Post # 1
This post has been sparked by yet another conversation I had with a friend. I have a girlfriend who told me she has NEVER had a pap smear! She’s 25 and has been sexually active for nearly 10 years, yet she’s never worked up the nerve to go in and get one done. As I was sitting there in complete shock our other friend chimed in and said she had only gotten her first at 22 despite having been sexually active since she was 14.
I had my first when I was 17 and have EVERY year on the dot since. Part of this may be because I had a cousin who had a full hysterectomy at 18 due to cervical cancer. I think the other part is that I just don’t want to take any chances. I have another cousin, who like me, goes every year. Thank goodness because on her exam last year the lab found some abnormal cells that she had treated and is thankfully cancer free. Her doctor told her if she had waited any longer she would have been much worse off. She just gave birth to a healthy baby girl, so it really hits home because that might not have been possible if she wasn’t so responsible about her reproductive health.
So Bees, How old were you when you had your first PAP? If you’re sexually active and have not gone…PLEASE GO!!
Post # 3
I go every year like clockwork and have since I first became sexually active. But like you, I know someone who had cervical cancer so I fully understand the importance of a pap.
Post # 4
To be honest I actually don’t remember. I want to say it was before age 19? But really really cant remember.
But I second that ladies need to go out and get it done! When I was 20 I had one come back with abnormal cells and had to get a leep done. I was terrified but thankful that I caught it early!
Post # 5
I don’t know anyone who’s had cervical cancer, but nonetheless I started going when I was 15 or 16 (don’t remember which). It was around the time when I first became sexually active. I continue to go regularly.
Post # 6
I was on the older side.. I was 23, so just last year for me. I KNOW it’s terrible. I was scared shitless. Now looking back I know I was being stupid because it’s no big deal, but not knowing anything about it can make you very nervous. They should definitely focus more on that in sex ed when we’re younger.
Post # 7
I wish woman would stay on top of getting them done!!!
Post # 8
I have gotten them routinely, once a year, since I was 16 and started going on birth control. It’s made a world of difference, since I had abnomal results and had to go get a biopsy. Everything came back normal, but now I go every 6 months for the next 2 years.
Post # 9
There were new guidelines published last year about routine PAP smears (so for the general population; they might be different for individual women, such as if there is a history of cervical cancer or abnormal cells).
- Women from ages 21 to 30 be screened every two years instead of annually, using either the standard Pap or liquid-based cytology.
- Women age 30 and older who have had three consecutive negative cervical cytology test results may be screened once every three years with either the Pap or liquid-based cytology.
- Women with certain risk factors may need more frequent screening, including those who have HIV, are immunosuppressed, were exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero, and have been treated for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2, CIN 3, or cervical cancer.
Post # 10
The last time I was at the gyno she said that they’re now recommending the 1st one be at age 21. This may be different, however, if there’s a family history (esp. if it’s a younger person)
Post # 11
i think i got my first when i was 16ish because i started BC for my bad acne. even though i wasn’t having intercourse until i was in my mid-20s, i still got them once a year. i go to the doctor once a year, so they always do it and i’ve never thought twice about it.
if you haven’t had one, what’s the hold up? why the fear?
Post # 12
@EvaBostonTerrier: Thanks for that info! I just seen my doctor and she didn’t mention any of this, I’m scheduled in for an annual exam still. I don’t mind going once a year though because it’s always good to know everything is “all good” down there. Is this for the US and not Canada maybe?
Post # 13
@west.coast.blonde: My understanding is that many doctors still want to do an annual exam, but the PAP smear isn’t required every year. However, I know that when I talked to my doctor, they said that since they are doing the physical exam, the might as well do the pap smear.
Post # 14
Not had one yet and Im 22! In the UK,the NHS does not provide these tests to women under 25. I know 3 women all under the age of 25 who have died from cervical cancer and this is something which is constantly being campaigned against but to no avail so far…..
Post # 16
@BirdofaFeather: I will just touch on that little. I got my first pap that said I had abnormal cells. In my brain, the first thing I thought was “cancer” I was like OH SHIT!
So I went in for a scoposcopy (honestly don’t even know how to say it or spell it). It again said I had abnormal cells and that I had to get another one in 3 months. Well I didn’t go for over a year because I was afraid they would say it was cancer.
So for me, I was actually really really afraid to hear bad news. I know it is pretty stupid when I think back at it now.