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What Do You Know About the Pap Smear?

I'm sure going for your annual exam at the gynecologist isn't top on your list. I don't mind the breast examination, but spreading eagle for that lovely Pap smear pretty much bites it. I usually just close my eyes and wish for it to be over without really caring too much about what the doc is doing down there.

Knowing that those check-ups keep me healthy makes it a little more bearable, but knowing more about the Pap would make it even easier. Take this quiz to see what you know.


What Do You Know About the Pap Smear?

When was the Pap smear invented?

Join The Conversation
diamondmercy diamondmercy 7 years
100% I am surprised! LOL
Ruby20 Ruby20 8 years
I've only had one smear and don't need anymore - my husband & I were virgins when we met and are in an exclusive relationship. I haven't been exposed to HPV, so don't need smears. Yeah! (confirmed by top female gynaecologist) One of the benefits of falling in love when you're young... I got ticks for all the questions.... Both virgins & an exclusive relationship No HPV No smoking I've never used the contraceptive Pill or hormonal contraception It's no exposure to HPV that's the BIG one though... Keep current with changes - many women are being over-screened, particularly in the States. The other good news - there is a simple blood test on the way that will replace the smear - the smear is 60-70% reliable, the blood test will be close to 100% and much easier to read... Many women are referred for colposcopy because smears are difficult to interpret/read and pathologists are over-cautious, afraid of missing something and getting sued - so false positives are on the rise. If you get a positive smear, it's best to get a second opinion, many minor changes go away on their own and just need monitoring (this often happens with young women) The blood test by the way is called the CSA test - Cervical Specific Antigen (I can hear the cheering from here!) Look out for it, ask your Doctors - I know it was patented in the States in 2003 or 2004... Pathologists and Doctors may be against it as pap smears are a huge source of revenue...and the follow-up procedures. The blood test will not need the result will be definitive - almost 100% accurate. You might have guessed...I've done my homework on this topic - as a young lawyer I worked at the Medical Board and had some contact with young women sexually assaulted by male doctors - some doctors had used the "cover" of the mass cervical screening program to assault these patients. Many of these women were so traumatized, they don't see doctors anymore....and some are high risk. A non-invasive and reliable alternative is needed... If anyone would like to read about the dangers of over-screening and being referred for unnecessary follow-up, let me know and I'll post a link...
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
3/5 boooo. Thankfully I don't really dread those exams that much - I like my doctor, and the thought of keeping myself in the know about my body makes me feel a little better.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
Sweet!once 2-3 years! I dont like those tests
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
3/5-I have one coming up-nt a huge fan!
Advah Advah 9 years
I actually don't dislike it that much (apart from when you end up with a doctor who treats you like you are an idiot when you ask questions - that one won't see me again). It's definitely awkward and uncomfortable, but I actually always feel grown-up and responsible to go for a test so I'm ok with it. The part where I'm not ok at all is the pain - I had to do 3 tests in less than a year and thanks to a bad thrush it ended up being the most painful thing you can think of. I actually almost fainted on the table, and after the last test (she didn't even do it completely because I was biting my hand from pain) I spent the rest of the day curled up on my bed, feeling sick, and high on painkillers. So I'm not looking forward to the next one. :(
chakra_healer chakra_healer 9 years
Can I say the only thing I hate is the squishy factor? Using that much lube, giving me panty liners, and then going to work is a bad combo. yeesh.
chakra_healer chakra_healer 9 years
4 out 5 isn't bad. The whole 2-3 year thing doesn't make sense. The procedure only takes a few minutes, no reason to wait years at a time unless cost is inolved. Anyhoo, I get a pap each year with full exam and BC discussion. I had one today and absolutely no pain involved. She has a gentle touch and works fast. Seriously, I was in and out in 10 min.
Cherrytree94 Cherrytree94 9 years
Oops last time he was down there not do...dang, apparently I can't multi-task.
Cherrytree94 Cherrytree94 9 years
5/5 Last time my gyno was do there he asked me where I like to eat out at. The last thing I want him to think about while down there is food.
geekygirl geekygirl 9 years
personally i don't think pap smears are all that bad - just relax and talk sh*t with the doctor and it's over before you know it. and i can't believe they use metal speculums in the usa, here in australia i've only ever know doctors to use clear plastic ones which are not at all cold. chill out when you go - i'd rather a doctor seeing my lady bits for 10 minutes every few years rather than winding up with cervical cancer cos i was a wuss and wouldn't get it done.
mrskrismendoza mrskrismendoza 9 years
4/5 Not too bad. I put stirrups. I thought that wasn't right, but I wasn't sure. I haven't' had one yet.
lms lms 9 years
Muirnea...they are testing for pregnancy, urinary tract infections, and other stuff that i can't think of now.
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
Ok, I have a question, and I am sorry if I am completely ignorant about this, but... getting a pap smear doesn't test for STD's right??? So what are they testing for when they take a urine sample?
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
100% damn I am good!
jimmalou1978 jimmalou1978 9 years
5/5. I go every year, because there is such a history of all types of cancer in my family. It really sucks (and I have yet to go this year), but it's worth it if they catch something at the beginning, where it can be treated early. And most of the speculums that they use nowadays are plastic and disposable, so the OB/GYN can just pitch it after the exam. Doesn't make them any warmer, though.
designergirl designergirl 9 years
Pap smears are uncomfortable, but not that horrible in my opinion. Except the one time I got my period late and had to do it on my period (which I realize doesn't make the smear that valid). But being on your period and having a pap smear was really awful.
PinkUnicorn PinkUnicorn 9 years
I always thought pap smears were the worst...until I had to go get a colposcopy and a biopsy of my cervix. That was horrible. I had a complete meltdown in the examining room. It was so embarrassing but I just could not keep it together. Thankfully, I get to be asleep for the next step, which is a cervical LEEP and some lasering. But, because of all this, hopefully I won't get cancer, which I would have had I skipped the pap!
lemassabielle lemassabielle 9 years
5/5 woo hoo!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I guess I'm the weird one, but I don't think it's that bad. Yea, paps are kind of uncomfortable, but I figure, there's nothing down there that they haven't seen a million times, so why should I be embarassed? I'm taking control of my health and that feels good!
totonlaura totonlaura 9 years
4/5 not bad I usually have one done once a year.
eeeyore138 eeeyore138 9 years
I had the same doctor for 5 years so it was tough when she moved away and i had to find a new doctor. To my surprise the new dr was so nice, took the time to meet with me and talk in her office before bringing me into the dreaded exam room. It's really not that bad though because the whole process is over so quickly.
lms lms 9 years
I got 3/5. I had no clue about the date, but I got the one about how often you need to go wrong. My doctors tell me to go every year and I have never had a problem. I can deal with the visit b/c it is way better than when I had my daughter. Also, up until this year it was the same person doing it that did my delivery for almost 9 yrs. This "new" person checked me out when I was pregnant so it wasn't so bad.
simplysorry simplysorry 9 years
I have yet to go to a gyno. I know its awful, but I hate doctors to begin with, so visiting a gyno is much worse. My mom never went to a gyno at my age, but she came from a country where that was normal. I start a new job in January with health insurance, so I know I will end up getting a physical (last time was 8 or 9 yrs ago, I am now 22) and I will have to suck it up and go and make a gyno appointment too. yuck and double yuck.
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