose what I will or will not do.

      • Hi Kat, yes, I was seeing a lovely psychiatrist and she put her foot down, saying this is ridiculous that you can’t get help. She found a gyno who would perform a MEA (microwave endometrial ablation). Then it was fixed! I now have very light periods and one mini tampon will last for 6 hours.

        The whole point was that no one would help me because ‘help’ consisted of making me infertile (which the MEA does, up to a point). I’m childfree and have never wanted kids, and we all know what doctors are like about THAT when women say they don’t want kids. Women are still not allowed to decide that they won’t have kids. Your reproductive rights are not yours.

        The gyno that did my MEA told me I must not mention her name to anyone as she could get in trouble for doing it on a woman in her thirties with no kids.

        It’s the same problem that women have when they want their tubes tied. Oh, we can’t do that, you must first have X number of kids, and X of each gender, and you must be over X age and your husband must give you permission! It’s just insane.

  8. Oz just glad you got it sorted it’s disgusting what we have to put up with! I’ve always said if men had periods they’d be given free period products on the NHS or at the very least wouldn’t pay tax on them as they’re classed as a “luxury “ item apparently!!

    • Hello Esther. I have been reading some of your comments with regards to screening and the hassle you seem to be getting from your healthcare provider.

      I couldn’t agree with BethKZ that the most potent weapon in your arsenal may be reputable medical journals.

      Thinking of ways to dodge medical professionals’ inquisitions has been a feature of all my surgery visits during my reproductive lifetime (a sad reality, really).

      What has helped me the most is refusing to engage with them in a firm, but polite manner.

      Whenever the point has been raised, I have found ways to shut down the conversation as soon as I have been able to do so.

      Telling them, “I have made an informed decision not to screen” has usually worked.

      Medical professionals – particularly nurses – often whittle on and on. They sometimes don’t take no for an answer and will try to keep the conversation going as long as possible in order to get the answer that they want.

      They often lull women into a false sense of security, who may divulge sensitive non-health related information during their consultations.
      For example, they might discuss their current relationship, how long they have been sexually active and how many sexual partners they’ve had. Many women are naive to the fact that this information is often recorded. They are not friends and they are not to be trusted.

      Be mindful that some of them may try to discredit any sources that you provide them with.

      When I was once asked why I didn’t screen, I told them that I had researched the evidence and had made an informed decision not to screen. She accepted it. Another doc tried pushing further but backed down when I politely repeated the fact that I had made my decision.

      I give them no excuses, no reasons and no justifications because they don’t need to know.

      If you do choose to confront the situation, perhaps a short telephone call or brief letter would be sufficient.

      It isn’t easy to confront this of course. I avoided docs throughout my late teens and twenties but felt confident enough to say, “no” when I reached 30.

      I thought what is the worst that can happen? What can they realistically do if I refuse screening?

      I readied myself for the foot-stamping and the toy-throwing that might ensue, but being firm worked for me. I use the approach during my work settings too if I’m dealing with representatives from partner organisations who try to bend the rules or blame me for things that do not go their way. I find it largely works and it can feel empowering once I’ve gotten over the daunting feeling of having to challenge them.

      Back to screening, if they were to get tetchy, threatening or abusive, you could always politely remind them you have a right to decline under the law, and if they persist, you will consider legal options.

      Deal with the situation in the way that best works and feels most comfortable for you. I just thought I’d share my experiences and what has worked best for me.

      Good luck and keep us updated as to how the situation is going for you x

      • EDIT: I meant to say that I couldn’t agree *more* with BethKZ’s comment in my 2nd para. So sorry 😲

      • You read the actual science and medical journals for yourself – to help you decide that screening (or any other medical test or procedure) is not worthwhile – or you might decide that something IS something you want and would help you.

        When you’re in the room talking to them, you will lose if you start debating the research and science. They have spent years reading it, and looking at it, and siding with that which will make them the most money or sides with the medical status-quo. They don’t want to rock the boat.

        When you’re actually IN the office, you give them a firm “NO”. Penetration of your vagina is not open for debate.

      • Thank you Apocalyptic Queen
        I’m glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t had a Pap smear I’m 32yrs old and I’m petrified of just thinking about it I needed up gettin ptsd because of that stupid call !!!! I’ve been searching for ppl like me one lady said that Pap smear is slavery shit and that she refuse screening !!! But still they shouldn’t be scaring women to getting this scary painful test !!!!!

      • Ah, the “Pap smear is slavery”. There’s something to it. Look at the background of how the pelvic exam was developed, and how the speculum was developed, and who the test subjects were. They were literal black slaves in the southern US. The speculum exam was used to effectively torture (poor) sex workers in the UK before 1900… many of them chose to forgo this “exam” and just spend the time in Old Bailey. If you look at how the speculum was developed, it’s got its origins in The Pear – a torture device used in the Middle Ages when looking for witches/heretics – They expanded the orifice (mouth, vagina, or anus) painfully, and caused tears.

        The similarities to slavery are striking in that they feel entitled to your body – as if THEY own your body. I’ve mentioned that back to the 16th century, one fundamental right of a free person is bodily integrity and bodily autonomy. The medical field has a strange idea of what constitutes consent – different than in any other situation.

  9. Reverting back to the issue of Covid-19. As you are probably all aware, there seems to be a lot of people challenging what they perceive to be, as “excessive” control by the authorities in an attempt to reduce incidence and transmission of late.

    I do not personally agree with all their arguments especially given the prevalence of Covid, put the point being put forward is a familiar one (to us).

    “Why should medical and governmental bodies have the right to store sensive information about us, and monitor our data, when the risk of dying of Covid is in the region of 0.6%”?

    They say, that as it is a disease which primarily affects the older population and those with co-morbidities, then the level of monitoring is excessive.
    80% are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms of the disease.

    Given the fact that around 40k deaths have already been partially or fully attributed to this illness since the pandemic started here in the UK alone, including around 2,000 people under the age of 65 who apparently had no underlying health conditions, then it is difficult to fathom how virtually no one has asked similar questions of cervical screening.

    When you consider the lifetime risk of contracting cervical cancer is 0.58%, the risks posed by further treatment, that only 5% of CIN I and no more than around 31.3% if CIN III ever progresses into cancer within a 20-23 year timeframe, the invasive nature of the test, lack of informed consent, that NHS Trusts stores data on our health profiles including sexual health etc, and that they need our addresses, contact numbers etc to mount a successful screening programme, this programme is excessive by anyone’s standards.

    While I don’t necessarily agree about the arguments concerning Covid, I do wonder how a programme that is far more excessive and intrusive than track and trace, seems to have escaped scrutiny, and even wonder whether people might see screening in a new light or whether they will predictably, plod on as usual, and fail to recognise that the screening programmes and the surveillance that comes with it, are far more intrusive than track and trace.

  10. Hi ladies I’m still trying to overcome this anxiety I sign up to the website women against stirrups !!!! I just want to be me again and forget about the Pap test or cc but it’s hard !!!! You guys words id wisdom help a lot pls keep giving words of wisdom thank you

  11. Beth
    Thank you for the information
    I’m still a little anxious trying not to think about it !!!! I hope I overcome this depression…. pls give me words of wisdom!!!! I’m tired of thinking about paps and crap like that !!!!

      • Esther sometimes there are lapses here where no one seems to be posting- that is partially due to the fact that many of us live in different time zones in the US as well as the UK amd Australia. Just know that we are all here for you, supporting you. You’re stronger than you think and by sharing your experience with us you have also helped others with similar thoughts know they are not alone.

  12. Awww thank Judy
    I really need every ones support and words of encouraging I never thought this was going to affect me sooo much i hate the feeling of not being able to control my mind! The system is corrupted and is harsh !!!

  13. Are mammograms really necessary in a healthy over 55 women? I am healthy had no mamos since 2000 , my body my choice, but my sister is a chain smoker and now has lung & breast cancer because of this, I have been getting pressured by my family Dr and as well my Insurance company and the mammogram place.
    They all said because my sister has stage 3 breast cancer , I need to come in right away and have a breast exam and mammogram because I have breast cancer as well, does this seem right are they trying to scare me? There is NO history in our family of cancer of any sort, my sister got cancer because she is smoker and didnt take of herself,what are the chance of me having breast cancer being related ?What should I do? I dont do paps or mamo’s as it is my body and my choice.

    • You don’t “have” breast cancer just because your sister does, unless YOU have been diagnosed, using such things as exams and biopsies. Yes, they are trying to scare you – the #1 product that medicine has to sell healthy people is fear. “Health scare” is a better term for this.

      It is likely that your sister got breast cancer from smoking – possibly mestasticized from lung cancer. It is possible that it went the other way, possibly caused by genetics that remained recessive in your family for generations.

      Yes, it’s your body and your choice. You don’t need to be hounded in the name of “health care” to be sold some tests and treatments.

    • Hi Kathleen! There is some evidence to say breast cancer runs in families because of a certain gene, but it’s not absolutely certain, and breast cancer can happen for many reasons, not just a faulty gene. It is entirely up to you if you want to have a mammogram or not, it is YOUR choice, not theirs.

      I would skip the manual breast exam entirely as it is incredibly unreliable. Mammograms are not good at screening either. I would sit down, go through the evidence for and against screening and make an informed decision. Don’t be swayed or bullied by doctors or other women who say you MUST get tested. Make a decision that seems fair to you (test or don’t test) and stick to it.

      If you decide to have a mammogram, you will also have to decide what to do if something is found. Breast biopsies are pretty barbaric and often not necessary.

      You can decide not to test and instead be aware of anything that changes with your breasts like an inverting nipple, rashes, orange peel skin, breast shape/size change, nipple discharge, things like that.

      Treat doctors like used car salesmen – don’t believe everything they tell you and do your research so you don’t get conned into something you don’t want or need. That’s what I do.

      • What I dont get why do they think I have breast cancer ? because my sister does? Are the chances really that high that I have breast cancer because of my sister ? I do my own breast exam every month, there is no lumps bumps anywhere. Confused by all this but, I do not want to be dictated or bullied by the medical community into getting a unnecessary mammogram.

  14. What I don’t get what if my sister did not smoke and yet she still had cancer in her lungs and breast but no family history ,does that mean that I have a higher percentage of having breast cancer? how do they base this ?

    • Statistically you are indeed more at risk of breast cancer since your sister has it. However that does not mean you will get it too and you should still study the harms vs. benefits of mammography and make your own decision without being pressured. Google “harms of mammography” and it should show articles with more balanced info instead of the usual cherry picked stats put forth by radiologists and others with vested interests. Stage 3 breast cancer is still considered early stage that hasn’t spread to other parts of the body so therefore your sister likely has two primary cancers, breast and lung.

  15. Off topic flippant and irreverent but I can’t stop laughing! I’ve been binge watching a show called Tattoo Fixers where dodgy and offensive tattoos get covered, this woman came in wanting the letters TOLO covered up! I had no clue why it’s offensive, apparently it means, TITS OUT LEGS OPEN!!
    That’s offensive? It’s what is victims of bikini medicine are expected to do, it’s a vital part of our “ healthcare” we’re told!!!

  16. Some women are extroverts and don’t mind exposing their private parts to anyone. Be it for tattoos, jewellery or any other reason they feel is viable. TOLO is just a big laugh.

    Many of us are not like that. I was a young woman of 22 who had just got married looking to refill my pill prescription.

    The doctor insisted on giving me a smear test that I didn’t want and was unready both mentally and physically for it.

    The repercussions to my life have been enormous. That is why I post here often. And I’m sure you’ve all read my comments filled with anger over what happened to me.

    I was made to feel I had no control over my body. The doctor, his practice nurse backed by the NHS could do whatever they wanted to me. I was made to feel I shared my vagina with these people.

    No man would ever be made to feel as though he shares his penis with the medical establishment.

    When most of Britain was out clapping for our so called heroes I did not. I would not clap these people. They are not my heroes Carona virus or not. The hurt, anger, hatred runs too deep.

    Their mantra is very much ‘Tits out – legs open’ At the moment they have been shut up because of the virus but as soon as the virus is under control they will very quickly return to this modus of operand i.

    My love to everyone who comes to this site.

    • Made my day too! No mention that cc is rare and the test is inaccurate. COVID is a killer, it is stupid to say women should not let it stop them coming into a healthcare setting. The nonsense about smears just keeps rolling on…

      • If they would just tell it like it is:

        CC has always been a rare cancer, and it presents symptoms before death. We have a very inaccurate and uncomfortable test for this – and because of its inaccuracy, you’ve got to be re-tested frequently. We understand that going into a healthcare setting these days poses a significant risk of COVID-19, a disease which is deadly to a measurable percentage of the population. Nonetheless, we urge you to come into our clinics if you are well and have been taking prudent social distancing, masking, and hand washing steps to avoid COVID-19, so we can be sure that you do not die of CC, but take an unnecessary risk of a pandemic which has killed over a million people.

        Note that if you die of COVID, you will not die of CC! Moreover, if you are in the US, you will have the opportunity to spend an additional $100K for COVID treatment, in addition to the $30B which the healthcare industry spends to evaluate this one rare cancer.

        We understand that you may be apprehensive. Don’t be. Just have a cigarette or three before coming in, as lung cancer is by far the biggest cancer killer of women, as well as men. We won’t evaluate that one. Thank you for understanding.

    • Ada made my day too, what next? Health bosses having Zoom meetings to discuss how to increase uptake, and a socially distanced awareness campaign??
      What flabbergasts me is that nurses are doing smears at all! In between each patient her room would have to be completely wiped down and aired out; it means she sees less patients include in the asthma clinics diabetes clinics etc….. ppl who REALLY need her time!

      • I’ve been unable to get the results for the UK, even though the new Key Performance Indicators for up to April have been published. They are usually about 6 months behind in cervical screening so will be out in November. Prepare to be inundated with propaganda campaigns to get the punters through the doors in November, although we may be into a whole new lockdown by then!
        Figures for up to April 2020 are available for breast screening, however. Overall uptake for England is 55%, with regional variations but no place even reaches 60% uptake.
        I think they are concerned about being overwhelmed with uptake in the periods when COVID figures are low, but I think they flatter themselves. I don’t think the breast screeners were overwhelmed with uptake when they had a cockup with the letters last year. I think it’s more a case of women realising it may not be that vital after all, and prefer to leave it.

      • I do sometimes wonder if nurses like the power that comes with something like being a “cervical screening champion” or similar. Many have made it their mission to bully and push patients so they wouldn’t want their “thing” taken away from them…especially after years of saying how important it is.

        I completely agree though, time and resources should be moved to those that actually need them. Focus on the sick, not the worried and paranoid well.

  17. I have been lurking on this website for a while now without posting. I just wanted to say how refreshing it is to find a community where I would not be considered irrational and some kind of dangerous extremist for having misgivings about screening. I’ve decided to post here because my eyes were opened recently to the fresh hell that is young girls being indoctrinated in school PSHE (personal, social and health education) lessons in Year 10 (age 14-15), to sign up unthinkingly for the smear test. I came across two lesson plans, designed by Jo’s trust and the Teenage Cancer Trust, to be delivered in school to Year 8 and Year 10. The lesson for Year 8s (12-13), focusses around the vaccination, and does state as part of the learning objective that girls should understand it is their choice. The lesson for Year 10s around cervical screening, though, is solely focused around helping girls ‘understand how important screening is’ and ‘increasing uptake’. No discussion of informed consent and bodily autonomy, no information about risks and benefits, no information about the true prevalence of cervical cancer. There is even a section for boys, where they are taken to a separate room to discuss how to encourage girls to go for the test. One of the most disturbing things about the lesson is the ‘what’s stopping you from going?’ resource, pink-washed of course, complete with pictures of handbags and speech bubbles with “I just don’t have time” and “it might be embarrassing”. It’s just priming young girls to have unkind and shaming conversations with their peers as they get older.

    I would always support someone to access screening if they have made an informed decision and decided it is what they want. I would even go with them and hold their hand. However, I am horrified by the way women are coerced, bullied and fed disingenuous information by GP’s, PHE and cancer charities and now our young people are being brainwashed in school. The worst part of it is that if I were to even mention this to the women I know, I would get the same horrified, quizzical expression I do when I say that I don’t believe screening is as simple a choice as it’s made out to be. It seems I can only watch from the side lines as more young women are herded unthinkingly towards screening and the potential complications that can arise.

    • Gem, that is absolutely horrifying. Oh my god. Teaching boys how to bully their girlfriends into having the test? That is truly pathetic. Talk about brainwashing the young into obeying the system!

    • HONESTLY! Teaching boys how to pressure their girlfriends to open their legs for TESTS? The line, “‘what’s stopping you from going?’ (to bed with me/down on me)” is as old as time, but this shows them more effective ways to get a “yes” or at least “okay” from the girl.

    • Gem, I saw one of these teachers who appeared to have used one of these “lesson plans” in class, boast on twitter about it. Another male teacher appeared to have passed by at the time of this lesson and told the class how his partner had been identified with “abnormal cells”, which teacher said made a big impact on the class. I had to challenge her, and said if my daughter had been in that class I would have made a complaint to the headteacher. The test is a choice, and school teachers have no business terrifying girls into seeking medical overtreatment they likely don’t need. Uppity teacher got back to me in a patronising way. I replied with the truthful medical statistics they don’t want women to know. Never heard from her again.

      • Yes, I saw a similar thread on twitter recently. It was full of teachers talking about their PSHE lessons and how they are ‘normalising’ screening and trying to make sure the girls all comply when it’s time. I lost track of the “I wouldn’t be here today if they hadn’t found my pre-cancerous cells, I would be dead and wouldn’t have my wonderful husband and children”, the “I just don’t understand why it’s such a big deal”, “having a smear is much better than cancer” and one teacher who said “I tell my Year 10s if they are ready for sex, then they are ready for a smear”. When it was pointed out how comparing sex with a medical procedure was inappropriate for numerous reasons, the teacher recanted it and said that the point they were making was about being “responsible for your own body”. When they were challenged about implying that women who don’t go for screening are irresponsible, they disengaged from the conversation, although at least they did say they had taken the points on board. Having a screening is a personal choice and a nuanced decision that carries risks of overtreatment and associated side effects, as we all know. If I had a daughter who was told what to do with her own body in that way, I would also be writing a strongly worded letter of complaint to the head teacher.

      • @ Gem:

        Heck, at least they backed off and said they were taking the points on board. Maybe it was deflection,maybe they were honestly understanding that it’s not a binary good/bad issue, but time was there just dogpile any dissenters with near-hysterical accusations of being a diseased, irresponsible whore whose very refusal to screen is callously costing other women their lives, as if your lack of a pap test can physically cause other women to develop cc or as if cc is some kind of toxic pixie dust that unscreened women literally emit from their very pores at all times.

      • Gem: Yes, the saying, “If you’re mature enough to have sex, you’re mature enough for a smear” is a real set of bovine excrement. One thing has nothing to do with the other, although I do feel for women who have the first other-person penetrate their vagina being a doctor. As others have said many times, consent is lacking for this test. The saying is much like, “If you could have sex with Person X, you must be willing to have sex with me too!” It’s a line and both coercive and abusive.

        Demonhype, I literally laughed outloud with the notion of CC being caused by a cosmic pixie dust that comes from the pores of unscreened women, and threatening the lives of others because of our choice not to screen. It seems to be the notion though that the pro-screening hysterics have though. How are WE costing THEM their lives?

        As I’ve said before, if someone wants to avoid contact with any pathogens or abnormal cells which may be present in my vagina, they are invited to stay OUT of my vagina!

  18. Actually, they do mention the risk of cervical cancer. This is how they frame it:

    In the UK, the lifetime risk of developing cervical cancer is:
    • More than 1 in 100 (1.65%) without taking cervical screening (smear test) or the HPV vaccine into account
    • 1 in 142 (less than 1%) for women who go to cervical screening1.

  19. Oh dear ladies looks like a colleague of mine could be the next victim of the Cervical screening programme! 59 and found a lump down below (Bartolin cyst?) by time she saw doc it’s gone but doc referred her to hospital, that doc couldn’t find it, but of course did a smear! It came back HPV_ but abnormal cells! She is confident monogamous and has been for years and has one letter saying , your negative at no risk of cancer and then another “ inviting “ her to colposcopy on Monday! She doesn’t know what to think!!

    • This is the very problem with screening. It puts you on a conveyor belt of harm and they won’t stop investigating her until they can find nothing over a period of years. The GP doesn’t want to be the next evil doc in the Daily Fail who missed a cancer, the hospital doesn’t want to be the next in the news for missing a cancer either or there will be an investigation, so even if they find nothing there are likely to be follow ups until they can cross everything off their lists. All this, and we have COVID escalating and putting more wait times onto those who have already been diagnosed with a disorder. Screening creates patients and women who no longer trust their own bodies.

  20. Ada I think she’ll go, I was very careful what I said , and reminded her abnormal isn’t cancer, and that most abnormal cells go back to normal on their own, suggested she looked at CRUK for stats and left it at that. She knows I don’t do the screening thing….

  21. Update, my colleague talked to her GP who advised her to have the colposcopy as apparently they might need to go further up as they saw something. So tomorrow she has to have a covid test, then isolate for 3 days , then have her colpo!!

    • First Dr says couldn’t find anything, but now they think they might have seen something! They always seem to see something. However, I hope it goes well for her. I hope it doesn’t lead to a hysteroscopy. This is where they put a long narrow camera through the cervix into the womb, and can take biopsies with this. I follow the UK hysteroscopy group and they are strong advocates of women being given full information about this procedure which UK hospitals are financially incentivised to do with no anaesthetic. About 25% of women suffer severe and traumatic pain. Women are supposed to be fully informed and know that they can stop the procedure at any time and request a GA, but women are rarely informed of their rights, and the procedures have been nicknamed Trick and Treat procedures.

      • Wel update on my colleague ladies!! After all that, they didn’t do the colposcopy! As she’s HPV – and then they decided the cells were ok after all, they just checked for any more lumps and bumps of which there were none! Bikini medicine at its best

      • Glad your friend is OK, but how much did it cost your friend in time and worry, how many NHS staff were involved? There have been a few petitions set up by women demanding to have cell testing brought back as they don’t think a HPV test is enough to confirm no chance of abnormality. Just goes to show how unreliable the whole thing is and how they make up this abnormal cell rubbish as they go alomg..

  22. Ada thank you, I was wracking my brain trying to remember what hysteroscopy was called of that makes sense! She talks to me, and I’m her Union Rep too, so if further tests are mentioned I’ll bring up the cons of hysteroscopy…:

  23. Does anyone follow lalalaletmeexplain on Instagram? She has an absolutely massive following of women who hang on her every word. She has just done a whole story about smear tests, as well as a podcast with Eve Appeal. She does acknowledge that screening can be difficult for survivors of sexual violence but says that survivors just needs to find a way to make it more tolerable because a smear is “still better than having cancer” due to missing a smear. It also contains such gems as “if you can have your vag waxed, you can have a smear” and how sad it is that women will tolerate painful sex but will miss a ‘vital and life-saving test’ just because it might be painful. I just don’t understand the constant conflation of smear tests with sex and can’t bear the patronising comparisons to cosmetic (non-penetrative!) procedures. The inference that anyone who ‘misses’ a screening is doomed to be struck down is so misleading and manipulative too. At no point is there any discussion of risks vs benefits, prevalence, nor any respect for the right to bodily autonomy. The fearmongering and incomplete information make me so angry.

    • I think they’re really working on the younger women right now, and finding screening champions who can get a following. I think a lot of them are planted. It’s all screen or you’ll die messages, no evidence to allow young women to think for themselves. I don’t do instagram, but I do twitter, and is full of women boasting how they’ve gone for their first test and it was fine. Everyone else must go because they’ve suffered this shit, so other women should too. I really dislike the way it’s made into a rite of passage that all women have to go through, almost like a religious experience that washes your sins away. What good girls they are!

      There is still a lot of argument in the UK about the propaganda leaflet referring to people with a cervix rather than using the word women, because they don’t want to exclude women who’ve changed sex. I can’t understand the anger this has generated. Most of them saying they’re concerned other women who don’t understand won’t realise it’s for them. Absolute tosh! This screening test sets women against women, shames and degrades them with misinformation to coerce and bully. I’m always glad to see the take up rate go down and down. The silly middle aged women who’ve been brainwashed since the 1990s are gradually falling off the age window and it’s a joy the see young women being not nearly so fooled by it all.

      • The erasure of the word “woman” from health literature is more about the advance of Queer Theory. Breaking down the boundaries of what is male and female. This is also happening in any literature to do with menstruation and birth. Naturally, because it is a misogynistic movement, you will still find plenty of references to “men” in anything to do with prostate cancer or anything else male.

        It does make it more difficult to discuss and weigh up risks and benefits when one of the key words has been taken away or has been altered in meaning. This helps obscure the truth, especially for more vulnerable groups.

        The screening leaflets are designed to give us the information, whilst at the same time encouraging us to draw the approved conclusion, so it only matters to screening authorities if it discourages many attending. They work on a one size fits all policy, so they probably will not notice if the women not attending are those more at risk. Too busy rounding up the refusniks.

    • It’s emotional manipulation, control, policing of women’s bodies and misogyny at it’s finest.

      The message is basically that you cannot have sex without agreeing to a lifetime of smears (policing of your sexual organs). The medical community tries to argue that the two go hand-in-hand.

      It’s a form of abusive gaslighting.

      I read some of your posts on Jo’s Trust lesson plans with school-age children in schools and was absolutely disgusted.

      Teaching girls that not only do doctors have vestiges over their bodies, so do men they may enter into a relationship with, who are told that it is perfectly justifiable to pressure them into having a smear without making an informed choice.

      This is morally and unethically dubious.

      I will be writing to them.

      Interesting that they are not pulling these stunts at workplaces and are focusing on the young and naïve.

      I also wonder whether they’ll be out touting for more business seeing as we are in the grip of a second wave of the pandemic, and less resources will inevitably be available for their screening obsession – every cloud and that!

      • I agree, it is disgusting. I’ve had a member of my family try to force me to have smears, because ‘thats what women do’!!! Not this woman.

        I can’t imagine the pressure you’d feel if it was your brainwashed boyfriend, husband or partner. Ugh.

      • Odd how these people never have a problem turning to the concept of patriarchy when it suits.

        If a man can force a woman to have a smear, then what else can he force her to do? Logically, it follows that if he can manipulate her like this with one issue, he’s capable of manipulating her on other issues.

        Are we led to believe now that a woman’s body belongs to her EXCEPT when it comes to pap smears?

        Do these people ever question the ethics of their principles?

      • Ozphoenix, My brainwashed husband has done everything to try to convince me to have a pap smear, and all that goes along with it. He’s convinced his aunt, who died of ovarian cancer in her early 80s, after having a controlling husband 35 years ago who would not allow her doctor visits. He’s convinced that she had “cervical cancer” and a pap smear would have saved her life, and that they could have found it when it went to her ovaries (no).

        I will not put up with it! I could deal with the pap, but not with the increased-pressure of a follow-on test, where they pull pieces off of my cervix without anesthesia, or cut chunks off of it, or remove my uterus…. for a cancer that is very rare – misdiagnosis is far more likely. Or, when I would not abide by a fill-in male doctor who felt that he was somehow entitled to penetrate my sexual organs without consent – but used coercion.

  24. Hi ladies it’s Kat, minus her WordPress blog and cat avatar, this is the new me! And Ada you’re right how can even a woman transitioning not know she’s a woman?

    • Kat, all this talk from the “concerned” super-screeners really gets me. They keep claiming they are sooooooo concerned that a transitioning person may miss their smears, and even women who struggle with English won’t be able to grasp that “those with a cervix” means them. As if anybody could escape the bombardment of letters and GP/nurse harassment. I don’t believe it is a case of concern here at all, more they don’t want to end up being the only mugs to go for this test, and think if they’ve got to put up with it, so should everyone else. As Elizabeth has said:they are terrified of women breaking away from the herd.

    • They really are desperate to find the next Jade Goody aren’t they?

      Trouble is they can’t find one, so have to make do with women “suffering” with abnormal cells. Just how does a person suffer with abnormal cells, by the way, I thought they were symptomless? The only women with this disease now are older women, and they really don’t want those on their pink advertising campaigns do they? The girlies would just scoff at smears as it would be an old ladies disease. Good to see them trying so hard and getting nowhere.

  25. AQ pink ribbon month started early groan! Tried to comment but they’re moderated so I’m guessing anything other than smears are amazing you must go won’t get through…….

  26. Just read a long thread about colposcopy on twitter. Some talking about how intrusive and difficult the biopsy procedure was and I think a couple referring to LLETZ. Some talking about the long stretches of stress and worry, but the relief when they ‘finally knew everything was ok’. All saying how it had only reinforced the necessity of smears and how important it is to test for ‘every tiny change’. I personally know a HUGE number of women who have had a colposcopy and further testing (seems like every other person!), and one friend who had to endure smear after smear after being told she had abnormal cells, which she found horribly traumatic because she is a survivor of sexual violence. She was convinced she was going to be diagnosed with cancer and no one ever said anything about the relative rarity of cervical cancer, or the tendency for the majority of such changes to revert to normal. Again, she talks about her gratitude to the amazing screening programme and how she might not be here today without it, even though it traumatised her.

    • Some were even saying it had happened to them several times over – “so this just shows how important it is because they can come back at any time”.

    • These articles always have the same formula: she wanted a smear test when she was 24 but it was denied because of her age. She said she had no symptoms at all, but said the reason for her earlier appointment had been irregular bleeding. Someone in the comments picked this up. She also knew all about Jade Goody when she can only have been 14 when Goody died.
      I’m sure Jo’s Tosh have a list of these points so that journalists can fit them into every story they make up.

      Where is the real information women need to make an informed choice: about this cancer being rare and needing 15 years to develop: what are the other symptoms, and that symtoms like irregular bleeding need a diagnostic test not a screening test. The usual completely disrespectful, patronising, dogma to keep women in rhe dark.

      • Exactly. I do feel like Jo’s Trust, in spite of the good they do in supporting people living with cervical cancer, is a pernicious, dishonest charity that also knowingly causes harm. Knowingly, because they are told again and again to provide all of the relevant facts and to consider people who face barriers to screening in their comms. But nothing every changes.

    • “They can turn at any minute…” The hype never goes away eh?
      What ever happened to the 10yr rule–that it takes 10 yrs for cancer to develop?
      Re calling these people.
      Everyone of us at one time didn’t know the facts. Until we got burned and had to learn, for our own survival, what’s really going on. What BS we’re told compared to facts being deliberately withheld.
      You’ve all heard of murdering the messenger. Why not convert the messenger?
      So we call these operators with “questions” as we’re curious…Then once hooked we begin educating the rep with facts. Now, towards the end, we ask, “…So why are you doing this, carrying their propaganda water, when you now know all the real facts…?”
      What happens if you schedule appts and don’t show up? That’s another way to interrupt their flow.

  27. So this lady had the HPV vaccine and was then told she had HPV, her doctor said HPV is quite common so why then do we have a vaccine?? Dod she query that??

  28. Or maybe the vaccines effects had been worn off by the time she was 24 , something else women and girls probably aren’t told…

  29. Jo’s have always led these campaigns against women who choose not to attend. They’ve been at the forefront of the bullying, threats and coercion, justifying that they do it out of concern for women’s health, but it’s all about keeping themselves afloat. They thrive off it. If all women went along there’d be no need for their existence. I thought Macmillan was the go to cancer charity for help and advice, and yet we have 3: Jo’s, Eve Appeal and Macmillan providing helplines and support for this one rare cancer. These cancer charities often have a part-time nurse but no other people with even a smattering of medical training. They are a business. The public deserves better than to be referred to these charlatans for health information. They are only there to make money, and hoping that you will die publicly for them, like Jade Goody did. I think a lot of them should be wound up.

    • Here’s one way to screw with them.
      Call as much as you can. Clog their lines. Ask questions you know will funnel them into areas where the operator or rep will choke. You know facts they do not. You can re-brainwash them to the correct knowledge path. Do this weekly. It will drive them nuts. Make them spend money on calls that lead nowhere. Sooner or later the phone operators will begin questioning their motives.
      The rah-rah BS that these operators have, the thought line that they are saving lives will finally appear to them that they are doing more harm than good.

      • COVID has certainly made them tone down their act. Their pathetic “awareness campaigns” have not run at all this year in UK (at least I haven’t been aware of them) and their obvious appearances on social media are regularly challenged by a regular group of us from here and also some support from others too. They were begging for funds during the summer to keep going. I think their campaigns are trying something different: they approach newspapers with these pre-arranged stories, which always include the same points. Trouble is, they can’t find anyone under 40 with cervical cancer. They don’t want older women as not good for advertising. So all these newspaper stories feature women who’ve been diagnosed with “abnormal or precancerous cells”, and they’ve always just caught the cancer in time. Just hope that the uptake never returns after COVID and women wake up to the lies.

      • It’s really hard to convince someone of something when their livelihood depends upon them NOT understanding it.The operators and the businesses that employ them have vested interests in staying “brainwashed”.

      • I recently spotted comments from a training day in cervical screening in the UK. Because the test now just requires a swab for HPV, less skills are required compared to the old test, where the cervix had to be visualised, and the transformation zone given a 360 degree sweep. Now that they don’t need to do this anymore, they can get a much less skilled person to do the job, and pay much less than a qualified nurse. Anyway, there were comments from some how they just didn’t get how it works. My feelings were that they were realising how it just doesn’t make a lot of sense, and that women have been misled about this for years. If they don’t get it themselves, what hope is there for the woman who gets a summons letter and wants to know more. I feel that these associate semi-skilled people are not able to provide women with the real information they need to make an informed decision, but maybe that’s the whole idea…

      • Tell me about this new(?) test? You mean a speculum isn’t needed? Just a long swab lovingly shoved up the who-haw? Does it actually test for HPV or the same old abnormal cells? Or if you have abnormal cells then it goes for actual virus testing? And is the swab fat or skinny? Kept sterile or loose like before?
        NO scrape that draws blood?
        Any better accuracy?
        Here it’s still the same old same old.

      • I agree with you. That doesn’t mean however, that it must go easy for them.
        Every time you’re talking to them, they can’t be calling another. Sooner or later the seeds of knowledge you plant will germinate. They will get off the phone and ask questions. It effects morale.
        I don’t know how many people we’ve converted. But there’s many we did educate. There will be somebody like us who hears the good news and looks into things independently.

        Also, please tell me if paps done where you live are done with a “swab” as somebody commented or if still with the wooden spatula. I haven’t had a pap since 2010. The Trovagene result I have seems to be my passport out of that nightmare.

      • Cat n mouse I think in UK the smears are done with a brush but I’ve not had one in 20 years so I’m not sure, I just remember reading the smear is taken with a “ small soft brush” which I also remember reading has wire in the bristles…
        I’ll pass thanks!!

      • Beth that is so true as far as people’s livelihoods depending on their staying in the dark about the harms of these cancer screenings (pap smears as well as mammograms) and it doesn’t only apply to the bean counters. It also applies to the medical professionals themselves – doctors, nurses, mammographers, radiologists, etc.. It is a major reason, along with the many women who are convinced their lives have been saved by these screenings, that women’s healthcare remains so incredibly oppressive with its paternalism, coercion, lies, distortions and half-truths.

      • Judy, of course it’s not just the bean-counters who work for healthcare firms. It’s not just the clinicians who spout the bean-counter’s line. It’s those who work for the companies distributing the kits, the labs providing results, the manufacturers of equipment used in the follow-on procedures, the medical schools who need middle-aged women to give student ob/gyn’s practice participating in their hysterectomies, and on and on.

        It’s a corrupt system, all around, and needs the myth to be propped up. Fortunately, real data is available now, and slowly women are saying, “What is this nonsense, of hijacking all of our healthcare and many of our thoughts for something a little more likely than dying in a lightening strike?”

      • Looking up those pap collection kits, the old wooden scraper is still around. The new deal is a plastic “brush”. It has a long spiked spindle in the center for going up the whole cervix opening and the bristles around it sweep along the concave surface of the outer cervix. Good for ensuring that any HPV gets spread around to infect every area. The spiked brush now comes with instructions for doctors to be sure not to use it during pregnancy. Of course that is if they ever bother to read the pamphlet insert AND how is a women every sure when she comes in for that first visit when she is “late”? Of course she is not pregnant until a test confirmed it or the doctor received the test report. Of course all these devices are non-sterile.

    • Hi Moo; it’s been awhile…
      Looked at that test. So how is this supposed to be better? Other, than that it’s done at home w/o stirrups. It appears by the applicator that you still skewer yourself however.
      And that means, like I’d said before, you disturb the HPV if indeed it’s residing on your cervix. The user disturbs, redistributes, and reinfects other parts (or deeper) of cervix and vagina.
      What does the manufacturer do? Because none of what I saw was clear. Are they afraid to tell us in advance on this ad? Or do they wrap the thing in gift paper so we have a surprise coming on how to use it? Or if they say so in advance will men possibly read it and be motivated to masturbate?
      So stupid.
      This looks like the same old pap but in a friendlier fashion.
      And accuracy compared to regular pap or the Trovagene Urine Test?
      Unless I missed it that was also lacking.
      Is this the same home test for Australia?
      Noted price comparable to Trovagene. Frankly, the price is a rip off to me. The Trovagene test took two weeks to run. PCR duplication plus antibody pickup. This test appears just as a regular smear after you impale yourself on it. It cannot take long to prep and cannot be so expensive. Dough is being made off this to pay for papping elsewhere. F’ing bureaucrats…and F’ing doctors.

    • Not sure about the rest of the world, but in Australia it is highly unlikely we will ever get any tests that do not involve patient’s data to be collected and retained in some form. Our medical system is obsessed with surveillance and control. It harvests personal data at every turn and opportunity.

      And when it comes to data privacy and value of service directly to the patient, Australian pathology laboratories are the worst. The system operates like this:
      1. The doctor takes a specimen from the patient and sends it to the lab for analysis.
      2. The lab also gets a ton of patient’s personal data, such as the full name, address, date of birth, contact details, Medicare card number (even if the test is not covered by medicare), etc, without any consent of the patient, as the patient has no choice of which lab the doctor uses, and has no say in what the lab does with that data.
      3. The lab analyses the sample, then sends the results to the doctor and the bill to the patient.
      4. The lab may also pass the test results along with the patient’s personal details to various government agencies, screening registers, third party databases and other medical surveillance entities, even when the patient is against it.
      5. The patient must pay the bill, but can’t get the test results he/she paid for. The lab won’t give the results to the patient, only to the doctor.
      6. To get the results, the patient has to make another appointment with the doctor and pay for that appointment to get the damned results.
      7. The lab gets the patient’s money and personal information, but provides bugger all in return, stating that their service is for doctors, not for patients. Though, if “their service is for doctors”, why don’t they send the bills to the doctors? Or leave our personal data alone, at the doctors’, and identify the test samples by some codes that only the doctor can link to the patient instead of grabbing all our personal data?

      • Right on the money, Brie. The system serves itself, the patient is just a ‘thing’ with no rights.

        I really hate the whole medical system. I only visit the doctor for scripts and avoid the whole screening regime. No paps, no mammos, no cholesterol or any of the other crap they try to shove you into.

        I’m lucky to have a nice doctor who asks only once about screening and age-related stuff, then smoothly drops it and doesn’t make a fuss when I say ‘no thank you’.

      • Perfectly said, Brie!
        I avoid doctors and the rest of the medical establishment like a plague, but from family and friends experience it is exactly as you describe. At least, Melbourne Pathology, Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, QML Pathology, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology and Mater Pathology are all like that, acting like text book parasites: take as much as they can, and give nothing. The patient is just an object of business.
        They will grab your personal data and the money (either directly from your wallet, or indirectly via Medicare), but won’t sent/give the results to you even if the pathology request form says “copy to patient”. And to add insult to injury, they often send personal details and results to screening registers even if the form says “not for PSR” or any other register.
        The situation is ridiculous: the government has your test results immediately, but you have go through hoops and hurdles and wait til the next doctor appointment to get the same info!
        Sometimes they say that the person must sign up for eHealth or some other online account to get the results faster, but in reality it is just another way to grab even more personal data and control the person even further. These accounts can easily be used to pester the person about screening and bombard with unwanted “reminders” and “you are now due” messages.

  30. Just seen a piece in Take a Break magazine today, asking why we are dying of embarrassment and not attending our smears, citing Ms Goody. It states this cancer has increased 50% in young women… the vaccine sure is working well then! No mention of self testing and trots out the same story of a very busy 29!yr old working mum of 2 who skipped her test then when finally she went had stage 1 cancer….

    • Gem I don’t usually do social media but I’ve posted a few replies!! How dare she say none of us should have a choice about this test????

      • I’ve seen numerous journalists mindlessly repeating “It’s so important, I think it should be mandatory” in these types of articles. It never ceases to amaze me how they don’t stop and think “Hang on a minute, that would mean a medical examination without consent, an invasive one at that..”. Is your reading of the article the same as mine, that she thinks the test should be mandatory, as opposed to GPs being obliged to keep carrying them out during covid? It’s worded a bit confusingly, but that is what it seems like to me. I just had a look, and wasn’t able to see your comments though.

      • Yep my understanding was it should be mandatory and no choice allowed from the woman ! They may have taken down my comments as they have done in the past, and they asked me to go through the whole prove your not a robot malarkey again and I didn’t bother!!

    • What a b*tch!!

      I’m sorry for the bad language but this jumped up little troll has no right advocating for these tests to be made mandatory. How dare she??!!!

      What is it about women’s nether regions snd reproductive rights that makes men and women alike, not only think that they are public property but almost celebrate and promote the idea??

      Whether it’s abortion rights or mandated reproductive health checks, there seems to be a prevailing belief within many in society that women’s bodies must be regulated.

      It’s almost as if this belief is culturally or socially endemic. What is driving this mindset??

      If smears were made mandatory, what else would be made mandatory? It wouldn’t stop there!

      This article – and tweet – has made my blood boil.

      I also note that the author of the article is a “law graduate” – yeah, right.

      These mindless numbskulls have not thought through the implications of what they are advocating.

      How would they enforce it? And hoe do they propose to penalise “defaulters”? Fines, unemployment, social ostracisation, prison?

      Real “Handmaid’s Tale” stuff.

      Didn’t a certain 1930s government penalise certain members of society in the same way?

      Real women’s “empowerment” stuff isn’t it. Well done. Lol.

  31. Even if smears WERE mandatory I would still refuse and go to prison if necessary though I doubt it would come to that! Then I’d shout from the rooftops and to the press about the injustice and abuse it really is!

    • Ah yes, I can see your comments now, which I second. Honestly, such a damaging, regressive narrative. I bet these are the same people who would condemn the horrific actions by Qatar Airways in the same breath. However, there is really no difference between that and what they are advocating.

    • I think the prisons would be too full, Kat. That’s 4 million summons letters sent every year and uptake 70% so that’s over 1 million of us they’d need to put away!

      • Ada I’d go down screaming lol!! As I work in a school I’d have to declare my criminal record! Can you imagine?? Murder? Theft?? No refusing a smear test!!

      • Ada here we go, daily fail today, asking why over 64s not smeared as they account for half the deaths of CC they trot out an older woman who had 2 treatments then LLETS and she’s worried sick she could now die as she won’t be smeared any more…..

      • I’m surprised the Daily Mail has actually admitted that the over 64s account for half of CC deaths. I bet Jo’s To$$ers and the NHS won’t like that…

        On another note, perhaps they’re failing to snare the younger women and have decided to go for the hardcore loyalists in the long-shot hope that the screening age will increase as will the rates 🤔

        I mean, it’s not ideal as it won’t pull in the younger crowd but hey ho, those rates won’t increase themselves will they, so what can you do!

      • I can continually find studies that show certain vitamins and nutrients are associated in prevention of cervical cancer. A more recent study. 2019.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6787610/

        A good diet of fruit and vegetables, avoiding excess sugar intact, green tea extract. Maybe taking a good daily vitamin is what most women need. Hardly too costly for someone in America. I buy a bottle of vitamins from Costco that lasts me a whole year.

      • Kat, I can’t find the article right now. Perhaps it will come out tomorrow? Just been reading that normal GP services are to be paused yet again, while GP staff are to be used for massive roll out of COVID vaccine. Looks like smear tests will be put on hold again at some point. Maybe that’s why they’ve changed tack to the older ladies?

        Another interesting thing I ‘ve noticed is that Scotland has reduced smear tests to every 5 years over all ages. That slipped in very quietly. I don’t seem to remember seeing anything in the news about it. I wonder if they will change England and Wales to 5 yearly too, while everyone is distracted with COVID? Strange times.

    • It amazes me how many women are anti-woman and just downright dangerous to the rest of us.

      If reproductive health checks were mandarory, what was to potentially prevent a future right-wing government from taking that further by mandating other checks relating to pregnancy, for example?

      And it would all originate from the actions of a few dumb, musguided feminazis who thought they knew better but knew sod all and had ZERO foresight!

      • Apocalyptic Queen, very true and if you need further proof of some women being anti-women, just look in the U.S. at the State of Alabama. Their governor, a woman, has tried to implement a draconian anti-abortion law, one of the strictest in the U.S. which essentially makes it illegal. Its noteworthy that this state is one of the poorest in the nation and ranks consistently near the bottom health-wise and education wise. They can’t even take care of the people who are already there!

      • Judy – I do feel that women’s screening has been hijacked to some extent by the right-wing brigade (although it’s also the domain of liberal feminazis as well).

        On many such articles, there’s a stream of comments from male pro-screening advocates (who shouldn’t be having an input into this discussion), echoing how irresponsible women are.

        Often, the rhetoric is very similar to that used with regards to abortion rights, childbirth and breastfeeding choices.

        The theme is one of, “it’s what women are supposed to do”.

        In the eyes of these people, women are vassals and women’s bodies and sexual behaviour should be regularly monitored.

        I do believe that it’s the same principles and views of women that underpin current beliefs on screening, particularly within the healthcare system.

        Too bad, the feminazis are too dumb to see it and are more than happy to collude with them!

  32. Don’t know how to break this wonderful news to all you lovely people on here:

    MR ROB MUSIC IS LEAVING JO’S TOSH IN JANUARY!

    How will women cope in life without being told that silliness and embarrassment cause cancer.

    • Oh dear. Not been a good year for him then?? 🤔😂🤣

      Where’s the cake??? 👏 🎂 🎈🎈🎊🎉🎁 🍾 🥂 😁😁😁😃

    • Good riddance, Although I expect whoever replaces him will carry on spewing out the same old tripe.
      I notice he’s joining yet another healthcare charity – The Migraine Trust. Wonder how long he’ll last there.

      • Yes, good riddance. I remember when I came across him for the first time in an article mansplaining how ’embarrassment’ and ‘ignorance’ were costing women their lives. Hated him ever since.

      • The old Charity sector musical chairs. So many moving from one to the other, promulgating the latest corporate concepts and keeping themselves in a job. More functions, more awards evenings. But what of the needs they are set up to serve. It has kept Music in a job, with his feet under the consultation table representing …who.?

      • I wish people would investigate charities before giving to them! Too many of them mostly have the function of supporting their chief executives, with some money given to pay their office and fundraising staff, and very very little given to research the issue or help those afflicted with the problem. Part of the fundraising though is to convince people to give to them without any sort of knowledge as to where their money is going, or for what.

        At least migraines are real, and debilitating for those who have them. My (male) partner has them, and it took decades for him to get a proper diagnosis and treatment – from a Veterans Administration Nurse Practitioner of all things! This is even though he has EEG tests every few years, and they had decades of data! But, he’s a man, so “can’t have migraines”.

      • I wonder how he’ll get along with having men as the object of his charity?
        He won’t be able to talk down to them, telling them how to run their lives, how it’s all their own fault, how silly they are for not getting tested. Be interesting to see the push back he might get from that.

        I thought it was a bit odd, latest newspaper articles we’ve seen on here have not featured Mr Music with his customary advice for women to do as they’re told. I thought he might have got COVID. He mentions in his twitter feed that MigraineUK is a charity serving some 10 million migraine sufferers. Jo’s Tosh clearly having an ever dwindling customer base and no-one like Jade Goody happy to die on TV to the delight of the media and Jo’s. I’d be very glad to see it shut down.

      • I’m beginning to wonder if they’ve realised he’s bad for business. There’s been quite a lot of women now going against his patronising dogma. His charity’s views go challenged now wherever they appear, thanks to many on this site, and I’ve seen others joining in too. They’ve had to tone down their advertising in a big way. Now, if you challenge these women who say all women must attend, they back down quite easily. They often don’t realise what they’re saying, and they get quite humble when you point out, they’re actually speaking against women’s rights and not for them by saying offensive nonsense like that. Quite a lot have accepted that although they would still go themselves, they now accept others do not. I think a tipping point will be reached in the UK programme. Uptake was 70% before COVID, and it will much lower this year, but the seed of doubt has been sown, and confidence in the programme is much less than it used to be.

      • Ada – I definitely think something has happened.

        From a male perspective, I can’t think why he’d give up a cushy, well-paid job with perks that include lecturing women about what they should be doing with their bodies.

        Covid has gatecrashed the party.

        Those screening rates must be plummeting faster than a burst balloon.

        They were “touting” for business during the first lockdown so I seriously doubt they’ve had a major cash injection since then.

        Seems to me that the penny has dropped.

        There’s surely no future in this charity.

        I bet screening rates will continue to fall off the proverbial cliff, snd not a minute too soon. Covid is good for some things.

        As much as the NHS loves controlling and patronising women, if they had to make major cutbacks to their services, I think they’d find it hard to justify this bloated screening programme.

        Reckon the cost element might be one factor that Scotland are moving to 5-yearly tests?

    • Now that’s the best news I’ve heard in a while – but I suspect his replacement will be equally annoying and patronising, that seems to be part of the job description – “don’t be silly, this could save your life”

  33. A lot of these cancer charities require a closer look, IMO, the old pink juggernaut is a commercial operation, it’s been discovered in a few cases that products that display the pink ribbon often give very little to the “charity”. Also, a lot of charities put funds into awareness programs, not research into treatments, better screening options etc.
    Some of the non-profit charities are worth a look too, executives on high salaries with a nice car.
    Charlie Teo is a neurosurgeon here, he often operates when others won’t so naturally he attracts a fair bit of criticism, especially from his fellow neurosurgeons. Charlie established a charity a few years back and was horrified to discover that a lot of money was spent on administration, salaries etc.

    He set up another brain cancer charity, volunteers and professionals working pro bono run the charity and Charlie has promised no more than 10% of donations will ever be spent on administration.

    I take a careful look before I donate money, a lot of people donated to bushfire relief – but a lot of money didn’t get to the people and communities devastated by bushfire, some charities decided to hang onto some of the money for other projects or to save for the next disaster.
    People did not donate on that basis…

    I also heard a local charity was buying bales of hay at huge prices for farmers struggling with drought – just because you have lots of money thanks to generous people, doesn’t mean you can throw money around like water – spend the money wisely, as if it were your own money, that’s what I expect…
    Charities are very often not what they seem…I’d hate to sponsor one of these dishonest and insulting awareness campaigns.

    • Regarding the pink ribbon breast cancer charities, a shockingly small percentage of the funds goes to researching better treatments for metastatic breast cancer, that is when it has spread to other parts of the body. With all the hype about early detection, what’s often overlooked is some breast cancer is so aggressive its bound to be deadly no matter when it is found. Also, 25-30% of breast cancers will go on to become metastatic, including those found in the early stages. These facts are usually glossed over with these feel-good breast cancer charities.

  34. I’m amazed the powers that be haven’t realised their “!don’t be embarrassed “ campaigns don’t work! We have had so many now and women aren’t “seeing the light”! If embarrassment is such a major hurdle, instead of blaming women or telling them off, why not address this barrier to screening differently and offer self testing? I’m not surprised on any level the “don’t” strategy isn’t working, I’m terrified of gales and high winds, whether it’s anyone on here, or a doctor, or anyone else telling me don’t be scared of gales and high winds, I’m not suddenly going to get over my fear! Same with screening which for many women is even more traumatic and stressful! Hope that covid is another nail in the screening coffin…..

    • Somehow though, I can’t see them changing tack.

      What else can they say in their promotional campaigns?

      Saying that women are making informed choices does not adhere to their traditional views of women, and moreover, it doesn’t suit their agendas either!

      They know what they need to do – stop patronising women and offer them the self HPV test but I can’t see it ever happening unless Covid forces their hand!

  35. Just want to say to everyone on this site: you are such a great lot, and it is wonderful that you are all here!

    We had a crazy year, with covid all over the world, plus many natural disasters in some parts of it. But it looks like there is a silver lining: the covid pandemic meant that women miraculously stopped dropping like flies from cervical and breast cancers, screening crusades had to be put on hold, and many doctors were forced to shift their focus away from female breasts and genitalia to other things. For once, medical establishment had to deal with a disease instead of manufacturing dis-ease; it had to actually work to save some lives instead of patronising and scaremongering.

    Let’s hope this improvement continues beyond the pandemic. And once again: huge thanks to all of you for being here!

    • Alice, I hope these changes will be long lasting. There is a plan in the UK to roll out vaccinations next year and hopefully this will further take up GP practice time away from manufacturing disease. I’m sure there will be a resurgence in getting women to screen once it is all over, as I know they’re terrified of women getting ideas that it’s not really that important after all. There are still some areas where free choice is a non-concept. I don’t think nurses have any training in accepting that not everyone wants to be screened, and all their training seems based on the idea that everyone must have it, there’s no choice. This practice below is a case in point. They claim to have got 87% uptake, but even in the severe bullying of the 1990s practices struggled to get over 80%, so goodness only knows what they are doing to get this figure. Still a way to go, but the wind is behind us. For now!

      https://www.neessexccg.nhs.uk/ccg-explores-new-ways-to-promote-cervical-screening-awareness

  36. I would like to call you all friends as that is how I feel I find comfort and reassurance on this site and because of the information off here I would like to contribute with this suggestion would it be possible using the freedom of information act to source the actual number of females who have opted out of cervical screening. Might work to reinforce our stance on the subject

    • Too bad they aren’t putting urine based vs this plug on a stick self sampler.
      Still physically disturbing the cervix.
      An improvement however.

    • While self-sampling is definitely better than having a stranger shoving hands and tools into woman’s reproductive organs, not much else will change. If the test was 100% anonymous (i.e. the woman could learn her HPV status without giving out any of her personal information, and then make a 100% independent decision what to do next), then there would be something to talk about.
      As things are, the system will still demand to have all the personal data with the self-taken sample, so woman will still be entered into the screening programme, added to registers, pestered with reminders and “you are now due” letters, and pressured into further investigations, appointments, colposcopies, painful biopsies and barbaric treatments.
      So no, of course there is no “significant breakthrough”, and never will be in female health care until it learns to respect woman’s choice, independence and privacy.

  37. I really hope some numbnut tries to introduce mandatory screening I would for one like to challenge this in the human rights court the information about its accuracy would be broadcast the world over I would like to see the screening uptake after that

  38. Corona virus has been with us for over a year now and it will probably be here for another year before it becomes controlled this has dramatically affected cancer screening at the end of this terrible virus and things get back to normal it would be useful to know exactly how many cervical cancer deaths were recorded over this time with the absence or limitation of screening

  39. With all the screening restrictions in place because of corona virus now would be a good time to push hard for self testing we could use the old eurythmics song sisters are doin it for themselves. Sorry to much red. going to bed now

  40. If you feel you are being pushed into a pap turn the tables on your doc and say I’m not aware that they had become mandatory I always thought they were optional if you don’t mind I would like to check this when I get home and if you are correct I will book one for next week

    • Another tact is to mention a “friend”, who specialises in medical negligence or human rights.. Say you will ask him/ her for “advice” and get back to the doctor, all the while sounding completely nonplussed 😆

  41. I have recently moved into my sisters flat and I am loving it It’s my first time away from home Her first flat mate had moved into her uni campus and sis asked if I wanted to move in We get on famously she has always looked out for me and I for her. We have a great time here even though we are stuck indoors because of corona we talk loads about everything. Usually with a bottle handy her name is Juliet and she is 28 it was her who told me about this site one night we decided to post comments because we love this place she started posting under anon but now uses her nickname jules I am younger at 24 and have posted as helper because I was always mommy’s little helper and it stuck at the moment she works from home and I am on furlough the reason we are here is because we were talking the one night and she asked if I had been yet she said she would go with me if I decided to it was this talk that I found out I had a choice I was always under the impression I had to go she has been 3 times but has said never again she then showed me this site and since then I have been hooked I feel saved even though I have not ever had an invite and if I do it’s straight in the bin I have noticed the same ladies post again and again with valuable info about all this and I would like to thank you it must take up a lot of your free time I for one appreciate your effort.

    • Welcome to you both on this website. I was 52 before I found out about it and was invited to join after posting about a bad experience many years before, but in those pre-internet days it was very difficult to find out much about anything, and all the books on women’s health presented screening as essential. I’d always had a gut feeling women were being brainwashed. Neither my mother nor grandmother seemed to suffer it, so I couldn’t see why it was a matter of life or death for me. I was amazed to read of other women’s accounts and find they shared my views on screening. It has been wonderful to have had so much support from this website.

    • Hi Helper, thank you for your comments and it pleases me that you have found this site and that it has been of help to you and your sister – welcome and happy new year 😁

      I’m 38, never been screened. Avoided doctors like the plague during my teens and twenties. On the occasions I did need to go, I was lucky in the sense that I was rarely asked. Have only been asked twice about them during my lifetime and twice I stressed I’d made an informed decision and was sticking to it – no further discussion required.
      I think times are changing. I certainly feel more confident in articulating my choices now than I would have been back then and I think it’s becoming apparent to the powers that be that women are feeling increasingly more confident in rejecting these outdated practices. Hopefully, things such as budget constraints and Covid-19 may inadvertently play into our hands!

  42. Thanks Adawells we love the support we see on here so many posts from so many women who have been hurt and everyone else trying to help them it’s terrific but I don’t know if we can contribute much to be honest I would not even know where to start

    • I. for one, am excited to see that younger women are learning early that this is not some sort of a requirement, but rather a misogynistic and outdated ritual, based on unwarranted fear of a cancer which has always been rare.

      I have gotten a lot of support here, especially to refuse/reject pressure from healthcare professionals to examine my vagina when I’m seeing them for other issues.

  43. Apocalyptic queen Thanks for your welcome the site is great but I’m reading too much at the minute and getting a few sleepless nights some of the posts are very disturbing These ops they do without any aneasthetic are barbaric for gods sake they give you pain relief for a tooth filling what the hell are they thinking the more I read the more I will try to avoid them

  44. Ladies thanks for all the positive posts but I may have to ease up a bit jules has been cross with me this morning because I have been so upset by the sites posts I have read hundreds by now the last was about procedures they do without aneasthetic Jesus Christ dentists give pain relief to put a filling in what the hell is wrong with these bast. I will come back but I need a day or two to recover bye for now

  45. talking to a friend from work on the phone last night she appears to have her own way of dealing with pressure from the screening zealots when it is mentioned she just says no thank you if they continue she says again no thank only louder if it mentioned again she says again no thank you really loud she says this has served her well so far

  46. Hi ladies It seems to me it will take many months before screening gets back into gear but when they do I expect them to push really hard and try to maximise uptake proberly to the extent of the bad old days I have noticed many women on this site suffer from anxiety over testing and being constantly badgered for it which brings me to the point is this classed as harassment which is a criminal offence because in its definition if it causes distress by intimidation it could be legal grounds for a case I know they have covered their asses for sending invites by introducing section 251 in appendix 1 but if you have made a clear decision to opt out which they know of because of your medical records and then try to get you to reconsider they could be skating on very thin ice as they would be moving from coercion to harassment I believe you would need 2 examples for this to be the case so remember to make a complaint at the time so there is documented evidence of it do any of you ladies have any legal knowledge or training to look at this Hugs to all

    • Hi Jules, it has crossed my mind that coercion could be amplified once the pandemic is over. My fear is that they may take the same attitude with screening as they now do with the vaccine for instance.
      I know that they had considered making the vaccine mandatory, not a la Denmark, but by imposing restrictions on admissions to certain premises, retail businesses and even employment etc.
      However, I think we also need to consider that such moves are unlikely, and if they are unlikely to be introduced during a genuine pandemic, I’m not sure how realistic it would be to introduce those sorts of measures with respect to a disease that isn’t contagious. Even those who are HPV+ rarely go on to develop squamous cell carcinoma.

      In terms of pressure tactics, I do think it is important to document your refusal for screening.
      The reason being is that the common law position in medicine is that every competent adult has the right to accept or refuse medical treatment and by extension, medical procedures.
      This even applies to controversial life or death cases where the lives of more than one individual may be at stake.

      Wilfully operating in any way on you and against your consent could be deemed battery in civil law, and assault in criminal law.
      If they were to wilfully pin someone down and screen them against their consent, then they could potentially be prosecuted for assault by penetration.

      What medical practitioners try to do in order to get around this awkward requirement is to pressurise you to consent.

      I once read that medical practitioners are advised that a patient turning up for screening after having received a letter, is said to have given “implied consent”.

      In other medical settings, doctors will try to get informed consent but screening was designed with a view to getting around this.

      It has always however been subject to consent, even if this has not occurred in practice.

      If you are being badgered to screen, I think it is definitely worth documenting this on paper.
      Follow their complaint procedures,
      write to the GP surgery, cc the “screening authorities”.
      Take this up a notch and write another and cc in the GMC or a lawyer if they don’t get this message and see where this gets you.

      A while ago, someone on here mentioned that GDPR changes to the Data Protection Act 2018 could support you, because their right to store information on you and badger you with “invitations” may be contrary to GDPR if you have withdrawn consent to be part of the screening programme. I think a lady on here mentioned that she had threatened her surgery and screening authority with a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner.

      Certainly, the case should be made in writing that a patient having considered the available evidence on screening, has made an informed decision not to screen, and any response ignoring this should also be documented.

      This way, perhaps evidence can be shown to suggest that the patient is being subjected to coercion, which could give rise to further action.

  47. Many women proberly attend their surgery for appointments on their own if they show any weakness or seem vulnerable they will be deemed prey it would be wise to have a friend or family member with you for support and backup don’t make it too easy for them please remember it’s your choice

    • I agree that it’s wise to have a friend or family member – as a witness, if nothing else. In these COVID days, that’s being used as a reason to deny anyone but the patient into the facility or examining room.

      Women, ourselves, need to be strong and firm in our refusals, and document any coercion and report it to all relevant authorities.

    • I’ve just seen the latest news from PHE that they are going to stop sending out the leaflets later this year and only first time invitees will be sent a leaflet. I can appreciate they want to put as much online as possible and many people don’t read the leaflet anyway, but it’s concerning that as the leaflets are updated, people may not be as informed as before. On the other hand, it may work the other way, with many not bothering if they didn’t read the leaflet first time around.
      Also, tax on tampons and other sanitary products has been lifted in the UK, so that’s going to hit poor Jo’s Tosh hard if they don’t get their money!

    • They seem to only consider self-sampling as an option for remote, under-resourced locations or for absolute non-attenders in first world countries. Never as an option in its own right as a replacement to the smear test. I am certain that many women would opt for self-sampling over the conventional test if it were offered -something they are afraid of, so it’s always presented only as an option for those who choose not to attend. In the UK, HPV self-sampling trials have only been done on the very hard to reach non-attenders, and they have been shown to be the only thing that increased uptake in this group.
      With COVID now, it would have been an ideal opportunity to offer self-testing, but they won’t. I noticed that Jo’s Tosh plans on running a screening awareness week at the end of this month, when GP surgeries will be over-run with COVID vaccinations. Can they really be serious about doing it and what will it be like without Mr Music if he’s off saving the world from migraines?

      • It is such a lame reasoning that it is painfully obvious that they really don’t want to introduce self-sampling. Clearly, this is about monitoring of, and access to women’s intimate “habits”. No doubt about it.

        But the position that only “hard to reach” groups should be offered this option is outrageous. How do they think they can justify this favourable, and quite frankly, discriminatory behaviour? Basically, one set of patients will receive more favourable treatment than another set, based on nothing more than ideology.

        When the old faithful get wind of this, I hope most of them would clamour for the self-sampling option as well!

  48. I’ve posted this once but it dosen’t appear to of Come up , so this is the repost . Thinking outside the box how about an online petition I have read that if a petition reaches 100,000 names that it must be discussed in the Houses of Parliament this could highlight the fact that although it is law gp’s have some reluctance to inform patients of their rights and behave unethically so this must be made mandatory for them to do so , it could also make the the point that there is insufficient information on the false positives and false negatives given on screening leaflets and what these results could lead to ,without all information how can somebody be truly informed

    • For the reasons outlined in a previous post, I doubt this would be effective.

      However, what I do think would gain considerable traction is a petition demanding access to self-testing.

      This would tick a lot of boxes, from the moderate pro-screeners’ perspective:

      It could be argued that the self-test option is particularly important during a pandemic, with many GP practices closing down the service.

      It would help those who don’t want to have to choose between screening and safeguarding themselves from Covid.

      And lastly, it would help those who will only screen using a self-sampling method.

      Eve Appeal & Jo’s T0ssers are constantly banging on about low uptake during the pandemic, so why not use their own arguments againat them in order to advance the case for self-testing.

      I think a petition would be particularly effective during the pandemic before GPs and nurses have the opportunity to call women back into the consult room.

  49. https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.16610

    Saw this article on why the UK is still sticking to 3 yearly screening for HPV testing even though evidence has shown that the test can be done 5 years apart or more. Turns out there is likely to be a hump in cases due to the switch to HPV testing last year in the UK. An extra one third of HPV+ cases are likely to be found and these will be more quickly resolved if they delay stretching the test to 5 years until later. Sure I’ve read that CIN2 is basically no worse than CIN1, but these authors are Jo’s Tosh pet researchers so we can’t expect them to want to scale back the overtreatment any time soon.

  50. Has anyone seen the new UN strategy on combating cervical cancer globally?

    I worry that it will have repercussions on our movement.

    However, interestingly, it states women should be screened at least twice during their lifetimes at age 35 and 45, and that health commissioners should make use of innovative technologies to advance screening.

    Surprisingly, it also references self-sampling and says this could increase facilitation and acceptability of the test.

    • I’ll second that AQ. 2 screens in a life time makes me an overscreened woman with my 3 screens from 1990s! Too bad the NHS isn’t listening to the WHO. Love your Jo’s Tossers. We need to think up a put down name for Eve Appeal. Anyone?

      • Most people on here call them Jo’s Tosh but I think they merit a stronger word than that haha, which is why I use the term, “T0$$ers” (pardon my French 😂).

        I’ve thought long and hard over a more apt title for Eve’s Appeal 🤔

        Perhaps the second word should be changed from appeal to anal, as they seem to talk a lot from it 😂

      • AQ I’ve been racking my brains! I love the Eves anal, how about the heave appeal as in vomit

      • Let them try that in the office with both partners present. Especially if they know what BS pap scrape is.

    • Eve Appeal is using the WHO research and plan for cervical cancer as a mission statement for want of a better term. When I asked their horrid CEO a question, a link to the WHO is what I received as a reply.

      This is hugely deceptive on Eve Appeal’s part.

      It will play to their rabid stans talking about how common and deadly cervical cancer is. Yes, maybe if you live in Malawi and absolutely it should be a focus for WHO but for those in the US, UK Australia, etc….not so much.

      I’m not sure if they’re actually that thick or it’s a cynical ploy to exploit ignorance and piggyback off the rep and name of the WHO.

      Most women hugely overestimate their personal risk, muddying the waters with the stats from the developing world certainly won’t help (or may help them in their uptake drive).

      • These charities are so obsessed with their pet causes, they’re oblivious to anything else. A quick peek at the statistics for those countries where women are supposedly dropping like flies from CC will show that while the disease is more prevalent in those countries, it is not as great a threat to those women’s lives as is implied. It is completely dishonest to use figures from third world countries which have poor healthcare and high rates of HIV/AIDS as a means to frighten women into submission.
        From what I’ve seen, Eve Appeal seem to be just as fanatical as Jo’s To$$ers.

      • Caroline – Upon scanning the document, it did seem as though they were trying to apply African CC rates to our own in order to emphasise the importance of screening.

        I recall the NHS manipulating a WHO strategy on breastfeeding, citing data and studies from it to confer the benefits, when the strategy was primarily based on third-world countries with no access to clean drinking water.
        This led to incessant bullying of women, that resulted in the NHS having to change their policy on the matter in 2018.

        So, in the same way that the bf guidance was manipulated, I fear this will similarly be used to curtail women’s rights further.

        Although the strategy makes mention of two lifetime tests (a dramatuc improvement from the three or five year sanctioned tests), and use of self-sampling to improve acceptability of the test (something they do at least recognise), there is no mention of informed choice. Instead, it’s emphasised that countries should reach the 70% screening threshold, presumably at the expense of women’s input. Once again, this is dressed as “empowering” women.

        As we know, the NHS will cherry pick the bits of the strategy that they like, I fear this is just another stick that will be used to beat women with.

  51. So over the past 24 hours I’ve seen a ton of info about how the chinese are testing for covid via anal swab. Seems pretty controlling and demoralizing. Like pap smears!
    I’ve always felt like paps have been a way to coerce women into accepting whatever the authoritative medical experts demand. When women are meek, complacent and uninformed, they also risk their childrens health.
    The doctors think hey, why not? If you trust the financially incentivised medical establishments to make decisions for you, then I’m sure they consider your children fair game with little back talk or opposition.
    China has been promoted as the gold standard for how they dealt with the pandemic. How funny will it be when anal swabs become the standard of care in western treatment? Sorry, but I have to laugh. I can’t wait to see people do the mental gymnastics. Too bad they’ll never consider pap smears as invasive or unacceptable.

  52. Question on getting birth control pills online. Has anyone tried Nurx or LemonAide Health? I’ve heard good things about it, but I also want to hear from people on here as well, rather than just read reviews lol. I think this coming March or so, my prescription for my birth control pills might be ending, since when I visited my doc last year to renew it she said it’ll be renewed for 1 year, and I think it was around that time last year. Of course, they wanted to do a stupid pap, but I said no, and my husband was also there to have my back. Lol she then told me she won’t force me but then started saying stuff about liability, then for some reason my brain froze there, then my husband came to the rescue haha, then simply said “isn’t there something she can sign or something, that says she refused?” then she said “yes we can do that.” Then I said “Okay then I refuse.” Of course there was the whole “oh no but you’ll die and get cervical/uterine cancer if you don’t screen” but I know it’s rare. Plus, my reproductive health is the least of my concerns. If I can’t have kids, oh well, I’ve talked to my husband about adopting if I either A, choose not to have kids of my own, or B, can’t have kids. I’m more concerned about the health of my vital organs that are actually REQUIRED for me to survive lol. Anyway, sorry about the rant. But anyway, when/if my prescription ends in March, I want to start getting them online instead of having a prescription (even though I’m dying for birth control to just be available OTC). I know of course the only thing you need for them to know is blood pressure, then you’re good to go. Anyone who’s tried it? Let me know! 🙂

    • See what happens when hubby is there? You are more efficient as a couple than going w/o him.
      One reason they like women alone is to break your resistance and using the possibility of cheating adds to that.
      If he’s there tells them you are a close couple. Shows he cares and that you’re both monogamous.

      • I think it has a lot to do with the fact that they don’t respect women. They don’t take her seriously when she says “no”. But if the husband’s there, they’re far more likely to accept his word, when he tells them that his wife will not be attending. It’s as if her word alone is not sufficient, despite the fact that it’s her body.

        It’s an interesting insight into their mindset and is almost reflective of 18th century ideals, when a woman was seen as her husband’s chattel.

      • Good researching.
        When hubby is there it’s a united front. Divide & conquer doesn’t work so well.
        Truth be told they don’t trust either and will always use the BS mantra about being “sure.”
        We lived it.
        Years ago my bladder was acting up due to me being od’d on tylenol in my pain meds.
        Best parts were when the female md asked “anybody have anything to share?” while glaring at hubby. He replied “why are you staring at me?”
        When she returned after looking at a slide of my cervical mucus declaring “I’ve never seen one so clean”, he says back “well I could’ve told you that.”
        The look on her face? Priceless.

      • It’s so true! That’s exactly why I wanted to bring my husband because of course they’ll take his word for it, and not just mine alone. It’s sad that it has to be that way, but it’s the best I can do for now.
        So I got an email and text from the Walgreens around the corner from my apartment that my prescription was not approved for a refill, so I’m wondering if that’s a cue for me to renew it. However I’ve REALLY been thinking about getting my pills online instead. I just need to get a manual blood pressure monitor so I can do it on myself because if someone else does it, it will spike lol.
        However I’m wondering if I can just give them the “hey I need to renew my prescription for my birth control but I’ve been feeling funky the past few days. Can we do a telehealth appointment so I don’t risk everyone’s health there?” then they won’t pull any “you MUST do a pap smear right now or you’ll die of cancer.” So which do you guys think I should do? Should I just get my pills online or should I do a telehealth appointment with my practitioner? I’m leaning towards ordering them online but let me know what you guys think I should do 🙂 I love you all and I don’t even know you! I love this site!!

      • Hi Anon!

        I’d pull the feeling funky thing. Theres so much virus going around, who knows what you might have? LOL

        Otherwise, I’d find a doctor who doesn’t demand to feel up your tits and shove things into your vagina (crude, yes, but sadly true) before giving you a pill script.

      • For them there’s a psychological component to why they capitulate in front of hubby.
        He’s a witness to their chicanery.
        If you both sign a complaint it has more weight.

      • Cat & Mouse – It would be interesting to see how they’d react to a woman who was accompanied to her appointment by another woman, who was willing to support her and challenge the professionals if needs be. Perhaps we should conduct a study on the ethics of professional conduct in the gynae industry.

      • Do you live in CA or know someone who does? There it’s law that you CAN get The Pill OTC!!
        Except at Walfart where the warped corp thinks we’re too stupid and can’t be trusted.
        If not there try an online Mexican or Canadian pharmacy. In Mexico it’s otc.

  53. Anonymous – It sounds like you’re in the US. If that’s the case, I would get the pills online. If you do a telemedicine appointment with your practitioner you may get your prescription, but it would likely be for only a few months worth on the condition that you then come in for a pap, etc. In our for-profit healthcare system, many physician practices still insist on gyn exams for a pill prescription even though its been proven not to be necessary. After all, they don’t make money if you don’t go in – and that’s what it’s all about – money – not what’s best for women.

    • Yes, of course it’s about money *facepalm.*
      I just talked to my husband about it today and we’re still deciding on whether to do telehealth or get pills online. I am from the US, yes. I AM leaning towards getting them online via LemonAid Health or Nurx. You bring up a good point about them giving me my pills only on the condition that I schedule a pap in a few months, even if I do tell them I’d rather stay at home to stay safe and what not 😑 before I cancel though, do they ask any reasons why you’re canceling the prescription, or can I just tell them I’d rather not disclose the reasons why?
      Btw my main reason for using birth control is for health reasons. I had excruciating periods from hell and the pill has seriously saved my life. I am using it for pregnancy prevention but mainly for health reasons.

      • Hi Anonymous,
        I’m not US-based however I would guess that you are under no obligation to tell them why you are cancelling, seeing as you are not ordering and purchasing them from him.

        My advice would be to not allow your doctor to hold your pills hostage and to take control of the situation.

        I use pills for the same reasons you give too and I order mine online.

        To be honest with you, my quality of life would be all the worse without them.

        One reason why doctors don’t like women purchasing them online is because they lose so much power.

        Should women decide to use them for contraceptive reasons, there is no reason to divulge to your doctor whether or not you’re sexually active, and if they ask, you don’t need to answer seeing as you’re not dependent on a doctor to access them.

        They really are pesky creatures.

      • You must also understand the massive statistical error rates within pap scrape and the two-finger salute pelvic exam.
        When they learn you’ve done your homework they’ll realize their BS medical tech speak won’t change your mind.

      • Just say you’ve decided to look into other methods. Or call after hours – you’ll get the answering service and can just leave a message. Please keep us posted.

    • Also Cat & Mouse- I would LOVE to figure out how to access OTC pills from Mexico or Canada lol! I live in Idaho in the US btw. If you know how please let me know!

      To Apocalyptic Queen- I actually have ONE sister (out of my 4 sisters) that’s also against gynecological practices. None of my other sisters are and neither is my mom unfortunately. They’re all on board with the “better go just in case. You have to just get used to it” crap. One day I’m thinking about having her stay over one night and come to one of my appointments just to see what they’ll say or think of ANOTHER woman by my side who supports my decision not to screen!

      • Absolutely order them online – it doesn’t matter what state you live in. Try Nurx, and I believe there are similar sites where all they require are that you answer a few health questions. A doctor then writes the prescription and they mail them to you. Wish these sites were around when I needed birth control (I’m 60 now). Please keep us posted on how it went, it may be helpful to others.

      • Here’s the real kicker.
        See if you can order the Delphi Screener HPV test.
        Next to the Trovagene Urine Based HPV test my hubby found, this is the gold standard.
        Get a negative result on Delphi, give your md a copy and watch the tears flow.
        That’s what my hubby and I did. Felt liberating!

  54. I think I may have been able to cease screening online by following the links from the .gov.uk site- we’ll see.

  55. Hi Jan Allen.

    I’m afraid the link to cease screening takes you round in circles. Once you access the website to cease screening it tells you to write a letter to your GP explaining your decision. And that your GP would undertake to contact the screening authorities and cease you to make sure you got no more invitations. This is the so called way to ‘opt out’

    I went down this route a few years ago and thought I had opted out. About two weeks ago I received an invitation for cervical screening in the post. I was really surprised. All I can assume is that my GP ignored this letter from me and did not take it further. Provably to keep me in the system so I received further invitations.

    Best wishes to you. i hope you have success.

    • Linda this happened to me too, I first wrote to my doctor after deciding no more smears and 2!weeks later got another invitation. So I contacted the screening authority instead and got a form back Fromm them I filled in and sent back. In reply I got a letter confirming my opt out and I would not be receiving any more “invitations “. They said my GP had not informed them. Hope you and other ladies manage to stop the harassment

      • Hi Kat. I’m ignoring the invite ‘obviously’ I think in about 6 or so weeks from now I think I will receive a ‘reminder.’ After that I think I will get a phone call from the practice nurse asking me to come in for a blood pressure check, height and weight measurements and ‘one or two other little things.’ meaning she will try and force a smear on me when I go in. This is what she tried on about 5 yrs ago. I am ready for this try on. i will deffinitley be opted out after that!!!

        On a good note I am now down to 12 1/2 stone. I am so made up with this. I cant believe it. AS you can imagine its been a lot of hard work. I wont tell you what my start weight was. But I’m euphoric!!

    • So far so good – there is a CASC page with buttons to click and you go for ‘cease’ then ‘I am a patient’ and take it from there. I am waiting to hear back from them, eventually.

    • You might want to try simply using an overseas pharmacy. I’ve ordered medication successfully from India and also Mexico, authentic product turned up and got through customs just fine.

      I’ve ordered BC and more recently, my husband uses India for his inhalers to avoid unnecessary doctor visits. As long as you use a chemist with decent (and real) reviews, you should be fine.

  56. Hi guys. So, the only thing I’m hesitant on is trying Nurx because I’ve heard bad things about the app. I might try LemonAid Health; I’ve seen a lot better reviews.
    I just ordered a manual blood pressure cuff, so I’ll be using that and then ordering them online. I have to do manual blood pressure on myself because if someone else takes my BP, or if even I myself use the electric one, I get anxious and my BP spikes lol. So yes I think I will just get them online, thanks for your guys’ input! I talked with my husband about it and he supports me either way.
    I also heard that unfortunately you can’t tell them you’re using birth control to skip periods, otherwise they won’t give it to you. So even though my main reason for using it is for health reasons, I think I should only tell them I’m using it to prevent pregnancy right?

    • That’s a surprise to me. A friend’s daughter gets monstrous PMS & periods. In discussion we told her that The Pill can be used to delay periods due to excess or extreme PMS, flows, clots, pain, etc…
      Check and see if any particular brands are marketed for that purpose vs the “daily” Pill.
      It was super helpful for her. One period every 4 months makes her life much more tolerable. She’s longer figuratively considering suicide every 3 weeks.
      I believe some women reduce their suffering to one period in a year.
      Pro’s & Cons? Well, we already know the Pro’s.
      Cons? It’s good to have a period for the purpose of getting rid or more specifically grosser to shed our skin within. The uterine tissue is hormone influenced as is so much of male and female reproductive systems. Prostates get inflammatory cancers due to accumulation of hormone influenced glandular skin gone awry, to lack of zinc mineral support caused cancers, to the system “plugging” up from non-use. Gross, eh? Tofu helps males because the estrogen in soy products balances against the testosterone over-stimulating his “nards” and causing inflammation.
      For women much of same; in that uterine tissue goes bad from too much estrogen influence. Estrogen must be balanced with progesterone. It’s the inflammatory cancers that are worse.
      Eating bad fats, such as factory farmed animals (poor Omega 3 very high Omega 6 fatty acids), beef, or not consuming enough Omega 3 polyphenols and vegetables can cause inflammation to build up in our own bodies. We are what we eat.
      You’ll hear women here speaking authoritatively that diet directly influences your bodies to kill off hpv. I wholeheartedly agree.
      I’m not aware of having a period helps much of anything else.

      • I used the pill to try and manage my horrendous periods, but eventually even that didn’t work. I was suicidal as well. Its pretty much ignored by doctors what hell a lot of women go through. I used to only work in jobs where I knew the toilet was nearby and I could unobtrusively slip away to change every 30 minutes!

        When I was going through another suicidal spell because of the horrendous bleeding, my psychatrist found a gyno who would do a MEA (microwave endometrial ablation). It worked brilliantly! That was the start of my new life!

        Perhaps she can consider getting that done? Its not easy to get, you can only have it if you have had kids or are childfree (I’m childfree, never wanted kids). You’ll have to really beg for it, which is disgusting but the reality in this world obsessed with womens reproductive ability.

      • That’s my plan. I also have a rectocele that will be repaired at same time.
        Anyone had that done? I’ve been told it will be very painful. I’ll get dilaudid for pain.

    • Personally, my advice would be, do what you’ve got to do.

      If you’ve been using them previously for health-related issues which have been investigated, then there’s no reason to discontinue using them unless you encounter problems.

      For most doctors I have come across, the pill is the first port of call when women come to them complaining of excrutiating and heavy periods anyway.

      • To clarify, that was a response to Anonymous regarding ordering the contraceptive pill online.

      • Thank you Apocalyptic Queen. I definitely had excruciating periods from hell where I was practically bedridden for 3-4 days every month. Like you said, I’ll just do what I need to do. From the list of bc options, I’ve seen the brands I’ve used before. I’ve skipped periods before a few times but the last several ones I have not skipped on my own were either super super light and painless or they skipped on their own. So I think by now I might be fine, even when I do get my period and don’t skip them. Thank you for your input.

  57. Has anyone put together a list or know where such a list could be found that details what each country recommends as far as screening goes? It would be interesting to see how other countries stack up to the USA as far as age at which screening tests are recommended, frequency and whether or not experts have advised such tests be scrapped or put on a less frequent schedule. And whether citizens of those countries tend to be healthier and live longer than their USA counterparts, It seems in the USA there is a more-is-better attitude regarding tests and it bothers me that so many people – women especially – are made to fear everything and be part of what is known as the “worried well.”

    • Hi Susanne,
      It’s a first call-up at age 25 (24.5) in the UK, then a letter sent every 3 years until age 50 then every 5 years until 65.

      In the Netherlands, the first call-up is at age 30, then 35, 40. If these 3 tests are negative a woman can choose to drop down to every 10 years until age 60, so just 5 tests if all are negative. As far as I know, these countries and perhaps Finland and Singapore are the only countries with organised national programmes. Other countries like France and Germany send out vouchers which can be taken to a private gyno of your choice to have the test done if you want it possibly on an annual basis. Entirely up to the woman if she wants to go, nobody chasing you up at all, and is, of course, separate from any other healthcare, so you’re unlikely to be bullied into a test if you use healthcare for another reason.

      • Are the tests offered pap scrape or something that’s better than 50% accuracy like Delphi Screener?

      • To add to the discussion, I think NZ and Australia recently upped their screening ages to 25. I think they offer the self-test to the hardcore “defaulters”.

      • https://www.programrose.org/
        The Singaporean Program Rose sounds like the best of all: universal HPV test at home, send result by mobile device and get result in a day or 2.

        Personally, I don’t think the UK will change it’s screening programme at all. It will just fizzle out over the coming years. I’ve seen in a lot of papers that cervical cancer is likely to be eradicated in the coming years. I was reading recently, that where they have given teenagers chlamydia testing, they have not come across a single case of HPV. Not only has the vaccine stopped the cervical cancer types, but it has also given cross protection to other types that just give warts. I don’t think they’ll change our programme. They’ll just get more relaxed about who turns up or not and it will quietly be wound down.

      • Now that’s fascinating. Does it make you feel any different re the vaccine?
        How did they fare with teens chlamydia testing?
        The best thing that could happen is the Medical Deviants see how easily 100% compliance is met in Singapore.
        Does the study from Singapore mention which form of home testing was utilized?

      • That Singapore can offer women a self-testing option should be a source of shame to other Western countries!

      • It looks good, but I honestly don’t think we’ll get anything like that in the UK. My feeling is they’ll discreetly relax the pressure to screen, drop to 5 yearly testing in a few years, and with the vaccinated cohort working through, the numbers will drop off a cliff in a few years. It will only be the older women, and they don’t make good advertising and fundraising for the charities.
        There’s just been a very sad case on our local news of a 28 yr old facing a terminal diagnosis of a very rare type of cervical cancer, but throughout the report there was no mention of cervical screening and the pressure to get it done. It could be that she was a regular screener, and that it had been missed or detected at the first screen and they didn’t want the secret out of the bag that it’s so innacurate. Either way, I was surprised that there wasn’t the usual mention of how that delayed/denied test could’ve saved her life. Perhaps the media is getting a bit more savvy about it, or Mr Music’s absence is paying off.

      • Her age determines what I believe the Dx will be.
        If old her CC developed from inside out and hpv not a factor.

      • I thought I’d seen that somewhere before but I couldn’t think where. Yes, it was very quietly slipped through, wasn’t it? Not a mention anywhere.

  58. Hi all, same Anon again from a few weeks ago. Update on Lemonaid Health! So, I tried going on Nurx at first, but it turns out they don’t have delivery set up for it in Idaho where I live… so I tried Lemonaid instead because they deliver all around. I cannot recommend this app enough! All I had to do was answer a few health questions, give them my blood pressure and any OTC I’m using, scheduled a followup call for the next day which was a quick 2 minutes, and bam! 3 days later they came to my door with a 3 month supply. In 3 months I’ll get my next 3 pack supply and so on. I’ll renew it the following year and that’s it. Yay for getting birth control online!! 🙂

    • I’m pleased for you! 😀

      Power to you for taking the control out of the doctor’s hands 🤟

      Hope they were okay with you for not renewing with them.

      • Heck yes!! Lol so I still haven’t gotten a call from them asking me about renewing my prescription so I’m just not gonna bother unless they call me. Idk what to tell them my reason for canceling but hopefully they don’t bother calling.
        Honestly this has felt so liberating! 😃

      • I suppose you could just tell them you have decided not to renew with them and if you change your mind, you’ll contact them.

        I guess you don’t have to give them any more reasons.

        Even if you told them that you’ve decided to purchase them elsewhere, there’s nothing they can do about it.

    • YEAH!!!
      As the cartoon goes, “Ah ah ah ah thee to thee ah thee ah to thee thats all folks!!”
      So glad to have helped you.

  59. Has anyone seen this?:
    https://www.change.org/p/reduce-late-diagnosis-current-women-s-healthcare-in-the-uk-severely-fails-women-of-all-ages-and-urgent-change-is-needed-please-sign-and-share-this-petition-there-is-a-real-need-to-improve-women-s-health-smash-taboos-checkmeup-isignedforher/w?source_location=petition_nav

    Extremely worrying. And the idiots have receuved “support” from a (predictably) male MP.

    Who needs male doctors when these women pose such a risk to our right to bodily autonomy?

    I tried to leave a comment but I don’t think you can unless you sign the darn thing.

    • OMG, she even took a “gynoselfie” like this despicable poster on reddit who’s trying to make that a trend. Those checkups exist in other countries like the US and Germany, and it does nothing to better health, the only thing you get is MORE pap smears (and we know about them…) and MORE absolutely ineffective manual exams (breast/pelvic). The fact the NHS is always short of money is very reassuring for once, though.

    • Omg. Plus, these dips haven’t gotten the memo that pelvic exams have no medical utility as a screening tool for asymptomatic women and are completely discredited except as a “tool for bonding” ie: medical masturbation. Seriously, a petition to promote more women to to go in for medical fingerf#$%ing as a crucial.and inescapable necessity, with no idea how much this proves how incapable they are of rational thought or basic research skills or anything but emotional reaction carefully herded by linked interests.

      • My last pap was over 10yrs ago. In 2012 I had the Trovagene urine based HPV test, proved myself negative with 93% accuracy. Well, recently we came across my old pap lab report.
        In bold print at bottom is the warning that “false positives and false negatives do occur.”
        Then it advises to correlate the pap test with other clinical indicators for a full diagnosis.
        Like I’ve said, pap is 50% accurate.
        If they gave Full Informed Consent for this women in clinic would permanently cross their legs.

  60. Off topic, but as a Trades Union Officer I’ve been following the no jab no job saga carefully, where employers are insisting that employees get the covid vaccine or get won’t be allowed to worry for them. There’s thought this could be legal under health and safety at work laws. What struck me though is it’s the same rhetoric used here, who wouldn’t have a life saving vaccine.. 5 minutes outta your day! As it is for smears.. WHY Wouldn’t you get this simple quick painless test every 3/5 years to save your life?? And if covid vaccine does become mandatory what then will follow??

    • Sorry should read employees must get the covid vaccine or they won’t be able to work for them! I hate predicting text lol

      • Hi Kat. we’re slowly moving forward into an Orwellian nightmare. Everything will be forced on us eventually in the name of public health.

    • I am also closely watching the Covid vaccine rollout to see if it becomes mandatory because if it does, I do think that the likes of Jo’s T0$$ers and Eve’s An@ls will start pushing for mandatory screening.

      It is possible that once the pandemic is over, screening will slide further into oblivion or there will be a militant resurgence in terms of getting the take-up rates back up.

      As with covid, arguments to target women would range from the, “it only takes five minutes” to “preventative medicine saves the NHS more money than having to treat all these irresponsible women”.
      We could see a resurgence of 80s and 90s style tactics.

      It’s difficult to predict which way the wind will blow, but with a rise in incentive payments being introduced, it doesn’t look like the NHS is giving up anytime soon.

      I’m sure that the key will be the vaccine. If they cannot make that mandatory, then I foresee that it will be very difficult to enforce mandatory cervical screening.

      Another saving grace is funding. The NHS will likely be close to bankruptcy by the time all this is over but don’t count out that stopping them.

      I think I’m going to write to this MP who has decided to support this campaign so that he is aware just what it could potentially lead to.

      • Hi AQ. From recollection, forced medical procedures have already been tried out in Germany,the head of that programme a
        “Dr Josef mengele”
        Hugs Jules

  61. Hi guys,

    Please see the email that I have sent to MP Elliott Colburn regarding the annual checks campaign:

    Good afternoon,

    I recently came across the above named petition listed on Change.Org and I saw that the petition had received political support from yourself. 

    While I fully appreciate that this petition has been initiated with the very best of intentions, I have some grave misgivings about the campaign, and its’ potential to affect women’s common law right to consent and bodily autonomy in medicine, and I would urge you to please consider all aspects of this argument (which I will outline below) before promulgating this campaign further. 

    Firstly, there are many misconceptions about pelvic exams. 

    These are conducted annually in countries such as Germany and the United States, but recent research suggests that they provide very little clinical value in the diagnosis of the complaints listed in the Change.Org petition. As a result, these were ruled out as part of an annual screening strategy by the NHS some time ago. 

    Secondly, even the cervical screening programme is not entirely without risk. Again, there is a misconception that young women are being “failed” by the NHS due to the age of screening being increased in 2005 from 20 to 25. 

    However, the change was made due to medical and scientific research which demonstrated that young women aged under 30 in particular, were far more likely to receive “false positive” results, leading to further investigations and potentially harmful treatment in the form of LLETZ procedures, which in some cases, could cause stillbirths, miscarriages and menstrual problems in young women. 

    In 2003, a Bristol University study headed by Professor Angela Raffle, concluded that of all women receiving a CIN III diagnosis, only 12% of those women would go on to develop squamous cell carcinoma. 

    These findings were backed up in a 2013 Dutch study by Vink et al. that concluded that 12% of women receiving a CIN 3 diagnosis would develop squamous cell carcinoma within a timeframe of 23.5 years. 

    The upshot of this is that all women receiving a CIN 3 diagnosis are given treatment which can lead to some of the problems outlined above. 

    Even with improvements to the current screening programne, it is estimated that of 30,000 women, 90% still receive invasive treatment for CIN dysplasia that would likely have resolved by itself. 

    Therefore fourthly, given these considerations and the invasive nature of screening itself, women should be entitled to make a fully informed choice regarding their decision to participate in screening.

    Due to the need to achieve an uptake rate of around 80% in line with guidelines from the National Screening Committee, the right to make a free and informed choice has not always been supported. 

    Some shocking reports of medical coercion including the threat to withhold medication if women refused to submit to screening has been documented over the years. 

    In view of all these considerations, I would counsel that in accordance with the latest clinical evidence, campaigns to support further gynaecological screening programmes (including annual check-ups) are short-sighted. 

    I would also counsel that as a woman, the notion of bodily autonomy and consent within medical settings is extremely important to me and to other women. 

    In accordance with the common law, every competent adult has the right to consent, or withhold consent, to medical procedures and treatments. 

    I fear that an annual check from adolescence will undermine this right for women and serve as another cause of inequality between men and women. 

    I would advise however that a number of countries such as the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia have introduced a DIY self-testing kit for HPV which is the precursor to squamous cell carcinoma in up to 99% of cases.

    The NHS also now screens in the first instance for HPV, however they do not offer the self-testing option to women despite the fact that it is said to have a specificity rate of 90%. 

    The self-testing option would be invaluable to women especially during the pandemic, and it is likely that given a recent Scottish study, most women would prefer to self-test rather than be made to undergo an invasive test. 

    If this could be brought to the attention of your colleagues in parliament, this would be appreciated by many women. 

    • A good letter AQ. Hopefully it will get his attention and move him in the right direction for women.

      When Theresa May was prime minister I sent a similar letter to her out lining the importance of bodily autonomy for women. Someone from her department wrote back to me that they could reassure me it was always the womens choice to undergo screening. They are aware we we are watching them.

    • Bloody brilliant, AQ! Champion! 🙂

      Let’s see if you get a response.

      I think most men wouldn’t have any idea how much women are abused and forced into this ‘medical woman’ stuff. It’s still common for society in general to be clueless about abuse of power in medical settings.

      Exactly the same as when priests were considered immune from abusing children – and we now know how that turned out… :’-(

  62. A great letter AQ! Let’s hope you get a reply soon
    I’ve just seen over on a welfare rights blog ( and the unemployed are as bigoted as the Daily Fail for some reason!) the comments; if you won’t get the vaccine for yourself do it for your family and friends and society! Shades of, what will happen to your family if you die unsmeared of cervical cancer!!

  63. Hi all, It might be a thought to also ask him if he’s in favour of mandatory screening, how he is going to get round the human rights act section 3 ,the human rights act section 8, the discrimination act,the uk law on inciting rape and any other civil liberties law that may be fractured, these idiots think they are going to pick up a few more votes by appeasing these other idiots. And if they manage to find a loophole and you still refuse to attend what next are they going to send a hit squad round because every dad brother uncle husband boyfriend will be waiting, I’m afraid they will be pissing in the wind excuse they language but this moron has really wound me up,why do they not utilise the facts as we do before committing (I feel better now). Hugs Jules x.

    • Hi Jules,

      I am of the view that the sheer stupidity of these women poses a huge risk to our bodily autonomy and human rights.

      They deem themselves to be advocates for the rest of us without our input.

      These fools are so ignorantly dangerous to the point that it calls into question their ability to vote.

      They would happily sign away our rights with a smile on their face, and would be the first to complain if it came back to bite them, and moan how they were betrayed, or never saw it coming!

  64. I will never understand the preoccupation some women have with , basically, complete strangers vaginas and what they do with them! Because this is what they’re requesting, every woman be subjected to exams and testing! As you say AQ, they’re ignorant and dangerous

  65. Hi ladies, I don’t think it would be possible by any stretch of the imagination, for this to become mandatory,the ethics and legality would prove to be far too much to address. We just need to keep on track spreading the word and helping and gaining followers although with some of the air heads you try to reason with are beyond help.i have one of these at work but she thinks she has every illness known to man anyway. When helper was twelve she woke me up on a Saturday morning screaming I ran into her room and she was just standing there with blood on her nighty I guessed straight away and gave her a cuddle and told her everything was ok we went and got cleaned up and I went through the ropes with her (or should that be the strings ). An hour later mom and dad came back from shopping , and when mom was alone I held a tampon in the air and said I think we’ll need more of these from now on and then patted helper on the head, mom gave her a big hug and said your moms big helper now , and that’s what it’s about just helping each other. some times people will just not see that is what you are trying to do , hopeless cases are probably just best left be, but others will take it on board and learn. If we have any children I would hope by the time they have grown this appalling test will be history and self tests will be the norm. Hugs Jules xx.

  66. Give me strength. I’ve just come here to restore my sanity after a very frustrating couple of hours on social media seeing hysterical posts about ‘so many’ young women dying from cervical cancer and the need to lower the age limit asap, even when taking into account the harms of the test for that age group, someone telling a women who has never had sex that she still must be tested because she is nonetheless at risk and seeing cervical cancer described as a ‘huge risk to women’. This is addition to the usual shaming ‘would you rather have five minutes of awkwardness or cancer?’ rhetoric. It’s as if covid has heightened the hysteria, fearmongering and the misinformation. I feel like the push for every women to ‘step up’ and ‘take responsibility for her health’ is going to be even stronger because, as our lovely friends Eve Appeal have said, ‘covid has shown us just how important it is to take care of ourselves’. When I look to the future, I see increasingly rabid hysteria about it and feel quite despondent.

    • The thing is, that COVID-19 is communicable person to person with casual interaction. HPV – the cause of nearly all CC, is only transmissible by having contact with another person’s genitals. Getting a COVID shot so you don’t run the risk of transmitting it to other people is one thing. Getting an invasive exam every year, and follow-on tests and treatments which are equally invasive but also PAINFUL and damaging – combined with the notion that “women cannot feel above the lower 1/3 of their vaginas – and even then, only a little is quite another. If someone wants to avoid getting any possible HPV of CC from me, I invite that person or society to not touch my vagina!

      • I completely agree! It’s a false equivalence but one which seems to be taking hold, in addition to the scaremongering about how many women will now drop dead because they are a few months ‘overdue’ (in inverted commas due to the inappropriacy of that phrase) on their screenings.

    • Seen a few of these comments myself, but it seems to be the 20 something women. Thankfully, I’ve not seen too many older women spout this nonsense, the doubts must be creeping in by that stage over how much of it is really necessary. Seems to be a lot of first timers boasting that they’ve done it, because they’re just so desirable to men.😫. I know that Jo’s & Eve encourage young women to post about it online and it wouldn’t surprise me that first smearers get asked to do so at first appointments. “Tell your friends how good you’ve been!”
      Whilst I’m assured the NHS will never lower the screening age, women’s health is earmarked for privatisation who may operate as they please, and I fear private well-woman clinics may put pressure on women to get screened more.

      • Sorry, I accidentally gave your comment a thumbs down! I was meaning to do the opposite. Yes, that’s an important point. How awful it would be if we adopted any kind of system resembling that in the US and some other countries where clinically useless but traumatic procedures become an annual thing. I guess that’s exactly the kind of thing that ‘check me up’ petition is pushing for.

      • Gem and Ada, definitely be thankful you don’t have a system in the UK like ours. The pressure on women in the US to have annual gyn exams is immense. During a recent medical visit to discuss my high blood pressure, the doctor spent probably half the time trying to persuade me to make an appointment with an ob/gyn group affiliated with his particular medical group. Then I received a confirmation in the mail confirming a telemedicine call, again regarding my blood pressure, and enclosed was a list of recommended ob/gyns. They apparently want to try to find more insurance money in my vagina. Beth has also posted about experiencing pressure to have these exams during consults for her diabetes. A truly disgusting state of affairs, that really makes one consider avoiding medical care altogether.

      • Hi Judy, we already have Kaiser Permanente and other US companies interested in buying sections of NHS primary care services, if they haven’t purchased them already. They pick the non-serious, everyday healthcare stuff in primary care, and women’s health with all those “essential” interventions provide rich pickings. A lot of GP surgeries outsource various procedures to private companies. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if pap smears didn’t get centred at some privately run clinic. Private gyne clinics (of which there are plenty in UK) will do a smear test from 18 years onwards and as frequently as you are prepared to pay for it. Having privatised screening in the UK, could cut 2 ways = the worried well would be getting them annually, but those not fazed by the advertising might not find themselves bothered much at all. I’m also worried that private companies might insist on employees being forced to undergo these healthchecks as part of their contracts. Seem to remember in Brazil pap smears are compulsory for female civil servants, so no being a school teacher without one.

      • Judy Yes, the dude filling in for my regular doctor had nothing to say about my diabetes while I was there, but he had a lot to say about why he should be allowed to penetrate my vagina. I wish I didn’t have to seek medical care at all, but sadly I cannot do that now – or risk a gruesome and slow early death. It is a consideration. Fortunately, if that happens again, I WILL go without diabetes treatment for a time if I need to, as I spend the time filing official complaints. You know, for consent violations, coercion, coercion used as a weapon to force someone to allow another to penetrate her vagina (e.g., rape), media, the ACLU, the National Women’s Law Center (the same people who took on work/pay equality in the 1970s who now has an interest in all of this), insurance company, Attorney General, etc.

    • So upsetting to read that and my heart goes out to those women. It’s assault. I wonder whether men have to undergo prostate tests. My money is on not.

      • I’ve seen my husband pressured into a prostate test – the depreciated digital-rectal exam. It was just as coercive as my refused pap a couple of years ago, but he gave in to the pressure. He felt sexually assaulted as much as many women do. The next time, when he pointed out that it’s no longer a recommended test, they backed off immediately.

    • So upsetting to read that. My heart goes out to those women because it is assault. I wonder whether men have to undergo mandatory prostate tests. My money is on not.

    • My understanding is that this is a state law pertaining to Sao Paolo. Is this correct?
      As the article was written in 2014, I wonder if this law still exists? (I recall some furore around it when it was first reported). Given the bigoted man they have leading the country, I would guess that it does.

      I saw an article published in one of our trashy newspapers today about two young women who have passed away with cancer during the lockdown. One had missed chemotherapy treatment cancelled. Neither woman had cervical cancer as far as I could tell.

      However, according to the article, doctors are urging the government to treat cancer treatment with the same urgency as Covid and say that the lockdown may cost 60,000 in life years lost to cancer.

      While I cannot disagree with that, my fear is that the concept of “treatment” will extend to “screening”, and cervical screening in particular.

      With the NHS in dire straits, I do worry that there will now be a heavy emphasis on preventative medicine at the expense of women.

      I wonder what form mandatory screening would take in this country.

      While I do think that ministers might balk at legislation compelling women to undergo the procedure, I do wonder if it’s within their grasp to ensure employers monitor women’s compliance with the National Screening Programme to prove they are “up to date” with their smears.

      Apparently, relevant employers such as Social Care and Health Care will be able to write compulsory covid vaccination as a condition of employment for new employees into contracts, I worry if attention will turn to cervical screening, particularly for NHS, and other public sector employers.
      I guess time will tell.

      • AQ, I’ve been following reports of the effect of cancer treatments during COVID and of all the types of cancer discussed, breast, colon, prostate, etc, cervical cancer has been absent from all reports. Now why should that be? I believe it has been because there’s been no difference in rates. Noticeable also, has been that NHS hasn’t published uptake rates for screening for over a year now. Again, I think it is because they are so low, they don’t want to publish them for fear of the public losing trust in screening.

        I’ve also seen reports of people who haven’t had end of life chemotherapy, and I don’t think we’re getting all the facts here, because there is a big debate about whether chemo for terminal cancers should happen at all. It just makes end of life even more unpleasant and many patients refuse it. It is often surviving family members who see the chance of making some cash from the NHS bashing tabloids by running those “that chemo would have saved X’s life” stories.

      • Yes Ada, you are right. For terminal illnesses, it is questionable whether chemotherapy would have made a substantial difference, other than prolong life for a few months. This just goes to show how effective the media is in stirring fear and manipulating the facts. My fear is that amongst this headrush for treatments, the same logic might be extended to cervical screening.

        It is interesting that the stats haven’t been published by the NHS. It might be due to a mixture of the impact of the pandemic on their workloads and as you say, the very low uptake rates.

        If the uptake is as low as say 45 – 50% and there is no noticeable difference in diagnosis rates, then this will really speak volumes about the “efficacy” of the programme and why they don’t want the public to know about it.

        Perhaps we should instigate an FOI request for the stats! 😁

      • Problem w chemo are cancer stem cells. It’s hard to kill these, and the survivors develop ways to end run the treatment.
        Israeli researchers have ran DNA and RNA on tumor stem cells.
        Once coded, precise and lethal chemo can be customized.
        Our foods also play into the inflammatory processes.
        Israeli research also has shown European honeybee venom (mellitin) can destroy breast cancer in an hour.
        THC does same. CBD can suppress inflammation.

  67. Hi ladies, I have been looking at a few medical sites ,especially the rules and regulations that have to be followed by the medical profession by law. It states that if medical attention is refused even if it is a life or death situation ,the patients decision “must “be respected so if that’s the case why do they refuse to listen and accept your choice with a poor screening test . Love helper x

    • Hi Helper,
      If you were in a 1:1 situation with your doctor and you flat out told him that you would not have a screening test, they’d have to accept it.

      Their tactics focus on getting you to consent through pressure because once you’ve said yes (by any means) and have had the test, as far as they’re concerned, you’ve consented.

      Not all areas of medicine are as militant as this however it seems that a clear unequivocal “no” (as per the first siruation) is the only language they understand, which is why I always advise being very brief with them, using legally technical language by always mentioning consent (or lack thereof) and threatening to escalate things when they don’t take no for an answer.

      Unfortunately, they know that pressure tactics work on many women.

  68. Hi AQ, I am getting a little nervy at the minute, as I’ve still not received my invite and it’s now playing on my mind , I need to get my invite and send my letter, to relieve this anxiety . I think the vaccination programme is the reason for the delay. Once I have been officially “opted out “ I think I will be more relaxed, until I eventually need an appointment for anything, but Jules said she would come with me anytime I have to go. She said when we go we should go dressed to the nines , hair, makeup ,lbd’s ,heels and watch his expression change when he realises he ain’t getting none of it haha. I think it’s the thought of pressure off them that’s the worst part, but with Jules there I think I’ll be ok. love helper x.

    • Perhaps you do, I don’t know what the rules are but if you’re at the age where they’d start inviting you, it might be worth a try. I’d have a look at the opt-out link.

  69. Daily Fail today ladies, London is sending out thousands of self tests to what they deem as “overdue” for a smear test! Usual comments lol

    • The resistance to self-screening because it ‘won’t be done properly’ really speaks to the level of fear-mongering that has taken hold. And, what will certain charities do? Their bread and butter is to promote the embarrassment narrative and get women to bully and shame each other. Of course, the article also made a point of making it all about silly, embarrassed women. Same old.

      • It’s interesting isn’t it that these fishwives are not only against themselves taking up a self-testing kit, they are against YOU and any other woman being offered the opportunity. It really smacks of the “it’s just a part of being a woman” narrative and it’s “something you’ve just got to do” as a woman. It’s seen as almost ritualistic and they don’t seem to rate progress. Very weird.

        Furthermore, their ignorance on the issue is frankly quite astounding.
        Rather ironic that they used to belittle “non-screeners” for their supposed ignorance and over-emotional mentality.

      • Yes Apocalyptic Queen! I really think that some women will be lost without the chance to belittle and shame other women into. ‘getting over themselves’, whipping off their knickers and ‘assuming the position’ at every spare opportunity. It really is like some see it all as an integral part of womanhood and self-testing will feel like a genuine loss to them. The whole ‘ignorance’ narrative has long annoyed me too. Spoken usually by women who have zero concept of the risks and benefits of screening and are themselves uneducated on the topic. Mind you, it’s hardly surprising when that narrative is promoted by ‘leading’ women’s charities and by medical professionals. I have to say, though, I’m massively concerned by the knowledge of some HCPs, judging by some of the comments I’ve seen on twitter etc. They have no idea of the risks and benefits either and genuinely believe it’s all a ‘no brainer’ and rabidly advocate for lowering the age. It doesn’t help when ‘advocates’ who are also medics hit the block button as soon as any questions are raised about the risks of screening, however politely and tactfully they are addressed. It’s just censorship to deny women their autonomy.

      • When I look at the comments, I note that the whole discourse around screening is subconsciously wrapped up in issues such as Christian virtue and morality.
        I cannot count the number of comments suggesting women who don’t have smears are promiscuous, or questions as to why aren’t they embarrassed if they’re prepared to have sex with a “random stranger” and not gave a smear, along with the demands to know why women aren’t complying.

        I’ve long thought that regulation of women’s sexual behaviour has played a part in screening, especially since the pill has become available to women.

        Now, we are gradually moving away from this mindset and the charities, NHS and those with disturbing patriarchal mindsets can’t handle it and this is them throwing a strop and chucking their toys out of the pram.

        I suspect there are also a few disgruntled women on there who have attended screening dilligently over the years, and are not happy that having done their duty, the ones who have stuck it out and said no to screening, are the ones being offered the self-testing option and I think they comfort themselves with the thought of, “at least, I have had mine done the right way”. Maybe they convince themselves that the self-testing option isn’t “professional” or accurate anyway.

        However, I doubt the NHS will be able to restrict this option indefinitely to the “defaulters”. I suspect more and more women will ask for, and want this option if they are aware it is available and being offered to other women. Many will quite rightly question why this is available to some women and not others.

      • Ladies, have a look at the responses to Matt Hancock’s tweet about the self-test (mind you, he has referred to it as a ‘smear test’, so I can understand some of the confusion). The thread is full of women throwing up their hands and declaring how ‘terrifying’ it is ‘that this trial might become the norm’. It’s complete hysteria. A gift to our favourite charities who will probably start saying now that women have shown they are not in favour of self-testing.

      • Gosh, I’m probably over posting today but the comments about self-sampling are completely absurd. Most concerning are the health care providers spreading misinformation about how dangerous it will be for women to do it themselves because of the ‘level of expertise’ needed. I find it almost impossible to believe that they don’t know the difference between the collection of cervical cells and the HPV swab test. Very worrying. Who are these people?!

      • I’ve just been browsing on twitter and have been pleasantly surprised by how much many women do know about self testing. Many keen to point out Hancock’s mistake about it being a “smear test” at home. Such an idiot. Although some comments about how could a woman do this to herself at home, there are a lot of people explaining how it works to other women sensibly. I do hope this opens the floodgates, and the willingness to try it out, will mean they are forced to reconsider for the whole population. Would so love to see this cervical screening ritual topple and be removed from our lives for good. Bastards.

      • Same here Ada. Let the f****rs at Eve’s and Jo’s eat cake.

        Vive le revolution!

      • Actually, I think I spoke too soon! Now see there are huge pile of thick, brainwashed women out there wondering how to ram a speculum into themselves at home. Seems mainly tabloid readers and Women’s Institute 🤮

      • Gem – That comment about how women are up in arms about home testing really got me going. How dare these numbf**ks presume to speak for the rest of us??!! Who do they think they are??

        I’d end up saying something I regret so I’m going to take a break before I go again. Already spent some time explaining how self-testing works to the coven on the daily fail. Trying to reason with these tools is exhausting. You get some sense into one or two people and then another three come along spouting the same old nonsense.

        By the way – apologies for the language used folks.

      • @Apocalyptic Queen

        “this is them throwing a strop and chucking their toys out of the pram.”

        As a boorish American, have I ever told you how enchantingly adorable I find the turns of phrase in the UK? I literally squeeeeed at this!

      • @ Demonhype, Aww thanks. Although to be fair, I was just looking for the politest way of describing these cretins!

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

      Only 31,000 out of the 4,000,000 summons demands they send out every year? I thought nearly a 3rd of women are now saying no. They’ve got a lot more to do, but lets hope this is the start of bigger things to come. I see that these are only going to women who are 15 months “overdue” in the London area, where only about half of women go. Good to see that they are now out in the open so thst even the brainwashed can find out about them.

  70. Hi ladies, Just checking in, and making sure you knew about the news tonight about the sending out of self tests but from the comments it looks like I’m lagging behind again. But on the bright side both myself and Jules have opted out of screening using the way jan suggested of using the online way and are waiting now for confirmation, on the downside I suppose we won’t be getting our free test kits haha. Love helper x.

    • Don’t worry about that, Helper, the NHS has already thought of that one! I was browsing the web the other day, and found that GPs are now incentivised (2 points on the QOF scale, I believe) to contact every 5 years, those who have opted out, and offer them a chance to rejoin the righteous flock and enjoy the pleasure of a smear test. You may get to demand a self test yet!

      • They are really like Glenn Close’s mad, obsessive stalker character in Fatal Attraction aren’t they?

        Bunny boilers seems like an accurate description for them 🐰

      • Hi adawells,
        I’m still sending the letter I wrote to my gp after I get my confirmation I’m out
        I’m sure I could send another shorter version in 5 yrs time saying
        GO F??K YOURSELF
        Love helper x.

    • I’m glad you have both opted out! Welcome to the rebel alliance 🤪

      Hope you receive an opt-out letter soon then you can have a glass of champagne to celebrate 🍾🥂😀

      Just remember, you can always purchase a self-testing kit called Gynae check from Superdrug. They are recommended for the over 30s atm though as HPV tends to be transient in the under 30 age groups 🙂

  71. I’ve just been on Twitter. It’s quite clear that most of the comments are from women with no understanding whatsoever of how a conventional smear is conducted, nevermind a self-sampling method for HPV.

    They sound so ill-informed that it is almost hilarious.
    It’s also awash with comments from the conspiracy theorists who think this is part of a plot to cut more services.

    It’s exhausing trying to explain all this to them.

    There have been quite a few men on there decrying this as well.

    I’m not sure what their motives are – could be a mix of misunderstanding about the test and condescending paternalism about women not knowing what is good for them.

    There was an article on the Daily Fail not so long ago about women accessing comtraception through the post and the number if men complaining that women ought to report to a doctor for the pills and be monitored, was eyebrow-raising. Same old attitudes here really.

  72. Oh my goodness. Twitter is a nightmare right now. Still full of women in hysterics about having to ‘perform smears on themselves’. It’s horrible because women who are informed on the topic and advocating for it, including sexual violence survivors are just getting attacked. I made a comment that ‘people are uninformed’ about self-testing and was subject to a pile on. Apparently I’m patronising and a misogynist and a ‘woman-blamer’ because I’m blaming women for being uninformed (when actually, I used the word ‘people’) when they have been misled by Matt Hancock. So ironic, given the existing culture of blame and shame around screening which seems to be sacrosanct – and mostly perpetuated by women. And also, if people are unable to read the article which does actually explain that the test consists of a vaginal swab and when they still insist, even after it has all been explained to them, that it is ‘dangerous’ and ‘a disaster waiting to happen’, I think I am perfectly justified in using the word ‘uninformed’!

    • Hi gem, Head and wall come to mind , I’m not the sharpest knife in the draw, but this is so simplistic why is it taking them so much to understand?.
      Love helper x.

      • You don’t give yourself enough credit Helper 🙂

        The few that I have engaged positively with, the penny has dropped pretty quickly.

        For some who are still indignant about being called out on their ignorance of HPV testing, they revert to, “but they shouldn’t call it a smear test”, as if that in itself, is a reason for swathes of outrage on what is, a positive development.

        I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again, I’m amazed that so many women proclaiming the benefits of screening have no idea what it actually involves in practice.

        They have no understanding of the methodology of screening and many are either incapable of understanding, or don’t want to understand, yet they have a bullish herd mentality, like the sort who would have relished in attending a witchcraft trial or a public execution back in the “good old days”.

        It makes you wonder whether these people should be given the vote, quite frankly.

      • Some of it seems like wilful ignorance at this point. I just spoke to one woman who even after I explained it to her, said ‘well it’s still dangerous’. Apparently she works with nurses who take samples and are not happy about the potential changes – I’m sad to say that I can well believe that some nurses might actually not understand the issues themselves. On a more positive note, I have now had some conversations with women who have actually taken on board my explanation. Thank you for your kind words- you seem pretty sharp to me x

      • We have found word of mouth is useless.
        When shown proof on paper however, nurses are often speechless.

      • You know what they say Gem, you can’t cure stupid.

        Glad that you’re starting to get through to them though!

        For those interested in self-testing but unablr to access the pilot, it might be worth mentioning that Gynae check is available to purchase online at Superdrug.

        I’m not in the least surprised that nurses are not happy about the changes. This is a source of power (and income) that is being taken away from them.
        I’m enjoying seeing this realisation dawning on them.

    • I’ve had better luck! I left a few replies to people last night who were adamant that this cannot be done and have had quite a few responses back, querying about self-testing & indicating that they were initially confused by use of the term “smear test”.
      Once I pointed out that it was a test for HPV and NOT for cell-sampling so that it only required a basic swab, they were fine. I also mentioned that the test is used successfully in the Netherlands, Aus & NZ and has a specificity rate of around 90%.

      I’ve seen one convert who is horrified that women have been undergoing speculum exams for years and a couple have contacted me about purchasing self-testing kits and the Dutch screening programme so I am pleasantly surprised.

      I’m not too worried about the vociferous comments from the great unwashed on this thread any longer.

      It’s abundantly clear that the comments are from women with not one iota of how screening actually works, nevermind self-sampling. However, I am shocked at how many people are completely uninformed and have zero understanding of the actual screening process. This should tell us something about the NHS propaganda machine.

    • I always mention informed consent is required by law and as they clearly don’t understand, legally they shouldn’t be screening anyway. That always gets a reaction – light the touch paper and walk away (i.e. mute them)!

      And don’t get me started on the number of women who’ve had “pre-cancer” and “wouldn’t be here today”…..

      • Or the number of women who say that a smear involves a “visual inspection” so it is useful for picking up other things as well! Pointed out that this is not the purpose of a smear test and a visual inspection cannot identify the presence of cancer, cervical or otherwise. No response. Dear Lord, some of these women are complete and utter morons.

        I find that quoting and throwing facts & figures from reputable sources (Angela Raffle; BMJ; Vink et al) silences the doubters – or at least, they dare not reply because they have nothing to come back at me with!

      • And the women who ‘were told by their doctor that they wouldn’t be here today’ – if that’s true that is outrageous but i do believe there’s a certain amount of mythology around ‘pre-cancerous cells’.

      • The use of the term “pre-cancerous cells” has been deliberately used over the past decades by the NHS to gaslight women into believing that CIN=”pre-cancer”.

        Now that women are becoming more informed through access to journals online etc, and realise that abnormalities in the main, are just normal changes, they are being boxed into a corner.

      • I’m really scared by some of the statistics these women are throwing around as I have no idea how they can have come by them eg. 9% of all women get cervical cancer not caused by HPV (?!), that 10 % of cc is unrelated to HPV and that cervical cancer is the ‘biggest killer of women’. I saw that Jo’s Trust have put out a tweet about how the language used ‘raised questions’ – why can’t they just be clear and say it was plain wrong and misinformation?

      • Even if that statistic is true, cervical screening cannot reliably detect non-HPV related cancers. It is even more hopeless in detecting adenocarcinoma than it is in detecting squamous cell carcinoma. I wonder if these women are Eve and Jo spies infiltrating the comments sections.

  73. Hi ladies, Has anyone thought how beneficial this could be ,with all this misinformation flying round surely a lot of women will start to query matters and search for facts and information for themselves and realise that they have been taken advantage of for decades, this in turn will lead to a split in the screening herd and could well have a domino effect and bring down the programme as it stands , to suddenly realise that an accurate test can be used as an alternative of being jacked open and being scraped by a stranger which can be achieved in privacy with no more difficulty than inserting a tampon should cause a massive outrage and unrest , i would like to bet a lot gyno’s are watching very very closely
    Love helper x.

    • I would really hope so. I did see the penny drop with one woman who asked “So does that mean women have been subject to unnecessary speculum exams for years now?!”. However, I think some are still in denial. I was in a conversation with one woman who flatly refuses to believe that a self-swab is a viable alternative because “they wouldn’t make women spread their legs and use that awful painful contraption for no reason. It’s because they need to take cervical cells from high up in order to test for HPV”. Nothing I can say makes an impact. I think it’s a defence mechanism to protect against the awful realisation that actually, that’s exactly what has been going on for years now.

      • Hi gem ,
        The best defence mechanism would of been all women telling them to shove it when this hellish test was first proposed
        Hugs Jules x

      • Hey Gem. The comment from that one woman says it all. The realization that such an invasive and dehumanizing practice has been unnecessary is tremendously painful to come to terms with. To me it reads something like this… but they wouldn’t do that right? RIGHT? How could they do that?? No, it can’t be true because it’s too terrible. A lot of these people I think are right on the edge of reality, they just need time to accept it.

    • It’s been a tough decade for gynos. First the change in frequency of the pap from every single year to every 5 years w/ co-testing for 30+ (US), then birth control apps, and now self-HPV testing in the UK. And it’s only a matter of time before word gets out across the pond about self-testing. In another decade what will the role of the GYN be? Likely obstetrics although midwifery is becoming ever more popular as well.

      • Gynecology is a specialty that involves surgery. It’s a “cheap” way to become a surgeon, as it requires 1 fewer years of study than to become a general surgeon. Their real specialty is doing surgery. As is known here, the whole pap crap is designed to put us on a conveyor belt of several other procedures, before culminating in a hysterectomy. There’s a lot of gyno surgery that won’t get done with fewer pap smears! Yes, there will be some – and cancer can be detected other ways. There’s more gynecological cancers than cervical, they all have symptoms, and there are other ways of diagnosing those. There is also obstetrics, which includes many gynos with both specialties. There are midwives that can do a better job with most pregnancies and deliveries, but some cases require the physician.

        My concern with self-testing is that it will also have a high false-positive rate, leading to even-more-scared women showing up “positive for cervical cancer”, and leading to as many of these painful and damaging procedures that make the gyns a lot of money.

      • I get your concerns.
        Re false positive/negative results. Depends on what and how. Are they treating the sample as they do pap? Making a sample on glass slide? Then no better accuracy. It’s set to fail.
        If the sample is exposed to PCR amplifier tech then I have good hopes
        Israeli scientists have figured out a better way to separate cancer cells from blood for DNA/RNA analysis.
        Overall it’s gonna eliminate the stupid cutting for biopsies.

      • What I feel is worse re ob-gyns, besides the pap crap, is what goes on in the delivery room. Read what women say. It’s causation for ptsd.
        For what my peers experienced with vaginal birth I’m glad I had a c-section.

      • @bethkz My hope is that anyone that’s willing to accept the change to at home testing may already be on the path of skepticism. I’m sure many will not be, but some might. Just a few years ago there were women railing against the availability of the pill through apps and now it’s accepted. I never thought I would see the pill legally available without an exam in my lifetime and have it gain public acceptance. I’m more surprised by this than by covid.

        The attitude towards hysterectomy too seems completely different than a couple decades ago. It used to be thought of as something so common it was almost natural. Like, well…I’m finished having kids so I don’t need my uterus anymore and it’s simply a liability now. Women seem to view themselves less as objects with every generation that passes. Although I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. But you know what they say, keep expectations low and be pleasantly surprised.

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