Why was the recommended age for first Pap test changed to 21?

Someone asked us:

can you tell me why pap smears are recommended once you turn 21? what is it about being 21 that means you should get a pap smear? i have been told it’s because of the assumption that most people will be having sex by that age. i am asexual and do not nor will i ever have penetrative sex. is it still necessary for me to get a pap smear? i know virgins can develop cervical cancer but the risk is very very low. i am autistic and the procedure would be traumatic for me so i want to avoid it if i can

The recommendations were moved to a few years later in life because researchers learned that it takes several years for precancerous cells to show up (generally after exposure to HPV). Age 21 is the very earliest when researchers started to see precancerous cells begin to grow. After that, you should get Pap tests about every three years, although some people need them more frequently. Pap tests are recommended regardless of whether a person has penetrative sex because HPV can be passed by genital skin-to-skin, and oral sexual contact too.

It’s a good idea to tell your doctor or nurse about your concerns; many providers understand that patients are nervous about Pap tests and will do their best to make the exam as comfortable as possible. Learn more about what it’s like to go do the doctor.

Hope this helps!

-Mylanie at Planned Parenthood


Cote de Pablo. We had no idea you were going through this. It breaks my heart to think that you could’ve been taken from us. You’re the strongest person i’ve ever had the chance to admire. I’m upset we didn’t know this was happening to you so we could’ve given you our support but at the same time I respect you’re wishes of wanting to keep this experience private until you were ready to share. You’ve made a huge impact by doing this campaign and just minutes after this video was posted I saw lots of people talking/tweeting about how they’ve put off their PAP tests and how they are going to get one ASAP. Thanks to you those people making their appointments are one step closer to keeping in top of their health. Although I’m not old enough for a PAP test yet, you’ve made me aware and as soon as I am of age I will be making that appointment. Cote I wish you could see this! You are a wonderful, humble, caring, gorgeous person and Im so grateful that you’re clear of cancer ❤❤

anonymous asked:

How you feeling today

Well, right now I feel better but this morning I was a complete disaster.

I had headache (because of my chronic sinusitis), tachycardia, cervical issues and stomacache
All at once with no apparent reason!

The doctors said that maybe it’s the new influence virus but we need to wait the blood exams
They first measured my heart beats then took my temperature with a thing in my ear and then they took some blood samples for the analysis.

But anyway now I’m just on the bed with a flebo on my arm, my dad’s tablet, and I am sketching on this little guy they gave me (a thing doctors use for writing medical recipes or something)

also the lady on the cover of this thing is creeping me out lmao

Sooo, I’m fine! Nothing serious! No need to worry!


Cote de Pablo in a PSA about Cervical Cancer

New Wave Feminists: What We Need to Teach Young Women About Their Bodies

I used to work in a sexual health clinic. It was interesting but sometimes frustrating work. One day a young woman came in upset and angry about a “discharge” she had that she didn’t like and wanted to get rid of.

“I’ve been to two other clinics and had tests and they tell me there’s nothing wrong with me. But I still have this discharge!”

I asked her if the discharge was clear and watery, like egg whites. She said it was. “You know, there is nothing wrong with you,” I said. “In fact, everything is right with you. That is your natural cervical mucus. It comes every month before ovulation, and it has to do with your fertility.”

We then had a conversation about the mucus changes over the month and what these changes mean. She left, much relieved and a lot wiser.

[desire to finish NFP instructor training intensifies]

“Planned Parenthood saved my beautiful sister’s life

from advanced cervical cancer when she couldn’t get treatment anywhere else and had no insurance. She would have died at 24 with a young son; we all would have been devastated for such a tragic ending. Thank you, Planned Parenthood for your competent and loving care for women who need it and deserve it the most!”

- Danielle D., Florida


Thank you so much for all your nice messages, your concerns and your good wishes. Sorry if I don’t answer each message individually, it’s better for me not to spend much time on the computer. I know you are absolutely fine without me, no worries :)

I’m not seriously ill, I have a cervical contracture that affects a nerve in the right arm, so using a computer is absolutely contraindicated. I also have torn fibres in my calf . I’m not sure if this is the correct translation, but anyway, I’m bored at home, I’m not sure for how long.
Thanks for all the reblogs, the likes and the comments last week. Special thanks for the reblogs to:

http://luxlit.tumblr.com/http://darksilenceinsuburbia.tumblr.com/http://fotosgraphos.tumblr.com/http://beautifullyframed.tumblr.com/http://theoriginalplant.tumblr.com/http://opticalgallery.tumblr.com/, http://boschintegral.tumblr.com/http://brianneuls.tumblr.com/http://carol1st.tumblr.com/, The letters in the portals identify each door. In the opposite side of the gallery there’s another identical door with the letters B and C above each door. So the four doors are identified as A, B, C and D. 

Sorry if I forgot someone. 

Big hugs for you all and a very special huge hug for Fernando. Aché pa’ ti también con mucho cariño. 

anonymous asked:

I am a trans man and i was told that i need to go for a pap smear. The thought of that makes me super uncomfortable. What do i do?

Emery says:

Unfortunately, Pap smears are an important part of vulva healthcare. Regular screening for cervical cancer is nonnegotiable, gender aside. I suggest finding a doc you’re comfortable with and who will respect your identity and stuff, gathering up your courage, and taking the plunge. I also suggest having some self-care stuff prepared for afterwards, if you’re thinking you’ll feel shitty. Ask a friend or partner to come over, watch a movie, eat some ice cream, shave your face, whatever helps you. Good luck friend.

Premed Book Club!

Ok, who noticed that I’m a day late?!

So sorry to everyone anxiously awaiting this edition of the premed book club…quiz studying takes a lot out of you. Though I still have some prep work for tomorrow (seriously this is so evil) I thought I could use a break to share another wonderful book with you all!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This one is for the medical history nerds out there. A lot of the important advances in medicine in the 20th century can be traced back to the discovery of the ‘immortal’ cell line HeLa. This cell line originated in the cervical cancer of Henrietta Lacks. She was a mother, wife, and sister when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and one of her doctors took a sample of her tumor during her treatment. Even though she was never told about this, her cells went on to birth the first immortal cell line in history, HeLa. HeLa cells are now found all over the world and are making contributions to all kinds of medical research, but mostly cancer. This book focuses on the story of what happened when Henrietta’s children finally found out that their mother’s cells had been basically stollen in the 1950′s. 

This is a really powerful book with a lot of underlying questions regarding patient consent, race, and human experimentation mixed in. What I loved the most about it was the journey that Henrietta’s daughter went through trying to discover just what it meant that her mother’s cells were still alive. It was also amazing reading about the strength and tenacity that Henrietta had while she was dying of cancer. Her entire family has to go through a lot to deal with the repercussions of her doctor’s decisions. Reading how they approach these issues and decisions is heartening, and honestly gives you faith in humanity again. 

As I mentioned before, this is a REALLY good read if you are interested in medical or research history. But it also is powerful for a future doctor. It really makes you think about where the field has come in the past 60 years, and maybe even how far it can go in the future. Definitely give it a try!

supahmeggs asked:

I see that people are reblogging a post about the alternative options to planned parenthood, so I have a few questions, do these clinics offer free or discounted contraception? Free screening for breast and cervical cancer? Free vasectomies? Post natal care? Or are they just general health clinics?

I’m not sure, it likely depends on the clinic, but Planned Parenthood doesn’t really provide those things either. Their own website doesn’t mention the services you mentioned except for some screenings and birth control. They don’t offer free vasectomies, just “vasectomy counseling”, and I didn’t see a thing about postnatal care. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/general-health-care

anonymous asked:

Ok so when I was younger I never had the cervical cancer injections in school and I recently asked my doctor if I could have them, but she said I'm too old (I'm 18) I've read on the internet that you can still have them at 18 and I keep worrying about it because Idk the thought of cervical cancer just terrifies me tbh I don't know what to do

Well gee, if 18 is too old, then maybe I should sue my providers for giving me the HPV shot at around 20/21!

That’s sarcasm. 18 is most certainly NOT too old. The HPV vaccine is recommended for everyone under the age of 26*, preferably before you begin having sex, which is why it’s pushed for it to be had before someone turns 11 or 12.

HPV vaccines are not yet a federal mandate for public school students in the US, I am not sure about elsewhere, but that means currently a LOT of people who have graduated high school have not yet had it, so you’re not alone.

*Although some doctors may argue with DMAB persons under the age of 21 unless you are LGBT+ or with a compromised immune system, but there’s no reason why they can’t have it after as far as I’m aware.

Honestly, I’m fucking terrified but I refuse to tell anyone. A year and a half ago I got bad news from my obgyn. They told me to come back in a year and to quit smoking. Well It only made me smoke more from the stress of possible cancer. About 5 months ago I skipped out on my biopsy. Too fucking afraid to find out and not wanting to go alone, I now have no clue whether I’m perfectly fine or have cancer that could be taken care of. I am ashamed, I am a coward, and I need to woman up. But I know I will hide in my ignorance until either nothing happens or I am in need of help.

Baby boy is due one month from today but I honestly have a hard time believing I’ll be able to carry him that long. At this point I’m just hoping to make it to full term. I’m starting to get signs of early labor, the back ache, my BH are getting more intense and I’m almost positive I’m beginning to lose my mucus plug. Although I know this doesn’t necessarily mean anything and I could be stuck like this for weeks. We’ll see what the doctor says at my cervical check on Wednesday. Now that I’ve said this he’ll probably be two weeks late! Lol.