Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Annual PAP SMEAR test

Getting a pap smear is not cool for me. If you have not experienced a pap smear test before, you are most likely nervous, apprehensive and anxious about getting it done for the very first time. That was how I reacted a few years ago, a combo of all three. Suffice to say, in my entire life, I had only two PAP Smears done. I used to dread the idea of going for my yearly routine so much and I would conjure up all kinds of lame excuses. I'm constantly putting my needs aside and more often, there's always bound to be some family affairs to attend to. Fortunately, my path to healthy lifestyle got the better of me.

Yesterday was the day indeed. Until this point, I was expecting the discomfort of getting on the bed under glaring lights, taking off my pants, bending my knees outwards and exposing my lady part to a male ob/gyn. As usual, the doctor would asked about my symptoms and medical background. The male doctor was friendly and he kept trying to get me to relax. He conducted an ultrasound and a pap smear with an internal complete with an instrument in my vagina to scrap cells off my cervix.

After my pap smear was taken, my cell sample will be sent off to a lab to determine if there are any cervical abnormalities. I'll be receiving my pap smear results in a few weeks time. The results will either indicate negative or positive. In case you are not aware, a negative test means that your cervical cells are normal whereas a positive result indicates the presence of some abnormal cells in your cervix. Causes of an abnormal pap smear include:
  • inflammation
  • infection
  • cancer
As I would imagine, a trip to the ob/gyn can be a source of anxiety and stress associated for most women but I also believe a few women would diligent in scheduling their pap smears. The only good thing I can say is it only happens once a year. MEN should be thankful they don't have to endure such hassles on a yearly basis.

So ladies, even it is not a fun thing or coolest thing to do in the world, do take it seriously, because it is a serious matter, don't take for granted. Prevention is better than cure.


  1. I think once every 2-year should be ok if you have a healthy lifestyle. Am I right?

  2. I don't relish the thought of going for a pap smear either. My OB/GYN used to chide me for finding excuses and postponing my visits. :D

  3. molly,
    For 1st timers, my doc recommends that pap tests should be done for three consecutive years and if results r normal, then the test can b done every 2-3yrs. I'll wait for 2 years to ever have that done again, and I'm certainly NOT looking forward to the day.

  4. lina,
    i bet most women dreaded the idea of doing this procedure too. definitely not fun! :(

  5. I've never had a pap smear test before..but I guess it's not a "pleasant" experience :-D

  6. I've been trying to put it off as long as I could. :P
    I know I should make the trip.
    I'll look for a lady ob.

  7. Wow! Lucky I'm a man and don't have to undergo that! I already dread my annual blood test, don't need to add more stressful tests! : )

  8. I've never had a pap smear before, at least not that I know of, do they do that to you after you've given birth? does it hurt?

  9. hi monica,
    it was not a very pleasant experience, but it certainly wasn’t the worst experience i could have though.

  10. ECL,
    take the test, not the risk, don't procrastinate, dear.

  11. hey foong,
    you're the thorn among the roses here. i didn't expect u to make any comments. hehe...but thank you.

    the only thing i can say is men should b glad that they don't have to undergo such experiences.

  12. ane,
    it's been a practice for ob/gyn to conduct such tests after childbirth. don't worry, the procedure is completely painless.

  13. i have to disagree with foongpc - all healthy men above 50 should go for regular coronary, bowel & prostate screening. besides blood tests, an exercise stress test & colonoscope should be performed.

    prevention is better than cure, & these tests can detect early coronary artery disease as well as prostatic & bowel cancers.

  14. hi doc,
    I guess this is something we can't afford to be negligent about. It's rather difficult when someone you love dearly is battling with diseases. We should be well informed to survive this.

  15. Hey, great blog entry! Do you mind if I link to it or use part of it on a Cervical Cancer Prevention website?

  16. anonymous,
    permission granted but i'd very much appreciate if you linked me accordingly. thank you.

  17. I'm not sure that any of you will read this as it is a bit late from the rest of the posts, however I also dont think you grasp the pain you are risking if you do not have regularly YEARLY screenings for those of you who are healthy.
    I was diagnosed with HPV in October of 2007. My first doctor had never seen a case like mine and since I really didn't like her or her practice I searched for another ob that I liked and trusted since they would be down in a vicinity that only a lover or tampon should be. That was the best choice in this entire life changing experience. I went through 4 other doctors before finding the one of my dreams. My new doctor (who I drive 800 miles one-way to see currently) agreed with the diagnosis and ordered a colposcopy. This is a hard word to say yet alone the procedure. I have never been through so much pain, and my doc compared it to child birth without the hip breaking pressure.
    Cervical canscer is supposed to be a slow progressing cancer. Taking roughly a year at each stage and having three stages before actually becoming a mild cancer in comparison to the rest. Having only being in stage 1 in October, my doc reccommended to wait on having anything taken care of before because it can reverse in stage 1 as well. I had to have surgery in December of 07 for endometriosis (a very bad case of it) and I made the decision for my doctor to inspect the cervix while I was out and in surgery since it was the same doctor and he could decide whether or not to remove a small part of the cervix that had become precancerous due to the HPV. He did a painful examination of the cervix without me flinching since I was under and found it was more than anticipated, so they lasered the cancerous part of the cervix, basically scarring it and leaving little evidence over time of doing so. (however there are major risks in doing this procedure thus the wait till its time before enduring this)
    When the lab sent back the findings of the taken off piece, they discovered a new breed of HPV. My body had given it a breeding ground for the cancer to spread and evolve. In a short month and a half amount of time, it went from barely stage 1 to late stage 3, my doc now thinking that it was a good idea, because if I had waited to have this done (called a LEEP procedure), I would have been going through chemo after the surgery. Luckily, they caught it in time before this could take place.
    SO with all of this, I cannot express to you the emotional and physical pain and suffering I endured in the last (almost) 2 year time period. Thus not including my 20+ vaginal inspections and numerous "tests" and 3 colposcopies in a short period of time. SO STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT SEEING THEM ONCE A YEAR. I will be seeing my doc and having a regular pap smear every 4 months for probably the rest of my life. You have no idea what could be infesting the very heart and soul of your well being until it has taken complete control.
    If I had been smart and not listened to my mother of all people about NOT getting the HPV shot a short 8 months prior to the whole start of this I would not have this experience to pass on. I had been so careful with my sexual partners and with my lifestyle and since they CANT test men to see if they have this, it can get passed so easily. Please, please, please be careful in the thought of getting this shot. It could literally save your life or at least a small part of it.
    And for crying out loud, just see your ob already! In a matter of minutes its over for yet another year.

  18. Thank you for sharing Brianna, much appreciated!
    Good post to start.