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Sitting in my Women’s Health Issues class, we talk about a wide range of topics. So of course the dreaded PAP test is a topic of discussion. Pap smears are gynecological procedures in which a sample of the cervix is examined for precancerous cells. It’s not as bad as everyone makes it seem but an interesting point was brought up in the discussion.

To get a birth control prescription, including refills, you DO NOT need to have a pap smear done. Pap smears can be included in a “well woman” exam and can be scheduled accordingly with your doctor (depending on your health history and risks), but it is not mandatory to receive a prescription for birth control pills. Secondly, STD testing is not automatically done when you receive a pap test which is a common misconception about pap tests. You have to request STD tests, which if you are sexually active, you may want to get tested every 6 months or before and/or after every new sexual partner.

These are common errors that females make when thinking of pap smears, so get the truth from your doctor if you have questions. Most importantly your vagina may bring you happy years as long as you take care of it! So remember to protect yourself EACH AND EVERY TIME you have sex.

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