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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
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
Right on 12:12. They'll never know...just don't have sex before you go!
Friday, June 22, 2007, 7:30 AM
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
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
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.
Friday, June 22, 2007, 1:09 PM
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
a link to an article about minor-patient confidentiality
Friday, June 22, 2007, 4:22 PM
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
Friday, June 22, 2007, 5:01 PM
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
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
I'm 19 and just had my first exam and Pap a few months ago. I was worried about the same things - if my parents would somehow find out I'm sexually active, and also I was just anxious about the exam. I was absolutely amazed by how quick and painless it was. It was over so fast and was not traumatic at all. In fact, I felt great leaving because I had the weight of worrying about STDs off my shoulders. My GYN tested me for STDs in addition to my Pap, which came back all clear thank God! Even if you practice safe sex I think its good to know for sure, because the guy could lie to you and condoms aren't 100%. So I think you really should tell the doctor you are sexually active. Even though she can't tell, YOU should tell for your own health. Its all completely private anyway, but stress to her your need for privacy. She will understand and do everything possible to make sure you are confident in your privacy.
Saturday, June 23, 2007, 1:52 AM
Yeah I'll be 21 very soon, and just last January I had my first pap. I gotta admit, it's uncomfortable, but it only takes a couple minutes and you're done. If you have an excellent doctor, like I did who made me feel comfortable during the process, then that makes it better. I also automatically got tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Got my results back and not surprised it came back clean-- well, I've never been sexually active lol.
If you have had sex, like the others said, it's important to inform this to your doctor with all the possible diseases out there.
Saturday, June 23, 2007, 2:37 AM
WHAT YOU DONT KNOW ABOUT PAP SMEARS
READ CAREFULLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today I was TRICKED by my own mother! I was told that I was going to the foot docter and that he moved to a new location. We I got there I found out I was really there for a pap smear! My mother scheduled it behind my back! But to my point ...... pap smears DO tell whether you've had sex! The doctor puts this thing............and if it goes in easily, if you're very relaxed, if you don't cringe, or even say ouch, the doctor will tell your parents that you've had sex! And yes the doctor can test for some STDs in the pap smear by inserting a cotton swap and some other thingy. ****This is the TRUTH! And i need to tell every young girl the truth about pap smears!
Monday, January 25, 2010, 4:44 PM
A doctor will be able to tell if you have had or have not had intercourse, but they don't care. That's not what they are looking for.
Monday, January 25, 2010, 7:38 PM
I’d urge every woman to do her reading and make an informed decision about the need for and value of these exams. Pap tests are never compulsory, never! The pap test like any other cancer screening test has risks and benefits and legally and ethically requires your informed consent. Fewer than 1% of women benefit from pap tests (0.65%) according to American pathologist, Richard DeMay – 0.35% get false negatives and may be disadvantaged by testing and 99% derive no benefit at all. (I’ve seen figures even less impressive – in Australia the lifetime risk of cervical cancer is 0.65% and around 0.45% benefit from smears)
Look at your risk profile before deciding to have pap tests. The Finnish program provides some protection from false positives – they offer 5 yearly screening from age 30, 5 to 7 tests in total. They have the lowest rates of cc in the world and send the fewest women for colposcopy/biopsies. (fewer false positives) Annual and biannual testing is over-testing and produces very high rates of false positives and over-treatment. Annual will send 95% of women at some point for colposcopy/biopsies – Two yearly – 78%
Three yearly – 65% Five yearly – still high at 35%-55% (depending on the research) Almost all referrals are false positives.
Women under 25 (some say 30) do not benefit from testing, but produce very high rates of false positives. CC in this group is VERY rare and rare in all age groups. The tiny death rate from cc in young women remains the same whether you screen or not.
It’s important to do your reading and control your healthcare – unnecessary treatments and biopsies to the cervix can cause damage and lead to infertility, miscarriages, high risk pregnancy, premature babies, more c-sections and psych issues.
The use of stirrups is another disturbing feature of your system – they are not used in consult situations in this country. (or the UK)
Dr Joel Sherman’s medical privacy forum is a wealth of information – see under women’s privacy issues the articles listed in the side bar. I’d recommend the Richard DeMay article and research by Angela Raffle. (1000 women need regular screening for 35 years to save ONE woman from cc (BMJ;2003) Commentary: “Why I’ll never have another smear test” by Anna Saybourn (online) There are also lots of articles by Heather Dixon and others on the real value of these well-woman exams and the unethical practice of doctors holding BC hostage…
Once informed you’re better able to protect yourself from harm and to control every consultation. IMO, doctors are careful and respectful when faced with an informed woman.
Those exams are NOT clinically required for the Pill… I should add women not yet sexually active are excluded from testing in other countries, guidelines calling for ALL women to test from 21, that is BAD medical advice.
Also, women who’ve had complete hysterectomies for benign conditions should be excluded from testing. One other group often overlooked – women in lifetime mutually monogamous relationships are most unlikely to benefit from testing – their risk of cc is near zero.
Whether you’re low or high risk, the risk from this cancer is very small and tiny for low risk women – it is your decision whether you screen and if you do, avoid over-screening and early screening.
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