Upon being on this forum and reading what other young girls are/still going through, it makes me question the age for smear tests! Especially with this HPV virus. If it's so 'common' like everyone says - why don't they lower the age for smears? Girls and boys are becoming sexually active at a young age and they say all it takes is one person to contract the virus. So say, a young girl becomes sexually active at the age of 16 and contracts the virus by just having one sexual partner, then she could possibly have an active virus which could cause abnormalities and would be none the wiser till she was 25. To me, I think they need to lower it absolutely! Girls are going to their doctors with symptoms but their not prepared to do a smear due to their age. It's wrong. I think girls should be allowed smears as soon as they become sexually active. All it takes is skin to skin contact to contract the virus, and the majority of young girls do not even know what HPV is or what the possible changes it could do to their body. I'm 26 and had my first ever smear this year and before that, I had never even heard of HPV and then being told I have it and also that it's high risk, made me not only worried but also angry! They do not give out enough information about HPV, and the reason being is they really don't know much about it themselves. This alone is a worry. They're not even 100% sure if your body eventually 'clears' the virus completely or if it's just in a 'dormant' state. Nothing is 100% with HPV and I think the not knowing is what worries us the most! It's not even the fact I have CIN1 that worries me - it's the fact I have the HPV virus that worries me. I have also done so much research (or tried my hardest) to find out as much as I can, and even doing that I'm still not sure what exactly it is. (Believe me I've searched A LOT). There is also reports showing that there have been many 'false positives' with the HPV test, much like a pregnancy test. I know it was quite common in that there were quite a number of false positives - when in fact they really didn't even have HPV at all. I'm not sure how common this is now but it's still a thought that crossed my mind. (Trying to convince myself I'm a false positive) although this is probably not the case. I feel anxious for young girls who continuously go back and forth to the doctors with symptoms, only to be sent away. Why do they not take this A LOT more serious? It breaks my heart when I see recently diagnosed women or 'cc wasn't picked up' etc. I know were all human and nothing is ever perfect, but I think they could save a lot of worry and anxiety of young girls if the age was lowered. I am so very thankful for smear tests, I just wish they would lower the age to when girls become sexually active. Anyone else care to share their thoughts? Sorry I went on a bit lol I just needed to voice my thoughts somewhere, and here seemed like the appropriate place as I don't think my boyfriend would really understand much (although he is so supportive) but it's a girl thing. Much love ladies xxx
Yes I agree that 25 is a bit late to start screening, especially when you read here of so many young girls who are being diagnosed with cancer. This aside, there is another issue with the smear test method which happened in my case. In 15 - 20% of diagnosed cases, the cancer is found higher up in the cervix and the current method of taking the sample, doesn't reach this area and therefore much harder to detect. Therefore, given that the doctors are aware of this, why isn't a new method of taking the samples being devised, so that they can reach this area? Are you ladies out there aware of this?
Exactly. Another reason to use another method or to examine further up the cervix during a smear or colposcopy. If they're aware of this, why are they not doing more about it? It's all well and good examining the cervix, but there isn't JUST the cervix down there! They should be doing much much more in finding this and preventing it. I really think they should lower the age of smear tests and also do a FULL examination during the colposcopy so they don't miss anything. Also, with the HPV, although it's meant to be so common - I really don't know much about it? I'm still rather confused as it wasn't till my smear that I had even heard of it, the nurse just kind of said 'most women have HPV, I've probably got it, it's that common.' Is that meant to make me feel better? It still doesn't explain anything. I am aware of it now as I have been diagnosed with it otherwise I would be none the wiser. I don't want to have to live in fear for the rest of my life! Although I wouldn't let it destroy my life by any stretch! I've also heard bad things about the gardasil vaccine - I would not recommend this at all. There is either a lot of misinformation or just not enough information out there at the moment. Xxx
I was 18 when i had my first smear... and it was abnormal CIN3. I dread to think if they hadnt found it til i was 25 (a huge 7 years later)... if i was still here that is :( 16 should be a good age especially in these days x
I TOTALLY AGREE!
I had to push and push to get a smear at 18 after having signs that my mother had when she had cc. Came back CIN 3. 6 years later after going up and down the CIN's and now after a clear smear 3 months ago it's back Hige grade dyskaryosis.
i dread to think what the outcome would of been if it wasn't caught in time considering the treatment etc I've had since. Young girls of today are a lot younger sexually active and if they are giving the HPV injection then surely they know this. Smears are the key to preventing cc and the early the better as we all know.
Hello hun, sorry to hear of your results. It can be draining can't it? Especially as it's all we tend to think about no matter how much we try to put it to the back of our minds! At least it has been found and is being dealt with :) they really should consider lowering the age! Girls can become sexually active at the age of 13, and all it takes is one person to contract HPV. So they could potentially have HPV for 12 years before actually knowing about it. I've also heard so many bad things about the HPV vaccines that I wouldn't even consider having it done (even though I'm already high risk HPV positive) vaccines have always scared me though lol. It's not fair that young girls are going to the doctors with symptoms and being sent away because their 'too young'. I know they do the best they can to prevent girls from getting cc, but the she should 100% be lowered cause they could prevent so much more! Xxx
Hi Dani87x !
I totally agree with you !!
I am currently working on my major Uni project based on cervical cancer. I am looking for women who would like to help me with it. Basically, what I need is just your opinion on cervical screening, your experience and also your view about excluding women under 25 from a smear test. I know that talking about your medical history is hard, my cousin has a cancer and it was sooo hard for her to talk to me about it. However, If any of you is interested in sharing the views and want to change this law, ( my feature about cervical cancer is a journalism project but if it is good enough it might be published in WOMEN'S HEALTH). Please, dani87 and all of you, could you email me ( email@example.com). You are not just helping me with my project, but you are helping all young women who already got a cancer and cannot get tested !!!
I completely agree. I went for my smear 6 months before I turned 25 and the result was High Grade. The age should be reduced to at least 21 if not younger!