Has #MeToo reached the doctor’s office yet?

There’s been some forward movement in parts of the medical community due to #MeToo. Much attention has been given to the high profile abuse case involving Larry Nassar, a former doctor for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics program convicted of abusing more than 150 women and girls, and there’s been recognition of the leniency with which doctors accused of assault are treated (source). There has also been some change regarding laws. Last year California became the first state requiring doctors to inform patients before an appointment whether they have been disciplined for sexual assault or other misconduct (source).

The attention, acknowledgement, and efforts to implement changes are improvements, but the movement doesn’t appear to have had much of an impact on women’s routine doctor office visits. Routine visits to the doctor account for many of the encounters women have with the medical community and yet what happens to women in this context seems to have been largely overlooked in the #MeToo movement.

Women are often vulnerable when they visit a doctor and the context in which screening tests and exams are presented increases this vulnerability. Some women believe they need to do what the doctor instructs them to do and others might be concerned if they aren’t compliant they won’t have their health care needs met. Women who are not going to the doctor for the purpose of a pap test or pelvic exam might find themselves having one anyway because their doctor has told them they should have one or that they need one.

Some doctors use coercive tactics, asking the woman about her last pap test or exam before addressing her health needs, instructing her to undress then quickly leaving the room without giving her an opportunity to speak up, and carrying out the pap smear or exam before attending to what she needs. In these cases women have been given no opportunity to consider options or to decline, instead ending up naked with legs splayed, feet up in stirrups, undergoing an invasive exam that they had no intention of having.

All exams and screening tests are elective; women have always had the right to decline pap tests, pelvic exams, and breast exams. Unfortunately some women remain unaware of this fact. Some doctors fail to disclose the fact all tests and exams are elective and instead present screening as if it were a mandate (source).

Meaningful change could be made if doctors were mandated to start disclosing to women that they have a right to informed consent regarding all screening tests and exams. This would help ensure doctors disclose balanced information about the pros and cons of screening and exams, and enable women to make up their own minds.

The mandate would address the coercion women face, such as some doctors’ tendency to withhold healthcare or medications when women question or refuse pelvic exams and pap tests. Rather than prioritizing pap tests or other invasive exams, doctors would need to disclose balanced information about the pros and cons, invite discussion, and respect the woman’s decision if she decides to decline.

Mandating doctors to disclose women’s right to informed consent would better equip women with the means to protect themselves from sexual abuse when attempting to seek health care. Currently women are often not offered information or a choice, leaving them without any way to protect themselves from non-consensual, penetrative exams.

Until these changes become visible it seems the #MeToo movement has not yet reached the doctor’s office.

More on this topic:
Informed consent for pap smears missing
Pap tests are not mandatory
The other side of the speculum: A male doctor’s point of view
What some male doctors do when women say no
Media messages about screening
Sexual abuse under guise of healthcare


  1. The #metoo movement needs to reach the doctors office.

    Dr V. and his practice nurse G.G. are both culpable of sexual assault. In fact all those connected to the NHS cervical screening programme are culpable of sexual assault.

    Historically women were given no choice whether they had smears or not. Like me, they have been tricked, conned or just plain bullied into having smears. The invitations that were posted out made it seem like getting smears was mandatory for all women.

    That is why PHE are panicky about insisting smears are a women’s choice. They know how the programme was operated. It operated like this unquestioned for about 30 years.

    I wonder how many NHS doctors should have their names recorded on the #metoo website. The numbers must be in the thousands.

    • Linda while I agree with everything you said..I think PHE have started announcing it’s a choice and always has been to try and ward off legal action. Yes women have been treated appallingly and we know it but by insisting oh it’s a choice……
      The word is getting out online it’s a choice and a pretty useless test at that
      Someone posted a template opt out letter online
      I think the medics are running scared…

  2. I had an idea for something it might be interesting to feature on this site: do readers have information regarding healthcare providers who *don’t* push paps/pelvic exams, or at least, respect their patients’ decision to opt out?? Is it too optimistic to even imagine that doctors like this exist??

    It might be nice to put together a state-by-state database of said providers. I’ve heard of people in the LGBTQ community putting together lists of providers who they had positive experiences with. This would be the same thing. I have lived in the Boston area for 11 years and have not had any success finding a healthcare provider I can work with, though at the age of 33, I would like to.

    • I would *LOVE* to have something like that available! I’ve had a few doctors in the past who saw me for something specific, or followed me for something specific, who never pushed paps (I left the question on the form blank, and they didn’t ask). Much more often, when I leave it blank, I have paps pushed on me to the near exclusion of the problem for which I came in. Look: If I wanted a Public Service Announcement about paps, I’d turn on a TV or pick up a pamphlet. If I’m seeing a doctor, I want something treated – not an unreliable test for a rare cancer hard-sold to me, along with the provider’s insistence that they have some right to get into my pants without my consent – using coercion at least.

      It’s not practical to see every provider in your area! A city such as Boston has plenty of providers, certainly, but multiply that out by about $150-$200 per visit, that’s a big chunk of change with a lot of aggravation. If you live in a rural area, such as I do, I don’t have nearly as many to choose from, but I’m looking at anything from 30-70 miles one-way to see them, with all the time, expense, and the cost of the visit. The alternative is to leave my diabetes untreated, and die a pretty gruesome death within 5-10 years.

      • BTW: I made a mistake. The reply below is me BH, the original poster of this comment. I accidentally put my email in the name field.

    • Just wanted to pipe up here. I’m in the US by the way. My last birth was a home birth, and during my pregnancy I discovered, much to my pleasant surprise that at least two midwives in my area do gentle smear tests for any woman that might be worried about cervical cancer or interested in that test. They offer self-testing first, but if you opt to have them do it, I know for a fact that they are truly good at what they do. I had PTSD from my first pap and pregnancy (both happened at the same time). I didn’t think I would get a cervical exam during my home birth, and the midwife said it was unnecessary and optional. Towards the end, after a long labor I opted for one. She was amazing, just amazing. I could never imagine a hospital doctor being so sensitive and humane. So people like this do exist, who do their job as a caregiver by actually giving you a choice and care. It would truly be amazing to have a database for people and doctors like that, as well as you say, a list of ones that are horrible! I’ve sworn off paps myself, I’d rather die of cervical cancer than suicide, but I know plenty of women who still do get these tests.

  3. Somehow, my original reply to this got deleted.

    I meant to write that I agree it would be very difficult to formally survey all providers in any area. I meant that maybe this site could informally ask women to write in with their informal experiences about how they were treated in various healthcare settings in regards to paps/pelvic exams and publish a compilation of responses.

    I actually got this idea from a post on a site called “Fearless Formula Feeder”–not looking to get into a debate about breast/bottlefeeding but keep in mind that some women with body image/trauma issues may have the same anxiety around gyn exams as they do around breastfeeding, particularly as it is coercively pushed in modern maternity wards. The site had a list state-by-state of various hospitals with reader comments about whether or not their feeding decisions for their children were respected. I was thinking this could be a similar thing.

  4. If anyone here is following “The Handmaid’s Tale” TV show, the most recent one (Season 3, Episode 9 “Heroic”) has June, our heroine, really pushed off-center when she’s in the hospital under orders to stay with someone who is brain-dead until her baby comes. It’s become obvious that women, especially handmaids, are nothing more than life-support systems for a (functional) reproductive system in this dysphoric near-future – which has all women pitted against each other by roles and competition for positions to which they are assigned. After the baby is born by C-section, the woman, who is apparently brain-dead, is essentially forgotten – taken off life support, and minimally cared for since she’s not dead.

    She is sitting in this hospital room, and a lot of little girls go by. Eventually she talks to one, and she finds out in another conversation that the girls are there for their menarche exam – which includes medically deflowering the girls who’ve passed menarche. From talking to the girl, her goal in life is to get married and have babies. Note that having babies has become a problem in this society, presumably from the nuclear fallout they’ve experienced, but they cannot test the sperm count of the men. June has decided that saving children from this life is to become her goal in the future.

    It’s clear to me that the menarche exams happen in wealthy countries today – people are encouraged to bring their preteen and teenaged daughters for “exams” even before menarche – but the pelvic exam is supposedly “usually” left until later. They’re still examined and seen as far as how far into menarche they are – or are not. I don’t see much of a difference.

    Oh yeah, the handmaids are ritually raped monthly by their assigned “commander” and his wife – they’ve got nothing to say about their bodies either, and are pregnancy tested a few days later, and given a proscribed prenatal regimen. Again, I don’t see this as much different than reality – even though you’re supposed to be able to give “informed consent” – but that won’t stop them from harping and pressuring you when you seek any other medical care – ignoring the problem for which you’re there.

  5. So another perverted doctor has been outed. There was an article on the news last night featuring a doctor called Manish Shar. Apparently this dirty old man has been performing dozens of smear tests and two finger rapes on all of his female patients, including young teenagers. He has been convicted of 23 accounts of sexual assault.

    The problem with the British Cervical Screening Programme is that it not only has been a perfect cover for perverted doctors but it has actively encouraged this behaviour due to the manner it has been carried out over the past thirty years.

    How many more doctors are out there currently getting away with performing loads of unnecessary smear tests on their female patients to get their perverted kicks.

    I believed Dr V raped me. I was a young woman coming into his consultation room not knowing what he was planning for me. He should have given me the option. he could have said go home and have a think about it. But no. He was determined to do one right there and then. I was like a lamb to slaughter.

    My head spins with the thought it is still happening to thousands of women up and down the country. In fact all over the world. It is a huge big scandal that has been going on for far too long with no end in sight.

      • Should any medic mention smears to me now I’d wipe the floor with them. Should they mention Jade and smears my reply would be…of course! Smears REALLY helped her!!

  6. This screening programme is a pervert’s dream. Opportunistic screening is not only encouraged, it is rewarded and we all know how much pressure is put on us to screen, which in my opinion amounts to coercion and negates consent. Imagine any other scenario where a woman is put under considerable pressure to remove her underwear and let a complete stranger penetrate her body. All done of course for her own good, endorsed by the medical profession, the government and the majority of the brainwashed public.

    • Chrissy and Kat – I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, preparing me for my annual checkup for my diabetes and thyroid issues – wherein opportunistic screening is pushed, to the near-exclusion of the actual issues. Yes, it feels like I should change my name to “the life support system for cervix #814230968” – as that seems to be their interest.

      I’ve got all sorts of information that CC is a rare disorder. Diabetes, OTOH, is in the top 10 causes of death. However, to get treatment, I must submit myself for penetration and groping. If the pap comes back abnormal, I find the follow-on procedures less acceptable – it’s one thing to be penetrated and hurt some – it’s quite another to have them rip pieces of a very sensitive area off without anesthesia, or to have parts amputated. I would expect the pressure and coercion to increase after a pap – with a notoriously-high false positive rate.

      This falls into another area. The first thing I remember about being alive was an act of sexual assault. I had more throughout my childhood, but their “reasons” given went from “This is for your own good – teaching you how to please a man (your future husband)” to “This is chasing the demons out” (as evidenced by screams, from a certified-insane perpetrator) coupled with a hefty dose of “It’s why we feed you” or “I guess I’ll let you live another day”.

      So, while I won’t die of diabetes tomorrow of denied treatment, submitting to it is certainly an implied requirement of getting continued treatment.

      I’ve had a lot of therapy on the topic, and I’m usually more-or-less okay with what happened in the past. A good bit of that CBT I received is based on the fact that I’m an adult now, I can successfully refuse or fight it off, and have legal recourses. If, as they try to present, I have no choice in whether or not they penetrate me with a speculum/fingers, that belies all of the therapy. It was okay while it lasted. As I get older, I expect to be given less choice and more necessity of getting medical treatment. The concepts of bodily integrity, bodily autonomy, consent just fly out the window if I accept that. This takes me to a very dark place.

      The probability of getting CC in a lifetime is 0.65% in the US. I cannot say for sure what the probability is of demons living in my body. I personally don’t believe they exist, but some others put a moderately-high probability on that. Like I can look at the statistics and disbelieve CC is going to suddenly explode in my body, it would be considered pathological for someone to believe demons were taking over their body. With demons, it’s cause for mental health intervention: With CC it’s considered “being responsible”. To WHOM?

      At the same time, if I permit someone to penetrate my body with fingers and or an object (speculum, brush), I will experience it as another rape. According to RAINN.ORG (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), about 16% of rape victims attempt suicide over the next year. If we figure about 1/3 succeed, that gives about a 5% chance of dying. OTOH, cancer.gov gives me a 0.05% chance of being diagnosed with CC in the next 5 years and a 0.02% chance of death of CC. And, acquiescing to it one time does not let me off the hook for the next times (okay, 3 years from now, best case). And, we won’t mention the unpleasantness of reliving this over and over, and considering that it WILL happen again.

      Now, I’m an adult and I’m not powerless. Although I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time researching these things and finding others, I’ve got the ammo now to let them have it when they bring up the pap crap in lieu of actual medical issues. I’ll get them to document that they’ve refused me treatment because I won’t accept an optional cancer screening – involving penetration. Then take it to the media. I wonder how the person on the street will accept it under these terms?

      Note that I’m in the US. That means I’m paying by the minute to let ’em have it.

  7. I am posting up this link to natural treatments for HPV infection because I know so many women are visiting this website stressed out about bad pap test results or just not wanting to even visit the doctor for any reason.


    Some of the ideas people have used was getting the green tea extract cream but couldn’t find it or buy it. For inside green tea extract capsule contents can be put into melted coconut oil and for outside mix it in petroleum jelly. Of course vitamin and other supplements are very important.

  8. It would be nice if something happened and made the area of medicine more transparent and accountable. So far, it is almost exclusively a closed ranks elite club, with very rare exceptions who do speak out, act in the interests of patients and thus actually save lives, not just make money.

    Just in today’s Australian news: it has finally been revealed that one doctor endangered lives of 1500 patients by botching endoscopies and colonoscopies. Medical authorities knew about it since 2018 yet chose to keep the patients in the dark. Thanks to one decent doctor, the botched practice was exposed. Unfortunately, the medical authorities will most likely find 1001 reasons why it’s not the system fault. The negligent doctors will probably live the rest of his life in luxury, while his patients will be suffering and dying.

    So much for cancer screening! Submit to an extremely invasive procedure, get it botched, and then, if you are lucky, the authorities will admit the error and tell you to just undergo the torture again.

  9. If you look at cultural practices reported in the news, it appears that the shoddy treatment of women is endemic across all medical faculties across the NHS.

    The Barrow-in-Furness and Shrewsbury and Telford scandals (where women were degraded, subjected to excruciating and unneccessary pain, and not listened to, during childbirth); the vaginal mesh scandals; cervical and breast screening (not respecting informed consent).

    Even in the rare cases where a pelvic exam may be requested independently of screening by a woman for diagnosing endometriosis for instance, I have read of women being dismissed and told to endure painful periods that interfere with daily lives because “it’s just part and parcel of being a woman”.

    When are the majority of the general public and the pro-screeners going to get it? The medical profession as a whole, is not truly interested in helping women, and that is the truth.

    • “Even in the rare cases where a pelvic exam may be requested independently of screening by a woman for diagnosing endometriosis for instance, I have read of women being dismissed and told to endure painful periods that interfere with daily lives because “it’s just part and parcel of being a woman”.

      I have personal experience with this. I avoided routine doctors visits for years in order to get out of pap smears. The one time I consented to an exam for pelvic pain and irregular bleeding which I let go for a *couple of years* (which I accept responsibility for), I was sent to get two ultrasounds and when nothing showed up, I was basically told that it was “hormones” or maybe I was imagining it. It would have been nice if they could have figured out it was just hormones before they ordered testing–one of the ultrasounds was kind of invasive.

      Needless to say, unless I get pregnant, I’ll never go in for Ob/Gyn care again.

      • I can relate to this too.

        I went to the doctor with irregular bleeding and spotting and asked for blood tests as due to my age I believed it could be hormonal.
        This was refused as being unnecessary and I was told “You are having a smear now”. I had been avoiding smears and they knew this as there were notes on my files that I had refused screening at last visits.
        I felt like I had to have one as I had gone for help. After the smear I was told I would be booked in to a specialist and for a scan. I said a scan was fine and the doctor said ‘You know it will be an internal scan’
        The smear test was normal and I heard nothing more for 9 months. In the end I rang the doctor and said I wanted to go private and have an external pelvic scan only (not the internal one). She said ok but then when I went for the scan they said ‘We have you down for an internal scan as well’. I flat out refused and said I am only having the external one which they were ok about after a little discussion.
        Everything was normal and that was it, no follow up of any kind.
        Just received a text from doctors office that I’m due to come in for a recall smear (?!). Zero chance of that happening as this experience has shown that my doctor just wants to tick off the smear and has zero interest in any other follow up NON INVASIVE support or care.
        Bracing myself for the inevitable follow up call regarding the smear!!

      • Bec – Tell them that after researching all the evidence, you have made an informed decision to opt out of all cervical screening from now on.
        No more discussion required.

        Oh, and you might be tempted to let your doctor know how disappointed you were that an issue that was causing you significant discomfort and affecting your quality of life, was basically ignored and not taken seriously (I know I would be!).

        If your surgery has a website, you might be tempted to leave a review 😉

  10. It would be great if someone made a documentary about the info on this site. Has anyone here contacted any filmmakers? I was watching an interview with Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering who make award winning and high profile documentaries including “The Hunting Ground” and “The invisible War” and “The Bleeding Edge”. They gave an email address at the end of the interview. Would people here be interested in sending them info?

  11. Hi ladies Just a thought did you know that if a petition is opened and that petition acquires 100,000 signatures that it has to be heard in the Houses of Parliament we all know how our gp ‘s convieniently forget to mention informed consent but a petition to state that They must conform to this “ even though they are supposed to do this by law” or they will leave themselves open to legal charges I think this will be decisive in the way we are treated

    • The root of the problem lies with the government itself – their policies are the reason that GP’s and their pushy nurses behave so badly. The national targets & incentives mean that practices are rewarded for achieving high uptake and penalised when they fail to.

  12. Hi Kate uk. If this is the case then instead of complaining and getting angry at clinical staff we should switch targets and aim at the government we could start by lobbying your local mp and stating our grievances over this mistreatment under the guise of medical care there is strength in numbers if they realise the number of women who are negatively impacted by this behaviour they may feel compelled to change tact

      • I wonder whether a petition might help to make changes? Something around ensuring that women give informed consent to screen by being informed about the potential for false positives and the potential impact of lletz by their GP in person (not just in the fine print of a leaflet), and for incentive payments to be removed. I also think a push for self-testing should be in there too and that would probably encourage people to sign. I am seeing more and more people who have realised the physical and mental trauma they have experiences as a result of unnecessary colposcopy and lletz. Maybe something around making screening more ‘fit for purpose’ and improving access for those who want to screen.

      • I agree. I doubt it will help.

        The standard response will be, “you have the right to consent to, or refuse as you see fit, however it is recommended”.

        Sad to say but the only way I see things changing is with increasing numbers of women refusing the test.

        It isn’t easy to stand up to a practice nurse or GP when they are exerting pressure however, legally speaking (for the time being anyway), if you explicitly refuse a screening test, they can’t do anything. That is when you take the power away from them.

        If they try witholding meds or the like, I advise following their complaints procedure and escalate it to the GMC if nothing happens. My guess is that most GPs will back down before it gets to that point.

        However, I do see merit in a petition in support of a self-testing HPV kit, and I think this is something that could gain traction, even among some of the more moderate factions of the screening fanatics.

        I think it would be even more beneficial during a pandemic when access to surgeries is restricted and before the GPs and nurses get the opportunity to get everyone back into the office.

        The likes of Jo’s To$$ers bemoaning lack of access to screening couldn’t really complain about this one, because with a self-test option, women could screen without having to unnecessarily expose themselves to Covid by attending the doctor’s office.

        Use their own arguments against them, so to speak.

        I really think a petition for self-testing HPV kits could be worthwhile during this time.

  13. This kind of treatment will not stop until women stand their ground and tell them NO !!!!
    Listen women it is your body and belongs to NO ONE ELSE but you.

  14. Hi Gang.

    I have once again received an ‘invitation’ in the post for cervical screening. It came despite the fact I formally opted out a few years ago.

    I’m afraid its triggered me again. Thank God for this website so I can blow off some steam.

    It says its my choice to screen all very well but no doubt I will receive a ‘reminder’ in several weeks time and probably after that a phone call from the practice nurse.

    They probably think it would be easy for me to ‘ignore’ two invites but much harder for me to ignore a nurses direct phone call.

    They don’t know me very well –

    Thirty years ago I was a young insecure young woman who said yes to everything and went along with their ‘demands.’

    I was led to believe smear tests were mandatory for all women and if I also wanted the pill there was no getting out of them.

    They ruined my life – as I had to endure being regularly being sexually assaulted by various members of the NHS. I experienced each smear as a gross invasion of my privacy, my body, my soul. I thought my private parts belonged to the NHS. Not one of them ever mentioned it was up to me whether I wanted them or not. They couldn’t even afford that basic human right back in their hey day.

    I had only ever been with my husband and He only with me. They could have explained I was probably only low risk and once again that I should choose to have them or not …. but no, they didn’t … wouldn’t.

    It was only stumbling across this site that set me free from their tyranny.

    In Eireland over the past few days their government has apologised to survivors of the mother and baby houses scandal. They have also apologised for the fact that women have been looked down in general by government, church and society and treated like second class citizens throughout most of Irish history.

    This was very big of them to do this.

    I wonder if the British government and the NHS will ever be forced to apologise for the manner in which the British cervical screening programme was operated.

    They took away women’s basic human rights to fully operate this programme and get the numbers they needed for it to be a sucess.

    Fudged statistics, lies, some, truths, some half truths – all hodgpodged together to make women submit to this vile examination. And everyone in the NhS and the then Conservative government went along with it.

    I’m 56 now. I’m much more in control of myself and my body. No one does anything to me I haven’t sanctioned. I’m strong and I’m determined and not afraid to be rude or aggressive to doctors or their ugly hearted practice nurses. They simply won’t get the better of me anymore.

    I urge the young women who find this forum to be strong. Be firm. Be safe. Don’t go through what the older members of this forum went through.

    To day I live my life knowing I am a sexual assault survivor – a survivor of the British Cervical Screening Programme. I wouldn’t want for you to have to live like this too.

    My love and best wishes to all who go on this forum who have helped me over the years – Eliz, Ada, Kat, apol queen, Chrissy and all you others.

    Thank you all



    • Linda what you went through at the hands of the NHS was unconscionable. And the fact that they sent you a reminder notice after you opted out makes my blood boil. Can you imagine men being treated this way? I’m so glad you’re now strong, assertive and able to stand up for yourself and by sharing your experience you’re helping others to do the same. I’m in the US so no NHS here, but our profit-driven system is a force that leads to tremendous pressure for women to have gynecological exams as part of their routine health care. Another factor is that doctors are trained that way. I actually just returned from an appointment with a new doctor, which I’ll share the experience in another post – but I feel like I was able to make my voice heard, and the source of my strength and confidence was you and the other regular posters here.

      • Judy – I’m also in the US, and trying to refuse these exams when seeing a doctor for an actual medical problem became a long pressure to have the exam, even with my constant refusal, and nothing at all about the actual medical problems for which I came in. I eventually complained, and nothing was done. They handled me with kid gloves the next year, didn’t pressure too much, especially having a talk with a clinical manager before the medical professionals.

        They have a “Patients Bill of Rights” prominently posted at the desk, and they give one out. That includes the right to refuse any care that’s been proposed. Evidently, they’re “just kidding” when it comes to penetrating someone’s vagina and/or anus.

        I’ve gotten some more tools to assert my right to say “no” to this, and have more ability to use it. Sadly, it took me deciding that refusing THIS is worth more than not having treatment for my physical conditions for a time. It won’t be that long, as I can get care otherwise.

    • Linda so sorry this has happened… again!! I hope you complain and state again you want NO further contact from either the practice or the screening HQA! Thinking of you x

      • Linda, thanks for your mention! It got me wondering, I wonder what policy is on opted out women and does it vary in districts? I opted out in 2015, after receiving yet another unwanted “invitation “. I wasn’t even informed then about the drawbacks to this test, I just decided I had enough and wanted an end to the bombardment and harassment so took to the internet where you found me on another site and told me about FWEO ( so glad you did)!
        At 56, I’d be in 5 year recall so “due” again last year, I never had an “invitation “ or even a letter from my practice, I heard some practice send a letter reminding you of your opt out status and trying to get you back. And this is allowed as it’s not a formal “invitation “ Let us know what you decide to do, and hope you feel better soon xxx

    • Hi Linda I have read many of the women’s story’s including yours back from when you first came to the site, I could almost feel your pain, but as I read on I could see the healing take place and your strength return ,your latest posts are full of defiance be confident and go to your surgery demand to see the practice nurse let her know that you have opted out and do not appreciate being hounded for screening do not sit down remain standing tell her you will hold her personally responsible for this harassment if it happens again and then turn and leave. victory will be yours. Hugs xx

      • Hi Jules. Thanks for your comments.

        I grew strong writing the books. Firsty assembling the stories from the women here. My friend Pam knows a lot of people on face book and she got all the stories for me for my second book. I was touched by all their stories. So many women have things to tell about smear tests but they were never allowed a voice.

        I love this website. I love the people here. They really helped me when I needed them.

        I talk about being firm and aggressive. I recommend being firm with doctors but never aggressive. You might come worse off. I write like that because i’m a bit of a drama queen.and write like that. Just look after yourself – you know what I mean.


  15. Hi ladies. This came to me while I was doing a puzzle quiz why not try to get all the different sites that are opposed to screening and unite them to form one . This could be a called. Choice. Which would stand for constant harassment over intimate clinical exams. If this achieved a substantial following we could appoint a spokes person. I would propose mr rob music if his position at the migraine place doesent work out he would be in charge of clinical consent enforcement this would be known within the organisation as treatment without authorisation today this would be a abbreviated so mr music would become known as chief twat. The last bit was a joke Love and hugs to all xx

    • Hi!

      I think it would be amazing if there was a site that collects together other sites that talk about informed consent in women’s reproductive healthcare. I’ve been looking around and sites like that are hard to find, I only found some articles, and sites that have been pointed out in this forum.

      It’s funny that even when I type in “pap smears unnecessary” or something like that on Google, Google automatically tries to correct it to”Did you mean: necessary?”. It is itself suspicious that you can find info about how you should only screen for more common cancers (like skin or lung) if you are at high or increased risk, but apparently, you have to screen for a rare cancer like cervical for most of your life no matter what your risks are.

      Anyways, I would really like it if there was a site like what you wrote about. It would be nice if there was a site that collected articles and studies that talk about similar things as well.

  16. Oh dear ladies it’s started! Cervical hysteria week in UK And today hysterical daily fail article that so many will die and how awful yet again women’s health is being sidelined…..

    • Yes, up to 600 000 women ‘at risk of cervical cancer’ apparently. I saw another petition recently for an annual screening because ‘so many daughters, wives and granddaughters are dying needlessly and enough is enough’ and because ‘it can strike so quickly and is usually too late once it’s been detected’. The level of conviction that women are dropping like flies, cut down by marauding cervical cells is crazy. Where is the balanced, factual information?! I really think it is a form of mass hysteria, but I suppose it’s fuelled by the number of women who have had colposcopy and lletz and think they all narrowly escaped with their lives.

      • Gem so true! One poster said, smears should be prioritised because young women are dying through being left to die un smeared and their kids are orphans but covid kills mainly old ppl! So as I said, are old lives less valuable?? The red arrows I’m getting are hilarious

      • And where is their evidence of ‘all these’ young women who are dying?! Versus the 70 000 dead from coronavirus. I despair. I think I saw one comment that said ‘so many more women die from cervical cancer than die from coronavirus’, it’s just the realm of alternative facts and fake news. Interesting that in the article Jo’s Trust stated that cc is rare and slow-growing.

      • This comment made me really sad “Go get your smears ladies, pandemic or not. I had mine in Nov. Three weeks later I was back in for a colposcopy and biopsies, in two days I’m in again to have a large chunk of my cervix cut out. If I’d not gone to that first appointment I’d have never known what was going on down there. The nurse doing your smear will take all necessary precautions against covid. Dont let that be the reason you don’t go”. And the responses “Well said, so important”. I wonder if she had any idea when she signed up for screening about the true prevalence of cervical cancer and the number of false positives and unnecessary procedures that are an in-built facet of the programme.

      • I went through the Daily Mail’s Health section and couldn’t find the article, so hopefully these people are starting to be recognised for the hysterical bonkers fanatics that they are and the article has been dumped in the irrelevant section.

        I know I should pity these women but I don’t. I despise them and have nothing but contempt for them. All it takes is for one senior minister to listen to them. They pose a massive risk to all our human rights and civil liberties as women. They are a hard right fanatic’s wet dream.

      • It’s utterly ridiculous! In the US, the nation for which I have hard numbers, about 4100 women die of CC per year, with about 14,000 diagnosed – out of ~320,000,000 people! (Of which about half were born with cervixes) A couple of days ago, we had 4100+ people die of COVID nationally, and yesterday ~3600. Yes, as many people are dying PER DAY of COVID as die per year of CC, and people in the US often refuse to wear masks, refuse to wear them properly, or refuse to socially distance and even go to “super-spreader events” – and that’s “their right”. At the same time, women “cannot refuse a smear”, or have her actual health care threatened, or at the very least labeled “irresponsible”. The difference is COVID is spread by casual contact/breathing in water droplets with viruses, while catching HPV leading to CC requires contact with her cervix.

        That includes inhaling droplets in the waiting room to get your smear, or the follow-on treatments.

    • Hi ladies, Myself and Jules were wondering if you could help us out , we have read of a hpv home test is this available in the uk . As I am 24 and a half ,depending on corona I may get my first pap demand soon if we can test and come up hpv minus not only would we gain peace of mind but we would have a solid defence against insistent gp’s,we don’t believe we are a high risk as I have only been intimate with three and Jules with two ( i did ask her if I could mention her number) if this is so what does the test consist of is it a pee test or a self swab and where do you send it

      • Superdrug UK offer a home test HPV kit for around £50, it’s a long swab you insert ad send to their lab, I believe you get a Superdrug account your results are sent to ?! Hope this helps

      • As far as I am aware, HPV testing isn’t generally recommended for women under 30 because HPV status in these women is usually transient, due to developmental changes etc.
        It is up to you though – someone on here mentioned that it has been reported that on average 60% of 25 – 30 year olds test negative for HPV, but it is something I would research first, because a positive reading may cause unnecessary worry.

        When it comes to refusing the invitation, I recommend writing to the screening authority informing them that you have made the decision to opt out. Try to avoid giving them a reason and keep it brief.
        The screening authority will write to your GP to ask that your name is removed from the list.

        If they become intransigient, you could threaten them with a complaint and getting the Data Protection commissioner involved, as according to GDPR, I don’t think they legally have the right to keep you in the programme and send you the reminders if you have explicitly chosen to opt out but document everything.

        Good luck.

  17. In the US about 33,000 men die of prostate cancer each year – yet screening for this cancer is generally not recommended. The reason being that it often leads to false positives, painful invasive biopsies, unnecessary surgery and diagnosis of a cancer that may never have bothered a man during his lifetime. So basically it has very similar drawbacks as pap smears (and mammograms too for that matter) yet woman are coerced and cajoled to have this screening at every turn. I would encourage women to arm themselves with the stats for both kinds of cancer (prostate and cervical) – the deaths in the UK and other countries likely are similar in proportion to their populations – and vocalize them loudly and often anytime they are pressured to have a smear. Last week I told a new doctor “its perfectly ok for men to decline prostate cancer screening due to the harms involved” and must say he did seem to take it in and reflect on it a bit.

  18. 600,000 at risk of cc ,this info must of been released by the same bunch that said over 5000 contract it each year in the uk when we all know this figure is total fabrication to frighten women into the program .I think the statestition who came up with this number needs to purchase a new calculator and sling his abacus in the bin

    • Yes, where did that 5000 figure come from? I see it quoted at every turn and it’s in all the NHS literature and on all the charity websites. I think I once saw someone saying the academic who originally cited it had gone back on it but I can’t seem to find a source for that.

      • Gem, that figure was plucked from an article written back in 2004 – a load of B.S. churned out by a group of screening enthusiasts in response to other papers that claimed – quite rightly – that the financial cost of ‘prevention’ was far too high.
        Of course if they’d taken the time to carry out clinical trials they may have discovered how unreliable and harmful the test was and never introduced the programme. But of course it was rushed in to win the pink vote.
        Without a thorough RCT we can never know how effective or safe any medical intervention is.

      • Thank you Kate. Honestly, it’s so disturbing to see how many women just sign up unquestioningly to this unethical programme. I’ve been disturbed this week to see the many stories shared by women who are so ‘thankful’ to be missing half their cervix and encouraging others to make sure they put themselves at the same risk without giving it a second thought. It’s horrible.

  19. On itv London news tonight they announced another 1610 deaths from corona nationwide after this 3 ladies came on to tell everybody they had cervical cancer after delayed screening and were urging all to get screened they were backed up by jo’s Trust saying the same almost threw up my lasagna surely priorities should rule at the moment i feel sorry for these women but it looks like the pink push has started even at this dark time

    • Yeah. In the US, some of our worst days so far we’ve had a daily death rate of COVID as high as the yearly death rate from CC. Going into a hospital to get a screening or an all-so-important follow-on procedure seems like the shortcut to becoming a COVID statistic! But, you know, we’ve got to be kept in line by our vaginas…

      “Good news. She isn’t going to die of cervical cancer in the future! She died of COVID. Isn’t that great!”

      This seems to have more in common with prison rape than it does any rational, sensible, medical intervention.

      • Beth the situation is unbelievable in the US where on the one hand, we hear so much about our out of control health care costs. I saw a new doctor last week about my blood pressure and the post-visit summary mentions twice the recommendation to see a gynecologist (once in all caps!) along with a list of suggested practices. The doctor did, to his credit, write “will hold off for now.” I thought about going elsewhere but as you know it would just be more of the same. This doctor did at least listen to my concerns and make eye contact so as a matter of practicality (I need my blood pressure meds) I feel like I can work with him. I’m fortunate to live in an area with many physician practices all competing with each other for patients (especially insured patients) so don’t think I’ll run into the threat of being dropped if I don’t comply. Like you I have tools to use against the pressure and coercion but we should be able to go to a medical appointment for a chronic health problem without feeling like we’re going into battle!

      • Judy – you’re right. It is quite unbelievable when at the same time we’re hearing of out-of-control healthcare costs, and overuse – overdiagnosis and overtreatment, while we know that the pap test is almost the poster child for starting cascades of overuse. At the same time, the message is “get your paps!”, even to the point of derailing the rest of healthcare, or making a patient prepare for battle – as in coercion to penetrate her vagina and anus – at every visit. Among other things, this takes time, and up-codes the visit as it takes more time when they spend 20 minutes on pap harassment.

      • And the nhs ‘marketing campaign’ for this one, featuring the three cats, was truly offensive even by their own abysmally awful standards. The single minded determination to assert that it’s silly women being too embarrassed to test seems to have been taken a step further here, actually down to the specifics of waxing – does it never occur to them that women have become rather better informed about the limitations and potential harms of this unreliable and invasive test over the many years that they have failed to improve it whilst still seeking to impose it (not ever too bothered by the concept of informed consent). Or do they really believe we’re that stupid?!

      • Suzette – It’s quite clear that these campaigns are becoming increasingly desperate, which shows the lengths they feel they are having to go to, to get women to comply. And that does give me some hope. I didn’t see many supporters of this campaign online. It seemes that most women were indifferent to them. I’ve seen a few ridiculing them as well.
        I think the smear campaign (no pun intended) is now reaching saturation levels and women are growing tired of them.

    • Gem , when you think about it, it’s not so much women signing up to the programme, we are automatically conscripted onto it at 24 and a half! To withdraw we have to opt out from what we never asked to be put into! To remind all you younger ladies anticipating your first summons, you can absolutely opt out and they have to respect this and opt you out, though your surgery may try to persuade you back every so often!!

      • Yes, I completely agree. Conscripted is a good term for it! And now school children are being groomed into accepting their summons via school PSHE lessons which focus solely on ‘making young people aware of the importance of the test’.

  20. Hi gem, That figure of 5000 that keeps popping up is from a report in 2004 by prof. Julian peto dsc that was made for publication in the lancet. Hope this helps

  21. On a positive note, recently set up a Twitter account and noticed Jo’s To$$ers on there. I’m genuinely surprised by how few messages they get in response to their nonsense, which is excellent to see.

    I’m sure I’ve seen a few posters from here on there. For those of you there, are our messages linked to the odious Jo’s To$$ers account (sorry, still trying to get grips with Twitter)? If so, we could have a lot of fun here 😀

      • I’m there and have a lot of fun with Jo’s Tosh and also Eve Appeal.

        You’re right, Jo’s in particular get very little engagement although they did used to get a bit more.

        I’m assuming people are just tired of their nonsense.

      • Ha yes! I’ve seen you Kat 😀 and Caroline. In case you’re wondering, I’m the newbie on the block 😉

        I got the impression that Eve’s cage was well and truly rattled by that complaint, hence the OTT response.

    • Just another point I’d raise, when I formally opted out of screening, I was still later asked about it (albeit, politely) by two GPs.
      So when you opt out, it might be a good idea to email, or write to your GP confirming your decision as well and ask that your decision to opt out is noted in your file.
      Again, I wouldn’t personally recommend giving them too much details – just that you have made an informed decision to opt out.

      Articulating your thoughts on paper might help you in the first instance, rather than having to explain 1:1 to your doctor should he/ she raise the question.
      Also, having this documented in writing might help a bit and I’d advise you to keep a copy of the letter.

      You may actually be surprised (as I was), because not all doctors are confrontational on the matter.

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