First smear test.

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I have been offered a smear test aged 22 (We have a family history of cervical cancer and I have been having symptoms) anyway, I haven’t had sex in 2 years and have been reading up about them not being able to get the clamp in (I’m sorry this is tmi) is this a real possibility? I’m worried I’ll look silly if she can’t do it. I know I’m getting myself worked up over it too but however can it actually happen when they can’t get the clamp in, what happens then?? 

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    I thought it wasnt inherited? Thats what my obgyn said it's caused by hpv..but i hear some people do have it without hpv is so conflicting. Yes it is if your too tense i believe. But you just got to relax hope your test turns out ok

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  • Posted

    Your also young i doubt its cancer plus did you get your hpv shot
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  • Posted

    Hi Emily

    Cervical cancer comes down to one Q...are you hpv- or hpv+?

    About 95% of women aged 30 to 60 are hpv-...under an evidence based program these women are not even offered Pap tests. The Netherlands offer 5 hpv tests or hpv self tests at ages 30,35,40,50 and 60 and only the roughly 5% who test hpv+ are offered a 5 yearly Pap test. (Called a smear test in the UK)

    No country in the world has shown a benefit doing Pap tests on women under 30 but it causes lots of worry and harm, false positives are fairly common in young women and this often leads to unnecessary biopsies and over-treatment.

    hpv testing is not recommended before 30... about 40% of women under 30 will be hpv+...these early infections usually clear naturally in a year or so.

    so it’s the roughly 5% aged 30 to 60 who test hpv+ that should be the focus of cervical screening.

    i don’t screen at all, hpv- women are not at risk and cannot benefit.

    So do your reading, I’d be careful having Pap tests at 22...also, many women have unnecessary treatments in their 20s, this might be why you think there’s a family history. It’s most unlikely multiple members of a family would get this always fairly rare cancer...0.65% is the lifetime risk but you often see multiple members producing “abnormal” Pap tests and having a biopsy or “treatment” especially in their 20s.

    If you’re worried, you could test or self test for hpv at age 30.

    Know the risks with all screening tests, they can lead to some ugly and harmful places.

    all the best

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  • Posted

    By the way, if you test for hpv later on, no need for a speculum exam, you can self test reliably and easily.
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    • Posted

      Yeah but doesnt mean impossible not to get. I read cases where young females get cc at age 17! Very rare but doesnt mean it cant happen. Because 1% is not hpv related. From what ive read.
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  • Posted

    Sadly, Pap tests don’t prevent the very rare cervical cancers that occur before age 30...this is because these cancers are usually an adenocarcinoma of the cervix, the Pap test was designed to prevent squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix. This type of cc is also related to hpv. There are some very rare cancers that may not be connected to hpv, but sadly, the Pap test tends to miss these cancers, they’re usually diagnosed when women become symptomatic.

    australia has always tested young women and even teenagers, it hasn’t helped but has lead to a lot of excess treatments, that can mean damage to the cervix and lead to health, psych and obstetric issues. 

    Countries that do what’s best for women like the Dutch and Finns have never tested women under 30...they’ve achieved sound results without the awful over- treatment rates you find in Australia...women here have been urged to have far too many Pap tests and from an early age...it means most screened women here have had something “done” to their cervix, madness when the cancer has always been fairly rare in the developed world. Our new program is better but will side with excess again, too much money to be made, so women will suffer again, especially young women. You only have to do basic research to find hpv testing is not recommended before 30, we’ll start at 25. Women need to be careful, there is far too much influence from vested interests in most of these programs.

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    • Posted

      I read adenocarcinomas are increasing so that kind of scares me because i had weird bleeding and my obgyn assures me its nothing. I had all 3 transvaginal us. Ct scan and pap all clear minus cyst and follicles on my right ovary. But it was2.3 cm to me its steange to cause so much trouble..
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  • Posted

    I think we’ll see fewer adenocarcinoma of the cervix in the future with the move to hpv primary screening. The Pap test usually misses this type of cervical cancer but women have been misled into thinking a Pap test protects them from cervical cancer. Sadly, some women ignore worsening symptoms after being falsely reassured by a “normal” Pap test...often symptomatic young women diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the cervix have had one or more recent normal Pap tests.

    hpv testing will focus attention on the fairly small number of women at risk, about 5% of women between 30 and 60. This type of screening will prevent and catch more of these cases.

    Women under 30 should be advised to simply see a doctor with persistent and unusual symptoms. I watch the Dutch, they follow the evidence and put women first, IMO, they have the best program in the world for women who choose to test.

    If you’re anxious and focused on cervical cancer, that won’t help, try and relax, all your tests have been normal, of course, if you still think something isn’t right, you can always get a second opinion.

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  • Posted

    Don't worry. It's an easy quick thing. The main thing is that you get it done. I just had one and have extreme anxiety and was fine. Honestly I'd rather have that done than the novacane shot to the teeth at the dentist.

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  • Posted

    As you have been having symptoms I think it essential you have the causes looked into.  As you have had a sexual partner inserting a speculum would not be a problem, but they might have to try more than one to get the right fit.  It's not easy but do try and relax - many millions of women have this examination.  In my case it found pre-cancer cells and I was successfully treated 11 years ago.  Best wishes.

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