Ask The Expert Archives on Puberty, Gyn Exam Procedures and Pap Smears

July 13, 2011

Questions on Puberty, Gyn Exam Procedures and Pap Smears answered by Marta Mendez, MD

A: You are right. It isn't a good idea to have intercourse the night before your annual exam.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: You should wait 3 months. Your doctor is right.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Ask for explanation of the exam every step of the way. Ask about the tests you will be getting.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: "Lletz", "Leep" or "Loop Excision": The use of a wire loop with electrical energy flowing through it to remove abnormal cervical tissue and is commonly done under local anesthesia.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: A regular gynecologist is okay, but it would be better if it is one that specializes in the care of young women.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Just get your colposcopy.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: According to the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist Guidelines for Women's Healthcare, a teenager's first visit to an OB/GYN should take place between the ages of 13 and 15.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: According to the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist Guidelines for Women's Healthcare, a teenager's first visit to an Ob/gyn should take place between the ages of 13 and 15 and at any age if the patient has any symptoms. The exam takes only a few minutes. It includes a breast examination and evaluation of genitalia. It can be uncomfortable but not painful.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Do not be scared. What you should do is find a Gyn you feel comfortable with and before the exam ask him/her for a description of the gyn exam.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Confidentiality is related to ethics, your doctor should be like a priest.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: There will not be drastic changes. Yes you need not only a gyn but also a general exam.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: It is generally recommended at least 3 days.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: "Abnormal Pap" is not enough information to answer your question, please be more specific.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

A: The procedures at the doctor's office are:
Interview, general exam, breast exam, pelvic exam and pap smear ( do not be scared, it is uncomfortable but not painful). If you don't want your mom to know, she shouldn't be present. Sexual activity is an important matter to be discussed with your gyn. Those cramps need to be evaluated with your gyn.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: To answer you with 100% accuracy I would need to do a pelvic exam of you. It is too bad you had this bad luck. Try to find someone with more empathy.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Thanks for your question. A pap smear is a screening tool, helping to differentiate normal, healthy cervical cells from progressive changes that might lead to cancer of the cervix. It is one of the most inexpensive and valuable screening tools we have.

There is a progression of cervical changes, form 'atypical' to 'low grade lesions' to 'high grade lesions' to cervical cancer. There are also infections that can cause abnormal cells to show up, and sometimes there aren't the right type of cells. One of the most common infections is human papilloma virus, which can cause significant cervical changes. Your provider will explain this in more detail, as you don't know specifically what was found. It the cells found are significant, your provider will offer a Colposcopy examination, a technique which uses a high power binocular to look at your cervix, and the taking of a biopsy if necessary. This is indicated when the cells have shown significant changes. It might be that you just showed signs of an infection, and your provider wants to discuss that with you and treat that. So, until you go in, you won't know for sure. Don't worry about it, as the pap smear picks things up very early, and the management is very easy. Here are several links you might find useful:

ConditionsCervical DysplasiaPap Tests 

The pain you are experiencing with your periods is called Dysmenorrhea, and can be alleviated with comfort measures and some specific medications such as Motrin and Ibuprofen. These cramps are related to high levels of the hormone prostaglandin, and these medications help decrease these levels. These are usually prescription items from your provider, and the painful cramps are totally unrelated to the abnormal pap smear. Sometimes birth control pills can help these painful periods also. Here's an article you might find helpful: DysmenorrhaPat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, MS, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: You should check with your surgeon right away. If the blood is coming from your bladder there is a problem. If it is coming from the vagina, that would be OK as long as it isn't heavier than a period.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: If the hysterectomy was done for benign disease (Non malignant or Non premalignant, then Pap smears are not necessary. (Some say one should be done once every 5 years looking for vaginal cancer which is quite rare.) Even so, all insist that you should still have a checkup with pelvic exam to look for things like ovarian cancer and high blood pressure, etc. If the hysterectomy was done for dysplasia or carcinoma-in-situ, then annual Pap smears are a MUST.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: The doctor would not necessarily be able to tell during a routine exam.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: You are right... you should go when you turn 18, at which time you should have a checkup, even if you are not sexually active.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Sometimes we describe a Pap test (to patients) as "abnormal"... Abnormal doesn't mean cancerous. Yes... you must tell the new doctor what the old one said.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Don't worry. Just go to a gynecologist ASAP (don't be nervous or afraid!).

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Pap tests can show the occurrence of some bacteria, trichomonas, monilias, herpes simplex and human papilloma virus.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: You should go before getting married. Regarding your second question, this is something you should discuss with your gynecologist. It also depends on the exact date of your wedding.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: It could be because of the test, but you should consult a gynecologist to make sure.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: It could be a Bartholin duct (Glandular duct located within the vulvo-vaginal tissue) cyst. Talk to your gynecologist again.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Once every year is sufficient.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: The exam is a bit uncomfortable, but not painful. They will do a breast, pelvic and gynecological exam. As for people sitting in for moral support, that's up to the doctor.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.