When Less Pap Is More: Understanding New Guidelines
Many women came of age understanding that the yearly annual with Pap smear was both a rite of passage and an essential practice of self-care, the gynecological equivalent of a tooth cleaning. So you may be surprised to hear your provider say you’re not due for a Pap this visit. Or the next. Or for a few years, even. What gives?
In short: knowledge has advanced, and testing has improved. In light of these changes, in 2012 the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) issued an update to its guidelines, which for many women extended the interval between tests. To understand how fewer Pap smears can lead to more healthy cervixes overall, it’s useful to consider the history and science behind this essential screening tool.
As women enter the later stage of their life, they begin the natural process called menopause. Menopause is the permanent stopping of all ovary functions, including monthly periods. This also signifies the end of their reproductive years, as they no longer are able to become pregnant. Menopause typically occurs in mid-life, around 42-58, with the average just short of 52 years. Menopause is caused by a major reduction in female hormones, as the woman’s ovarian early eggs are depleted and is just part of the normal aging process.
Diabetes and Women: Preventing and Overcoming Depression with Chronic Illness
If you have a chronic disease, such as diabetes, you are at greater risk of developing depression and if you are currently experiencing symptoms of depression, you are not alone. People with diabetes and other chronic diseases are more likely to have depression than people without diabetes. Managing any chronic condition adds a lot of stress and strain to one’s daily life. Additionally, many people with a chronic disease feel alone and isolated in managing their diagnosis and, specifically with diabetes, one can easily feel out of control if you are having trouble keeping your blood sugar in your target range.
A young woman's first gynecological exam can be filled with anxiety and fear. This is often based on embarrassment or inaccurate information about what the exam feels like and what testing will be done.
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