How was your last pelvic exam?

Uncomfortable; Humiliating; Traumatic: words patients often use to describe pelvic exams. At Your Cervix takes an intimate look at little-known horrific and unethical practices in traditional GYN care and asks why, when there exists a revolutionary, healthy alternative, so little has changed.

Synopsis

In an era where questions about consent are more paramount than ever, At Your Cervix goes inside OB/GYN medical education programs and looks at the way their racist and sexist legacy of exploitation has created a culture of non-consent in gynecology. Starting with the inception of the OB/GYN profession, whose founder Dr. Marion Sims, experimented on vulnerable, enslaved Black women, this oppressive legacy continues. It is still commonplace for medical students to learn how to perform pelvic exams on anesthetized patients during surgery without their knowledge or consent.

At Your Cervix chronicles these unethical teaching practices and explores how they relate to the fact that most patients experience pelvic exams as painful, disempowering and re-traumatizing. These practices persist despite repeated news exposés and the fact that a more ethical, effective and empowering teaching method is well-established. Gynecological Teaching Associates (GTAs) are trained lay-people who use their own bodies to teach medical students the breast and pelvic exam, simultaneously becoming both consenting patient and clinical instructor. Through the eyes of two queer GTAs, At Your Cervix shows us how gynecology–and medicine in general–could be empowering and transparent, with medical students learning side-by-side with trained teachers and consenting patients.

number of med students in Philadelphia that did pelvic exams on women without consent

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