General Question

punkrockworld's avatar

Where can I get a pap smear?

Asked by punkrockworld (960points) March 6th, 2009

Is it by a gynecologist or Obstetrician?
Where do I find a good one? I don’t have any family here so I don’t know where to ask. I live in the Los Angeles Area and want it to be a good, clean doctor.

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35 Answers

Judi's avatar

Do you have insurance? Are you a student? Is cost a factor at all? These things would make a difference in a recomendation.

elijah's avatar

An OBGYN is a doctor that does both. You can also go to someone who is just a gynocologist. Your primary care doctor, family member or friend can give you a referal.

punkrockworld's avatar

I’m a student, not a resident here though. But I do have insurance?
Will it show up on my bill what it was for?
I don’t want my guardians to find out.

laureth's avatar

Go to Planned Parenthood. It’s sliding scale, so it can be cheap if you’re a student. They’re also pretty high-class when it comes to confidentiality. Good luck! And good on you for taking care of your health.

Likeradar's avatar

@punkrockworld A pap is a normal thing for a young woman to get. I think it’s seen as preventative medicine like a check up or dental cleaning. Why are you afraid your guardians will know you’re taking measures to remain healthy?

bythebay's avatar

@laureth‘s answer is perfect. And a pap-smear is routine gyn care – not the same as a pregnancy test – nothing to feel bad about. Congrats for taking care of yourself. If there is no Planned Parenthood near you, look for a womens health clinic.

laureth's avatar

Oh yeah. If you don’t want it to show up on your insurance, you may not want to pay for it with your insurance. Just pay it out of pocket, for secrecy.

Bri_L's avatar

This may be a guy thing but I thought you got them down between your legs.

punkrockworld's avatar

I’m twenty years old, yet I don’t want them to tell my dad I’m having sex, I don’t know it’s weird. I have only had it with one person but I feel dirty cause I don’t know how many people he has slept with. How much will it cost me if i do it without my insurance? plus minus?

Emdean1's avatar

Planned ParentHood will base your visit on how much money you make. It could be about $40
just tell them honestly why you can’t use your insurance and they will work with you. They are very nice there

Likeradar's avatar

I may be wrong, but I thought paps were for all women 18+, without it mattering if you’re sexually active.
Call your local Planned Parenthood to find out prices. As some people have already said, they’re great with confidentiality and affordability.
and donate to them on your way out so they can continue to be great

bythebay's avatar

$50 – $200. But remember, a pap smear is a normal gyn test at your age; not entirely associated with sex. This is from Another alternative to going to a private practice physician would be to go to your local Planned Parenthood or county health department. Both offer free or low cost Pap smears to low income and/or uninsured women. Please note that most county health departments treat low-income people, so you may not qualify for their services. However, I would definitely check with Planned Parenthood

punkrockworld's avatar

I just made an appointment with this gyn in West Hollywood who has her private practice. I told her I have insurance, which I do, however I might tell her the day of the apptment that I’d rather have it without. I will see, thank you for all your answers they were very helpfull.

Emdean1's avatar

@punkrockworld I would really look in to Planned ParentHood!

punkrockworld's avatar

And not go to the private gyn?
I’m so confused : )

Likeradar's avatar

@punkrockworld If you’re concerned about price, you should definitley find out how much it will cost if you pay out of pocket… (maybe you already did). Private practices can be VERY expensive.

punkrockworld's avatar

@ Likeradar: For a pap smear, how much is VERY expensive?

If I were to choose using insurance.. how will it show up on it?
As a pap smear or check up?

elijah's avatar

A doctor can’t tell your parents anything if you’re over 18. Doctor-patient confidentiality laws.
A pap smear on the insurance doesn’t automatically mean youre sexually active. It just means you are taking care of your body. Virgins have them also. Tell your mom that you have horrible cramps, and you want to speak to a gyno. The gyno will do a pap as part of a regular checkup.

Likeradar's avatar

@punkrockworld I haven’t been uninsured in a while, so I don’t know exactly how much. I used to go to Planned Parenthood for all my feminine and sexual health needs because of the cost of private practices. I just did a quick google search, and found that paps can run $50–200ish at a private practice, plus treatment and other tests if needed.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Absolutely call Planned Parenthood. Tell them your concerns about confidentiality. They are extremely sensitive to that kind of thing. They’ll go to the point that when they get your number, they’ll ask what they should say when they call (ie, can they say they are PP or do they need to be more covert in case a parent or whatever answers). They are very nice and trained to be discrete.

Likeradar's avatar

@elijahsuicide If she’s over 18 but still on her guardian’s insurance, how do things look on insurance billing?

elijah's avatar

@Likeradar like I said it doesn’t matter what the insurance says, any responsible parent would know that any girl who has gone through puberty and is getting her period needs to see a gyno for preventative measures. The insurance may list a pap smear as part of a routine checkup, but there won’t be a big sexually active banner scrawled across the top.

Judi's avatar

My daughter got her first pap at her university health clinic. They were very kind and understanding. She was a virgin at the time and “penetration phobic.” They were so nice and patient with her and made her not feel stupid. I don’t know if your school has something like that, but if they do that may be the way to go.

casheroo's avatar

I went to Planned Parenthood for my birth control and paps for a while. I was under 18 and it was completely free. Once you turn 18, it’s low cost.
I now go to a clinic in a hospital, it’s alright. And definitely low cost. It’s much cheaper than a private practice, because the practice may not charge you a lot, but the lab will for doing the work.
Also, why would it bother your father? Every woman should have a pap smear once a year, sexually active or not, IMO.

DandyDear711's avatar

It sounds like you need to go for more than a pap smear…. you need a full exam, advice on birth control etc. You dad will get the EOB – explanation of benefits – from the insurance company and he will probably see exactly what you had done. He should be glad you are taking care of yourself but if you want complete privacy go to Planned Parenthood. (unless the mother of your boyfriend works there…)

BTW – pap smear is to check for cervical cancer, which you should check for every year. But sounds like you are actually worried about STDs – another important thing to check for. Also, while you are at it, you need to start on the series of HPV shots, Gardisil. It will cut your risk of getting cervical cancer. Lastly you need to learn about birth control. You must use condoms so you can stop worrying about STDs. Don’t leave anything up to him – it is all your responsibility. Planned Parenthood should give you condoms.

casheroo's avatar

You don’t have to get the Gardisil shot, do research on it first. Don’t let a doctor talk you into it. Also, condoms don’t protect against HPV, sad to say.

bythebay's avatar

@punkrockworld: DandyDear makes some really good points. If you’re going to be sexually active, then be careful and be prepared. Take good care of you!

Here is some info from the CDC that may help you understand HPV a little better HPV

fundevogel's avatar

You could go to Planned Parenthood or a private practice. I’ve been to both, but now I stick to the private office. My second time at planned parenthood the doctor was NOT professional and I decided I wanted to know who I was going to see every time I went in, rather than getting paired with a random doctor I didn’t know.

If you do decide to go to a private practice I would talk to who ever it is you get your insurance from. It is super expensive without insurance. At 20 you should have already been having paps for two years regardless of sexual activity so you should be to explain that this is a basic health care activity that every woman is supposed to do regularly. As someone said earlier it might be a good idea to say you have painful cramps to your guardian as this often treated by getting on the pill and gives you a prudish excuse to get birth control if you need to or want to use it.

If you decide you want to get the Gardisil series you might point out that it is literally a cure for cancer, something that is usually regarded as a medical holy grail (except when involving cancer in you girlish parts, f*cking double standard).

There is something seriously wrong with the world when getting basic health care (or any health care for that matter) is subject to social criticism. This is a health issue and has absolutely nothing to do with your character or morality, which is none or their business anyways.

This seems like the golden exception to a parents often endless drive to take care or their childrens’ well being. They’ll do anything for health and safety until it gets down to their kids junk. Hypocrites. It makes me sick. </soapbox>

dragonflyfaith's avatar

Check with your school as well. My college offered them for about $50 (yes with a doctor) at the health center. It was a service offered just for students and they did not accept insurance. They also handled birth control.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I only paid $25 for mine at Health Services at my school a few weeks ago. I could have put it on my insurance, but it didn’t even seem worth the trouble. Plus, I knew exactly where I was, didn’t have to worry about parking, and the whole thing was really quick and easy.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I have my family practitioner do it.

scamp's avatar

@punkrockworld Your health information can not be released to anyone but you and the insurance company for billing purposes. there is a law called HIPAA Which protects your privacy. When doctors bill insurance companies, they use codes called ICD9, which identifies what they are billing for.

Pap smears are done routinely for women your age, and getting one done does not send out an flags that you are sexually active. Even if it did, they are legally bound to keep your information confidential, and can tell no one without your consent.

As far as how it shows up on any bill your parents may recieve, it will show the code numbers if anything at all, and most people do not know how to decipher them, unless of course one of your parents does medical billing.

Usually the EOB (explanation of benifits) will show that the insurance company paid for an office visit, and how much coinsurance the insured has to pay after the company pays their share.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I work for a health insurance company. Pap smears on many plans are covered at 100% as a preventive service. In many states, they fall under “well woman” legislated care. It’s given to check for cervical cancer, which can be caused by HPV, which is not a sexually transmitted disease, but a regular virus. They recently came up with a vaccine for it that they recommend giving girls around age 12.

Getting a pap smear is like getting your teeth cleaned, or taking the car in for a tune-up. Women just do it. I go to my family practitioner because it’s easier, and I usually have it done when I go in for something else.

Here’s a link about Well Woman Exams
They recommend age 21 for first pap smear, or three years after the start of sexual activity. You make an appointment for a well woman exam, and there’s a series of things that are checked.

msmary's avatar

If you do or don’t have cash or insurance you can see Dr Brandeis of Brandeis Medical at 8420 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills. If you don’t have insurance you will be signed up for family pact and can get birth control pills for FREE. The phone number is 310 855 7504. Dr. Brandeis has been my doctor for the last 10 years. It is a private office, not a clinic

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