I was tipped off about this and I’m mortified as a woman.
“SMTL carried out a survey of mainly GP practices with regard to their use of disposable and reusable vaginal specula. Disturbing reprocessing practices were revealed in some surgeries, including some practices completely ignoring MDA advice. Most users performing in-house reprocessing were not complying with best practice as recommended by the Department of Health through their various device bulletins and HTM documents.
Many GP practices could reduce the level of risk by investing in better reprocessing systems, contracting out their reprocessing completely, or through the use of disposable specula. Practices may also be able to reduce their costs by using disposable specula or by contracting out their reprocessing.”
Imagine the lawsuits. The NHS has been pushing ALL women above a fixed age to have this exam.
“There is little in the literature relating to the issues surrounding reusable vaginal specula.”
Perhaps this is partially behind the soaring HPV rates?
“They concluded that HPV infected cells can be found on instruments inserted into the vagina of women with HPV infection, and that if these instruments are not cleaned and sterilized properly, they will be a potential source of infection for subsequent patients.”
HPV can cause cancer, btw.
“correct pasteurisation (immersion in water at 80 C for 5 minutes) would inactivate papillomaviruses, herpes viruses, and HIV.“
That isn’t the same as clean. Are women told this? I’ve never heard of it. Uninformed consent. Bleeding is a “common” side effect of these exams, hence the HIV bolded.
“Although there is little in the literature regarding cross-infection from inadequately sterilized specula, we live in an increasingly litigious society. One strand in the defence against patient claims of cross infection from poorly decontaminated and sterilized instruments would be complete documentation of the process, including logbooks, written operating procedures, training records, test results and maintenance data. The other possibility is to use pre-sterilized disposable CE marked equipment from a reputable manufacturer. Either would make it more difficult for a patient to mount a successful legal claim.”
Oh, they don’t really care about patients at all, they want the NHS to avoid the mass of lawsuits.
Here’s Feminist Midwife explaining the infectious problems with these supposedly ‘safe’ exams, I wish feminism would complain about important problems like this (guys, you’re sticking your dick in this too, it matters, and you might think a woman’s cheating when she isn’t).
Apparently, even the disposable ones can be contaminated by the awkward, common habit of touching lots of things with gloved hands and then the speculum, when it’s clean out of the container. (We must assume it’s clean out of the container or I’m out. Yet checking manufacturing/personnel would be vital).
Can someone look into probes for me? I can only find information like this: “High-Level Disinfection destroys all microorganisms except some endospores” ~ forum source
And forceps are a problem too. Contamination news story in Canada Don’t these devices have hinges? Springs? Things that gather dirt and grime and cannot, in most cases, be taken apart for cleaning?
IV fluid too?? FFS!
Study on HPV infection from non-sexual means at the clinic e.g. gloved hands!
And HPV is in semen.
“The incidence of anal cancer among homosexual men exceeds that of cervical cancer in unscreened women.”
I’m going to stop looking now, it’s too disgusting.
http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/176/4/1076.full.pdf “The data suggest that further study of nonsexual spread of high-risk genital HPV via fomites is warranted.”
http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003167-pdf.pdf “A woman with multiple sexual partners should use condoms to lower her risk of sexually transmitted infections no matter what other form of contraception she uses.” Rather defeats the purpose of the Pill, doesn’t it? “Certain types of sexual behavior increase a woman’s risk of getting HPV infection, such as having sex at an early age and having many sex partners.” Why don’t men get the vaccine when they’re passing it on?
Update: it gets worse, the lubes used by doctors are probably bad for us too.