Hi everyone, Okay a little back story - I do not believe in vaginal exams or pap smears in the first place. I feel that they are outdated procedures that offer little to no benefit for asymptomatic women. I have never had a pap or a pelvic exam and I probably never will. Please do not be alarmed, many medical professionals back my opinion. I do not wish to get into an argument over the importance of gynecology and how at risk my, oh so prone to disease and infection, vagina is. It is fear mongering and I will never believe otherwise and I do not care what you believe. With that said, I plan to get an epidural as soon as possible when I am in the hospital. However, I do not want a vaginal exam to determine if I am in active labor or not - can I demand they assess my progress through other means and still receive the epidural? Can they refuse me the epidural if I do not comply with VEs? When it is time to push I may not feel the urge, are their other reliable ways to tell if a woman who has had an epidural and cannot feel anything is ready to push? Thanks!