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April 8, 2009

The Big Reminder: Girl Parts Edition

Filed under: Be Super Fantastic — Francesca @ 12:54 pm

Francesca says: Remember to schedule your regular gynecological exam, with a Pap smear if it is time for one.

(Francesca is leaving the guidelines open on purpose, because she notices that the age at which one is recommended to start getting Pap smears, whether one has to be sexually active to warrant a Pap smear, and how often one should have a Pap smear varies greatly from country to country. Ask your doctor if you need one, when you go.)


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  1. FYI

    Soon, the old (and inaccurate) notion of overscreening with a pap smear will be out the window. Not only will it cost significantly less to screen, but it will be faster, more accurate, and require less return visits. This blows my mind.

    Comment by Diana — April 8, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  2. I have to share: I’ve been getting pap smears since I was 13 (because of some issues with the lady parts – none having to do with the cervix, but gynos always feel like, “well, while you’re here…”), and they used to be the WORST 5 minutes of my entire year.

    But when I finally was done with school and got a real job with real health insurance and got a new gyno, this doctor does AMAZINGLY fast pap smears! The worst 5 minutes of my year has been reduced to 30 seconds, and that’s hardly something to be afraid of.

    So my point, ladies, is: if the exam is as uncomfortable for you as it was for me, ask the doc if she can do anything to make it less uncomfortable. If she says no, try a different doctor (if possible). A 30-second pap smear is possible!

    Comment by jen209 — April 8, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

  3. I just had my annual a week ago! I went to a new doctor and she was fabulous. Fastest pelvic exam I have ever had, didn’t even feel the pap. Best of all, totally fat friendly – she didn’t mention my weight at all, even when she talked about my plans for pregnancy/kids! Totally keeping this one.

    Comment by DCKate — April 8, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  4. Keep in mind that pap smears are no longer recommended for anyone under 21 unless they have been sexually active for 3 years. Because the cervix is still developing, the cells are abnormal, leading to many unnecessary procedures such as colposocpies for young women. If you are under 35 though, you should get the gardasil vaccination.

    Comment by Leslie — April 9, 2009 @ 12:15 am

  5. Now, what is a pap smear? I just have to know.
    Here in Sweden they only give gardasil vaccinations to teenagers under 17.

    Comment by Ravna — April 9, 2009 @ 7:49 am

  6. Ravna, a Pap smear is when the doctor, during a pelvic exam, takes a swab of cells from your cervix. They go on a slide and are sent to a lab to be examined for any abnormalities, which can be an early sign of cervical cancer. I’m guessing they have a similar-type exam in Sweden, but it probably goes under a different name.

    Comment by La Petite Acadienne — April 9, 2009 @ 11:23 am

  7. Oh, why is it called pap smear?
    Here it’s simply called cellular tissue testing ;)
    We get one of those automatically every third year. Mine is due on tuesday, doesn’t hurt as much as getting a spiral (whatever you call them in the US, contraceptive t-bone thingy that is inserted into the uterus) fitted.

    Comment by Ravna — April 9, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

  8. Because it’s named after the doctor who invented the procedure, Dr Pap-something long and Greek.

    Comment by class factotum — April 9, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

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