At Your Cervix

At Your Cervix is the first documentary to expose the little-known practice of the non-consensual use of patients as practice dummies by the American medical education system. In an era when conversations about both consent and reproductive justice are paramount, it shines a light on the use of anesthetized or unconscious patients by medical students to practice pelvic examinations without the knowledge or consent of those patients. The film goes inside medical schools and hospitals, following students as they try to reconcile their personal ethics with the abusive learning methods they encounter, allowing the audience to hear the stories of students and practitioners who, in order to learn, conducted non-consensual pelvic examinations on unconscious patients. It traces this abusive practice back to the genesis of modern gynecology and the modern American healthcare system - both of which were built on a foundation of racism, misogyny, and violence. The film also introduces the audience to patients who have been victims of this practice - having entrusted their well-being to physicians who swore an oath to do no harm, they awoke after surgery or sedatives only to find they had been assaulted by the people and the system that were supposed to take care of them. Finally, the film introduces the audience to an alternative - the Gynecological Teaching Associate (GTA). An ethical and effective way of teaching that has existed for over 40 years, At Your Cervix shines a hopeful light on GTAs as the best way forward, empowering medical students to become holistic, compassionate, skilled physicians by making the “patients” themselves the teachers.

  • A'magine
    Director
  • A'magine
    Writer
  • Renée Bergan
    Writer
    The Hand that Feeds, Crossing Bhutan, Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy, Paul Soldner: Playing with Fire, Sadaa E Zan
  • Lynn Ballantyne
    Executive Producer(s)
  • A'magine
    Producer
  • Renée Bergan
    Producer
    The Hand that Feeds, Crossing Bhutan, Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy, Paul Soldner: Playing with Fire, Sadaa E Zan
  • Stephanie Dawson
    Producer
    Rubicek, Blood Bound, American Doers, The Apprentice
  • Julie Carlson
    Producer
  • Renée Bergan
    Cinematographers
    The Hand that Feeds, Crossing Bhutan, Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy, Paul Soldner: Playing with Fire, Sadaa E Zan
  • Beth Nelsen
    Editors
    Meet the Beavers
  • Renée Bergan
    Editors
    The Hand that Feeds, Crossing Bhutan, Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy, Paul Soldner: Playing with Fire, Sadaa E Zan
  • A'magine
    Key Cast
    """
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Medicine/Health, Reproductive Justice, Women's Health
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 11 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    147,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Imagine This Women's Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    September 25, 2022
    World Premiere
    Best Documentary
  • Impact Docs Awards

    Award of Excellence
  • Docs Without Borders Film Festival

    Best of Festival
  • Worldwide Women's Film Festival
    Phoenix
    United States
    Arizona Premiere
    Audience Award
  • Nevada Women's Film Festival
    Las Vegas
    June 24, 2023
    Nevada
    Spirit of Activism
  • Hot Springs International Women's Film Festival
    Hot Springs
    United States
    July 1, 2023
    Arkansas
    Best First Time Filmmaker
Director Biography - A'magine

A'magine earned her Master’s degree in Human Sexuality Education at New York University and studied film at New School University. She has been teaching and speaking about feminism and sexuality for over two decades. She delivered her TEDx talk “Owning Your Sexual Power” in Napa Valley, was named one of GO! Magazine’s “100 Women We Love” and one of Kinkly’s “100 Sex Blogging Superhereos.”
She is author of "Woman on Fire: Nine Elements to Wake up Your Erotic Energy, Personal Power and Sexual Intelligence" and co-author of the best-selling classic "Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men." She has produced plays and one-woman shows in New York City, including the wildly popular "Vulvalution." Her film "At Your Cervix," examines patient consent and bodily autonomy in gynecology and medical education, aiming to end unethical practices that harm both patients and medical students.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

As a queer artist, sex educator, filmmaker and activist, everything I have done in my career reflects my commitment to sexual empowerment and bodily autonomy. Whether I am working on stage as a performer, writing books, teaching, or making a film, the core values of bodily autonomy, sexual agency, gender equality, consent and social justice are paramount to everything I do. As an intersectional feminist, I know how critical it is to speak to issues of equality and justice through multiple lens, as gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, age and many other aspects of who we are and how we experience the world matter. For true empowerment and real social change to happen, we must look at our histories and where we have failed to see the full picture, examine our biases and continue to create a future that includes all of us. As a white, cis-gender, queer, feminist, able-bodied woman, I have a particular lens through which I see the world.

"At Your Cervix" is a critically timely story of reproductive justice and informed consent, as Roe v. Wade was overturned, and as #MeToo has raised issues of consent. It is time we turn our attention to what that looks like in medicine. We know the power of film to create real social change and we are committed to making a film that will affect the conservative institution of medicine and medical education so that in the future, real people’s lives will be positively impacted, and the retraumatization of patients will stop. The use of patient bodies to teach medical students pelvic exams without consent is egregious. We aim to end this antiquated practice so that patients will be able to regain trust in medicine and cease to be traumatized through the unauthorized use of their bodies; and students will be empowered to be better future providers, as they are encouraged to stand for what is right as they change the ways in which medical education has trained them to lose sight of their obligation to the highest ethical standards and informed consent. Our commitment is not only to make a compelling film, but to make an impactful film that will change minds and change lives. Already, the film has helped us to meet with lawmakers in several states to advocate and outlaw this practice, so we know "At Your Cervix" is already that film.