Another Pap?

I had a physical about a week ago and a pap smear, something that I hadn’t had since about 18-20 months ago (which didn’t seem to be a problem because last time I had one, my NP informed me that “they” were only recommending women get one every three years). I didn’t have any worries or concerns, but I felt like maybe I should just get one since a complete annual is completely covered through Obamacare (thanks Obama! No sarcastic eye roll here! for reals)

My STI results came back negative, but they want to do another pap in about 6 months. I’m freaking out a little bit- mostly, I think, because the bartender at my strip club recently found out that she has stage 3 cervical cancer (the last stage before it could progress to something more full-blown and requiring chemotherapy). She has been on my mind and so when I heard that my doctor wanted to see me again in 6 months, I had been primed for “scary.” The nurse that I talked to didn’t call my results “abnormal,” but that there was some inflammation that my doctor wanted to check on again.

This page from the CDC (and the following chart from the page) have helped calm my fears a bit:

Screen shot 2014-03-01 at 9.10.26 PM

 

I feel lucky to live in the United States and to have access to some preventative care and to have insurance. I am grateful I feel comfortable talking to health providers and trusting that I can get the care I need.

Have you ever had a scare related to your sexual or reproductive health? What helped you get through it?

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