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No pill without smear test?

(122 Posts)
eilidhfi Thu 07-Aug-08 16:20:49

I've just been told off for missing my appointment for a smear test today (I forgot I booked it, does your memory ever come back after pregnancy?!) anyway the nurse told me that they wouldn't prescribe me any more contraceptive pills until I've had a smear test.

I've made an appointment for next week so it's not a problem but out of interest are they allowed to do that? Are smear tests mandatory?

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 07-Aug-08 16:21:58

Don't know but they are good for keeping an eye on health so I would say it is a good call.

DanJARMouse Thu 07-Aug-08 16:27:36

they can not force you to have smear and should not be with-holding medication on that basis.

i would complain - big time.

i have been invited for smear test, but just keep forgetting to book it!

Shitehawk Thu 07-Aug-08 16:32:09

Good call, I'd say.

The nurse is probably following practice guidelines - she may only be able to prescribe the Pill if she can tick all of the boxes for you.

But they can't force you - you could go and see the GP instead and have a word with him.

juneybean Thu 07-Aug-08 16:34:12

Great idea, cause you to get pregnant instead! Fabulous idea!! <sarcasm>

ForeverOptimistic Thu 07-Aug-08 16:35:18

I think that is shocking treatment. Would they prefer lots of unplanned pregnancies? hmm

Seeline Thu 07-Aug-08 16:35:23

My GPs has a simialr policy. I was strongly advised to book a smear when I was last due, but they did give me my Pill. I had the smear, but I don't know what would have happened when my next prescription was due if I hadn't.

beanieb Thu 07-Aug-08 16:35:41

Good for them I say. Don't know if it's 'illegal' I would guess it's up to the practice. A friend of mine used to ask her friends for packets of their pills purely because she was scared to have a smear shock

Swedes Thu 07-Aug-08 16:41:38

I think that's terrible.

I haven't had a smear for a while. The thought of it makes me come out in a cold sweat and feel physically sick. Surely that's my call. Just as the same as it's my call whether or not to go on the pill.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 07-Aug-08 16:42:39

It wouldn't be their fault if she got pregnant hmm

The OP is aware she isn't protected and so if she had unprotected sex it would be her fault if she conceived.

FGS they are trying to look after you.

ForeverOptimistic Thu 07-Aug-08 16:43:35

Smear tests are not mandatory.

eilidhfi Thu 07-Aug-08 16:43:51

I'm two years overdue for a smear though blush and they've prescribed me pills in that time... I'm just a bit confused really! I'll remember to go next week and it won't matter anyway

foofi Thu 07-Aug-08 16:46:00

I don't think they can refuse the pill for not having a smear - that's appalling.

TheDevilWearsPrimark Thu 07-Aug-08 16:52:24

This worries me a little.

I've heard a lot from my friend who is studying to become an obgyn that there are tough targets in surgeries for doing smear tests. I hope not,but maybe they are withholding the pill to make sure you come back?

TheDevilWearsPrimark Thu 07-Aug-08 16:55:01

But this has reminded me, I'm overdue mine. I have gotten letters but it's all too easy to put them amongst other paperwork and forget. I'll be booking mine tomorrow, and I urge anyone else to do the same.

MsDemeanor Thu 07-Aug-08 16:55:05

They cannot force you to do this. It is outrageous. Yes, a smear test is a good idea, but they cannot blackmail you into it by withholding treatment you are entitled to.
I bet they don't tell men they can't have their statins unless they have their balls examined, do they?
Cervical cancer is not made worse by the pill so there is no reason to connect the two.

MsDemeanor Thu 07-Aug-08 16:57:19

I once kicked up a big fuss when a FP clinic said I couldn't have the pill unless i had an internal exam, which I simply didn't want to have. The stupid bloody doctor then put his head on one side in a 'sympathetic' (ie patronising) way and said, "Do you have a problem with being touched?' and I said, 'If I did, I wouldn't be here for the pill, would I?'
In the end I got my prescription, but it made me v cross.

ForeverOptimistic Thu 07-Aug-08 17:00:28

I am sure you are right about the targets. I have always been up to date with smears but I am a couple of months overdue and I have decided to wait as I don't want to have one whilst I am ttc. I was sent a very rude stroppy letter from the surgery which implied that I could be removed from their books if I didn't have one. There must be so financial incentive there somewhere as they are not normally so forthright.

deepbreath Thu 07-Aug-08 17:40:32

From the G.P.'s perspective, there is a financial incentive - surgeries are told that they should take smears from a certain percentage of their patients, or else they don't get a payment from their local PCT. This is largely because in some areas the take up rate for screening was extremely low. In these areas, the incidence of cervical cancer was very high.

The pill doesn't cause cervical cancer, but if you are using the pill for contraception rather than using condoms, you may be at increased risk of catching HPV (the wart virus). This is one of the viruses known to be involved with the development of cervical cancer. That is why doctors prefer you to have regular smears whilst you are on the pill, so that any pre-cancerous changes can be picked up and treated early.

You can opt out of having smears altogether by notifying your local PCT in writing, although you may still receive invitations to go for a smear. But after hearing about women of 21 and younger dying of cervical cancer I honestly wouldn't recommend this.

juneybean Thu 07-Aug-08 18:07:55

If they're desperate for people to have them why don't they lower the usual age? I am 23 and yet to be invited for a smear...obviously I don't want one but I'd like to know I'm healthy!

littlerach Thu 07-Aug-08 18:13:12

Whilst it seems unfair to do this with short notice, smears are so important.

My younger sister was just 22 when she had abnormal cells, and had to have soem surgery.

And it came back twice. sad

If she hadn't been hassled to have a smear, she wouldn't have known.

yes they are horrid, but essential.

MsDemeanor Thu 07-Aug-08 18:19:02

But it's NOT Ok IMO to bully and blackmail women (and only women!) into taking part in a screening programme - no matter how valuable and worthwhile, - by threatening to withdraw their totally unrelated medication.
As I said, men aren't bullied into having prostate tests with fingers up the bum by being told that if they don't have the test, they won't be able to have their asthma or blood pressure medicine.

scotchtape Thu 07-Aug-08 18:55:48

Although the contraceptive pill doesn't cause cervical cancer, more women who use it will get cancer compared to those who use barrier contraception or no contraception. They are not totally unrelated in the way that asthma and prostate cancer are.

Contraception is not 'medication' or 'treatment'. Your health will not suffer if you have to have a break from it. It probably is to do with targets but Drs are not obliged to prescribe anything a patient demands if there is any reason to think it may be inappropriate.

EthelTheUnready Thu 07-Aug-08 18:57:45

Get the pill from a family planning clinic instead if it bothers you that much.

kd73 Thu 07-Aug-08 19:01:58

I first heard it over 10yrs ago!!!!

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