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?

14 Replies

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  • 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 a.family 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.

  • Mmas,

    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.

  • 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!!!!!!!!

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