1:33 pm - 01/27/2007

pap smear while on your period?


I have an appointment with my local clinic to have a pap done on Monday, and wouldn't you know it, I started my period this past Thursday.

It should be nearly over, but I may not be quite done by Monday, and I was wondering if they will still do my exam?

The clinic is booked for months, I scheduled this appointment at the end of October, so rescheduling isn't really an option (I'm in desperate need for BC).

I'm going to call ahead on Monday morning and ask, but I was just wondering if I should be prepared for them to tell me they won't do it. =\
mactavish 27th-Jan-2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
According to every doctor/clinic this has come up as an issue with, for me, they can do an exam while you're menstruating -- the less blood the better! -- but when they're anything but basic cervical fluid on your cervix, including semen, yeast goop, or blood, they can't get a good sample for the pap smear.
loveofdaisies 27th-Jan-2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
oh no. =\

and they have to have the pap smear to prescribe me BC, right?
skeos 27th-Jan-2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
I think that depends on the clinic. I know that for my BC, my Planned Parenthood required a pap smear for girls who were already sexually active. I think it's a way to make sure girls get tested.

I would call the clinic and ask!
loveofdaisies 27th-Jan-2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
oooh, okay. thanks, I'll call!
mactavish 27th-Jan-2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
I don't know whether they need the smear, they do need the exam.
marionravenwood 28th-Jan-2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
No, they don't. Exams may be a useful tool for good health, but they don't have anything to do with being prescribed birth control.
mactavish 28th-Jan-2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
The pill has enough contraindications and side effects that I can't imagine a good doctor prescribing it without at least a regular check-up and family history, if not also a pelvic.
marionravenwood 28th-Jan-2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
They need health history, yes, and especially blood pressure. There's nothing that would be found in a pelvic exam that would contraindicate use of BC, though.
aechei 27th-Jan-2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
they can still DO a PAP, and if you are only bleeding a little you may be fine, but the results are more likely to come up as unuseable or abnormal because there are non-cervical cells in the sample. they may refuse to do it if you say you are on your period. if you are bleeding lightly, i would just be sneaky and not tell them. DON'T wear a tampon, though...that should be a duh.
mactavish 27th-Jan-2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
*nod* - I went in for a pelvic, once, and had a yeast infection I didn't know about, just a wad of yeasty cells around my cervix, no itching, inflammation, etc. The doctor did the pelvic, but I had to go back a month later for the actual pap.
rosepetal2 good doctor15th-May-2007 04:38 am (UTC)
and the reason the doctor didn't do the pap test while you had a yeast infection is because your pap test would probably come back abnormal. better to do it later and save you all the worrying about the abnormal results.
mactavish Re: good doctor15th-May-2007 04:48 am (UTC)
Yes. I wasn't complaining about her. I don't worry about abnormal results, they're common.
loveofdaisies 27th-Jan-2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
hahaha that's kind of what I was thinking, just be sneaky. thanks!
marionravenwood 28th-Jan-2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't do that. If you are still bleeding, even if it's not enough to notice, it can make your smear come back "abnormal," even if it's really fine. (The blood can make the cells on the slide look wrong.) So the clinic might want you to come back for another smear (or even a colposcopy) later, because the slide was unclear. Not to mention the fact that most women kind of freak out (understandably!) if they're told their smear is abnormal.
destinyawakened 27th-Jan-2007 08:28 pm (UTC)
I went in a year ago to my gyno under the impression that i was just going in to talk about issues i've been having with my period and so forth. i get there and she wants to do a pap. i told her i was still on my period and had a tampon in. this did not seem to phase my doctor in the least. she told me to spread 'em and she took the tampon out for me and said i wasn't bleeding enough to get in her way! and she did a pap and the results were good ones and that was that.
so as long as you are not bleeding a lot..i would assume its ok, because i had it done during mine.
loveofdaisies 27th-Jan-2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
oh, awesome! okay, that's good news!
jillyfaye 27th-Jan-2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
I had this issue--they still gave me birth control, which I needed THEN, but they couldn't do the pap because my flow was really heavy. She told me that if my flow was lighter, they could have done it. So I had to come back for the pap.
loveofdaisies 27th-Jan-2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
oooh, okay. well if I'm still on it by then hopefully my flow will be light. either way hopefully I'll at least be able to get the BC
lolitalust 27th-Jan-2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
They might just do the pelvic, give you birth control, and tell you to come back for the pap. Planned Parenthood has express centers where you can get birth control without an exam, so it's not like you NEED to have a pap in order to get birth control. They just do that to... I don't know, annoy you and make your life more difficult. I hope your doctor will just give you the BC and not be a prick about the pap. Good luck.
loveofdaisies 27th-Jan-2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
thanks, I hope he'll do that too!
loveofdaisies 27th-Jan-2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
okay. I should be on the tail end of mine too so maybe it will end up not being an issue.
_82ndstreet 27th-Jan-2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
my gyno said they don't do exams or paps or whatever while you're menstrating.
loveofdaisies 27th-Jan-2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
=\ that's not good. thanks though!
xcrimsonxfearx 28th-Jan-2007 12:29 am (UTC)
my ob/gyn checked me out while i was still bleeding after my son was born but no pap test. She gave me BC though even without a pap.
rockstarbob 28th-Jan-2007 07:15 am (UTC)
Tapestry Health says the following:

The best time to get a Pap smear is a week or two after the end of your menstrual period. You should avoid getting a Pap smear when you have vaginal bleeding of any kind.

As others have said, it seems best just to call on Monday and see what your health care provider prefers--they may tell you to come in anyway!
loveofdaisies 28th-Jan-2007 01:17 pm (UTC)
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