Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Good News to be Sure

Not sure if you wretched refuse are allowed to read this,  But the American College of Physicians now recommends against routine pelvic examinations. They do recommend that cervical cancer screening continue, but for you guys, that's much less invasive than the pelvic exam. For us, I suppose, the nearest equivalent is the digital rectal examination, which is no longer recommended as part of a routine physical. (In fact, the entire routine physical is no longer recommended, but that will be much harder to get rid of.) So, if your doctor wants to stick his finger up your ass, and you don't want him to do it, just say no.

The ACP says there is no evidence of benefit from an annual pelvic exam, "so the harms of fear, anxiety, embarrassment, pain, discomfort and false positives" mean don't do it. Obviously, if you're pregnant or have symptoms for which the exam is a useful diagnostic, that's a different story. We're talking about the concept of just doing it every year as a screening measure.

Naturally, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is still all for it because they make money off of it. And, the ACP isn't sure its recommendation will change practice. It's very difficult to get doctors to give up their bad but profitable habits. Anyway, you can take matters into your own hands and just not do it.

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