General Question

Wine's avatar

Who shouldn't get a pap smear?

Asked by Wine (539 points ) January 21st, 2013

Is it ever harmful or unnecessary to a patient?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

Seek's avatar

It takes five minutes. If you have a cervix, get it checked. Seriously.

livelaughlove21's avatar

No, it’s not harmful. And it’s always necessary.

The only reason you shouldn’t get one is if you have a penis.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Wine's avatar

I feel kind of embarrassed to ask this, but how do you know if you have or don’t have a cervix? I’ve tried searching online but the only results I found were related to cervical cancer.

tedd's avatar

@Wine Uhh… if you’re a girl and haven’t had it removed (or weren’t born without it for some reason)... you have a cervix.

Basically it’s the connection between your vagina and uterus.

Seek's avatar

If you’re female, you have a cervix, unless you’ve had it removed for some reason.

The cervix is at the base of the uterus . A pap smear is a test to assure that the cells in your cervix are non-cancerous.

Mariah's avatar

If you’re a lady, you have a cervix.

As for the question, there are certain conditions that might make it dangerous or difficult to have a pap smear, but you would know if you had them.

wundayatta's avatar

Obviously, men shouldn’t get pap smears. Wrong anatomy, of course. At least, one would think it is obvious, but perhaps some obvious things need to be said, in case anyone didn’t know who a pap smear is for.

Gabby101's avatar

Some medical research says they are not necessary every year and there are age guidelines as well. Children do not get them, eg.

If you are having a pelvic exam, the Pap smear is just the part where they take a scrape to get cells for analysis. There is also the pelvic exam where they are feeling inside for lumps/bumps.

gailcalled's avatar

As a 16-year breast cancer survivor, I see my oncologist yearly I haven’t had a Pap in five years.

gailcalled's avatar

PS. The oncologist does blood work and checks for cancer markers there.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

How do you NOT know whether or not you have a cervix? I’m not being snarky, I’m being dead serious. Do they not teach health class in school anymore?

If you’re old enough to have sex, you should be getting a pap at your annual “Well Woman” exam.

Seek's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate It depends on how strong the religious right is in the state. In Florida it’s been cut back so far it’s ridiculous. I remember a full scientific anatomy lesson in fourth grade. My little sister, six years later, got called into a separate classroom with the other girls while they handed out maxi pads and told them to ask their parents if they had any questions. I have no idea what they did for the boys, if anything.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Jeez, my oldest daughter is in the 6th grade, and they’ve already separated the girls and boys to watch their “special videos.”

Lightlyseared's avatar

So to all those people who said men… a pap test is also used to detect anal cancer caused by the HPV virus (the same virus that causes cervical cancer). Particularly important for anyone who has engaged in anal sex…

Response moderated (Spam)
seekingwolf's avatar

All women need them starting at age 18 or when they start having sex. Whichever comes first.

Your doctor will tell you if you need it yearly or less often.

It is a little uncomfortable to get one done but not terribly painful and it is medically necessary.

downtide's avatar

Its never harmful and, if you have a cervix, it’s vital. The only people who don;t need one are people who don;t have a cervix.

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