Then, this morning, it was reported that the American College of Obstetricians is advising women to wait until they are 21 until they get their first pap smear. Yeah... I got mine much earlier than that.
This is a lot of information. A lot of change. In one week. And, the response has been anything but passionate.
And, this should come as no surprise: I'm pretty passionate about this issue too. I know too many women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in their 20s, 30s and 40s. What if these women had not given themselves self exams or had a screening before they were 50? Would they be survivors today? Or victims?
And, let's be frank: I know and love A LOT of women who grappled with HPV in college. The majority of them being diagnosed with this before they were 21. If they had not been receiving annual pap smears since they were in high school, then what? Would they not have known they had HPV until they reached the legal drinking age? Would the HPV progressed into something not as easy to treat? Heck - at that point, some women would not even know who had infected them in the first place!
Yes, I know that it takes a lot of time for HPV to progress into cervical cancer, but there are a lot of benefits besides a cancer screening when it comes to your annual pap.
I'm a girl. I love and respect my girl parts. Both the top and the bottom. And, I know that the best way to keep me and my girl parts healthy is to be proactive and preventative. So, while I respect the new research, I'm sticking with the old guidelines. I'm still going to see my gyno every year. And, when I'm forty - my twins are going to be squished together between two metal plates.
These screenings are not fun. But, are they worth it? I'm sure of it.