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I had a PAP test; Am I still a virgin?

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lynhal asks:

I had my first pap smear at age 21. I was told by the nurse practioner that I had to have one. It really hurt and she was irritated with me that it was taking so long to do. After she was finished she left the table and then she came back to the table where I was and she jerked my legs opened and I heard a snapping noise and thought she had popped my back. She told me I was still a virgin. But when I got home there was a lot of blood, I walked differently and my vagina seemed to be pulled down more between my legs. Is all of this normal to have happened for a first time pap smear? I feel like she actually raped me and that I have physically lost my virginity. I am becoming very depressed.

Hollie replies:

Hi there,

I am so sorry you had such a negative experience for your first PAP test. I promise you, it is not always like this, and it certainly doesn't HAVE to be like this.

First off, your doctor TELLING YOU that you have to have a PAP test is wrong. A nurse practitioner (NP) cannot tell you what to do. NPs are there to educate and advise their patients, but it is not their job to tell patients what to do. She should have discussed what a PAP test is for, why you need one, and how it is done before ASKING you if you were going to consent to one.

Second, virginity is more of a concept than something you can physically prove. Your NP cannot tell whether or not you are a virgin. Some people think that seeing a hymen means a women is a virgin, or bleeding the first time after intercourse means she is a virgin, but this is all old news. We now know that none of this is true.

A Pap test is not going to take your virginity or make your vagina (or any part of your genitals) different. It does not surprise me that you had bleeding, especially if you were tense. You may have small abrasions along the vaginal wall, and some women have spotting from where samples are taken from the cervix. This shouldn't last longer than a day or so. If it lasts any longer than that, you need to see your NP/doctor again.

I understand too that you feel violated. I'm sure I feel violated in your position too. If you haven't already, I would strongly encourage you to file a formal complaint with this NPs superiors, and/or the nursing union. What she did to you is wrong. At the very least, she seriously lacks compassion and at most this was a serious breech of trust and abuse of power.

There are a few articles here that I think you may find helpful;

written 09 Jul 2008 . updated 10 Jul 2008

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