The current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association contains an article whose headline is:…
My post is STILL awaiting moderation on the St Vinnies site. How very strange. Another post got put up, it was anti pap, but not a big rant like mine. They must be hating all of us informed women!
The latest in NZ is the dermatogologists have come out asking govt to fund a skin screening program for all citizens. So they are after the tax payer dollar. No doubt they see other members of their profession getting these handouts and incentives so they are feeling left out? I can imagine a skin exam would be no different to a strip club just without the music. the govt here did not fall for prostate screening so i do not see the skin guys coming right. But you never can tell.
Graeme, I whould watch the skin cancer screening too. I know a girl that had the exam they found a large mole on her back, did a biopsey and they told her it was an agresive form of skin cancer and she only had 6 monthes to live. well this girl decided to get a scecond apenion and had another patholgy test the sample and it turned out she did not have cancer it was benin. I was spechless they told her she was going to die i was spechless. and I bet this is grate bussines to push chemo on healthy pple.
I got a wonderful recommendation from someone here last year for an online pharmacy to get my birth control pills so I wouldn't have to go through the pelvic exam. I had a great experience with the pharmacy- great prices, got what I ordered, no problems. I went back to order more and saw that the pharmacy is no longer online! I am very disappointed. I have done some searching but anything that looks reputable also seems to be extremely expensive (800-1000 for a year's supply. Does anyone have a trusted online pharmacy with reasonable prices? I would greatly appreciate it!
Haley there are UK pharmacies that are cheaper than that. You could try Healthexpress and Oneclick pharmacy. They may not be the cheapest but they are definitely not fakes.
I am assuming that you are from the US and I am wondering if you are getting different prices because of your location. I know that in Australia we often pay more for online purchases and I have to use a US address to get cheaper prices. I would not be surprised if Americans have to pay more for medication just to deter people from shopping online as you do seem to have to pay outrageous prices for your drugs.
I checked both of those out and healthyexpress does not ship to the US and I didn't see birth control on one click. I previously used an Indian pharmacy recommended on here and got an entire year of Diane-35 for less than 300 dollars. I know it was real medicine too b/c my periods are very irregular when not on BC.
Isn't that interesting that they don't ship to the US. Definitely trying to restrict American women's freedom of choice. Maybe because you have an American IP address that oneclick doesn't even have birth control available to you?
I remember way back g**gle was also playing a hand in this and not allowing Americans to access online Canadian pharmacies.
Another option is to go off the pill and use condoms instead. I have heard going off the pill can cause intense cramping for the first few months due to shock of hormonal levels permitted to go back to their natural state, but then it settles down to a normal rhythm. I went on the pill for three months years ago but when I learned I would need a pelvic exam before being given a prescription renewal I just stopped taking them. It is abusive the way women are "required" to go through an invasive exam every time they want their pills renewed.
Are ANY drs following guidelines? Are they ALL ignoring the fact women do not need these exams in order to obtain birth control pills? It really is abuse, plain and simple. And I'm sure they are busily working on shutting down online options - don't want all that opportunity and money lost due to evasive women who won't do as they're told and adhere to the program. Condoms work just as well as the pill in my own experiences with them. Although I know they're not for everyone, and in your case Hayley it sounds as if you take them for alternate/additional reasons. But it is nice to toss around alternatives, it might help us to feel better about the whole nasty situation of women's "health care".
Jacqui I was happy to see your comments on "What to Expect", and pleased they allowed all of our comments to go up. However, over at St. Vincent my comments didn't get accepted, and I see yours didn't either. What good is a site that supposedly accepts comments, but refuses to post those that present an alternate point of view? At least they did allow one good comment to go through (Yay Mint!)
I think doctors try to scare woman from only useing condoms as birth control saying they are not reliable not only so they will be tied to them but also i think they want woman to get stds and hpv so that they can get paid to treat them.
I'm not using the birth control for actual birth control- I'm using it for the treatment of PCOS. It helps with hair loss and acne. I did try to stop taking it originally and was losing hair by the handfuls. Now that I've been on it again for a year my hair has returned to normal and my skin has cleared up. I tried ordering from iwantmeds.com after doing some research but for some reason my order was "pending" for several weeks and then abruptly cancelled, and now I'm at the point where I'm out all together. I didn't order way ahead of time because I'd used that other online pharmacy several times and they were always quick and reliable, so I didn't realize it would be an issue. Now every pharmacy I find is either selling them for insane prices (sometimes over 100-200 dollars for a single month) or has tons of reviews saying it takes months to actually get the meds or they just never send them at all.
My insurance has you schedule all of your appointments online- so I think I am going to try scheduling an appointment and then where they have you write the reason, saying something like this:
I need to renew my birth control prescription. I am not interested in getting another pelvic exam or pap smear as neither of these are necessary for birth control. If this is going to be a problem, please contact me to cancel the appointment.
I figured it's worth a shot- with my insurance bcp is only something like 5-10 dollars a month so if I could get it that way that would be amazing, plus I wouldn't have to wait for the pills. When you schedule the appointment they have options for "health maintenance exam" and "non urgent appointment" so I chose "non urgent appointment." I did notice that the "health maintenance exam" said "recommended every 2 years" next to it, so at least it wouldn't be every year. When I called this insurance to get my (dermatology) prescriptions refilled they were trying to get me to go to a "new patient" visit for bloodwork, and when I said no they said, "Well, I guess it is your choice, but it is highly recommended..." and when I said no, I am not interested, they didn't push it.
I am still looking for an online pharmacy considering this other idea probably won't work, so if anyone has something you can share I would greatly appreciate it. I have done hours of researching and just cannot seem to find anything. I'm almost at the point where I feel like I need to just give in and go have the exam because there are no other options.
Hi guys, does anyone want to go and leave a comment for one of the people on the womens weekly site? One of the sheep has likened not having a mammogram or crap smear to the anti vaxxers. I have replied, but would like a whole heap of others to jump on board, so all of these idiotic sheep and happy pappers start to realize there is a big group of women who know the truth and can think for themselves!
I just left this comment on the St Vinnies site. What a shock that it's "awaiting moderation"!:
Well, it seems anyone with views that contain truth and relevance that don’t happen to line up with pap screen victoria are booted off of the comments. Just because you don’t allow informed women to comment does not mean we are not out there, and does not mean we believe the pathetic rhetoric dished out by pap screen associations.
Jacqui I'm glad you posted your comment here because I bet it won't be accepted over at Vinnies. My comments probably got moved to trash and I'm not expecting to see them either.
Hayley your situation really drives home how insane/unethical/abusive/wrong it is to put women through an invasive and inappropriate exam in order to get a prescription. Look at the effort and time you have had to spend to avoid an exam that is optional. All cancer screening is optional, and we're talking about a rare cancer here. AND the test for it is unreliable and likely will lead to further tests/damage to the cervix/loss of reproductive organs/unnecessary worry and stress. This is madness.
I wish I knew how to help with this. I have heard of women who drive to Mexico for a mini vacation and while there they also buy birth control pills. I don't know where you are at in the world, but that might be an option?
Another idea would be to go to the clinic, but to bring along a companion. Preferably a male. When you get called into the consult room just walk in with your companion and if anyone objects just tell them that you have had traumatic experiences in the past, and will only be able to tolerate the visit if your companion is in the room. You could also say you will not be able to tolerate a pelvic exam. It is out of the question. Or you could say you are menstruating - heavily - or they may try to go ahead regardless. If it is a male physician you could say you only allow females to conduct pelvic exams.
When drs refuse to prescribe medications unless the woman submits to an optional cancer screening test, well there really is no "option" there at all. It is forced testing. Drs dance around this by stating the woman is free to go elsewhere, or to forgo the prescription. But that is wrong too because if ALL drs are on board with this then where is the woman supposed to go? The woman is not "free" at all. Look at the hoops you are having to go through to get out of an "optional" screening. And it seems as if even the hoops are being taken away.
Oh, and one more option is to go to an alternative practitioner, such as a naturopath. You have to pay out of pocket, but they can prescribe medications and are more likely to respect your decisions about "optional" cancer screening.
Hayley, it is appalling the things you are going through to get a simple prescription for the pill. I know some of the others on here use an online pharmacy, Torrance and others have advised which ones they use. I am not sure how to search back quickly, maybe you will have to go back through the pages until you find the info. Unless someone on here knows how to do a quick search for certain terms?
Men on the other hand are all but handed out viagra like lollies. I'm surprised they don't have their own happy meals with viagra instead of a toy. FFS. It shits me to tears. So many REAL health issued involved with being prescribed viagra, yet men get it prescribed with almost zero hassle - even when they have health issues which contraindicate having it. Don't get me started on how easy it is for them to find on the net etc etc. But of course I am forgetting that the men know what's best, I don't know what got into that pretty little head of mine.....
I forgot to add that Sue's suggestion is a good one - are you able to take a friend (preferably male) who is sympathetic to the bullsh*t that goes on in regards to this stuff? Maybe also print out all the details you can regarding the law and OPTIONAL etc etc to give to the doctor? (Hex always has lots of good stuff regarding printouts & this sort of advice, maybe search for some of his comments on here).
Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.
Thanks guys. I believe it was Torrance who gave me the original pharmacy that is now closed down. I searched back for awhile and didn't see anything about new ones.
I made an appointment for Wednesday morning. In the "reason for appointment" box I could only put 150 characters so I had to keep it short but I said something like "Need to renew bcp prescription but am not interested in another pelvic exam/pap test as these are unrelated to bcp. If this is a problem please call me to cancel the appointment" and then left my phone number. I will definitely let you guys know what happens. Unfortunately I am in a new city and although I've made a few friends there are certainly none that I'm comfortable taking to a gyno appointment.
In all of the research I've done I haven't come across a single scenario in which a woman said she a dr. gave her long-term birth control (more than just a few months supply with a condition that she come back for an exam to get more) without requiring an exam. I found one place where all of these women were sharing that they had such traumatic experiences (panic attacks, ptsd, etc.) that they even asked to be sedated for exams and dr's would not even do that for them. I have had exams in the past but my last one was at 22 and I am now 25, so even if they believed in the "every 3 years" requirement I would still be due for one. I wonder if I say I had one last year if they would require me to produce/transfer records.
I briefly looked into the naturopath thing and it appears that they mostly deal with cancer patients and people with more serious needs. I will look more into it though.
I'd contact one of the doctors fighting to de-link the Pill and cancer screening and to get rid of the useless and harmful routine pelvic and breast exams. People like Dr Carolyn Westhoff, Dr Robert Hatcher from the Managing Contraception site or call a few PP Clinics, some genuinely offer HOPE, although you'll probably need to stand firm after a couple of visits...you could even call their head office and ask them for the closet PP to your home that offers HOPE.
The doctors that have publicly stated the Pill does not require anything more than a blood pressure test might also, provide you with the name of someone close to your home who shares their views.
I find it astonishing that women could be denied birth control to force exams and a test that are not clinical requirements.
I read an article a few months ago by Mother Jones, "Holding Birth Control Hostage"....she refused the exam and got her Pills at PP.
It's a disgraceful state of affairs...something has to be done, you can say these things are not clinical requirements, but if you allow most doctors to boycott the Pill, nothing changes, the abuse continues...
These doctors expect most women to give in, but as more women find alternative sources and fight this injustice....hopefully, this dark practice will become a thing of the past.
I think American women should start a website sharing information and listing doctors who do not coerce women into excess to get the Pill. I recall Dr Hatcher offered to contact a woman's doctor about this issue...I've been impressed with his comments.
One thought, if you mention PCOS they might insist on the exam claiming you're symptomatic or have a medical problem that needs monitoring...I imagine your doctors recommend regular pelvic exams etc for women with PCOS. (whether they're helpful, necessary or not)
I've looked into HOPE and as far as I can tell, my state does not offer it. I'm in CO and it appears there's one organization "rocky mountain planned parenthood" that covers not only CO but all of the surrounding states, so even traveling would not be an option. Also from what I could tell from other HOPE programs is that PP doesn't even carry the type of BC I need (something specific to acne). Another thought I had even about the naturopath is that now that I have Kaiser insurance, they will not cover any prescription that's not written by a Kaiser dr. I had prescriptions written by my old dermatologist under my previous insurance and they wouldn't let me use them b/c they were not written by their drs. So even if I were able to find some other type of dr. to legally write me a prescription, my insurance wouldn't cover it and I'm sure without insurance it's insanely expensive.
I think you are right about the PCOS and I am not planning to tell the dr. that I have it as I don't want to give them any extra reason to think I need an exam. I was diagnosed at a teen clinic when I was young and even if they were to get records from my previous dr, I don't think the diagnosis is in there. I only take medication for the symptoms (acne and hair loss) which could be caused by other things, so I don't plan on mentioning it at all.
I will look into those dr's that you mentioned to see if I can find anything on their sites- maybe something I could take with me to the dr.
I also thought about saying that I've already had an exam elsewhere, but I'm not sure if they would then make me produce records from this supposed place that I've already had an exam at to prove that the pap was normal. Where I used to live there was a free clinic that did free exams and some women went there despite having exams simply because it was completely free over having to pay the copay, so I thought about saying I'd gone there within the year. That also wouldn't be a long term solution as they'd just want me to get one with them the next year.
Great thoughts Elizabeth, as always. Your suggestions would be most effective in producing some real and significant change. Hayley I like how you are covering a lot of ground here. One more option would be to check out Yazzmyne's site (if you haven't already) as she has some information regarding natural hormone remedies for various conditions. You could also post a question asking her/others for suggestions on natural methods to control PCOS type symptoms.
Or just go dressed as man, get some viagra, some honest advice, & ask offhandedly if you can get some pills for the little woman at home so she doesn't do something stupid like get preggers. (Cos you just can't trust those women to do ANYTHING without a mans intervention and guidance)
Yeah, sorry, not any constructive help, just me venting. The whole idea of us even having to have this conversation at all just shits me to tears.
While I'm on the not very constructive help (but needing to vent), maybe don't shower for DAYS, eat lots of garlic, curry, etc, don't clean your teeth for days, and dress in clothes that a cat has peed on, and then roll up for your appt. Oh hell, black out a couple of teeth and make sure your nails are filthy, smear some sort of garbage through your hair, draw on some NASTY varicose veins, etc etc etc, and THEN roll up for your appointment. Probably won't be getting an intimate exam then. Make sure you rock up in this state every time you go in for a year so they think that's how you always look/smell and they may just call in your prescription to the pharmacy without you EVER having to go back!
Cream cheese. Make sure you smear cream cheese in your undies the day before, so it's really RIPE.......
Dr Hatcher has put together an excellent summary of the evidence, you'll find it by searching his name, pelvic exams and birth control. Let me know if you can't find it.
Anyone want to leave comments for this girl?
don't want a pap smear
wow did you read the post by shane. her boss was pushing her to get a pap smear at 21 and even told her that it "feels good to have them." I am lost for words these Young girls are brainwashed. I bet theyd be serprised to her I am 28 and have never had a pap.
Kleigh, even more surprised to hear a 54 (almost 55) year old has never had a pap test. It meant the Pill was out for me, I preferred to control my own fertility anyway, but it would have been nice to have the option...in my 20s and 30s the American practice was in place here. (and in my 20s almost all GPs were male, some/many women felt that added to the ordeal) So many women ended up having biopsies and a male gyn was the only option. (and the risk was greatest for young women...heartbreaking, so much completely avoidable damage to mind, body and soul)
We chose not to have a child, but if we'd gone down that path, it would have been very difficult to avoid, I know several women who had to give in to secure an obstetrician to give birth in a private hospital. The routine pelvic and breast exam were also part of pre-natal care until fairly recently. (some ob-gins still do them)
This is why the routine pelvic exam needs to be tackled...if a woman feels she needs a pelvic exam every year, she probably won't give as much thought to the pap test and it's overuse....but if the pelvic exam is scrapped and new guidelines wind back pap testing...and as more become aware of and access HPV primary testing, hopefully, more women will be able to control what happens to their body and fewer women will be coerced into these exams, testing and harmful excess.
Imagine the look of horror I get from people when I tell them how anti-pap I am. "But YOU got cancer", "you were SAVED by this system" etc etc blah blah blah. Yeah, I did get cancer (REAL cancer none of this precancer sh*t), and NO I was NOT saved by their stupid system, in fact I was HARMED by their stupid system. I have no idea how so many can be so stupid. I know that they are brainwashed and lied to by the system, but so were all of us on here, yet we have worked it out (let's be frank, it's not even that hard to work out what a sham it is, even going on the dodgy information handed out by the pap factory). I don't understand why women allow themselves to be treated like this, and I don't understand how in the USA women have just swallowed up all the anti women laws, amendments and bills they put up. Why aren't they all just standing up and saying F*CK OFF and get out?
Because Jacqui, Elizabeth and everyone else here, we're not like most other people. That was a shock to me when I realised that.I thought everybody had a brain and was capable of some critical thinking but they're not.If they were then we wouldn't have racism and sexism and all other kinds of discrimination.
Anyway a link from Margaret McCartney's blog had an intesting article about the debate on Pap smears. I had to use my uni privileges to access the full text. But get this damning statement. Apparently they called precancer "carcinoma" instead of displasia because they knew by calling it that it would get attention and there would be further investagation. So there was dishonesty from day one. It's all about fame and fortune, its never about women. And nobody seems to give a damn how many womenhad hysterectomies and other treatments because of a misnomer.
I think that most women are honestly just not informed. I was not aware until I did my own research that pelvic exams had nothing to do with birth control, and I didn't know that cervical cancer was rare, nor did I know that HPV was an STD (then why was I screened as a virgin??) I did a bit of curious googling about the exam because of how painful it was for me and the intense level of emotional discomfort I felt. I used to have a sense of fear and panic when opening each new pack of birth control knowing that as the months went by I was getting closer to another exam. At that point I decided to go off birth control to avoid the exam and happened to stumble on to all of this information about pap smears being unnecessary when I was looking for a way to get my bcp without an exam.
I'd certainly never heard any of it before. I know my mom was always against me getting them when I was younger, but I don't think she knew any of this information. She begged my dermatologist to find any other treatment (besides bcp ) for my acne and when that didn't work asked him to find a clinic that wouldn't do a pelvic exam because of my age. She then encouraged me to stay at that clinic as long as I could before going to an "adult" dr. so that I wouldn't had to do exams, but of course they kicked me out of there when I was 21 as it was a youth center. She has told me that the only reason she goes is that she needs the birth control (she has pcos too).
I think that although many women find the exam a "big deal" they truly think it's important and that they're saving themselves from cancer. If that were really true, I could see having the mentality that it's worth a few minutes of pain/embarrassment, which is the mentality that many women have because they have no idea how rare the cancer is or how they can actually be harmed by screening. In order for change to happen women need to be getting this information from sources they consider to be "reliable." I tried to tell people on another forum I'm on and they intrepreted it as me just being afraid of the exam and looking for excuses not to "take care of my health." My best friend went off her bcp (also for acne, although she does not have pcos) to avoid having an exam and has had to make intense dietary changes (she's now gluten and dairy free) to keep her skin clear when she could have done the same thing with a safe, inexpensive pill that she's being denied access to for absurd reasons.
And another thing to add: When my best friend told her gyno how painful the exam was for her, the dr's response was "Oh, don't worry. Once you start having sex your exams won't hurt at all." What?!
"In order for change to happen women need to be getting this information from sources they consider to be "reliable." "
Hayley the problem is Elizabeth and others have been posting reliable sources for years now and women still refuse to believe them. They block their ears and eyes and refuse to have an open mind. That's what pisses me off. Angela Raffle, Prof Baum, et al are cited and women won't read these papers. It's not about not being informed IMO.I wasn't informed either. I was blatantly lied to. And I believed what you believed. But when I found out the truth I was happy to accept it,not block my ears and go la la la or defend the pap like some women do when the evidence shows it a crap test.It's like they are afraid of the truth. They won't admit they were duped (I do) and move on. Maybe it's their ego that gets in the way, I don't know. But I suppose some women don't want to accept they they were fooled because then they feel stupid.
I think the problem is though that those are all random dr's from the internet and not the dr's they see in their own offices. It seems those dr.'s are also in the strong minority since people who are looking for dr's who won't do an exam and still prescribe bcp can't seem to find them, so the opinion doesn't seem valid because only a few dr's out of thousands seem to subscribe to it. I don't think it will make a difference until regular dr's start explaining facts to their patients.
Hayley until we start going to the doctor with tasers and sodium penthanol we aren't ever going to get them to tell us the truth. (Sorry, generalization, MOST of them won't tell the truth)
The day they start seeing what's between our legs as a potential lawsuit instead of a cash register, and realize women are not only their reproductive parts, will be the day they start (reluctantly) giving us honest advice.
Hi Hayley, I found this site, which seems to be in the US, and you don't seem to need a prescription for. I have no idea about what the prices are like (high, normal, low etc), and don't understand if you can use insurance to pay for it, but thought I would post the link anyway. Like I said, some of the others buy online and may have better info for you. Good luck! online birth control pills USA
I think we definitely need to go and give some words of wisdom over here. My God. I was almost waiting to find a post that says the world is flat. WTF???
Wait, you've never had a pap smear
Goodness me, another comment of mine is awaiting moderation. Who would have thought it!
In case I don't get published, here is what I wrote. It did get a bit full on at the end, so most definitely I don't expect it to be published over there.
What? What are you women reading? There is no reason to take any girl to a gyno if she is under the age of 21, unless she is symptomatic. Read the W.H.O. and ACOG guidelines, read Dr. Angela Raffle (world wide cervical cancer EXPERT), check out what the Finn's do as far as this stuff goes. They have the LOWEST rate of cervical cancer in the world, yet do not recommend any woman under the age of 25 - 30 have a pap smear due to the freakishly high false positive rates they throw up. They also only test every 5 years, and ONLY on high risk women. They are about to go to 5 yearly hrHPV testing, and then only offer the very small amount of women who test positive for HPV a pap smear. Do some research on the unacceptably high rates of false positives and negatives that the highly unreliable pap smear throws up, educate yourselves on what all levels of abnormal results really mean (from abnormal cells all the way up to CIN 3 do NOT need aggressive treatment, but a watch and wait approach). I can't believe that American women allow the medical and screening authorities to treat them like second class citizens, and do not even bother with informed consent and up to date information. Women in America are treated just as badly as women are in muslim faiths, they are just too lazy to do the research and see it. How do you put up with doctors illegally refusing to prescribe birth control if you don't "submit" to invasive exams? Not to mention all the anti abortion, anti birth control, and just plain anti woman policies your governments try to bring in? I shake my head in wonder. Land of the free? Maybe if you are a man.
Haley I would second what the others have said. Take a male with you as that makes it harder for the doctor to try and coerce you into an exam. even if you dont know people very well yet it should not matter because this will not be a gyno visit. In fact it is an ordinary consult for BCP. I really feel very sad and angry that you are going through this nonsense and I wish I could help.
I did see that one Jacqui, thanks though. It's very expensive. Assuming seeing the dr. on Wed. does not work out I might buy something like 3 months worth from there which would at least buy me some time to figure out how to buy from a cheaper overseas pharmacy for the rest of the year. It is just frustrating b/c that's over 200 dollars for just 3 months (so almost 1000 for the entire year), whereas if I could just go to the dr. and get it through my insurance I'd pay nothing for the pills- just a 20 dollar co pay for the dr. visit.
Graeme, I wish more guys were like you and Hex and Rob. It's nice that you guys take an active interest in this stuff and help your female family members and friends, and drop in to talk to us as well. You three should be in charge of medical associations!
Another idea for the dictionary:
If used creatively, another way to avoid pelvic exams.
Sue, as in the blow hole is blocked with some icky cream cheese and because the lady is fat/ugly/over 50/smells bad she doesn't need a pap? bah ha ha ha ha!
Another great visual image, thanks for that Jacqui! Actually, even that might not be enough. Might have to smear a bunch between the toes for good measure.
You are hilarious missy!
Um, thanks but that crown belongs to you Jacqui. But I was having fun running with the ball you threw out there.
I've been meaning to link this article about positive spin and bias in breast cancer research:
It would be nice if they came as clean regarding paps and pelvics.
Excellent article Sue, pity the sheep will just keep on chewing their cuds and totally ignore it, even if it was put in their letterboxes and set on fire to draw attention to what is really going on. Sigh.
I do think these exams got started bc doctors asumed all woman were sleeping around by a certain age . almost wawy to control femail sexuallity and protect males from stds.
So I went to the eye dr. today to get my next year's prescription for my contacts. The dr. asked if I was okay with my eyes being dilated. I've never had it done before because my previous place had a camera that was able to take internal pictures of the eye instead. I asked her what it was like and if it was an option to not do it. She said it was recommended but that I could say no. She explained the risks and benefits of having it done. No threatening to hold my contacts hostage or anything if I didn't want an unrelated exam done. I ended up going through with the whole procedure feeling like I had made an informed decision. Why is birth control not the same way?
Haley, I agree, we’re given agency when our reproductive organs are out of reach, we’re lucky optometrists don’t practice bikini medicine!
Good luck, with trying to get your prescription, Jacqui’s hilarious suggestion to make yourself unappealing for an exam candidate just might work, though I think it’s important to also strand our ground, the more women who can stand firm and say no to an unnecessary physical exam, the more medical professionals might start to take us seriously.
It’s not pleasant and for some frightening to have to be contrary to a person in authority, and many of my friends just lie and say they’re up to date with their paps, rather than face a confrontation. I had that experience last year when a (male) doctor wanted to know when my last pap was (I posted about it a few months ago) I stated I did not participate in that program, I was assertive and rational, but the doctor became aggressive, emotional and patronising, I was shaken afterwards as I had to make a hasty exit, but I think I rattled him more! I left a warning for other women on ‘rate doctors’ and made a complaint with the clinic, (which I haven’t heard back from).
I am prepared to stand my ground and be firm with anyone, medical professional or not who tries to pressure me into such a sexist and abusive procedure, it’s a form of resistance, as is the cyber activism we do here.
No matter how much it’s mainstreamed many women still feel traumatised by gynaecological exams, it alarms me when I think of vulnerable teenagers being subjected to this by their mothers, I found this article about mother’s taking their daughters for their first gyne exam.
“The first gynecological exam can be a "rite of passage" into womanhood for your daughter and a good time for the two of you to connect. Now that you've both "been there and done that," you can share your experiences with each other. Make a day of it; offer to take her shopping and out to lunch. After all, women of all ages can bond over new shoes and a hot fudge brownie sundae.”
What a horrible way to be introduced to womanhood! Grooming girls to accept physical intrusion as a 'right of passage' with the reward of ice cream, new shoes and pap bonding with their mothers. Yuk!
first gynecological exam