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to be so upset? GP surgery told me I would be removed from their list if I don't have a smear test

(291 Posts)
veryworried29 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:06:31

Namechanging uber-regular here.

I received a text from my GP surgery which said "Please confirm address by phone. If not you will be removed from surgery list."

I rang immediately and was told that if I don't come in for a smear test then I will be struck off the surgery list!

Dh and I have been with this surgery for 18 years and our children since they were born.

I don't feel I need a smear test. We very rarely have sex and when we do it is always with a condom. I have had years of clear smears before me.

I find them horrifically unpleasant, in the same way that some people are phobic about the dentist, infact think I may have a form of vaginismus (sp?) hence the lace of piv sex.

Tbh, it almost feels like I must agree to be raped (sorry for emotive language, but this is how it feels ^to me^) in order to keep a place at my GP surgery.

I cannot begin to describe how upset I am about this. There have been tears.

I'd be grateful if you could bear this in mind when replying ... I know this is aibu, but I do feel I have a genuine aibu to run past you all with this one.

livelablove Wed 12-Feb-14 16:10:28

Hi there I sympathise with you I hate smears too. I think you need to talk to the most sympathetic dr or nurse at your practice and tell them how you feel.

DoJo Wed 12-Feb-14 16:10:38

I think you should contact the practice manager and discuss the situation - it's possible that they are trying to meet targets, but they shouldn't be putting people in this kind of position and certainly shouldn't be threatening you in this manner.
Perhaps you could also see if you can access some support for the problems you have outlined above.

QueenofallIsee Wed 12-Feb-14 16:10:42

I think I would move surgeries OP. Your body, your choice. Cancer patients can decline to be treated, parents can opt not to treat their children for religious reasons...as far as I know (even though its very sensible to have smear tests) you are under no obligation to present yourself for treatment.

Lonelynessie Wed 12-Feb-14 16:11:15

Yanbu about being taken off the list, that's awful and shouldn't happen. But, yabu about the smear test. You need to go and discuss your concerns with your dr. You shouldn't have to live in fear of a smear test.

Infrequent sex and using a condom may lower your risk of developing cervical cancer, but I don't think it removes the risk altogether (I don't know if there are statistics on this) - so you do still need to have a regular smear.

I know they are not a fun experience, but all in all, they are still better than cervical cancer.

That said, your surgery's approach does seem rather heavy handed.

Is there a reason why you don't want to have a smear (it hurt a lot previously, maybe), and if so, have you discussed this with your GP?

Lottiedoubtie Wed 12-Feb-14 16:12:57

Yanbu I had a similar experience and it was very distressing.

I complained tot he practice in writing, never heard back, but didnt get struck off either!!

NatashaBee Wed 12-Feb-14 16:13:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

veryworried29 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:15:31

I understand all the arguments in favour of smear tests, of course I do.

But, could my GP strike me off if I refused to stop smoking or drinking or weigh more than 15 stone or something? I am sure all of those are more detrimental to health (in terms of statistics).

It is my body and surely I get to choose what is done to it?

To be honest, they are a necessary evil - they take 2 mins and although they can be a little uncomfortable, if you get a decent nurse then it's nothing too bad.......certainly nothing like being raped!

Do you have other anxiety problems. Just because you rarely have sex does not mean you won't get cervical cancer. Is 2 mins of discomfort worth more than your life.

Hoppinggreen Wed 12-Feb-14 16:15:50

I don't think that you are being unreasonable to refuse a medical procedure you don't want and you shouldn't feel forced into it.
However, I am pretty sure you can still get cervical cancer even if you don't have sex often and use a condom.
It is your body and up to you ultimately but cervical cancer is an easily detectable and treatable cancer so although smear tests aren't nice ( but actually too bad) they really do save lives.
Your GP surgery should be used to dealing with ladies who have issues like yours so if you speak to them they should be able to help

mummyto2boysandagirl3 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:16:41

Taking u off the list is a bit extreme!

I thought we had the right to refuse tests/treatment etc Drs can only advise us that we should have x done but can't force us in to it?? I have heard of ppl having to sign a contract almost saying they understand the risks of not having x this has been explained to them in such and such leaflet enclosed with the form they have read it and understand and they r happy with their decision yada yada
Arse covering but I understand them asking you to sign for their records but taking u off the list??? I'd speak to the practice manager

bodygoingsouth Wed 12-Feb-14 16:16:56

that's disgraceful op. complain in writing. dreadful bullying.

veryworried29 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:17:03

By the way, the receptionist at the surgery said it was not their rule, it was coming from the Health Authority.

Am very surprised at the legality of it all.

ohfourfoxache Wed 12-Feb-14 16:17:27

Er, i suspect that whoever you spoke to was lying about being removed from the list.....at least I would hope so.

Get in touch with the practice manager, if they also say that you will be removed then speak to NHS England. I'm pretty sure that it would be illegal to remove you from the list if you choose not to have a smear test (or indeed any treatment/test etc)

veryworried29 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:17:56

No, Betty, I don't have other anxiety problems.

mummyto2boysandagirl3 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:18:03

Just a disclaimer I know they're not pleasant and sound especially unpleasant for u but smears r really important and do save lives. Ultimately tho ur body u decide

ohfourfoxache Wed 12-Feb-14 16:18:08

That's utter bollocks, the Local Authority would never issue such guidance

ohfourfoxache Wed 12-Feb-14 16:18:42

Sorry, health authority, not local

KellyElly Wed 12-Feb-14 16:19:14

Infrequent sex and using a condom may lower your risk of developing cervical cancer, but I don't think it removes the risk altogether (I don't know if there are statistics on this) - so you do still need to have a regular smear. << This. I had a clear test and didn't go again for three years and had CIN3 and had to be treated straight away. I've had years of colposcopies and smears since and I hate them. I find them very painful and am extremely nervous about them but at the end of the day my health is more important and it's not worth the risk of not going.

Theodorous Wed 12-Feb-14 16:19:30

It's funny because I live in the Middle East, pay no tax and have spent 8 years trying to get myself taken off my GPs books because I am not, in my opinion, entitled to it. They absolutely refuse and last year when I needed a repeat px asked for a private appointment as I have insurance and have not contributed to tax or NI for so long and the receptionist said "I would have to slum it like the rest of them" I was in no way asking for a special service but my conscience wouldn't allow me to take what I was not entitled to. In the same trust, my sister could have a GP for her children but not for her because there wasn't room. She has to pay to see a private GP although she is never ill she did have to pay for independent midwives and use Bupa for routine blood tests. Luckily they could afford it and were happy to leave the spaces for people who couldn't. SE london.

KellyElly Wed 12-Feb-14 16:20:15

Sorry just saw your other comments and well the answer is no, it's your body at the end of the day and your choice.

Thetallesttower Wed 12-Feb-14 16:21:01

The OP shouldn't have to coercively consent to a medical procedure for fear of being struck off the list!

I would ring the surgery, ask to speak with a GP or practice manager, explain your aversion and then hope they are sensible about it.

Nothing has to be done, and on the balance of risks, the OP's fears and psychological difficulties may be increased by having one, so it is not a risk-free procedure for those who are phobic about it.

mummyto2boysandagirl3 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:21:10

I agree with ohfour I think they were lying or nhs r going to b leaving ppl that aren't up to date with smears without a gp? Doesn't sound fees able to me

frugalfuzzpig Wed 12-Feb-14 16:21:44

Have you ever tried taking diazepam for a smear? I went and cried at the doctor because I was so scared (was abused as a child so Not Good with this kind of thing), he gave me three pills - took one the night before, one first thing on the morning of the smear and one about half an hour before my test. It helped.

As did telling the receptionist to put a note to say I was really worried, and having a chat to the nurse before we did it. She also told me to wiggle my hips before lying down as it helps position the cervix apparently grin

Anyway I am NOT saying you are wrong BTW but just wanted to suggest the drugs if you've not tried it before!

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