Refusing PAP smears - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 32 Old 08-12-2002, 10:47 AM
 
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I go every few years. I do firmly believe that a healthy, functioning immune system is hard at work all the time fighting back things we are not aware of - cancer being one of them.

I'm curious to know if anyone else has heard that a pap done while pregnant is not reliable..............I had 3 different providers with my 3 pregs and all said that yet I hear of women getting them "routinely" as part of the ob care. ? ¿ ?
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#32 of 32 Old 08-12-2002, 01:19 PM
 
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Okay, looked it up in "Understanding diagnostic tests in the childbearing year" by Anne Frye. You are right, pregnancy (especially the 1st pg) causes changes in the cervix that make it difficult to assess for cancer. Okay here goes..."Squamous metaplasia (cell transformations) commonly occurs during adolescence, the 1st pg, after the 1st birth, but can occur throughout life. During pg , especially the 1st, the transformation zone (on the cervix)...increases in size and may develop atypical epitheleum (cells). These atypical cells usually slough off at delivery, but sometimes remain or recur." page 269. Then, on page 280, "A postitive (PAP) test during pregnancy is more difficult to interpret because of the changes that pregnancy naturally causes in the cervical tissues. First a repeat test should be performed. If this also comes back positive then (treatment should be sought)." So what she's saying is yes, it may be difficult, but you still should do it. It also says there should be no blood involved, so be sure to wait until bleeding has stopped for a postpartum PAP. I had an abnormal PAP during my postpartum with my 1st kid, but then it went back to normal after a bit. I cant remember if I was still bleeding, though. Hmmm.... Anyway, hope that helps. All this talk about PAPs reminds me I need to get one! Luckily I know lots of midwives =)
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