Maintaining cervical health.

We happened upon this easy-to-read article on maintaining cervical health and found it to be a reasonable answer to the question of how often should a woman get a Pap smear. This is particularly relevant given the report in the September 2009 Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggesting some women can wait three years in between Pap smear tests.

Women who come to the Center generally have their own primary gynecologist for routine cervical screening. That said, when we treat women with vaginal pain, painful intercourse or vaginismus (a condition that results in extraordinary pain when anything is inserted into the vagina) one of the first things that crosses our mind is, “How long ago did she have a Pap smear?” Women with vaginal pain or vaginismus often avoid pelvic exams and Pap screening because they fear the pain it may cause.

If you or someone you know is avoiding a Pap because it’s impossible to imagine a speculum entering the vagina without intolerable pain, there is help. There are different kinds of treatments — from creams to dilators to botulinum toxin injections under general anesthesia — that can help a woman take care of her health in every possible way.

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