This week, October 22 - 28th, is Pap Awareness Week which is sponsored by the Lace Campaign. Pap tests go along way in helping you and your doctor know more about your body. They help detect sexually transmitted diseases, and any health problems your cervix or vagina might be suffering from.
As a woman with vulvodynia, I will speak openly about encouraging women to have their pap test, but even more importantly, the need for you to TALK to health care provider. Don't be afraid to admit to any unusual pain or issues with your sexuality. Hopefully your health care provider will be willing and open with you in discussing these issues and addressing any concerns you might have.
Do you need a pap test? When was your last one? How do you know everything is all good down there?
Information from the Lace Campaign:
How often do you need to get screened? From the BC Cancer Agency's Cervical Cancer Screening Program:
Women need to start getting Paps... when they turn 21, or three years after first sexual contact (this includes touching and oral sex, not just intercourse).After your first Pap… get one every year until you have three normal tests. Then, get one every two years.After age 69, you can stop getting Paps if... you’ve had three normal results in a row in the past 10 years, and no history of moderate or severely abnormal Pap tests.
With that said, if you haven't had a pap test and you meet any of the above requirements, or even if you have any sexual concerns regarding your vulva, vagina, or cervix, book an appointment with your local clinic or health provider.
Get your pap test done. It's not that bad.
(just kidding, if you have my condition it's absolutely painful, you'll bawl your eyes out and cry and wish it was all over... but my nurse was sweet and we figured out what was wrong. I wish they could just take a picture!)