Going to the Doctor

This is what I was doing for awhile earlier today

photo source

I was in stirrups.

I went to get a PAP smear.  If you are one of the probably 3 male readers I have, this post may not be of much interest to you.

For the ladies, although the specifics of the guidelines have changed in recent years regarding how often you’re supposed to get a PAP, in general, this is what I found here:

Regular Pap tests are an important part of all women’s health care. You should start having Pap tests at age 21 years. How often you should have a Pap test depends on your age and health history:

  • Women younger than 30 years should have a Pap test every 2 years.
  • Women aged 30 years and older should have a Pap test every 2 years. After three normal Pap test results in a row, a woman in this age group may have Pap tests every 3 years if
    • she does not have a history of moderate or severe dysplasia
    • she is not infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
    • her immune system is not weakened (for example, if she has had an organ transplant)
    • she was not exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) before birth

So basically every 2 to 3 years, you need to get a PAP.

Along those lines, we need to be doing monthly self breast exams.  And when it’s age-appropriate or when your family history suggests, you should have a mammogram.

After my time in stirrups, I needed chocolate.

Vegan No-Bake Fudge with Chocolate Sprinkles

Or maybe Sex on the BeachNo pun intended.

Fom my last post on Someone I Miss, it was touching to read all the comments about something or someone you miss in your life.  There were some tear-jerker comments.  It’s ok, a little cry-fest is good for the soul sometimes!

It was wonderful to read about the relationships you have with your grandparents and the loving memories, too.

I was blown away at the touching comments everyone left on that post.  Thank you.


1. Do you do monthly self breast exams or (mammograms/ultrasounds if age/family history appropriate)?

Yes, definitely.

2. Do you go the gyno regularly for a PAP or a checkups?

I think that as “healthy living bloggers” we care so much about food choices and the food we put into our bodies.  We are so careful about the food choices we make from organic food to locally grown food to trying to avoid overly processed foods.

We also make exercise and work out choices to benefit our overall health, too.

For me, it seems that taking care of ourselves as women is just one aspect of staying healthy.  We are doing ourselves a great disservice if we don’t stay on top of our health through regular checkups.

I am not a big “go to the doctor” person.  In fact, sometimes I go years in between physicals or checkups since I don’t get sick very frequently.  However, I do feel strongly about well-woman care and visits and staying on top of them.

Not to mention, many women need to go to discuss birth control options and get prescriptions for them so even if you’re not there for a PAP, you may need to go for birth control.  Or perhaps to discuss issues, problems, or concerns you’re having.

3. Are you scared of going to the Gyno (or midwife/nurse practitioner)?   Have you gotten over this, or not?

I don’t think any woman alive says with great enthusiasm, “Oh I ‘get’ to go to the gyno today. Yay!”


It’s one of those things like going to the dentist that for some womens causes anywhere from an ugh reaction (but you grin and bear it) to being totally petrified of going (and the fear actually prevents them from going).

When I was younger I used to stress out for days before my annual exam.

However, having a baby definitely made me lose some of the inhibitions of going since for 40 weeks of pregnancy and then the birth, it’s kind of “open season” up there with someone always wanting to check something.

But, after the pregnancy is done and the baby is born, the “open season” has turned back to “closed for business” as it pertains to speculums and rubber gloves.  Not with quite as much anxiety as pre-baby, but again, not how I’d ideally choose to spend my time.   However, I deem it necessary.

Final Notes: This is one of those posts that as I am publishing it, I am wondering why I am doing it.  I could just as easily not have brought up this topic, but I think it’s important to remind all the ladies that it’s important to take care of yourself, keep up with your exams, don’t be scared, and embrace your beautiful feminine selves.

Caitlin has done a whole series of posts on birth control and Gina has also discussed it in the past, too.

If you don’t agree with my approach or thoughts, that’s fine, because of course everything I mentioned today is simply my opinion.  I am not a doctor or a medical professional and this is not to be considered medical advice.

Time to talk ta-ta’s and va-jay-jay’s.  Talk to me about your experiences!  And yes, using those words will prevent some of the spam and gross google searches I know this post may bring.

47 comments on “Going to the Doctor”

  1. Going to the doctor has never really bothered me. I guess I’ve been lucky to have good doctors who make me feel comfortable. It’s funny that I read this today as I was at my doctor for a pap myself. I get one every year. I know I don’t have to, and I’ve never had one come up with any problems, but I just prefer to have a physical once a year. I also have to have bloodwork every six months so it’s just part of life. I was telling my doctor today that I often forget to self breast exams and he said now is the time I need to really start since I’m in my 30’s, so I’m going to try to be better about remembering.

  2. Planned Parenthood makes me get a Pap every year in order to renew my birth control, so I do that!

  3. If I go to the GYNO like a good girl can I have that fudge with extra sprinkles? :D

    I’m really bad about going to doctors in general; I reschedule my appointments indefinitely sometimes. I’m getting better about it, though! I just have an aversion due to some crappy docs in my lifetime. I’m learning how to search out the BEST ones, though. Not wasting anymore time or $$$ on incompetent jerks.

  4. Ugh, never fun appointments, but usually quick. And happy hour is a good thing after. :-)

    1. Yes, they’re important and I remember having to pass around the fake boob in junior high.
    2. Yeah, every 3 years now.
    3. Nope, I was a little nervous for my first appointment as a teen, but got over that quickly. I think having so much family in the medical profession helped.

  5. Yep, I do both of those things.

    I am not scared to go to the gyno … but I tense up a bit before the examination. I get better each time.

  6. I do not do regular breast exams, but I should start.
    I do get regular pap smears (last week actually!)
    And I’m not afraid of going to my gyno ever since he delivered my baby. Plus now I realize that this is what they do, and there’s probably not much special about me compared to the hundreds of other women he sees every day.


  7. I think they changed the pap every 2 years guidelines this past year, right? Because I’ve always been really good about it. Safety first!

  8. Hahaha…great post, even if the topic is “different”… I meant to comment on your “someone I miss” post too, it was so beautiful, bit I see others did :-).

    Va-jay-jays…couldn’t figure that out until I pronounced it, hehe. Yes, I don’t go into a panic about the smear or the gyno but it’s definitely just something where I clench my teeth and think of England. I’ve also JUST been, so a while before next, phew. And definitely, a bit of pampering afterwards is always in order, and much appreciated! – I always feel kind of asexual after spending time in stirrups (but I guess sex on the beach would be different!), I’ll try the chocolate approach next time ;-). So yes, I go for my check-ups, both “ends”…

    About the healthy life style I’ll say, my parents have gotten past retirement age, and it’s just scary how many of their healthy living, always active friends are getting severe diseases, like cancer. People living in their street, friends, couples they know being reduced to singles or handicapped by the side effects of chemo. It’s scary. So I’d say, any checkup that the health system can offer, I’ll do it. Especially since here, most of them are payed via taxes.

    Haha, I just went over the comments, SOOO many funny, witty and experienced things to say! You know, you are a lucky lady ;-). Important stuff, so I’ll chime in and say thanks for raising the suject!

  9. I love that ‘take care of beautiful, feminine selves.’ Such a good message: thanks for sharing.

    Serendipity: I got something in the mail today saying it was time for me to get one of those! But I don’t like the place where I last got one, so was going to let it go: thanks for bringing it back on my radar.

  10. I don’t stress over going to the gyno but I’ve always been a big feminist and extremely sexually open and empowed- I actually like going to my nurse/midwife for my annual well-woman exam just to make sure everything is alright and talk about girly stuff openly that I wouldn’t normally do (most of my peers are not very educated about how women’s reproductive systems work, I had to explain what ovulation was to someone last week, LOL!)

    and helll yes for chocolate after !

  11. Going to the gyno DOES stress me out. Every time. I have no idea why, but it always has; However, I still do it. It is so important to have the proper tests and screenings done to stay healthy, especially with all of the things that can go wrong with a woman’s insides.

    You know what’s even more stressful? Going to a Japanese gyno and not speaking the language. Now THAT’s a fun test…

  12. I go, because I know its good for me. I am one of from who about 6 years ago was found some irregular cells and I had to go in to treat these. So, yes I go to check and to be on top of things.

  13. ahhh gyno… no no no
    i absolutely detest the gyno… i mean they have good intentions.. but no thanks, im good

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  15. LOL! Still keeping it real here. Love it!

    I had my Pap last week during my check-up with my GP. Have to say though, no way no how is anyone pressing my beloved breasts between two metal plates. Noooo! I have a Breast Thermography done every year, and do monthly self breast exams.

    I prefer to go to my Naturopath, but insurance won’t cover any blood work she orders. So, I keep a GP for blood work, and have a Pap done while I’m there. No big issues about having a Pap done or going to a Gyno. After having fertility tests done, this is so low key. Of course, it is better when they treat warm the speculum, and you like person – not just a vagina ;)

  16. I hate PAP’s….for me, the pain is excruciating….only thing worse was getting my IUD inserted…I literally thought I was going to die and then was out of commission(like laying on the couch in fear of movement because it brought on such bad pains) for two straight days in agonizing cramps……

    I cannot even imagine what childbirth will be like for me…gah!

  17. Thanks for posting on this, even though I’m just now reading it. I think paps are incredibly important. I’ve had one friend who died of cervical cancer and another friend my age (early 20s) who had cervical cancer- something that is INCREDIBLY preventible. Most people don’t realize how many people have HPV, which leads to cervical cancer (it’s almost 75% of the pop i think). Most people can clear it on their own and it’s not the dangerous strain, as there are several different strains, but not everyone can, which is why it is SO important to get a pap, as awful as it maybe. Thanks again!

  18. hi Averie! I don’t think I,ve ever commented before. But, um, oh my fudge! That looks amazing! The whole post where you originally featured that is a total gold mine! And I love the chocolate sprinkles! Every day could use more sprinkles, do’t you think? ;) xoxo

  19. I always get a little anxious in the days leading up to my exam. In an effort to help me put things in perspective, my husband compared the number of times a day I look at a computer to the number of times a day the doctor looks at girly bits! haha It’s “business as usual” for them, I suppose.

  20. I’ve had a hysterectomy so I no longer need PAPs, but I do still go to my OBGYN once a year for an overall check up. I’ve also had 2 mamograms. When it comes to my health I’ll suffer the appointments that so many avoid.

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