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Posted 1/28/2013 by Luvmygirls in NSBR Board


PeaNut 77,965
March 2003
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:17:13 PM
I am curious if anyone has been told by their Dr that they didn't need another pap for 3 years. My Dr told me this today. I thought you are supposed to get one every year. Maybe it's because of my age, I'm 43 yo.

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PeaNut 226,741
October 2005
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:20:21 PM
At my last visit they told me 2 years I think..I guess it changed if you have regular paps you don't need to go as often.

I am 45 so maybe that is part of it too... our age.

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PeaNut 160,179
July 2004
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:20:48 PM

Mine did, but I still go every year. My insurance covers once a year, so I go.


PeaNut 399,301
November 2008
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:21:46 PM
I believe the guidelines have changed. I was told the same thing at my last pap smear - 3 years if you have a history of normal paps, especially if you're in a monogamous relationship.

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PeaNut 156,993
July 2004
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 1/28/2013 7:22:11 PM
Yes, the guidelines have changed.


PeaNut 142,548
April 2004
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Loc: my own little world

Posted: 1/28/2013 7:22:21 PM
Mine has said that. I had an abnormal one a few years ago and as long as the one this Nov is good, then she said I won't need one for 3 years

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PeaNut 211,902
June 2005
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:30:35 PM
Yes, I was told the same thing. I'm 52, in a monogamous relationship. My doctor said that it is now known that cervical cancer is caused by HPV (virus) and that since I'm in a monogamous relationship and haven't had any issues... I should be fine with the new guidelines. I just had a PAP after three years and all was normal.... except I experienced an odd burning sensation at the end of the speculum during the specimen collection. I have an appointment with a gynecologist in 2 months and will ask her about that odd sensation then.

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PeaNut 134,808
March 2004
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Loc: East Coast

Posted: 1/28/2013 7:32:26 PM
I was told the same thing, every three years since I've never had an abnormal result.

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PeaNut 73,461
March 2003
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Loc: Chicago, IL

Posted: 1/28/2013 7:47:58 PM
I think my doctor does every other year if no abnormal results. I'll be 42 this month. I do get a mammogram every year though, since I don't have a family history (adopted) and have had breast surgery which makes mine difficult to feel with just a self-exam.



PeaNut 346,032
November 2007
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:56:13 PM
My GYN has been following the every three years if you've had normal results guideline for several years now. And it does NOT mean that you don't go for the exam at all for three years; it means she still does the pelvic exam but just doesn't do the Pap smear.


PeaNut 432,055
July 2009
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:01:21 PM
At my exam last year my Doc told me the new guidelines were every three years, if they have been normal. However she prefers every other year if the insurance will pay for it. Luckily mine does.


PeaNut 281,401
October 2006
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Loc: Topeka

Posted: 1/28/2013 8:08:54 PM
So will they start writing prescriptions for birth control for 3 years then? The only reason I go is to get the prescription!



PeaNut 286,992
December 2006
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:11:22 PM
Well, my OB told me the guidelines have changed however, she doesn't believe in them. She has had plenty of patients who "are married and faithful" who find out that their husbands have cheated on them. She continues to do them.

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PeaNut 111,502
October 2003
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Loc: Vic, Australia

Posted: 1/28/2013 8:20:17 PM

Well, my OB told me the guidelines have changed however, she doesn't believe in them. She has had plenty of patients who "are married and faithful" who find out that their husbands have cheated on them.
But that doesn't change anything. Cancers related to HPV are generally quite slow growing and usually you have had the HPV for many years before any changes occur.
Therefore even if you get a new infection from an unfaithful partner, that isn't going to show up in a PAP test next year or the year after...more likely to be in 10-20 years time, so a 3 yearly check up is still going to be plenty of time to detect and treat and treat a problem.


PeaNut 105,897
September 2003
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Loc: Wisconsin

Posted: 1/28/2013 8:24:02 PM
Yep, just had my physical last week and had my first pap in 3 years.


PeaNut 45,166
August 2002
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Loc: somewhere in TX

Posted: 1/28/2013 8:52:10 PM
I go every 6mo I had cervical cancer. I was released to go every year and I choose to go every 6mo. It snuck up on me out of nowhere and was fast growing. Never again. I'll go every 6mo forever for my peace of mind.
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PeaNut 286,992
December 2006
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Posted: 1/28/2013 10:48:50 PM

No most likely HpV won't show up on the pap right away but they test for the virus separately from the pap , low risk and high risk HpV virus You can have the virus for years and it may never show up on the actual pap.
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PeaNut 111,502
October 2003
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Loc: Vic, Australia

Posted: 1/28/2013 11:23:25 PM
I think you are confused (or your doctor is, I don't know which)

HPV tests tell you if you have the HPV virus in your cervix or not, the test is either positive or negative.

PAP tests tell you if you have abnormal cells in your cervix. Sometimes these abnormal cells are caused by a HPV virus and they can turn into cancer.

For the high risk HPV virus to turn into cancer often takes 10-20 years.

Just testing for HPV will not tell if you are going to get cancer or not. Some of the high risk viruses will just go away and do not cause further problems.
So even if you have an annual HPV test, there is no way of knowing if it will cause cancer in 10 years time or not. It gives you some information, mainly it is a 'warning'.

So you are saying that your doctor does annual PAP tests because a woman may get HPV from an unfaithful partner...I am saying that will not make any difference, because if they do contract HPV "now" any potential cancer will not show up for many years and therefore a 3 yearly PAP is still going to be plenty of time to pick up any cell changes. Getting a new HPV infection now, will not cause abnormal cervical cells by next it is a waste of time doing more frequent PAPs (I am only referring to the routine screening...not individual women who have specific issues).

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PeaNut 479,777
August 2010
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:26:22 PM
Mine follows the new guidelines. I've never had an abnormal Pap, so while I go every year (just scheduled this year's today), he doesn't always do a Pap.

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PeaNut 157,667
July 2004
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Loc: Upstate NY

Posted: 1/29/2013 5:26:41 AM
Mine did that last year at my yearly exam. I wasn't comfortable going 3 years, so at my exam this year I asked for one. He said the insurance companies haven't gotten terribly strict yet, so he was able to do one.


PeaNut 95,499
July 2003
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Posted: 1/29/2013 5:34:09 AM
Mine told me that too BUT she did say that you should still have a pelvic exam every year.


PeaNut 266,020
June 2006
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Loc: freedom, pa

Posted: 1/29/2013 6:14:37 AM
Mine told me it was my option but since the insurance pays for an annual exam I get one; he prefers I do!

I also get annual mammograms although there is no history in my family.


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PeaNut 163,613
August 2004
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Loc: *Sunny Southern California*

Posted: 1/29/2013 6:56:56 AM
I have been told that. Apparently the standards have changed

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PeaNut 446,722
November 2009
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:21:00 AM
You are still supposed to go in every year, they just aren't doing that one test every time...

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PeaNut 365,853
March 2008
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Loc: Dallas, Texas

Posted: 1/29/2013 12:48:00 PM
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee Opinion 12/2012

Conclusions and Recommendations

* An annual visit provides an excellent opportunity to counsel patients about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks.

* The annual health assessment should include screening, evaluation and counseling, and immunizations based on age and risk factors.

* Speculum examinations for cervical cancer screening should begin at age 21 years, irrespective of sexual activity of the patient.

* A pelvic examination always is an appropriate component of a comprehensive evaluation of any patient who reports or exhibits symptoms suggestive of female genital tract, pelvic, urologic, or rectal problems.

* The decision to receive an internal examination can be left to the patient if she is asymptomatic and has undergone a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo--oophorectomy for benign indications and has no history of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3, or cancer; is not infected with HIV; is not immunocompromised; and was not exposed to diethylstilbestrol in utero. Cytology testing is not recommended in this select population. Annual examination of the external genitalia should continue.

* Breast self-awareness, which for many patients also may include performing breast self-examination, is recommended. The patient should immediately report changes in her breast to her physician.

* Based on available evidence, the College, ACS, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommend that a clinical breast examination be performed annually in women aged 40 years and older. In women aged 20--39 years, the College, ACS, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network continue to recommend a clinical breast examination every 1--3 years.

* The decision to perform any type of pelvic or breast examination should always be made with the consent of the patient.

From my experience working in an OB-GYN office, this is the only time each year most women see "a doctor" unless they are:

* Pregnant
* Think their husbands are cheating on them
* Have a sudden illness or unexpected symptom
* Have an underlying or chronic illness

In regards to HPV infection, incubation period, and clinical evidence:

NY Department of Health: Human Papillomavirus (HPV, genital or venereal warts)Last Reviewed: October 2010

How soon do symptoms appear?

The average incubation period, which begins immediately after the initial sexual contact with an infected person, is usually two to three months but can range from one to 20 months. However, when HPV is transmitted from one person to another, the virus infects the top layers of the skin and can remain inactive or latent for months or possibly years before warts or other signs of HPV infection appear. In couples that have not had sex partners for many years, the woman may develop an abnormal Pap smear because of previous contact.

When and for how long is a person able to spread venereal warts?

HPV cannot be cured; therefore, the infected person is essentially contagious for life. Approximately two-thirds of the people who have sexual contact with a partner with genital warts will develop this disease. HPV infection can also be transmitted by people who have no visible lesions, but some researchers believe this condition is less contagious than overt genital warts.

Does past infection make a person immune?

No, previous infection with warts does not make a person immune from repeat infection.

And for those wondering about Cervical Cancer:

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Cervical cancer Cancer - cervix Last reviewed: December 15, 2011.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women. It is much less common in the United States because of the routine use of Pap smears.

Cervical cancers start in the cells on the surface of the cervix. There are two types of cells on the cervix's surface: squamous and columnar. Most cervical cancers are from squamous cells.

Cervical cancer usually develops very slowly. It starts as a precancerous condition called dysplasia. This precancerous condition can be detected by a Pap smear and is 100% treatable. It can take years for precancerous changes to turn into cervical cancer. Most women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer today have not had regular Pap smears or they have not followed up on abnormal Pap smear results.

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV (human papilloma virus). HPV is a common virus that is spread through sexual intercourse. There are many different types of HPV. Some strains lead to cervical cancer. (Other strains may cause genital warts, while others do not cause any problems at all.)

A woman's sexual habits and patterns can increase her risk for cervical cancer. Risky sexual practices include having sex at an early age, having multiple sexual partners, and having multiple
partners or partners who participate in high-risk sexual activities.

Regardless of what the recommendations are from any Medical Organization IF your Medical Insurance covers you for a Well Woman Exam once a year DO IT not because it is "free" but because it is Preventative Healthcare and keeping yourself healthy is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family.

And if there is anything I have learned from being on both sides of the desk, you MUST advocate for your healthcare because no one else is going to do it for you and when possible they will deny you care because they reason, if you are unwilling to take advantage of the medical care you are benefited with, why should they bother if you don't.

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PeaNut 60,761
January 2003
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Loc: Who's asking?

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:15:45 PM
I go to a military clinic for my Health Care. They've been saying every three for at least 5 years now. I had my last one three years ago this spring. When I was in the Dr getting the referral for my first Mammo last fall she mentioned they are going to change the Pap recommendation to every 5 years and are considering the Mammo every two for those who are low risk. Although we can elect to have them done more often.

I figure it's mostly a cost saving measure on their part.


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