nickelshoe (nickelshoe) wrote in vaginapagina,

Refusing 6 week postpartum Pap smear

Just wanted to share my story of refusing an unnecessary Pap smear with people who might care.

So I went in for my six week postpartum exam today. The nurse, who was not my doctor's usual nurse, took my blood pressure and some information, then told me to take off my bottoms and the doctor would come in and do a Pap smear.

I said, "I'm not due for a Pap smear. I just had one like ten months ago." Now that I think about it, it was more like six months ago.

The nurse said, "We do one at the six week postpartum visit, then you'll be good for another year."

I said, "And the ACOG recommends them every three years."

The nurse said, "They don't." At first I thought she was contradicting me, then I realized she meant "they" to refer to the doctors in the practice.

I said, "I'm not having a Pap smear. He can do a pelvic exam, that's fine, but I'm not having a Pap smear, that's silly."

The nurse left the room for me to change, and for a moment I wasn't sure if I should take off my pants before making it clear to my doctor that I wasn't having a Pap smear after only six months. But I did want a pelvic exam to make sure my stitches had healed well, so I went ahead and took off my pants and stared at the Pap smear kit sitting on the counter wondering if I'd just cave as soon as the doctor came in.

My doctor came in and sat down, and I was sure I'd just let him do a Pap smear because he was so disarming. But he said, "Nursename said you'd like to postpone your Pap smear. That's fine." And then a minute later he said he'd be right back to do the Pap smear but corrected himself a little awkwardly to "exam."

And I'm quite certain he didn't swab my cervix while he was in there, and the kit was still on the table when I put my pants back on.

So silly to me that they wanted to do a Pap smear. Just because they had me in the stirrups? So that I could be "current" at my one year appointment (which I also "postponed")? But I'm glad the doctor did not fight me on it.
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