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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » pap smear

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Author Topic: pap smear
Nailo
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True or false: You cannot get a pap smear if your hymen is still intact.

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"Love does not make itself in the desire for copulation, but in the desire for shared sleep." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

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cool87
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Actually Nailo, intact hymens are quite rare. Plus, women who have one usually have this condition reversed at birth since they mostly wouldn't be able to get their menstrual period with no holes in the hymen to let pass blood flow.

So I'm not too sure what you're asking here. Did you mean girls with a partial hymen ?

If so, generally, at least here in Canada (I'm not too sure how it works there in Costa Rica), women usually start to get pap smear once they reach the age of 21 or when they start to become sexually active, whichever comes first.

And in the case of a non-sexually active 21 years old women with a partial hymen, I don't think a partial hymen would be this much of a contre-indication for performing the test.

[ 03-05-2007, 04:07 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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-Lauren-
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Cool's got it. In the rare instance your hymen is intact enough to prevent a pelvic exam, usually minor surgery is warranted.

However, you've also posted about doctors there not wanting to alter a woman's virginity; would hymenectomy be a frowned-upon practice if medically necessary?

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Nailo
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Yes, it probably would be here. Hymenectomy is, from what I understand, to be avoided unless the woman is actually suffering because of an imperforate hymen. Doctors here would most likely preffer waiting until the hymen has been "broken" than to do a hymenectomy. I once told my gynecologist that I gave him permission to perform one on me if need be, and he gave me a look that said that he would be seriously frowned upon as a doctor if he did that. To check my hymen, he even had to have a female nurse next to him to supervise. I don't know if that's the same in the U.S. and Canada?

I ask this question because a philosofy teacher expressed the following at school: "a woman cannot have a pap smear if she's a virgin". Basically, he added that the hymen would get in the way.

[ 03-05-2007, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: Nailo ]

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"Love does not make itself in the desire for copulation, but in the desire for shared sleep." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

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cool87
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quote:
To check my hymen, he even had to have a female nurse next to him to supervise. I don't know if that's the same in the U.S. and Canada ?
Well in Canada and the U.S., there is usually (if not always)a nurse every time a gyn performs an exam on a patient. Except that it's mostly for the comfort of the patient here and doesn't have that much to do with the hymen.

quote:
"a woman cannot have a pap smear if she's a virgin". Basically, he added that the hymen would get in the way.


The hymen is generally a fairly flexible membrane (it stretches easily and it is stretched already most of the time to a certain extend in most women) and is therefore not supposed to cause that much problems when it comes to performing a pelvic exam.

But there can certainly be exceptions such as when a women has a resilient hymen which might make the exam a little bit more difficult to perform.

But, in general, the presence of an hymen doesn't really get in the way in most cases during a pelvic exam. It's not that much biggie. There is actually even a speculum of smaller size meant exactly for when a women has a partial hymen.

Of course, in your case, since it seems the gyn generally can't cause any damage to the hymen nor stretch or touch it (whichever applies to you here) in order to not alter a women's virginity, I'm guessing here that this might be why he said the hymen could get in the way : because during the exam the speculum would obviously have to come somehow in contact with the hymen.

[ 03-05-2007, 06:24 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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