How many women won’t go to doctors because of pap test coercion?

Many women are choosing to opt out of pap tests.  Unfortunately, some of these women are not having their choices respected by their health care providers and are experiencing coercion.

A poll published on this site asked women three questions related to pap test coercion.  Since publication hundreds of women have responded to the poll questions and the results reveal some surprising insights into women’s health care experiences.

The first poll question asked women “Have you felt pressured into having a pap test that you did not want?“.  A total of 512 women have responded.  The vast majority of women (457 out of 512 = 89.26%) responded that yes, they had felt pressured into having an unwanted pap test.

The second poll question asked “Has your doctor withheld medications or healthcare when you have said ‘no’ to a pap test?“.  A total of 442 women have responded.  More than half of the women who responded (235 out of 442 = 53.17%) have experienced the withholding of medications or healthcare when they refused a pap test.

The third and final poll question asked “Have you stopped going to doctors because you are worried about being pressured into a pap test?“.  A total of 506 women have responded.  The majority of women (431 out of 506 = 81.62%) responded that yes, they had stopped going to visit doctors because of concern about being pressured into having a pap test.

The responses reveal that many women are experiencing unwanted pressure to have a pap test, that they are having medications and/or healthcare withheld when they refuse a pap test, and that many have stopped visiting doctors altogether because of concern about being coerced into an unwanted pap test.

The poll is still open and can be accessed here: https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2014/07/30/how-many-women-go-without-health-care-due-to-pap-test-coercion/  The comments underneath the poll reveal further details about women’s experiences related to pap test coercion.

More on this topic:
https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2016/04/23/pap-tests-are-not-mandatory/
https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2014/01/09/pap-test-coercion-getting-more-attention/
https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2012/10/17/what-some-male-doctors-do-when-women-say-no/
https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2014/05/20/pelvic-exams-done-without-consent/

About forwomenseyesonly

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

90 Responses to How many women won’t go to doctors because of pap test coercion?

  1. Linda says:

    Yes i experienced pressure over the years. DR. V implied i wouldn’t be given the pill if i didn’t have them. He and his practice nurse GG carried on this ruse for many years (about 18) until i found out the truth stumbling upon this site.

    Contraceptive pills and cancer screening tests have nothing to do with each other. This has been a scandal of epic proportions.

    The nurse from my cuurent practice also tries it on now and then. I don’t have to worry about the pill anymore as i went through the meno a few years ago. Still the pressure is there.

    The letters the screening authorities send out also imressed upon me the compulsory aspesct. The lead sentence used to read ‘your cervical screening is test is now due’ ‘read the leaflet before booking one’ etc. There was no hint it was up to me. My decision.

    I no longer trust doctors. Finding out the truth just did it for me. I don’t go to pieces during any consult with one these days for anything. I am ready for them. I would be very rude to the point of aggression if they started. I don’t care. In my opinion Dr V and his nurse spent many years basically raping me. From what i now know from my research ALL doctors have colluded in this scandal. ALL are culpable. These rat bags are getting away with it the world over. Particularly in America where they are little more than rapists to their female patients.

    I think women are working these things out for themselves. More are saying ‘stuff that’ i’m not doing it. Especially young women.

    Doctors now know we have worked it out and they must know there are a lot of very angry hot tempered women out there ready to take them on over this.

    Also, a while ago i read a comment on this site qouted from that creep Robert Music. It was to do with why women were not having smears. He said many women suffer from ‘vaginal dryness’ and this might be putting many older women off.

    Now, i don’t know about your boyfriends/ husbands but my hubby certainly, and i’m sure many other men out there, would sooner cut their own tongues out rather than talk about the subject of vaginal dryness. There is just something so wrong with this man.

    This creep should do the decent thing and step down. Can he not see the ludicrousy of a man running an org such as Jo’s trust.

  2. adawells says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Linda. He ran Endometriosis UK before taking on Jo’s Trust in 2008. His comments are deeply patronising and offensive. If he’d been a woman, he wouldn’t be so full of contempt for women’s feelings and choices. High time he was got rid of. I don’t see any women heading up campaigns about prostate problems, telling men they are embarrassed about it.
    He is a businessman, whose interest is in stomping up cash. I’ve heard he increased their income by 600%. He is always jetting about the country, appearing in the media with his crass comments, Jo’s are always getting awards or giving them to other organisations at big showy parties and banquets. Always running some campaign or other, which they claim has made a “massive impact”. The medical evidence is that no impact has been made.
    The truth is that less and less women have been having smears in the time of Jo’s existence, and as less people take up the offer the death rate has gone down due to better treatments. The truth is that Jo’s Tosh has had no impact on screening uptake or the disease whatsoever. It’s income just supports it’s own running costs and keeps their party going, so they can all run around in pink panties, patting themselves on the back at banquets and saying they’ve saved lives, when they haven’t. If some poor woman actually gets this cancer, they can use her for publicity purposes to increase their income even more.

  3. Judy says:

    This Music clown probably latches himself on to women’s health issues & charities, etc. because he knows men wouldn’t put up with his shit while women are less likely to question it and will think of him as a big hero. Someone should make him lay naked in stirrups with his cash & prizes hanging out and stick a metal thing up his anus, and then tell him not to be embarrassed!

    • Mint says:

      Years ago, when I was in my 20’s, I went to the Brook Advisory service to get the Pill. The male doctor refused to give me the script until I had a smear test. I refused because there was something about the guy that gave me the creeps. He scoffed and asked me if I was afraid to be ” touched”. No you idiot, I was having lots of sex with my then boyfriend and I wanted to avoid pregnancy. My inner alarm bells were set off by this man and I’m very glad I stood up to him. I later visited a Family Planning clinic, where I got the Pill with just a blood pressure check. I have avoided male doctors for anything other than a splinter in my thumb every since.

      When your inner voice tells you something is wrong – listen and take notice.

      • Yes, I used to get the pill from a local GUM clinic as opposed to my GP. Being fairly young, a teenager when I started taking it, it felt like a better and more anonymous way of doing things.

        I went for a ‘pill check’ and I must have been about 19. I was told in no uncertain terms by an overbearing nurse that “if I was old enough to have sex then I was old enough for a smear.” The underlying message being if I didn’t submit, no more pill. Of course being young and naive I did. Now, 25 years later the thought outrages me every time I think about it.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        How can that statement sit with an elective screening test?
        “if I was old enough to have sex then I was old enough for a smear.”
        Just goes to show how a screening test can turn into something so warped, abusive and oppressive…and harmful. It’s not screening, it’s medical abuse. IMO, the product of medical thinking and attitudes at the time, the boy’s club, but it’s taken far too long for these attitudes to change – too many adopted them, instead of challenging them.

      • Absolutely. I decided about 12 years ago I wasn’t having anymore smears. I knew something was ‘off’ with the program and started thinking for myself. I’m so pleased I did.

        The amount of doctors and nurses who are happy to sell it as a compulsory part of getting other care is disgusting.

  4. Alice says:

    Sadly, the results of the poll are not surprising. I am one of those numerous women who went through the pressure to have an unwanted, totally useless and harmful pap smear, had medical services withheld because of my refusal, and came to avoiding doctors at all costs ever since.

    Despite opting out of every scare-and-screen campaign and telling the govt to stop misusing my personal information, I still get an occasional “invitation” to some screening bullshit scheme. All goes straight into shredder of course. Australian medicine is only interested in tests and diseases that involve groping boobs, penetrating vaginas or sticking something up the bums. Well, they won’t be doing that to me. I know my risks, live healthy and have my priorities right.

  5. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Well said, Alice – I agree..
    Looks like the My Health Record needs to go back to the drawing board, the old opt out method hasn’t worked this time, I heard that 75% of GPs were going to opt out, say no more…

    • Alice says:

      Oh that My Health Record, it is anything but “mine”… Every, absolutely every person I know opted out of this outrageous mass surveillance system that is being pushed down our throats. And yes, various sources say that the medical profession was the first one to get out of it. The rats know when the ship is sinking.

  6. Alex says:

    How about another questionnaire?

    (1) Would you elect “birth control with no internal exams” if it were presented as an option?

    (2) Would you support a law that criminalized coercive internal exams & banned service incentive payments?

    (3) Would you support a law that mandated patient notification of potential risks & inaccuracy with any form of screening?

    Seriously, if any of you think these would be a good questionnaire to put out there, feel free to use it as is.

  7. katrehman says:

    JUST seen that the UK is lowering the bowel screening poo test age to 50…! So it’ll b a 50th birthday gift now…Ada any thoughts? What do you all think?

  8. katrehman says:

    Also seen that 7 out of 10 docs think patients lie about their alcohol intake and double it what the patient says. We shouldn’t be embarassed to talk to our doc about drinking…they’re non judgemental ect. Sounds like the way they talk to us about screening. ..

  9. Kleigh says:

    I feel angry at woman for allowing this to go on and not fighting against it. When ever I come accros woman bragging about smear test paps I get so angry and triggered. I really believe all this whould stop if more woman put there foot down. Most woman are so trusting it’s sick.

    • adawells says:

      You only have to have a look on social media to see how these women or terrorised into going and then giving themselves bravery congratulations after they’ve been and boasting about it. I feel like telling them that that is just the first part, they haven’t had the result yet, and they don’t know the half of what goes on in the gyne’s chair to treat these “abnormalities”. You’re right, it is truly sickening how so many will gladly step onto the conveyor belt of treatments they know nothing about.
      Most women I’ve read about are all insignificant findings from pap smears. Doctor thinks she might have seen something iffy, so that’s another appointment at the hospital outpatients. As Elizabeth says, day care is always full of women waiting to be “saved.”

  10. katrehman says:

    Any ladies with instagram and strong stomachs check out #cervical screen hannah. The owner of the cervicalscreen1 blog. She posts a link to #save the cervix. ..I agree it needs saving…from smears and colposcopy ect…

    • I’ve had a few run ins with her Twitter account… Some of the rubbish and motivational messages are just insane.

    • adawells says:

      I can only glimpse in very small doses. The last time I looked it seemed to be full of hookers out for business.
      I think Hannah and Jo’s set a lot of them up, and tell them to post everywhere about their smear test experience. The women seem to see it as an opportunity for fame and celebrity status, and if they’ve got abnormalities found then they are automatically posting as cancer survivors and their “brush with death story”. They often have a few men following, aroused by the details, but claiming it is because “they care”. The whole business is so sordid. The charities think they’re doing an amazing job, when in fact they are making life very difficult for anyone with a true cancer diagnosis. For these, their campaigns create shame, blame, guilt and a sense of failure.

      • Yes! The latest offering is a young lady (who does rather look like she’s touting for business) who had abnormal cells removed after pushing for a smear under 25 as she had ‘weird’ symptoms. Well for a start, that’s a diagnostic test, not screening. Anyway…

        Apparently she had CIN 2 & 3 and the nurse said she had treatment “just before it progressed to cancer.” Well that’s BS, a nurse couldn’t possibly know that however it’s a great way to join the ‘survivor’ club.

        Yuck.

  11. Demonhype says:

    Omg, I just heard about this site called 3Hims which helps men–specifically men–obtain medication without the humiliation and bother of physical exams or doctor visits Or at least it sounded like that’s the case on the ad on God Awful Movies. So men can get their dick pills online without palpitations and begging in a doctor’s office, but women need to strip naked and spread ’em for BC, even though every reputable medical org says blood pressure and medical history is more than sufficient? Yet there are no feminists complaining over that, rather, they are trying to figure out how to strip other women of their bodily autonomy and right to choose/refuse healthcare for any reason?

    Want more reason to get mad? The ad is on their recent episode “Voiceless”, in which they seem to applaud pap smear and other gynecological atrocities without question!

  12. katrehman says:

    Demon hype agree with every word you say. Here in the UK you can now buy Hiv self test kits off the shelf in a pharmacy but we still have to source HPV tests online and fight doctors in our appointments and put up with pestering to screen

    • adawells says:

      I heard that HIV kits are available in vending machines in various outlets, but as Kat says, HPV kits are still being witheld from screening in UK. You can order them online, but that fact is kept a secret in all the screening literature.

  13. Emily says:

    Omg yes!! Ive started seeing ads on hulu/YouTube for Getroman-a website where men can go to get ED drugs without “the awkward doctor visit”. Are you f*cking kidding me?!?! Typically the most awkward thing a guy has to do is just admit that his d*ck doesn’t get hard when he wants! And the docs just give it out like freakin candy! They always use the excuse “Oh but women won’t come in for a yearly physical!” Everyone knows that men are even worse about going to the doc but no that’s up to them. And its pretty much a given that ED pills are just as if not more dangerous than BC but nope men can be trusted to answer a questionnaire and assess the risks themselves. Suuuucccchhh bullsh*t! Whew ok rant over. Thanks for hearing me out 🙂

  14. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Emily,
    It was readily accepted that the DRE was unacceptable to men, and an alternative test would have to be offered…the PSA test appeared…neither test is now recommended hete.
    There were no target payments for GPs to force men to test, it was never made a “requirement” for something men need i.e. coercion…no name calling, “you silly man”…
    No, that was all fine to force women into screening, absolutely unacceptable for men.
    It says a lot about medical attitudes…

  15. katrehman says:

    Elizabeth you’re right and even worse is mens attitudes. Whenever female cancer screening hits the news especially the daily fail men are up in arms they don’t count or get screening. I lost count of the times I pointed out they get AAA screening plus their prostate test isn’t accurate

  16. katrehman says:

    I also point out that the blood test WAS developed for them whereas we have to have our organs shredded or bombarded with radiation. ..sigh.

  17. Pissed Off Patient says:

    Have parents noticed that doctors now want to check “Down there” at every child’s visit or yearly checkup? It isn’t necessary, and the kids are often upset about it. My godchildren’s mother says the doc told her it was, in part, to get the kids accustomed to being examined so they won’t have “hangups about it” (his words) when they get older. He also recommends that girls be scheduled for a visit with a gyn doc at thirteen, even if they aren’t in puberty yet. This involves seeing the girls WITHOUT THEIR PARENTS “so they can feel comfortable asking questions!

    Parents need to learn to say no to this, and teach their daughters to do the same. Does the name “Larry Nasser” ring any bells?

    • adawells says:

      I find this whole business very sordid. This is basically grooming by another name. If you really have a problem down there, and are in pain or giving birth, you don’t need to be prepared or “got use” to someone to look down there. It’s a very bad way of looking at things. If you need to have a doctor look it should be part of the doctor’s training to make you feel at ease, be sympathetic and respectful at all times. Women should never have to “get used” to being treated like turkeys at a meat processing plant.

    • linda says:

      The doctors who do this are perverts. Plain and simple. There is no need to check children in this way. There is no need to get used to examinations of this nature.

      Hopefully more women are realising they’ve been conned by American doctors. Mothers need to protect their kids both boys and girls from these predators. If a doctor suggested to me he wanted to intimately inspect my child i would spit on him. Then report him to the police.

      Its about time women started being more aggressive with doctors, not just be compliant and fall apart the minute one suggests you undress.

  18. katrehman says:

    On our local news woman waiting 11 weeks for smear results. The NHS has let her down she’s having sleepless nights as she’s also had breast cancer. Of course official advice is to attend when invited. Programme offered link to jos tosh

    • adawells says:

      Kat, Jo’s Tosh announced that they’re really worried that the long delays in results might give women the impression that smear tests may not be that essential after all, and Music is afraid they’ll lose faith in the programme. Ha! That’s all they’re afraid about – their jobs and the programme. I saw another report saying that women shouldn’t worry as it takes at least 10 years for the cancer to develop. The truth is slowly coming out.
      I’m just wondering how the new series on Jade Goody is coming on? I think they’re going to make a series about her to show on TV next spring. I hope it’s a comedy.

      • katrehman says:

        Smear tests not important and this cancer taking years to develop. ..of indeed it does at all…the writing is on the wall for their beloved programme. ….!

  19. Anna says:

    The medical field is nothing but rape. And we are all broken because of it.

    • linda says:

      Hi Anna I totally agree. In parts of the world smears and pelvic exams are compulsory. India and china in particular. Where are the doctors here crying out against for the right to choose? Why aren’t doctors all over the web demanding women’s rights to decide what happens to their body? Nothing. Complete silence. They just go along with it. This situation with doctors is global. I think if every woman in the world was forced to have smears the medical profession would just go along with it without a peep.

      Something as invasive as a smear and pelvic should always be the woman’s decision.

      Shame on the medical profession.

    • adawells says:

      I’ve joined a few facebook groups, and I’m just staggered at what other women are putting themselves through. A lot are posting about repeat hospital visits for further investigations, often very painful, without anaesthetic (you can be sent straight home afterwards, so it’s cheaper for them). Seeing as many don’t have any symptoms at all, I wondered what drove these women to end up on this merry-go-round – it’s the smear test, of course. It’s not just colposcopies but also hysteroscopies, which is the “knitting needle job”. Women are sent for these, if nurse thinks might have seen a polyp or some such thing with the smear test. Testing of the sample would rule out HPV, so cannot mean cervical cancer, womb cancer would have had symptoms, and I don’t see there’s a link between a suspected polyp and ovarian cancer in a symptomless woman.
      The smear test keeps women on the gyne investigations merry-go-round for no reason at all. They are not happy people and live in fear of their own bodies, but if you say anything they immediately hit back that it’s better than cancer. It’s very sad that women’s lives revolve around this.

  20. I don’t know how many of you guys are on Facebook but I was looking at the page for https://www.nurx.com/, a service that allows you to get birth control without visiting a doctor – at last!

    Some women are thrilled, no more invasive tests and unnecessary expense but so many are just brain washed into thinking they’ll die without a smear test and a pelvic exam every year. Mind blowing…

  21. Allison says:

    Ladies, and Alex, could you please help me out? Since August 10th, I been walking around near deaf in my right ear with pain and a popping sensation. I’m also really dizzy most of the time. I got some ear drops from the pharmacy, hoping that would help; It’s doing nothing except maybe making my ear feel worse! I’m a 26 year old American, and with the exception of an ER trip in 2014 when a stranger’s dog bit up my arm -even when I went in then, I was very defensive-, I been avoiding doctors like the plague since I turned 21. My ear is bothering me to the point that even showering and cooking dinner is really taxing on me. I’m a virgin, and since I want my future partner to be the first person to see and touch me down there, want my future partner to be the first fingers in me, I’m afraid that if I see a doctor for my ear, they’ll start harassing me about pap rape/pelvic exams. Any suggestions?

    • Garlic can help ear infections but you must be very, very careful you don’t get it lost of stuck in your ear. It happens so take care!

    • linda says:

      Hi Allison. Try to treat your ear infection yourself with coconut oil. However, there will be times in all our lives when a trip to the docs is advisable. If he or she tries it on – stand firm. You don’t have to explain you are saving yourself – its non of their business. Just say you don’t want one.

      x

    • Judy says:

      Hi Allison
      There are a lot of urgent care type of places springing up – maybe see if one is near you? They generally just want to treat your main complaint and get you in and out fast. But unfortunately, being a woman, there’s always the possibility of pressure or harassment in any medical setting, so like Linda said, stand firm. It’s your body and you have the final say in whether or not to have any test or procedure.

    • ChasUK says:

      Hi Allison, firstly check out our NHS website for more information https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ear-infections/
      You may require antibiotics? Or it may clear up on it’s own, remember the human body is amazing and can fix problems all by itself. It may just be a wax build up? It depends if it is an inner or an outer ear infection? I have personally used ear candles, they are cones which you put in your ear with the other end alight & had no pain, see here https://www.verywellhealth.com/ear-candling-88287
      If of course you do visit the GP then as others have said “Stand Firm” and state you are here for one thing only and expect assistance with that and nothing else. The private parts of your body are precisely that….Private! You do not need to provide any excuses, it is simply your body and your rules, just say that screening is not open for discussion over and over until they shut it. This seems to have worked for me on my last GP visit 5 years ago, albeit a while but I avoid doctors like the plague unless absolutely necessary, and no-one forces me to do anything I do not wish to do, important lessons I have learnt. You are in charge always. Good luck and take care.

    • Demonhype says:

      When I was a kid I had a lot of headaches and ear infections. The doctor told my mom to give me an asprin and have me lay on my side, with my bad ear over a hot water bottle. Always worked to clear the pain. Started getting the odd earache again a year or so ago, I suspect from the wacky rapid weather changes where I live, and I pulled this old chestnut out, and it worked just like before. Obviously, I had baby aspirin as a kid, and I use mostly Advil now, just for reference.

      • Demonhype says:

        Fyi, he was a good doctor too. Asian guy, and humble, no arrogance, worked with my mother to make decisions on healthcare. Wanted to give me ear tubes, but my mom read up on it all and decided the benefits weren’t worth the risks of surgery, since the earaches weren’t threatening to make me dead and would likely clear up as I got older, so it wasn’t worth the risk of surgery and some of the failures the operation had produced. He also wanted to put me on steriods, but m y mom out her foot down on that too. He wasn’t happy, wasn’t in agreement, but worked with my mom readily to explore more acceptable options and never tried to make her feel stupid or like a bad mom for not unquestioningly embracing whatever he ordered her to do.

  22. katrehman says:

    Hmm. ..you could try warm olive oil dripped gently in the ear. You could also print off some information that paps and pelvic aren’t necessary in virgins…..no risk of hpv ect to take with you if you go to the doctor. Be brave and say no if the topic comes up…..a pap won’t unblock your ear! Would you feel comfortable or is it possible taking good a friend in with you for backup?

    • adawells says:

      Kat, I’ve just spotted that GP surgeries in north London are going to offer HPV self testing, but can’t find any links to post here. Uptake is so low they are trying it out.

  23. katrehman says:

    Yayyyy! Step in the right direction! I wonder if many will accept the offer…

  24. linda says:

    Hi All

    I don’t know if any of you are following the pap smear scandal that is causing huge outrage in Ireland.

    Apparently there was an audit of smear results done in that country recently. Slides get sent to a clinic in Texas America for checking (to save money) but for some unknown reason CervicaCheck which is the Irish screening authority decided to recheck the results using an Irish cytology clinic. Anomalies were found on some of the slides after the check, which had previously been ok’d as clear. 108 women were effected in all. They have since gone on to develop cervical cancer. Some have since died of the disease.

    The scandal was that instead of informing the women of the disaster right from the outset of the discovery, CervicalCheck told doctors not to tell those affected they had cervical cancer. To keep their patients ignorant of the fact mistakes had been made. So the women involved are seriously ill and only now being treated after a leaked memo was sneaked to the Irish Times.

    The aim of not telling the women was done to keep the programme from criticism and to keep women coming in for their smear tests. Anything to keep the programme running smoothly no matter who it hurts.

    You can follow this unfolding horror story on the internet as there are now loads of articles about it

    • Hi Linda,
      Your post highlights the fallibility of screening. There can also be errors in the opposite direction. For instance, in a case from Linz, many women were diagnosed with cervical cancer following Pap smears but were never told about it. The results were being covered up by a medical assistant who didn’t have the heart to tell the women. Ten years later the results were discovered and the women brought back in for follow-up testing. Interestingly:
      “The astonishing result of the medical report: there was no damage found in any of those concerned due to the delay of treatment. On the contrary, most precancerous lesions had disappeared at the follow-up. In only six cases had a cone biopsy, which is the precautionary removal of the suspect tissue piece to be made. But this would have happened with more women, if this had been addressed immediately. There was even a specific acute cancer that had dissolved into thin air.”

      Read more: http://womenagainststirrups.proboards.com/thread/139/more-pap-screening-leads-deaths#ixzz5Pg0gx2Cr

  25. linda says:

    Thanks Sue that is an amazing article you referred to. Lets hope the Irish women are all ok. So far there is no news on that x

    • adawells says:

      Hi Linda and Sue,
      I have been following the story online. I noticed that there is hardly any news about this in the UK. They are clearly keen to stop a lack of confidence in the screening programme crossing the Irish Sea. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out. I feel very sorry for Vicky Phelan. Some people are blaming her for putting the Irish screening programme at risk for winning her case and getting so much money. The blind obsession with maintaining the screening whitewash is utter madness and cruelty.

  26. katrehman says:

    Just seen over on cervical health hannah instagram page September is gynaecology cancer awareness month. I’m now going to be sick…

  27. adawells says:

    https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/cancerprevention/2018/08/29/cervical-screening-programme-change-in-wales-what-has-cervical-screening-wales-done-about-it/

    HPV screening now starting in Wales. It is true what Elizabeth said a while ago that it will lead to many more non-vaccinated women being referred to colposcopy – 80% increase until 2020 when vaccinated cohort becomes 25 and enters the screening programme. This is going to hit these women turning 25 in 2018-20 very hard. Thank goodness only about 65% of them are taking up the first screen. Also mention of spacing out the screens in future, but I bet they wait for the whole of the UK countries to be fully into HPV testing before they make a change. This transition period is a dangerous time to be a 25 year old.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      It could so easily be avoided by offering (not that they ever “offer” anything) the first HPV test at age 30 – just follow the long standing evidence, why is that so difficult in most countries? Because too many are making too much $$$ from screening the wrong way and all the excess that occurs as a result. We’ve thrown our poor young women under the bus AGAIN

  28. Bridgid Then says:

    Here’s one: I went to a female psychiatrist for a 15 minute med check. She didn’t want to know how I felt on my SSRI. She wanted to lecture me about mammograms and Pap tests. Not a word about my mental or emotional stability, and the depression for which I’m being treated. Just a 30 minute lecture on tests and of course the fact that I needed to drop my 20 extra pounds yesterday.

    No matter the doctor, you can find out you’re nothing but a reproductive system, breasts, and an unattractive collection of fat.

  29. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/12/hancock-attacks-nhs-block-progress-says-patients-should-able/

    I don’t know if you have seen this but basically the NHS have blocked the expansion of speaking to a GP via Skype because they’re worried they won’t be able to send people invitations for screening!!!!

    Screw easy access to a GP, our main priority is harassing you with unwanted invitations!!

    Jesse wept…

  30. You can request a repeat script online for all sorts of things, the clinic I use charges $25 for the service but I notice it’s unavailable for the Pill. I assume that’s because they feel they must mention hpv testing to women and that’s likely to be more successful if women are in the consult room. (And that probably comes from the RACGP and the AMA)
    I imagine too they might be worried about legal liability if women can get scripts without the talk but given the change to 5 yearly testing, why not offer online repeat requests?
    I think the need to control women is still very strong, my GP understands i’ve made informed decisions about screening, it’s never mentioned apart from general discussion, my GP asked me what I thought of the new program. I told her…still excessive, ignores long standing evidence by testing before 30 and IMO, it’s unacceptable to block easy access to hpv self testing, also, they should permit women to buy the Delphi Screener online, that was stopped a couple of months before the new program commenced.
    Of course, i’m sure other women are probably treated differently, although I know the 3 GPs I use, would be respectful and would never pressure or coerce, they probably mention that hpv tests are recommended though, time wouldn’t permit a discussion of the pros and cons. I know my GP always had concerns about testing very young women and inevitably sending lots off for colposcopy…she also felt 2 yearly was too often and causing too many false positives, but departing from the program can leave a GP exposed…especially when the AMA were still pushing the excessive program. I think that risk was perceived as real because it was clear women couldn’t really make an informed decision when all real information was suppressed in favour of hype and the screening story. The Pap test and breast screening brochures are no longer in the waiting room, the Pap test brochure disappeared many years ago. I lodged a complaint, I was delighted to hear they received quite a few complaints about the breast screening brochure, incredible though that cervical screening still largely escapes scrutiny.

  31. katrehman says:

    Off topic again but just seen Daniella Westbrook the actress who played Sam Michelle in Eastenders has been diagnosed with womb cancer at I think 46. I’m wondering if another rush of awareness campaigns will hit the press….

    • That’s a shame for her however I cynically agree with you, it’ll be another excuse to push awareness around female cancers in general.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Just read in my daily rag about her, and of course, she hadn’t had a smear for years and believes she would have been diagnosed sooner if she had… so yep, brace yourself for yet more ‘smears save lives’ crap. It seems that we’re going to be buried under a ton of cervical screening ‘awareness’ very shortly.

    • adawells says:

      OMG that’s insufferable, Kat. It was deeply upsetting and insulting to be asked about my “missed” smear tests when I went for my first gyne appointment for womb cancer, but I did feel a smug sense of achievement at the second appointment that they had been looking for them and still couldn’t find them. Ha ha ha! I only wished I’d had the nerve to say that they must be there somewhere, but when faced with such a diagnosis, wit and nerve disappear instantly. It made me very angry to be made to feel that I had “failed” and then to get a cancer diagnosis later, it was all the worse because of how they made me feel. The tabloids are going to make Westbrook the new Jade, and use her for promoting smear tests, I bet.

  32. They try to sell Pap tests as a screening test for uterine cancer but the fact is almost all women are symptomatic when they’re diagnosed and by the time a Pap test picked it up, you’d probably be having symptoms like abnormal bleeding anyway.
    Yet the qualification is rarely made…Pap testing is not a screening test for uterine cancer.
    I thought the industry might try to keep Pap testing alive by moving the emphasis to ovarian and uterine cancer…so far that hasn’t happened here. If the Pap test was helpful for early diagnosis of uterine and ovarian cancer, they’d be more noise about scrapping them in favour of hpv testing.

  33. adawells says:

    https://surveys.virgincare.co.uk/s/CervicalScreening2018/

    Just as I thought. Private healthcare just waiting in the wings to run UK screening programmes, but the low attendance really needs sorting out first…hmmmm?

  34. katrehman says:

    Typical private health care or even any health care for women….What’s in it for is? How much money to be made from each body? Same old same old…Ada I’m really sorry. The media don’t think reporting stories like Ms Westbrook who else they hurt…and she was Jade’s good friend too…blergh

  35. katrehman says:

    Ada I clicked on the survey pretended I lived in one of the areas didn’t leave contact details but under the my experience of screening I gave them a rant and a good few salient facts about smears lol. …evil Kat!😼

  36. ChasUK says:

    LOL Me too, couldn’t resist a good old rant with a few facts!

  37. Doing it now as well!!

  38. katrehman says:

    Ladies you’re all stars.!! Hi Kathleen welcome to this brilliant site…do we all think our comments will trigger another study about removing barriers to screening and how to make the silly women engage with it??? I’d love to know their reaction to us all x

  39. Mint says:

    Survey completed.

  40. katrehman says:

    Can you imagine them scratching their heads wondering why we don’t want this life saving test?? Maybe they’ll decide there’s no money 2 be made and pull out…

    • adawells says:

      Let’s hope so Kat. I kind of think that the private healthcare groups like Virgin are watching the screening programmes very closely to see if public opinion is turning against them.

  41. adawells says:

    On another note, there used to be a very good website from Medical News Today called something along the lines of “Painful process causes low uptake of smear tests”. It seems to have been taken down. There were many complaints on here of bad experiences. It’s my guess the NHS has had a hand in this.

  42. Whinoa says:

    I just wanted to preface this by saying thank you to everyone who has commented on these blogs. They have given me strength when I too was being pressured by the women in my life as well as my doctor to have a smear. I recently turned 22 and a virgin (for religious reasons it will remain that way til I meet “the one.”) and I am so sick of being made out to be some problematic, wild child for being against this test. As someone who’s college degree centers around understanding rhetoric and persuasion, I KNOW when someone is trying to use coercive language to get me to do things that are not within my boundaries. Some of my female relatives have tried to use my father, grandfather, and other family member’s run ins with cancer as proof that I must let someone violate me, even though their cancer was caused by their jobs. But seriously, to all of those who have shared their stories, from the bottom of my heart, thank you! I’m serious, I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t know there were other women (and men) who also felt the same way as me. Just know your words have helped some young ladies who needed support, even if it was a simple post.

  43. Kleigh says:

    I’m noticing more woman speaking out about this. A woman blogger recently wrote about “being forced into a pelvic exam as a rape victim. Finally more woman are peaking out. It’s definitely worth a read. I haven’t posted in a while because this subject just gets me so heated. Glad to see more woman on this form as well.

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