Women and the Medical Industry - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-27-2005, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by archaeomom
Interesting link, but don't see how it is relevant. I thought this discussion was about annuals, not pg related exams?????
Can a latexed finger do any more damage than a penis with a condom? (In reference to the pushing up of bacteria in the vagina towards the cervix)
The article is relevent in showing the dangers of unnecessary vaginal exams at any point in a woman's life, whether she is pregnant or not.

A woman's body is used to it's own flora/fauna, so checking your own vagina, labia, etc is not going to be as dangerous as having some stranger do it. Also, a woman will not accidentally damage herself while checking.
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Old 08-27-2005, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by archaeomom
Also, I think if you want to talk about cervical exams in late pregnancy not being beneficial, I think many many MDC Mamas would agree. It just doesn't seem like it is part of this original discussion.
Yes, I got through 5 pages without for a second thinking we were talking about pregnancy related exams.
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Old 08-27-2005, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mara
I agree with some of your points but don't see how for most women getting paps every few years has more risks than benefits or disempowers her.
No where did I say anything about not getting a pap smear. I said that there are less damaging, less invasive tests for checking for cervical cancer.

I think what is happening is people are getting upset and not really wanting to have an intelligent discussion regarding women and the medical industry. And, no I am not perfect at writing out everything, either.
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Old 08-27-2005, 04:32 PM
 
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Ok, from the article:

Vaginal exams can increase the risks of infection, even when done carefully and with sterile gloves, etc. It pushes the normal bacteria found in the vagina upwards towards the cervix.

In a non-pregnant woman, I still wonder how this would differ from a condom during sex. I am not sure that it would. Anyone?

There is also increased risk of rupturing the membranes. Some practitioners routinely do what is called stripping the membranes, which simply separates the bag of waters from the cervix. The thought behind this is that it will stimulate the production of prostaglandins to help labor begin and irritate the cervix causing it to contract. This has not been shown to necessarily be effective and does have the aforementioned risks.

Isn't the rupturing of the membrane only in reference to a pregnant women? I lent out my copy of Our Bodies Ourselves so I can't look it up.
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Old 08-27-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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MamaInTheBoonies can you please tell us what the other tests are for checking for cervical cancer ? I've read this whole thread and do not see any information about tests/methods/technology *currently* available. Not being snippy just honestly wanting to know what these tests are. Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I think what is happening is people are getting upset and not really wanting to have an intelligent discussion regarding women and the medical industry. And, no I am not perfect at writing out everything, either.
I think women here love having discussions about the fallacies of the medical industry.
I personally took the tone of your posts to mean that women who believe in the benefits of the annual exams are uneducated on the subject.That we are just lining up like cattle to have the medical industry take advantage of us.That we are afraid of our own bodies.

I guess I misread?
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Old 08-27-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
No where did I say anything about not getting a pap smear. I said that there are less damaging, less invasive tests for checking for cervical cancer.

I think what is happening is people are getting upset and not really wanting to have an intelligent discussion regarding women and the medical industry. And, no I am not perfect at writing out everything, either.
I know you didn't say specifically no one should get a pap smear ever, but it was implied. What are the blood tests you mentioned, that is what I am asking. You say people are getting upset, but I think it is because alot of people have asked questions and you talk around it. So here is one question at a time, so it doesn't get confusing... What is the blood test(s) for cervical cancer? I do want to have an intelligent discussion regarding women and the medical industry, as I am a woman, I am part of the medical industry, and I also usually seek alternative therapies and question everything within the medical industry.
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
No where did I say anything about not getting a pap smear. I said that there are less damaging, less invasive tests for checking for cervical cancer..
No, but in your OP you stated that there are more risks than benefits in getting a PAP. So one might logically infer that you are advocating not getting one.
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:12 PM
 
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I have an idea, if you feel that an annual exam makes you an uninformed slave to the medical industry, don't go!

As for me, I'll take my well educated vagina in once a year for a check.

There we have it. Everyone do what they believe best for themselves! Radical concept, I know.
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:25 PM
 
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Maria that's just crazy!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:30 PM
 
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HeartsOpenWide
My point was that medical providers are trained to preform paps once a year on woman that take hormonal birth control (like the pill or shot, or patch) or else not give them any more. There are medical reaons for it. Valid ones. And if her doctor is just giving her more and more birth control pills with out any paps than her doctor is in the wrong. Its not about forced care, it is abot care period.
You are calling this appropriate? Her doctor is wrong for not forcing a pap smear? YIKES! Really? I mean...really? Wouldn't you think that the appropriate thing to do would be to advise her of the reasoning and dangers, allowing her the opportunity for informed consent OR the opportunity to decline? Don't you think that our care should be, at the very least to this extent, in our own hands? Likewise, the principle of informed consent should be about giving all the necessary information, not about coercion.

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Old 08-27-2005, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mara
I know you didn't say specifically no one should get a pap smear ever, but it was implied. What are the blood tests you mentioned, that is what I am asking. You say people are getting upset, but I think it is because alot of people have asked questions and you talk around it. So here is one question at a time, so it doesn't get confusing... What is the blood test(s) for cervical cancer? I do want to have an intelligent discussion regarding women and the medical industry, as I am a woman, I am part of the medical industry, and I also usually seek alternative therapies and question everything within the medical industry.
Right now, there are no blood tests for cervical cancer. Does that mean there never will be? No.
Again, the technology is there to create less invasive, less damaging , and more accurate tests.
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:47 PM
 
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I wonder if perhaps we are dealing with very different ideas of how the medical industry is supposed to act.

Personally, I take a very consumeristic approach. I am paying them to do a job. They are, to put it crudely, servants, in service to me. I have absolutely no obligation to take their advice or to do what they say. I will often tell my doctor, I don't want a prescription, I simply want a diagnosis (often just to confirm my own diagnosis). Of course, this is usually in regards to things like ear infections. I do go for bi-yearly exams, and in that case, I am paying them to do something I cannot do myself, much as I pay the car guy to fix my engine. If the car guy came to me and said, that whole engine is shot and has to go, I wouldn't just hand him a thousand bucks and let him do what he wanted; I would get a second opinion and make up my mind myself.

Other people, I think, see doctors as authority figures whom they have to pay for the honor of getting their opinion, and who must be listened to.

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Old 08-27-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I disagree. Many women have no family history of cervical cancer, so then the Pap Smear becomes more dangerous than beneficial.
My sil has cervical cancer, very fast spreading and agressive, it wasn't caught until stage 3. She didn't go for regular paps because she didn't have insurance. There is *no* family history of anyone else in the entire family having it. She was finally having a lot of pain and other issues and she paid out of pocket for tests to see what was going on. It has spread to her vulva and other areas.

I agree with AnnetteMarie's post. It's all in how much power you give the doctor and how much or little you agree to think for yourself that is the problem. Not the tests themselves.
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
I wonder if perhaps we are dealing with very different ideas of how the medical industry is supposed to act.

Personally, I take a very consumeristic approach. I am paying them to do a job. They are, to put it crudely, servants, in service to me. I have absolutely no obligation to take their advice or to do what they say. I will often tell my doctor, I don't want a prescription, I simply want a diagnosis (often just to confirm my own diagnosis). Of course, this is usually in regards to things like ear infections. I do go for bi-yearly exams, and in that case, I am paying them to do something I cannot do myself, much as I pay the car guy to fix my engine. If the car guy came to me and said, that whole engine is shot and has to go, I wouldn't just hand him a thousand bucks and let him do what he wanted; I would get a second opinion and make up my mind myself.

Other people, I think, see doctors as authority figures whom they have to pay for the honor of getting their opinion, and who must be listened to.
But the mechanic cannot charge you with Automobile Neglect and take your Automobiles away from you or force you to 'fix' something on your Automobile that you firmly believe does not need to be fixed.
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
Right now, there are no blood tests for cervical cancer.
I believe you said there were.

Annettemarie, I like your last post.

And your point about health-care providers being servants to you isn't lost on me
At my job I am there to serve the community.
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Old 08-27-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annarbor931
This entire thread is nonsense. Ignoring it is for the best.
Another good point.

This thread is like a car accident, as I drive by I cant help myself from looking *sigh*
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Old 08-27-2005, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
But the mechanic cannot charge you with Automobile Neglect and take your Automobiles away from you or force you to 'fix' something on your Automobile that you firmly believe does not need to be fixed.
Neither can a doctor, at least with respect to an adult. Now, I suppose a doctor can get a court order to force a woman to have a c-section, but this is pretty rare (and disturbing). As far as illnesses or medical testing goes, a doctor cannot force you to fix something. If a doctor forces you to fix something against your will, then that is either assault or negligence (for failing to obtain your consent to the procedure). At least in theory.
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Old 08-27-2005, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
But the mechanic cannot charge you with Automobile Neglect and take your Automobiles away from you or force you to 'fix' something on your Automobile that you firmly believe does not need to be fixed.
Neither can a doctor. They can go to the state, and I suppose a mechanic could as well if he had proof he felt I was operating my vehicle in an unsafe manner. This, however, is a whole other thread.

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Old 08-27-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SKK
Neither can a doctor, at least with respect to an adult. Now, I suppose a doctor can get a court order to force a woman to have a c-section, but this is pretty rare (and disturbing).
That actually happened here (in Wilkes Barre, PA) Gotta run out right now, but it was tres creepy. Blessedly, she had the baby vaginally.

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Old 08-27-2005, 07:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lisalou
So what are these less invasive and less damaging ways to check for cervical cancer and STDs?
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I found this out after being kicked out of every clinic and the only hospital for refusing a vaginal exam. I took my 5 mos pregnant self into the Nursing Home. Yes, the Nursing Home. Old people get their testing done through urine samples and blood samples, because the doctor there knew it was more dangerous to be scraping cervical cells off of elderly women, or scraping the inside of a male's penis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mara
So here is one question at a time, so it doesn't get confusing... What is the blood test(s) for cervical cancer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
Right now, there are no blood tests for cervical cancer.


So are there are urine and blood tests for cervical cancer or aren't there? :
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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So are there are urine and blood tests for cervical cancer or aren't there? :
No. Read my pp.
The tests i was referring to were for STD's. Urine and blood samples, rather than smears and swabs.
The P.A. did not do Pap smears on his elderly patients because it would put them at greater risk for infection. A 90 yo woman is less likely to have cervical cancer, let alone care. Quality of life. Why give an elder an infection? Let them live their last days in peace, kwim?
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
A 90 yo woman is less likely to have cervical cancer, let alone care. Quality of life. Why give an elder an infection? Let them live their last days in peace, kwim?
No I don't. And plenty of 90 year old women do care. You are wrong to make such a broad assumption in that statement. My 90 year old grandmother did care...enough to go for her yearly check ups (where they found cancer of the vulva) and yearly colonoscopies (because she had polyps). In fact both my grandmothers had check ups that included pap smears....beacause they cared! and they had no risk factors either!

Peace? Peace in denial or not knowing whats wrong with them? Are you talking about nursing home residents or the entire geriatric population as a whole?

To say that the elderly do not care about there reproductive health is wrong. Plenty of 90 yr old women have uteruses and wanna keep em. And if they find something it is then their choice as to pursue treatment or not.

Holy Shite!
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:16 PM
 
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I did a little googling after reading this thread.
For anyone who is interested, you can order your own self-exam kit at this website: http://www.fwhc.org/sale.htm

The kit is $25 including shipping, and a clear plastic speculum by itself is $12 including shipping.

Kind of cool, although I definitely wouldn't use it in place of going to the Dr, just in addition.
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:21 PM
 
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Huh. This thread makes less and less sense as the posts go on.

I really can't figure out whether we're talking about pap smears during pregnancy, pap smears during regular exams, cervical checks during pregnancy, cervical checks during regular exams, STD screenings, birth control access requirements, or WHAT.

I'm totally with AM. Doctors are service providers. We shouldn't treat them as demigods, which some people-- both men and women-- do, but that doesn't mean that every service they may offer is pointless.

Ask for what you want, discard the rest. How simple is that?
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sweetbaby3
To say that the elderly do not care about there reproductive health is wrong. Plenty of 90 yr old women have uteruses and wanna keep em. And if they find something it is then their choice as to pursue treatment or not.
Not to mention the fact that slowly dieing of cervical cancer probably isn't all that peaceful.

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Old 08-27-2005, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
That actually happened here (in Wilkes Barre, PA) Gotta run out right now, but it was tres creepy. Blessedly, she had the baby vaginally.
I know! I read that article - it was posted on the boards somewhere. I've heard of other cases of this too. Years ago, Brigitte Jordan had an article in an edited volume about court order c-sections too.
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
Neither can a doctor. They can go to the state, and I suppose a mechanic could as well if he had proof he felt I was operating my vehicle in an unsafe manner. This, however, is a whole other thread.

Hmm, we pretty much cross-posted the same thing at the same time! I seriously hope you are not a 600 lb nekked man named Harry!!!
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:54 PM
 
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hmm...I see that vaginal exams could be detrimental if a person uses them as the one time any attention is given to her body or health. But that is a problem of the person, not the test. I agree that we need to inform the medical establishment that we are not taking crap from them, but to stop taking a test that has been proven to save lives seems like a bad way to do it.

Instead of boycotting the test, why not boycot the problematic practioners? I go to a midwife, I have never felt abused or hurt. She is gentle. She gives me info and respects my choices.

I agree that people getting BC should have the test. There is a reason for it. If you choose to take BC pills, you are screwing around with your hormones, and there is always a chance that it would backfire and cause problems. Frankly, I am surprised the OP would choose such a medically risked BC if she is so concerned about these things. If one is unwilling to take the test, one should NOT receive the script.

I have seen my cervix. I have birthed. I am empowered. I have been tested and will continue to be.

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