Jump to content
GlamRocker

Pap Smears

Recommended Posts

GlamRocker

As long as you don't have HPV, and aren't sexually active, what's the point in getting a pap smear? It seems superfluous to me, but I can't get a straight answer out of anyone on it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moony Lovegood

They're discussing it in this thread:

 

 

I found Jocasta's post helpful.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nowhere Girl

I again started feeling horrible. I get panic attacks at the description of such an examination. Really, I would rather die than undergo it. Or rather: it's death vs. death, because I honestly feel that I would die if I underwent such an examination. I couldn't live with such horror having happened.

 

Despite my extreme repulsion towards this medical specialisation, I have read a bit. There are several resources which claim that pap smears should be performed "since x years of age or since start of sexual activity, whichever comes first". However, I have also seen resources which say that pap smears aren't recommended for women who have never had any kind of partnered sex. And nobody can force you to perform them, so if you never intend to have sex, you can just never go to an examination.

HPV accounts for 99% if cervical cancer cases, so the risk for women who don't have sex is negligible. Unless there is family history of non-HPV cancer (which is unlikely, given the data from previous sentence), there is probably more risk from the procedure itself (taking cell samples is not free of risk, distress is unhealthy by itself, the procedure may be impossible to perform in virgins...) than from never doing it. Another risk, easily forgotten: relatively high risk of a false positive result, which of course means another opportunity for distress (however, as far as I know: precisely in order to save patients distress, in case of serious illnesses positive results are usually confirmed using a different method before the patients are informed). This is how a combination of sensitive tests and not very common diseases works. As a text about the statistics of false positives said, it's because the sensitivity of a test indicates the probability that you test positive if you are suffering from a disease - not the other way around! If a disease is uncommon enough, there may be much more false positives than real positives.

And regardless of the above: really, why are women expected to suffer such extreme discomforts? The choice is up to us. We have a right to decide that we value our sanity more than health-related safety. Really, not for all women such an examination is "just unpleasant" - for some it's an extreme horror they could never withstand. We have a right to make choices for ourselves, including choices which may be harmful to our health, and nobody may force us to change our decision. My decision is to never let anyone see or touch my intimate parts. I too, like @thequietplace in the topic linked above, just hope that nothing happens (and, again, this particular illness - cervical cancer - is highly improbable for women who have never had sex!).

Spoiler

And in the worst case, I hope that I will be ready to proudly give my life for my inviolability.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Evren

I have had multiple gynecologists and am well past the age they usually perform the examination, and they have never given it to me. They learn that I have never had sex and they are pretty much instantly uninterested in giving it to me. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
songchick

I had a pap smear and they found abnormal cells.  I guess I've had sex in the past pretty promiscuously (long story), but my test was after that time.  I didn't go back.

I think the WORST thing was when I had an IUD put in, holy hell.  A friend of mine recommended it for birth control and getting rid of my period.  It was a tiny little thing but they had to pry open the cervix to get it in.  Then when I had it in, I became all bitchy and hormonal and irritated.  Normally I'm chill.  I went back 2 weeks later, and the SECOND they pulled it out I felt soooo much better.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neverlove
9 hours ago, GlamRocker said:

As long as you don't have HPV, and aren't sexually active, what's the point in getting a pap smear? It seems superfluous to me, but I can't get a straight answer out of anyone on it.

You don't need one. I asked a doctor straight up. You do not need one. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GlamRocker

@neverlove That's what I thought! Thank you

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nylocke

I've never had this done and my mom never pushed it as an issue since I am not sexually active. She has told me only those who are sexually active have to go to the gynecologist

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
On 9/18/2019 at 4:06 PM, GlamRocker said:

As long as you don't have HPV, and aren't sexually active, what's the point in getting a pap smear? It seems superfluous to me, but I can't get a straight answer out of anyone on it.

They can detect abnormal or cancerous cells that may otherwise be missed. Certain cancers can be genetic, not just sexually transmitted. So the risk is low if you aren't sexually active, but still there. Also infections etc can be detected which could lead to more serious issues if left untreated. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilsi
On 9/19/2019 at 6:54 AM, neverlove said:

You don't need one. I asked a doctor straight up. You do not need one. 

That is entirely wrong and they should not be saying that. I am genuinely angry that a professional has said this to you, they need to be reported. 

This makes me angry because i was told the same thing from a nurse who was going to do my pap test and stopped it. She was Wrong. My Doctor was really pissed off when she found out i had been told that when she asked why i had not had the test done two years later. 


While non sexual people celibate or ace are highly unlikely to get HPV it is still a wart virus and can be passed on through non sexual contact. It can be passed on by touch and is easily transmitted, much like the cold virus. A person with HPV could shake your hand, you can then say go to the toilet and then it can be passed on through that. But most importantly the Pap test is checking for cervical cancer and abnormal cells in your body which could be the start of cervical cancer. You can get cervical cancer without having the HPV virus. You are not immune to developing cervical cancer.  

If you are unsure your doctor can print out from their database documents you can read about HPV/Cervical Cancer and the pap test.  While they will tell you it is indeed Unlikely for you to get it, you are still able to contract it. It is a Virus at the end of the day.  

You can get it, Please get tested. 

I entirely understand why people are adverse to the test. Especially people in the Ace spectrum who are Sex Repulsed, having someone do something like that to you is a horrible concept the idea is off putting and it is not a nice experience no, but It is important you look after yourself and get tested. 

Edit: Also if you are genuinely worried about the test, PLEASE call your doctors and ask for a call back. Inform them of your personal situation and your worries and they will do everything to help you they can. I rang my doctor i explained i had never been sexually active and that i was worried. I told them to inform my nurse about my situation.  They will give you a slightly longer appointment time too, to deal with it.   My nurse was amazing, getting me through my test and entirely understanding. They are professionals and this is their job, they are trained to look after us and do it quickly and efficiently, while ensuring you are coping ok with it. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charna
4 hours ago, Nylocke said:

I've never had this done and my mom never pushed it as an issue since I am not sexually active. She has told me only those who are sexually active have to go to the gynecologist

That is just not true. You should go to the gyn as part of your regular health check up, and once you are 20+ this should include a breast examination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GlamRocker

@LilsiThe likelihood of catching HPV in such a way is minuscule. This article addresses the possibility of HPV being transmitted by wet towels, etc and still finds it very unlikely. It's not "easily transmitted like the cold virus." I'm not going to refuse to leave my house at night because people get mugged sometimes. I'm also not going to pay for and put up with an annoying procedure for fluke odds. The idea is... I've already been tested. No HPV. And no sexual contact for ten years. You can get tested for HPV without having a pap smear, as well. They even have mail in tests.

 

As for the genetic angle, no history of cervical cancer in my family that I know of. Again, not getting an unnecessary procedure.

 

This article doubts that it can even be passed by hand to infected genitals. Not that that will ever be something I'll need to worry about lol

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GlamRocker

This says that "Human papillomavirus (HPV) is found in about 99% of cervical cancers. There are over 100 different types of HPV, most of which are considered low-risk and do not cause cervical cancer. High-risk HPV types may cause cervical cell abnormalities or cancer. More than 70 percent of cervical cancer cases can be attributed to two types of the virus, HPV-16 and HPV-18, often referred to as high-risk HPV types." So HPV is by far the main culprit for cervical cancer.

 

HPV passes in about the same way herpes does.

 

I could also just get the HPV vaccine if I want to be extra careful. But a pap smear? No, there is no good reason to.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilsi
38 minutes ago, GlamRocker said:

 

As for the genetic angle, no history of cervical cancer in my family that I know of. Again, not getting an unnecessary procedure.

There was none in my family either until my mother. My mother had Cervical cancer with no trace of HPV virus. 
As i said above it is very unlikely but it happens. the smear test can find cervical cancer as it did with my mother.  5 minutes of discomfort saved my mother.  

I really wish Ace women would stop trying to dissuade other women getting tested. Everyone is entitled to their personal choice but telling other women that they 'can't get this or that' and so 'don't need to be tested' is irresponsible when in fact they can.  Even if the percentage is minimal it happens. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rach1234

It’s true that people who are not sexually active are at a lower risk of catching HPV than people who are sexually actively (also, can we please distinguish between sexual activity and sexual orientation??). But @Lilsi is completely right. How can people think they’re immune to a virus or cancer?? Even people who have the HPV vaccination aren’t immune. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran

I mean... anyone can decline a test if they want. Lots avoid mammograms despite breast cancer risks, because they are awkward and painful and annoying. Or colonoscopies despite colon cancer risks for same reason. But, when looking at statistics, one has to remember 1% doesn't really end up being unheard of amounts. Aces are 1%, after all. It just means low risk. But still a risk. There is a reason for the test. It isn't useless, even if a virgin. You just are less likely to return a positive. But, most women won't ever return a positive for cervical cancer anyway. It is still something most people who end up with stage four cancer before knowing they have it wish they had been doing, cause they can't be helped at that point and their diagnosis month can end up being the same month their family is planning the funeral (have someone at work right now going through that cause their loved one never went to the suggested check ups due to discomfort with people shoving junk into their body and not being at high risk). 

 

So, it's fine to say I personally don't want to do this and choose not to despite there being a risk. It's another to falsely say it's useless due to no risk and other people might believe you and thus also not test. Low risk is still a risk. And each person needs to look into the risks themselves and make informed consent to decline and face the risks, or be tested just in case. False "oh can only happen with sex" information doesn't much help people do that though. Can happen without sex, just is less likely, so decide if you consider the risk low enough or not. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rach1234

Oh I completely agree, it is a personal choice and one that everyone has a right to make for themselves and for that decision to be respected. But people also need to be well-informed to be able to make that decision, whatever it may be. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neverlove
6 hours ago, Lilsi said:

That is entirely wrong and they should not be saying that. I am genuinely angry that a professional has said this to you, they need to be reported. 

This makes me angry because i was told the same thing from a nurse who was going to do my pap test and stopped it. She was Wrong. My Doctor was really pissed off when she found out i had been told that when she asked why i had not had the test done two years later. 


While non sexual people celibate or ace are highly unlikely to get HPV it is still a wart virus and can be passed on through non sexual contact. It can be passed on by touch and is easily transmitted, much like the cold virus. A person with HPV could shake your hand, you can then say go to the toilet and then it can be passed on through that. But most importantly the Pap test is checking for cervical cancer and abnormal cells in your body which could be the start of cervical cancer. You can get cervical cancer without having the HPV virus. You are not immune to developing cervical cancer.  

If you are unsure your doctor can print out from their database documents you can read about HPV/Cervical Cancer and the pap test.  While they will tell you it is indeed Unlikely for you to get it, you are still able to contract it. It is a Virus at the end of the day.  

You can get it, Please get tested. 

I entirely understand why people are adverse to the test. Especially people in the Ace spectrum who are Sex Repulsed, having someone do something like that to you is a horrible concept the idea is off putting and it is not a nice experience no, but It is important you look after yourself and get tested. 

Edit: Also if you are genuinely worried about the test, PLEASE call your doctors and ask for a call back. Inform them of your personal situation and your worries and they will do everything to help you they can. I rang my doctor i explained i had never been sexually active and that i was worried. I told them to inform my nurse about my situation.  They will give you a slightly longer appointment time too, to deal with it.   My nurse was amazing, getting me through my test and entirely understanding. They are professionals and this is their job, they are trained to look after us and do it quickly and efficiently, while ensuring you are coping ok with it. 

My risk of having HPV as a virgin is less than my chances of being exposed to something during the test. My family does not have any history of cervical cancer, and I do not smoke. Your mother was obviously sexually active which is why she should have gotten a pap smear regardless of any sign of HPV. Your family has a history of it, which is why your doctor was probably upset that you hadn’t had one. I define a virgin as someone who has never experienced any kind of sexual contact (excuse me for not specifying as it significantly lowers the risk of contracting HPV). I am also vaccinated. 

 

Anyone can choose to get more tests than recommended. Male and female children can have breast cancer, yet we do not typically screen children for it because we’re not particularly concerned about one checking everyone for something that happen so rarely. 

 

I’m more likely to be hit by a bus on the way to my appointment for a pap-smear than to get cervical cancer as a vaccinated non-smoking virgin with no family history of it.

 

*and doctors do not get reported for something so ridiculously minor as that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nowhere Girl

I won't do such tests. I won't let anybody see or touch my intimate parts. This is not just "not a nice experience". This is a procedure which could seriously upset my balance and make me harm myself. And in normal circumstances I value living.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quinoa

The short answer is that if you have never been sexually active, your risk for cervical cancer is VERY low, and it's your body. Many doctors in the US (maybe it's different elsewhere) say you don't need them if you've never been sexually active, and honestly, I wonder if the official recommendation for everyone to get them is just because they don't believe people who say they've never been sexually active. There are lots of other cancer screenings that aren't done routinely because the risk is very low but not zero, so it's not like the fact that there may be a tiny risk means you need pap smears. I think most of the risk comes from non-HPV cervical cancer, which is a VERY tiny percentage of cases of an already-rare cancer. Also, it's not about being "immune" to the virus. It's about not being exposed to the virus. 

A few weeks ago, I got a pap test for the first time at age 26. I decided to look into it because I was having a lot of anxiety about HPV and cervical cancer, and decided that it was worth looking into just so I didn't worry about it so much. So I found a doctor I really trust, who was willing to talk openly about my risk and admitted that it might hurt. A year ago, I purposely went in for what I thought was a yeast infection instead of just treating it, because I decided I wanted to test the waters with those types of exams. And the pap test was actually not that bad, but I think a big reason it wasn't that bad was that I did it on my own terms. I ignored all the people who said I needed one at 21, and didn't do it until I was ready. If I hadn't done that, the experience may have been traumatic and prevented me from getting any more. As it is, I think I will start getting them now, because the one I had wasn't that bad for me personally. That doesn't mean everyone would have the same experience. 

 

So take this information and do with it what you will. It's your body, after all. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bare_trees

So I had an (attempted) pap smear a couple of years ago that has changed my life since then...not in a positive way.  I talked about it here--

 

 

TLDR: GP told me to go to a gynecologist because he thought everyone should whether or not they're sexually active for early detection of cervical cancer.  I tried to tell the gynecologist how I feel about being penetrated, and she just dismissed me.  Said I was no different from anyone else.  But then she could not complete the exam because I was screaming and crying so much.  I had pain and trouble walking for the next year.  It will be extremely difficult for me to ever go to a gynecologist again--if I ever do.

 

So, my advice to anyone who wants to do it is to make an appointment beforehand wherein you just talk to the gyno about your apprehensions and experiences.  I wish I had done that.  Maybe she would have understood, going into the actual exam, what she dealing with.  Maybe she was just a jerk.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chocolatastic AroAce

I know that despite not having sex, due to my family history of breast cancer(apparently there is a link to cervical), I should get it. It sounds beyond horrifying though...just the experiences I hear from other Aces have made me delay it as much as possible. I wish there was an easier way, I feel like I would rather risk death.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
5 hours ago, Ameline257 said:

I know that despite not having sex, due to my family history of breast cancer(apparently there is a link to cervical), I should get it. It sounds beyond horrifying though...just the experiences I hear from other Aces have made me delay it as much as possible. I wish there was an easier way, I feel like I would rather risk death.

Find a gyno experienced in rape victims - they are trained in how to deal with extreme anxiety and people who really are not into the test. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chocolatastic AroAce
4 hours ago, Serran said:

Find a gyno experienced in rape victims - they are trained in how to deal with extreme anxiety and people who really are not into the test. 

How would I find one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
7 minutes ago, Ameline257 said:

How would I find one?

Uhm, depends on how you search for doctors... often they will advertise such expertise in their insurance list, or website, or whatever. You can usually also google search and find ones recommended in the area by patients. You can also call and ask to speak to someone about how they handle people with extreme anxiety over the procedures. And please meet with the doctor and ask to talk before the exam, they shouldn't mind a little comfort before it and if they do, they probably won't be gentle or patient during so pick a new doctor. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neverlove
13 hours ago, Ameline257 said:

How would I find one?

You could call local abuse advocacy centers and see who their doctor is.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nowhere Girl
21 hours ago, Ameline257 said:

I wish there was an easier way, I feel like I would rather risk death.

I absolutely would. I feel that I couldn't survive this kind of examination anyway, I would die of terror on the spot or harm myself in order to not be forced to live with something so horrifying having happened. No, I really can't imagine it, really, I would rather die than undergo a pelvic exam.

And I have a right to my feelings anyway. I won't let anyone near my intimate parts and despite the extreme distress aspect of it, I can nevertheless be proud of not bending to expectations.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nylocke
On 9/22/2019 at 10:51 AM, Charna said:

That is just not true. You should go to the gyn as part of your regular health check up, and once you are 20+ this should include a breast examination.

 

Oh wow, the issue was never really pushed so much for me. The doctor did say I should go since I am 20+ but my mom insisted that I didn't need to go since I am not sexually active and she's a retired nurse.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neverlove
45 minutes ago, Nylocke said:

 

Oh wow, the issue was never really pushed so much for me. The doctor did say I should go since I am 20+ but my mom insisted that I didn't need to go since I am not sexually active and she's a retired nurse.

Yeah, my mum is a doctor, she even said the recommendations for pap smear are changing and people don’t actually need to get them as often as they previously thought.  

 

I also hesitate to say this, but it’s possible that some of the doctors who are recommending pap smears despite the data are doing so for money—I dislike saying this because I don’t believe doctors are generally in it for money, but this is a pretty easy way to make a little more and has nothing to do with covering all the bases to avoid a malpractice suit.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charna
28 minutes ago, Nylocke said:

 

Oh wow, the issue was never really pushed so much for me. The doctor did say I should go since I am 20+ but my mom insisted that I didn't need to go since I am not sexually active and she's a retired nurse.

To be fair, it really is country- and generation-dependent. My mother was not informed about the importance of regular breast exams by her gyn, I had to convince her to do her first mammography. It was the same for me, it was only my second gyn that told me about the importance of doing regular breast exams and got me to do an ultrasound.

 

On 9/23/2019 at 5:49 PM, Ameline257 said:

I know that despite not having sex, due to my family history of breast cancer(apparently there is a link to cervical), I should get it. It sounds beyond horrifying though...just the experiences I hear from other Aces have made me delay it as much as possible. I wish there was an easier way, I feel like I would rather risk death.

I think it depends on both the patient and the doctor. Maybe it's because I've had chronic pain issues for years, but for me, while unpleasant, the test doesn't even register on my "pain scale". Talk to the gyn beforehand and explain your fears. If they won't listen, that's a good sign to walk out and find another.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...