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Im 24 years old and still a virgin, and i have been experiencing mid cycle spotting for the past 8-9 years and i think its time for me to get a pap test. However, i am very scared to get a test done because I've never been sexually active before or had any sort of penetration so i think my hymen is still in tact. I guess my question is would a gyno still be able to do the test on me and what can i expect? Im just looking for some guidance and words of encouragement because i am very scared but i want to take care of my health.

Hi, and thanks for writing in with your question

It’s really normal to feel scared when thinking that something might be wrong or when facing something unknown, like a first physical exam. The most important thing will be to have a doctor that you can trust and to have a discussion about what symptoms you have been experiencing. That way, together you and the doctor can decide what the best tests and follow up will be for your situation.

If the doctor recommends pap testing, they will need to do a pelvic exam. A pelvic exam is the process by which a healthcare provider looks inside the vagina at the cervix using a speculum. The pap test is just one part of the exam where the doctor or nurse gently collects some cells from the cervix to be looked at under a microscope for any atypical or abnormal characteristics

Your healthcare provider will still be able to perform a pelvic exam even though you have never had intercourse. This exam doesn’t change anything, and just like using tampons doesn’t change or affect your hymen, neither will a pelvic exam.

Scarleteen is a really great sex ed website and they have an awesome article entitled Your First Gynecologist Visit that I would encourage you to check out.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

This answer was posted on April 29, 2019

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