Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.39 6 Oct 2020


Share this article


A consultant obstetrician says the Health Service Executive (HSE) should reverse a 'confusing' decision to replace the word 'woman' with 'anyone with a cervix' on its national cervical screening advice.

The wording is seen as being inclusive for members of the transgender community.

However Dr Peter Boylan, who is also former chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told Newstalk Breakfast the new wording is not clear for the general population.

"I just want to make sure that people understand that I'm fully supportive of the trans community, and I'm indeed one of the few gynecologists in Ireland who has performed gender reassignment surgery.

"So I fully understand the context of all of this.

"The important thing to understand is that a female transitioning to a male always has a cervix, unless they've had a hysterectomy.

"Similarly a male transitioning to a female always has a prostate, unless they've had a prostatectomy which is not part of gender reassignment surgery for male to female.

"And it's in connection with screening for cancer that it's important to understand what context of the whole wording is.

"And I fully support the National Women's Council of Ireland in their statement, where they said that basically they should replace the word 'person' with 'woman' in this particular context."

He said use of the word 'person' is "confusing": "There are a lot of people for example who might not understand what a cervix is, but they do understand what a woman is.

"And they do understand, for example, that if I have been a woman but have transed into a male, I still have cervix unless I've had a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix.

"So it's to avoid confusion in the general population and for the non-trans, who obviously would make up the vast majority of the population."

Asked by Ciara Kelly if the wording should read 'women and trans men', Dr Boylan replied: "No - I think it's simpler just to keep it with 'woman'.

"I've never met a man who has a cervix, but I have met people who have been trans from female to male and I've met them basically in the context mainly of performing a hysterectomy".

Asked if some members of the trans community may feel excluded, he said: "I think that some certainly will, but it's virtually impossible to keep everybody happy.

"But the important thing, as I say, to try and maximise the screening for the prevention of cancer - and in that context the use of the word 'woman' is the most appropriate".

Main image: Dr Peter Boylan arrives at Leinster House for the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Committee in 2017. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

Anyone With A Cervix Cervical Screening Dr Peter Boylan Peter Boylan Transgender Community Woman

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Best Of Newstalk

Best Of Newstalk

00:00-07:00

Share

Up next

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

07:00-08:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WITH SUSAN...

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WITH SUSAN KEOGH

08:00-09:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

09:00-10:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KE...

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KERR

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

TECH TALK WITH JESSICA KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESSICA KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

19:00-20:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

20:00-21:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

21:00-22:00

Share

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

22:00-23:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

23:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on