Tuesday, August 26, 2008

At Your Cervix

There is a new project underway, it is a documentary on how pelvic exams are performed and taught. As a woman and a childbirth educator I have experienced and had students that have complained how a pelvic was performed. Many woman have been told their parts do not have nerve endings and therefore can't feel pain. We woman know our parts "feel" on many different levels.

This is a very interesting project and I encourage you to check it out.

“Uncomfortable”; “Humiliating”; “Traumatic”; “Scarring”--words women too often use to describe pelvic exams. Most of the 90 million U.S. women who get pelvic exams think they are supposed to hurt. Women show disbelief when told that if done correctly on a healthy woman, pelvic exams should be pain-free.

The documentary, At Your Cervix, enters U.S. medical and nursing schools and breaks the silence around the unethical ways in which medical and nursing students learn to perform pelvic exams. These practices—which include nursing students being required to perform exams on each other in front of faculty and medical students “practicing” on unconscious, unconsenting patients—lead directly to the reality that most women find pelvic exams to be humiliating and painful. The existence of these egregious practices are challenged in the film by highlighting an ethical and more effective way of teaching the pelvic exam that has existed for nearly 30 years: the work of the Gynecological Teaching Associates (GTA) of New York City, in which the “patient” herself is the teacher.

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