Terror and panic of the pap exam for over 19 years
I have 3 children. Right before having my last baby I had a miscarriage because I was so terrified of the pain that doctors give women during any exam and I thought of how horrible and diabolocal these exams are because they only cause a great deal of pain and so I started bleeding because of all the crying I had done the night before and I officially lost my baby from my body 2 and half weeks later from the day of my painful exam. I got pregnant agin and refused all exams except for ultrasounds and my baby made it. I have been rape free from gyn's for over 2 years and can now be with my husband in peace. I never want to live a life of ultimate terror. I waited over 15 years to have another baby in hopes of finding a doctor to trust and still hvaen't found one that will sedate me during a pap exam. I hvae had hypnosis, sex therapy and The Act Center and hvae found the only thing that gives me peace of mind is to stay away from gyn's or be completely knocked out. The doctors have even used a pediatric speculum and I still bleed and had muscle spacums during an exam that cripple me from sex with my husband for severla months after the doctor gets through with me. I like feeling empowered and like I will never ever let anyone make feel like that again. I have made up my mind if I can't get sedated then I won't let a doctor hurt me. I live in Ormond beach Florida. Where can I go where the doctor will either give me birth control without an exam or with sedation pain free?
If you are having that much pain from regular exams it doesn't seem normal to me. Don't get me wrong, they aren't really plesent anyways but there not suppose to hurt like that. My first gyn exam hurt bad, but I was still a virgin when I had mine. There still unconfortable but I don't bleed after them, just feel sore afterwards.
And when you use the term "rape free" what are you meaning by that? Has a doctor hurt you in a bad manor? Or is it just because the exams are painful for you? I think there has to be another reason as to why these exams are hurting you too much. Every woman has to go to the gyn atleast once a year (i go every 6 months for now) to get a check up and screen for cancer. If you don't see a gyn every year that you great risk yourself for infections and other gyn issues. You need a routine pap every year. I would suggest finding a doctor and talking to him/her about why you are in so much pain from the exams. I don't think any doctor would sedate you to do a routine exam like this.
I'm sorry you have had bad experiences with doctors, but it's very important to have a gyn and them atleast every year for a routine exam.
I agree with msniki, pap smears should not hurt as much as your saying. yes they are uncomfortable and cause me muscle spasm but i have never had one actually hurt me or make me bleed. you should definitely find a doc and talk to them about how much the pap smears have hurt you in the past.
I would also like clarity on the rape comment. Is it just the pain or do you just feel like the doctor touch you inappropriately?
Unfortunately i very very highly doubt any doctor is going to give you birth control with out a pap smear first. They need to make sure you don't have any health issues before giving any form of birth control. if you want birth control then I'm sorry but you will have to have a pap smear. Unless of course you stick to condoms(which are only like 85% effective since you have had children before)
I also agree with msniki in the fact that I doubt any doctor will sedate you for a routine such as a pap smear.
You should just definitely talk with a doctor about how you feel about pap smears and about the pain you experience with them.
Someone made the comment ALL women must see a gynecologist every year for checks.
I've never heard of such a thing...that must be something peculiar to the States.
We do NOT have routine gyn exams at all...ever
Gynaecologists are specialists and you're only referred if you're symptomatic...
I asked my Dr, I was so surprised by the things I've read here...and elsewhere.
I was told that gyn exams are unnecessary in asymptomatic women and in fact, she believes they can be harmful. (leading to possibly harmful further invasive testing, discomfort, psychological distress, low clinical value, avoidance behaviour)
I was very pleased to hear that...
We also get the Pill with a simple blood pressure check every 3 months.
Women are offered breast exams from their 40's...we're told any earlier, means biopsies for false positives, as young breast tissue is hard to examine and cancer in this group is uncommon.
Mammograms are offered from 50...but some women now refuse them due to the risks of testing. (false positives, unnecessary surgery and treatment, DCIS and new research that suggests they may increase the risk of cancer due to radiation exposure and the squashing of breast tissue) I think the Nordic Cochrane Institute were involved in this research.
I've been told by my Dr that cancer screening has risks as well as benefits and so...informed consent is required...every patient must weigh up the risks, likely benefits for her (low or high risk) and whether she wishes to have the test.
It was not assumed that all cancer screening is a good thing for every woman.
Pap smears are offered from age 30 and then 5 yearly until 50, 55 or 60 (depending on past results and sexual history)
Virgins are not offered screening or young women...our doctors believe it is unethical to screen these women as the test is more likely to harm them, than help them. The risk to benefit ratio makes it unethical to test.
All women are given full risk information and some low risk women choose not to be tested or test infrequently.
We (Finland) have the lowest rates of cervical cancer in the world and the lowest number of women being sent for biopsies and false positives.
Testing virgins, young women and too frequently exposes you to a lot more risk with little additional benefit.
I think US women are over-examined, over-tested, over-screened and over-treated to their detriment.
Womanhood is not a disease.
Just thought you should know the majority of the world's women don't have annual gyn exams or annual pap smears from their teens.
I would hate to have that level of intrusive (and likely to be harmful) medical intervention in my life.
Love your country and the people...not sure about your doctors!
I understand US women can get birth control pills with no exam using the HOPE scheme at Planned Parenthood.
If you don't want pelvic or gyn exams, don't have them - the vast majority of doctors in the world don't even recommend them.
Pap smears...again, it's up to you...you could follow an overseas program like the Netherlands and Finland - once every 5 years..OR you could discuss your risk profile with an open minded US doctor. (here's hoping you can find one!)
I wonder why all this checking of your reproductive organs...do you also, have your liver scanned and biopsied every year and other organs?
It doesn't make sense to me...
Also, my Dr told me this cancer is uncommon...in fact, I read an article by Angela Raffle, a UK cervical screening expert published in the British Medical Journal - her research showed that 1000 women need regular smears for 35 years to save ONE woman from cervical cancer.
Also, colposcopy/biopsy rates (mostly for false positives)....95% of US women will have at least one in her lifetime....55% for Finnish women.
So, there are real risks over-screening women.
I'm not sure if we're allowed to link articles...but search on-line for Angela Raffles and Cervical Screening and her research should appear...also, google, "Why I'll never have another pap smear" an article that appeared in the Guardian a couple of years ago...written after Dr Raffle's research was released....a reaction to the high risk of false positives and the low risk of this cancer.
Also, "Should we abandon pap smear testing" by RMDeMay, American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 2000 shows some interesting statistics re risk of this cancer and of testing. (the 95% figure)
I think once you've done some reading and spoken to a new and reasonable doctor...you should be able to arrive at an informed decision having regard to your risk profile.
Our doctors don't try to scare us and force screening onto us...BUT my doctor hates her patient's smoking and leading unhealthy lifestyles (being over or underweight, having a bad diet, not exercising etc)...she focuses far more on these factors.
I think it is a wise decision of yours to not ever let a doctor rape you like that again, because rape is a very serious trauma and if a pelvic exam makes you feel like that, which I understand very well (check this yahoogroup to find more people who find gyn exams nothing more than legalized rapes http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/womenagainststirrups), you are much better off to no longer submit yourself to this. And no, you don't need to fear cervical cancer for not having pap smears. HPV infections are most of the times cured by itself, thanks to a strong immune system, so a much better prevention is to live a stress-free lifestyle with a proper diet. Getting raped every year is not going to get your immune system stronger as negative emotions cause free radicals which can cause cancer.
I'm not sure about whether you could find a doctor who'd want to sedate you during a pelvic exam, but I think there are better options than that.
First of all, you need to know that pap smears/ pelvic exams are *not* medically required to obtain birth control pills. (check here, for more info: http://womenagainststirrups.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=gynmyths&action=display&thread=5 )
Just like the poster above me says, the only thing that's medically required, is to check the blood pressure. I know that in the US doctors lie about this and will tell you, you need a pap smear, so I suggest to see a general practitioner who can prescribe BC pills just as well and who will be less likely to curse you into a gyn exam as opposed to a gynecologist who basically gives pelvics to all their patients.
You can also demand to do the smear yourself in your own privacy. There are DIY pap smear tests invented such as the one @ http://selfpapdiagnostics.com
Also, women need to demand better alternatives that are more accurate and non-invasive tests such as the CSA blood test. Doctors will not like this and the industry isn't likely to offer it to women just like that, because it is not in the benefit of doctor's, since the unreliable pap smear makes for a lucrative business with many follow-ups due to it's high false positive rate etc..
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