Healthy Evidence
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Harassed about smears

Hello community,

I come from outside the Uk. I do not understand why whenever I go to see a GP I get asked about smears tests, even though I go in with a different problem. Out of 10 minutes'/appointment, we waste time talking about it This is an unacceptable practice to me. It says on my records never sexually active but I will still be asked by various members of staff to explain myself. How can you test virgins? Asking me in spite of these is sexual harassment as well as it would qualify as sexual assault to me if someone wanted to perform it on me. Why do the staff have the indecency even to ask me or suggest I might be lying to them?

21 Replies

Being a virgin doesn't preclude getting cervical cancer although the risk is very much lower. So you could still have the test if you wish, and it seems reasonable for it be offered given the benefits of early detection.

Of course you can decline the offer and it would be a criminal act for a medical professional to attempt such an examination against your will. If you are feeling vulnerable during a GP appointment, perhaps you could ask for a chaperone, or have a friend or family member accompany you.


However, I do not think it reasonable that it is offered to me regardless. My first experience should be with a guy and not with a speculum. I would feel violated and consider this a rape. And in front of member!!!And I would he traumatised. This damage outweighs benefits. I have been examined by a gyno before and they did not go inside my vagina, they did it differently. Not once did they suggest s smear or using speculum in my countey/given my circumstances. It is just in this country. I suspect it is not just my health but something else. By the way I do not think we are told the she truth about these tests... Disgusted by the NHS!!!


Acting as Devil's Advocate, in all fairness the NHS are attempting to offer a free service that could possibly save you from a very nasty illness and even your life. Virgins can get some forms of cervical cancer. I am not sure how polite they were, but if they did not offer it to people, how would people know about the service?


But is being a virgin good enough reasn not to ask at all, morally speaking? I do not understand why other countries are not so particular about these issues... What about other health issues and other types of cancer? Given my medical history I may be more susceptible to other types of cancer. Why is no one drawing attention to them? Or heart disease? Offering the test at the start of an appointment, is like trying to sell something on the phone to regardless who. When I complain about current health issues, I feel like I am a wimp and am told to go privately. In my country I would have been referred to and on the books with specialists. Why this discrepancy? Am more likely to develop other stuff that might be deadly, potentially. Why is it just my cervix that is getting such an attention? Is it not weird???


UK has invested in a screening programme for both cervical and breast cancer. We are extremely lucky that this is available for free for all. Some countries have not invested in this type of prevention. We also have various vaccination and immunisation programmes for people. This is across the board to try and prevent illnesses and keep the population healthy. Cost will prohibit screening for every sort of cancer, heart disease etc.

I cannot understand why anyone would complain about being offered this sort of check, particularly as there is no charge. As benwl says you can always refuse.


It does not mean that there will be no ethics when offering them. Having your targets, does not seem to make them optional. On the contrary it is enforced. Why would someone decline as I said because of circumstances, have reservations about the reliability, risks and over treatment which does get not mentioned at all.


It is not offered but you are harassed about it, saying once no is no answer to them.



Write to the practice manager and ask that a note is made that you do not wish to access the cervical smear testing offered and do not wish it to be offered to you again as you are feeling harassed about it.


Great idea.


Particularly the Brest scan it's been known since it's conseption that it might give you cancer.

As for the vaccine for cancer for young adults they realise there is a problem there.

Exposure to radiation and infection is the main cause of cancer.

The NHS higherarkey discurrages discussion about environmentalissues being the cause of illness. If that is the case the doctor will not support you.

They would give you tests rather than change your environment.


Thank you for the suggestion to take someone with me. It sounds reasonable.


You should also be able to make an appointment with a specific doctor if you wish - perhaps you can find one who is more sensitive to this sort of issue.


Dottie, are you from the UK? They do things very differently in my country.


Dottie, do you have a Dr who is liberal then? Or did you opt out?


Oh, I see. I might consider doing that as well. I am just fed up. Been on one occasion asked by a nurse doing an asthma test, if I would ever have sex and if would not like it!!!!!!!!


Sorry to say that's the way they work here. They assume you are of a certain age. Your word is not good enough. It's sometimes called the nanny state. It also leaves it open for them to make lies up about you too.

Other doctors then believe those lies. If they refuse to except even bonifided tests. I had 3 positive tests for Lyme Disease.

The lab was closed for faulty testing in 2012. Yet they refused to believe my CE and FDA approved test.

I wrote to various NHS Hospitals that my private lyme Disease doctor tried to admit me.

Even though the lab was closed they refused to believe me. I invited them to meetings they refused to come.

They continued to believe a lie.

The Department of Health said new guidelines would be developed next year.

They have known there is a Lyme epidemic since 1980.

The DoH refuse to reply to any futher emails.

I asked my doctors if they would tell the local council I have Lyme as it's a statutory notifiable illness they refuse because no one else has Lyme disease. (Or so they say)

I have been made out a lier by the a judge he refused to read my notes. I gave my doctor an extract from Public Health eng saying private ( CE FDA and NHS)

Tests are excepted. And are a notifiable illness by 2010 they become a statutory notification.

Local council health authorities need to be notified.

Like the London Fire 🔥 when the tower block burnt down. Dispite being warned none of the parties knew how to treat long term problems.

Their answer was to wait and see. And ignore not only me but many others. 45,000 is under estimating the true numbers the DoH says 2 to 3,000.

Public Health Eng know NHS doctors have not been notifying them. I would guess from Animal Public Health Eng and now the Vets at Bristol university have done a national survey of dogs.



Unfortunately, you can develop all sorts of illnesses in the female reproductive system without ever having intercourse, cancer not being the only issue.

I understand that you are still a virgin - good on you for waiting for the right person btw - however, you need to ensure you take care of your body inside and out. Missed periods, Endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids and ovarian cysts can cause internal problems which need to be monitored and you don't need to have intercourse in order to have these issues. In fact a friend of mine had cancerous cells in her cervix despite being a virgin at 20.

You can have a nurse do the test and you can take a trusted friend or have a chaperone.

But, please, don't be under the assumption that being a virgin will protect you from gynecological conditions!

1 like


Thank you for your reply.

Any part of the body can malfunction including the female reproductive problem. I have had issues before (as I explained in the post above). However, more common issues are not the same as cancer. The particular type of cancer we are talking about is believed to be spread via sexual intercourse, 99% of it . The rest of it caused by something else, unrelated to sexual intercourse. We further know that the test only picks up a certain type of cancer, other types of cancer are not detected via the test or if it is located outside the main location. Your lifetime chances of getting cc are 1% if you are a sexually active woman (and have risk factors). I do not fall into the first category (or a category of a high risk woman with several sexual partner over her lifetime and early first sexual intercourse), comparing me to them is close to an insult to my life. I do not also have a high risk factors such as smoking. So if the chances are 1% for an average woman, what are they for a virgin? 0.65% or less? What value is the test going to have? Why test virgins for something so rare? Is there no medical ethics in this country? In my country they still exist.

The thing that gets me the most is that the number of women with abnormalities detected is 270.000, out of whose 170.000 will have biopsies done and further tens of thousands treatment to their cervix. The mortality has never been that high, 6.000 a year, potentially? I have a high chance of having my cervix damaged by the treatment than have any benefit from the testing, especially as a virgin.

I cannot comment on your friend's case. There is a difference between precancerous cells and cancerous cells. In some countries women may get tested from the age of 30 such as Finland, younger women do not get tested at all.


If you look at the UK guidelines for cervical screening here:

it does say that "Women who are virgins — may choose not to have cervical screening, as their risk of cervical cancer is low." so this hardly seems like a lack of medical ethics.

And recommended starting age of testing is 25, which isn't that far from the Finnish case you mention.



To clarify it - I am late 30s.


I am aware of that. Do you know that they will ask at every appointment, though? You might have never seen the doctor before but he starts the conversation by saying so never sexually active. Not hello, how are you? I would understand if I was complaining about a gyno problem but a rash on my back....This is a lack of ethics. Cant they be professional? Why do I have to declare myself every time? I avoid going to the doctors now altogether.


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