Medical Q&As

Abortion - do I tell my GP?

I had an abortion 3 years ago and I have been advised by my doctor to get a smear test. Do I need to let the doctor know that I had an abortion previously or not?

You have an absolute right to tell your doctor as much or as little as you please. If you were extremely reluctant to tell him that you had an abortion the smear test would not reveal that you had undergone that procedure. However, an abortion is a significant event in your personal and medical history and I think you should let your doctor know about it. It is possible that this event could be significant at some point in your future medical history. If your query is prompted by a previous unfavourable experience with the doctor and leads you to strongly believe that he would disapprove of your previous actions then change your doctor. The relationship between a doctor and a patient must be founded on trust and mutual respect and be conducted in a non-judgemental atmosphere. I never hesitate to tell people that if they are confronted with a judgemental finger-wagging doctor they should leave and consult another.