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 Post subject: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:04 pm 
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I have a friend who went 6 years without getting checkups. She was always dealing with some other medical issue or surgery and routine stuff was always pushed off until "later." now while being treated for a UTI, the doctor found abnormal tissue and growths on her cervix and pap smear came back abnormal. Still waiting for more info and hopefully this will turn out to be harmless cysts or polyps, but:

Please get the stupid pap smear. It takes half an hour every couple of years.

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 Post subject: Re: People with lady parts: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:15 pm 
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I'm with you, lw. My stepdad's first wife died of cervical cancer after not having a pap for 9 years. She was an RN at a gyno's office, no less.

I hope your friend is healthy and that this is just a scare.

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 Post subject: Re: People with lady parts: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:29 pm 
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I promise I will as soon as my heath benefits kick in! Thank you for the reminder!

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 Post subject: Re: People with lady parts: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:34 pm 
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I'm going to change "lady parts" to "vaginas" to avoid hurt feelings and arguments, if you don't mind.

This reminded me of a documentary called Southern Comfort that I saw a number of years ago about a F to M transsexual who had ovarian cancer. His doctor convinced him to keep his ovaries, if I remember correctly. It's a heartbreaking story, and it's a good reminder to get your reproductive organs checked regularly!

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:40 pm 
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And if you have a prostate... then get your prostate checked. I know someone who was just diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:42 pm 
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Yes, yearly, ferchrissakes. Take a deep breath and let the doctor do what they need to do. It's very important. I've been having them yearly since I was 16.

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 Post subject: Re: People with lady parts: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:52 pm 
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Dr. Apricot wrote:
I'm going to change "lady parts" to "vaginas" to avoid hurt feelings and arguments, if you don't mind.

This reminded me of a documentary called Southern Comfort that I saw a number of years ago about a F to M transsexual who had ovarian cancer. His doctor convinced him to keep his ovaries, if I remember correctly. It's a heartbreaking story, and it's a good reminder to get your reproductive organs checked regularly!


Sorry! I used "people" then failed in overall execution. This is a really grim topic right now, so was trying to keep the wording more lighthearted and less clinical sounding.

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 Post subject: Re: People with lady parts: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:55 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Dr. Apricot wrote:
I'm going to change "lady parts" to "vaginas" to avoid hurt feelings and arguments, if you don't mind.

This reminded me of a documentary called Southern Comfort that I saw a number of years ago about a F to M transsexual who had ovarian cancer. His doctor convinced him to keep his ovaries, if I remember correctly. It's a heartbreaking story, and it's a good reminder to get your reproductive organs checked regularly!


Sorry! I used "people" then failed in overall execution. This is a really grim topic right now, so was trying to keep the wording more lighthearted and less clinical sounding.


It's cool! I just didn't want to turn this thread into something other than it was intended. I think we can all agree that regular exams and paps are important!

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:06 pm 
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Thanks for the reminder, it's been a while. The surprise finger in my butt last time hasn't really encouraged me to go back either.


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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:15 pm 
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+1.

My mom had cervical cancer when she was 17 that was fortunately detected very early thanks to a well-timed pap smear. Pap smears: they can save your life! Or in this case, your mom's life.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:26 pm 
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kibbles wrote:
Thanks for the reminder, it's been a while. The surprise finger in my butt last time hasn't really encouraged me to go back either.


This was my first visit to gyno. Glad I'm not the only one.

paprikapapaya wrote:
Yes, yearly, ferchrissakes. Take a deep breath and let the doctor do what they need to do. It's very important. I've been having them yearly since I was 16.


My health-care person recently told me that you only need them every other year. There are so many types of HPV flying around and many of those strains your body can manage using its own immune system and defenses. The logic being it is more traumatizing for your body to have a Dr meddle with something your body can handle, and two years isn't long enough for an HPV strain that requires medical intervention to get gnarly beyond treatment.

The logic seemed sound to me, but definitely went in the face of what I always believed was a required annual test. Just secondhand med advice, take it or leave it!

Thanks for the post lavawitch.


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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:50 pm 
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silverlining wrote:
kibbles wrote:
Thanks for the reminder, it's been a while. The surprise finger in my butt last time hasn't really encouraged me to go back either.


This was my first visit to gyno. Glad I'm not the only one.



Um yeah, I don't understand what's so hard about either giving a little bit of a warning or asking beforehand.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Um yeah, I don't understand what's so hard about either giving a little bit of a warning or asking beforehand.


This is MY policy about sticking my finger in people's butts, so I don't know why doctors can't do it too.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Apparently nowadays gynecologists don't give papsmears to girls until they're 21. I know this because I've been to two different ones and each of them have said that I should be thankful cause I still have another 3 1/2 years before I have to get one. I don't know why they changed it from 18/when you're sexually active though..

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 Post subject: Re: People with lady parts: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Dr. Apricot wrote:
I'm going to change "lady parts" to "vaginas" to avoid hurt feelings and arguments, if you don't mind.

This reminded me of a documentary called Southern Comfort that I saw a number of years ago about a F to M transsexual who had ovarian cancer. His doctor convinced him to keep his ovaries, if I remember correctly. It's a heartbreaking story, and it's a good reminder to get your reproductive organs checked regularly!

Terribly sad and not all that uncommon.

lava: I hope your friend is ok!

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:02 pm 
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Ah, yes. I am one of those who went for too long. Luckily it was nothing. I need to find a good gyno.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:15 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Fee wrote:
Um yeah, I don't understand what's so hard about either giving a little bit of a warning or asking beforehand.


This is MY policy about sticking my finger in people's butts, so I don't know why doctors can't do it too.


Do you want to do my pap smear and check mah butt too?

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:31 pm 
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Momo wrote:
Ah, yes. I am one of those who went for too long. Luckily it was nothing. I need to find a good gyno.


Tell me more! What happened? This is so scary. I know not to google this crepe, but the downside is that does restrict positive information too.

Thanks, B_A_D.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:32 pm 
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pranaferox wrote:
Apparently nowadays gynecologists don't give papsmears to girls until they're 21. I know this because I've been to two different ones and each of them have said that I should be thankful cause I still have another 3 1/2 years before I have to get one. I don't know why they changed it from 18/when you're sexually active though..

Wha..? This is a terrible idea! A girl could pick up hpv at 15 and have full-blown cervical cancer before 21 ever rolls around. Are they just thinking that all girls are getting gardisil? Even if that were the case, it doesn't replace regular preventative care. And what a horrible thing to tell a girl anyway... you should be thankful you don't have to get one. It's not a punishment for having a cervix, for goodness sake!

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:37 pm 
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Yeah, that doesn't make sense to me seeing as how people in general are sexually active at younger and younger ages. I don't think I know anyone who was a virgin at 21. But I'm guessing gardisil does have something to do with it, it sucks if that's giving people a false sense of security. I mean, gardisil is great for what it prevents, but there are like eleventy billion more things that it doesn't prevent.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:53 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Yeah, that doesn't make sense to me seeing as how people in general are sexually active at younger and younger ages. I don't think I know anyone who was a virgin at 21. But I'm guessing gardisil does have something to do with it, it sucks if that's giving people a false sense of security. I mean, gardisil is great for what it prevents, but there are like eleventy billion more things that it doesn't prevent.


This makes no sense. The NIH guidelines state pap smears should begin within 3 yrs of first sexual activity OR by age 21, whichever is first. They recommend every 2 years until 3 normals in a row, then every 3 years unless risk factors are present.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:06 pm 
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The thing about saying either your first sexual activity or by 21 is that generally when girls are sexually active, they don't really want their parents to know about it and they're not going to go schedule a pap on their own. My mom didn't ask me whether or not I'd been sexually active, I just had to go at 18 because that was "the rule"

I think 18 is good not because in three years you suddenly develop an ability to contract something that you didn't have before, but because a LOT of people have had some sort of sexual activity by 18 and hey - it's an excellent time to start acting like an adult and do adult things like making sure you're not full of cancer.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:23 pm 
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silverlining wrote:
paprikapapaya wrote:
Yes, yearly, ferchrissakes. Take a deep breath and let the doctor do what they need to do. It's very important. I've been having them yearly since I was 16.


My health-care person recently told me that you only need them every other year. There are so many types of HPV flying around and many of those strains your body can manage using its own immune system and defenses. The logic being it is more traumatizing for your body to have a Dr meddle with something your body can handle, and two years isn't long enough for an HPV strain that requires medical intervention to get gnarly beyond treatment.

The logic seemed sound to me, but definitely went in the face of what I always believed was a required annual test. Just secondhand med advice, take it or leave it!

Thanks for the post lavawitch.


Interesting! OHIP (Ontario's socialized healthcare plan) pays for one per year. If I had to pay for my tests, I'd likely bump it down to one per 2 years, but since I'm not paying for it I'd rather go annually and make sure I don't have something bad I don't know about.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:29 pm 
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You don't ordinarily get your first screening in England until age 25. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland it's age 20 now. And even then it's only every 3 years after that. I think you could probably request them earlier than that age if you're sexually active (which the majority of people are), but that takes a certain amount of knowledge, confidence and responsibility which many would not have.

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 Post subject: Re: People with vaginas: please get pap smears
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:32 pm 
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As someone who had an abnormal pap smear before 21, the idea of not starting until 21 or only getting them every other year makes me uncomfortable. I and a lot of my friends have to get paps every 4 months but if we'd waited till we were 21, it would have been a few years before our doctor caught it.


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