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pap smear

I have an aunt who works for a Health Dpmnt. and she has recently talked my mom into bringing me there to get my FIRST pap smear. I realize im quit behind on getting it, but i need to get it before im 18 so it can be free. My problem is, I'm worried when you have a papsmear, can you tell wether or not you've had sex? If you can't then my anxiety bout haven one done would be soo much less than it is now! pls help me answer this question. thanks guys!

Thu. Jun 21, 11:49pm

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There is no way to tell if you have ever had sex or not. (If you are worried about not having a hymen anymore, most girls lose theirs long before they have sex-by inserting a tampon, or exercise, or some other natural and harmless reason). Even if there was, there is patient confidentiality-your doctor, or the physicians assistant you see is not allowed to discuss your case with anyone unless you say it is okay. Your mother or aunt do not need to be in the room with you during the pap smear if you have questions for the doctor/nurse. Odds are, they will ask you about your sexual history (for health reasons-it is good to be honest in order for them to treat you/exam you properly) but no one is going to tell anyone.

Relax about going-it's a quick procedure that will be over before you know it. It's slightly uncomfortable but not painful and if the doctor knows it is your first pap smear they will probably take their time and be gentle and explain exactly what it is that they are doing.

It is great that you are going to get checked out-taking care of your reproductive health is really important whether or not you are sexually active (especially if you are though)!

Friday, June 22, 2007, 12:12 AM

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Right on 12:12. They'll never know...just don't have sex before you go!

Friday, June 22, 2007, 7:30 AM

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That's right-don't have sex for at least 24 hours before the pap. Sometimes it can interfere with interpreting the results of the test, and you don't want to go back unless you have to!

Friday, June 22, 2007, 12:28 PM

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a couple tips: 1) RELAX. it's an easy little exam, easier than inserting a tampon for the first time, that's for sure! 2) ask the doctor to warm the speculum, if you can. it makes it much more comfortable! 3) remember that a pap smear is for your protection, not to catch you doing things others don't want you doing. be honest and as truthful as possible with your doctor. if you don't feel comfortable telling your doctor everything, because your aunt also works there, then maybe you should seek out another clinic. it's vital to share your information with your doctor-not only for purposes of diagnoses, but also because you may be engaging in dangerous behavior that you're not fully aware of.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 1:01 PM

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All of the above comments are exactly true. The only thing is if you have had unprotected sex, and may have contracted an STD (ie Chlamydia which doesn't show symptoms) then that will show up on your pap. Again though, doctor - patient confidentiallity can not be broken. The only issue might be if you needed meds to get rid of the nasties.

Good Luck

Friday, June 22, 2007, 1:09 PM

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Is it true that physician-patient confidentiality cannot be broken if she is under 18? Is there no risk that they do not have to tell her parents, should her parents ask?

In the case of her aunt, if her aunt is not a guardian and not associated with her care or paperwork, it would be illegal (a violation of HIPAA) for anyone at the clinic to tell her aunt, or for her aunt to look it up. According to HIPAA, patient information is need-to-know only.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 3:57 PM

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a link to an article about minor-patient confidentiality


Friday, June 22, 2007, 4:22 PM

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I second everything mentioned already on this thread:
a) the process is uncomfortable but painless
b) minors are protected by patient/client privilege, and don't be concerned what the doctor will think about you for having sex, trust me, they've heard worse
c) do disclose to your doctor honestly about having sex and the number of partners (plus if you used protection), this is for your own benefit

Good luck!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007, 5:01 PM

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An STD won't necessarily be picked up on a PAP. One should asked to be tested if there's any concern about that.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 7:24 PM

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Yes, I second that-Paps do NOT scan for STDS! It is important to ask to be tested for them specifically. An abnormal pap can be caused by an infection caused by an STD but they won't know that from the pap results alone.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 9:55 PM

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