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/

268 comments

  1. Hi Linda hope the job hunting going well and you found something by now. I’m pretty good thanks. ..I’m controlling the migraine pretty well. I know my triggers and haven’t been bad for a while. Thinking of u x

    • This is a very sad story. It reinforces my view that screening is all about getting women through the door and making the figures look good and that any possible diagnosis is lost in the race to fit in as many appointments as possible. It’s shocking – but not unusual that this poor women seems to be the victim of such casual negligence.

      • I read it again this morning and it stood out to me that her daughter is saying how passionate her mother was about women getting their smear tests. I obviously understand that but her mother was let down time and time again by the program and the NHS.

        It absolutely reinforces the fact the program is about numbers, bums on seats and protecting the program at all costs. Even a grief stricken loved one is willing to essentially cover for the program because they’ve been fed so much propaganda.

      • I don’t mean to be funny, but even in these articles, someone somewhere always mentions how “important” screening is. Her diagnosis was received within three years of her receiving a negative smear result if I an correct, yet no one questions this, and they continue to extol the virtues of screening.

    • The “fact box” at the bottom of the article has confused cervical cancer with womb cancer, saying rhe disease is due to obesity and goes on to say that being too fat results in excess oestrogen circulating which is a cause of the disease. This is nothing to do with cervical cancer but is a cause of womb cancer. No wonder women are confused when the media print errors like this.

  2. I’m on some medications that need on going visits to my doctor. Every time I come in, I hear that I need a paper smear. That seems to be more what my doctor is concerned about, then questions on my medications. It gets old having it either said to me or given on the paper you get when you leave. I’m fully aware that I have choices when it comes to healthcare too.

    • Yes. They seem to obsess about this rare cancer to the point of almost ignoring actual, diagnosed problems or medications to treat those problems. I understand. It gets annoying to be pestered that way – it’s kind of like seeing a bad date from high school and a used car salesman at the same time – when you tried to get actual medical care!

      If I were that obsessed about a rare disease, which I had no symptoms of, which I did not have a family history of, and demanded to be tested for every year or 6 months, they’d send me to therapy. When they obsess about my vagina, it’s somehow in my best interest.

      There are choices, but those choices all run the sales pitch. You can get medications online or from foreign countries to treat the conditions yourself. IMnsHO, alternative medicine does not work – an alternative healer can give you someone nice and caring to talk to, It just takes your money. However, placebo effect is placebo effect, and that’s much of what ordinary medicine works on too.

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