Guest Post: PCOS & Pap Smears

This is a submission for the March 2018 Carnival of Aces which I myself am hosting this month here on my blog. The theme is “Physical Health and/or Our Bodies”

I offered to host guest submissions on my blog if anyone desired that. Here is an anonymous person’s short submission. (They asked for this to please be posted anonymously.):

I have an endocrine disorder, called PCOS. Basically, my body doesn’t know how to regulate some hormones. It isn’t something I share with a lot of people, like my asexuality, but I can’t share both. Because I know what will happen next: they will think the asexuality is just a result of my hormones being off, and that if I treated the PCOS the “right way”, then my asexuality would be cured. But the thing is, I’m already treating the PCOS with the recommended treatments. And I didn’t suddenly become attracted to people once I started treatment. I’m just as asexual now as I was before I started treatment. I hate hiding this part of me, but what I would hate even more is feeling like a “bad” asexual because of my hormonal condition providing ammo for those who refuse to accept asexuality. Both things still make me feel broken, and it is hard to get past this.
I am also a sex repulsed asexual (first time I’ve even typed those words) and I know part of it is tied to my pain (related to PCOS, and other diagnoses that are suspected but not yet confirmed, because the exams are horribly invasive and painful). Any gynecological exams I’ve had were extremely painful, and I can’t bring myself to do anymore (panic attacks), so I’m not up to date on my reproductive health (pap smear isn’t going to happen anytime soon) and I hate the constant nibbling of anxiety in my mind about it. But I also find the medical requirements idiotic. The guidelines in place for these exams all assume sexual activity. I have no idea what my risks (cancer) really are, because there is no information about people like me, who aren’t sexually active.


5 thoughts on “Guest Post: PCOS & Pap Smears

  1. I’ve never been sexually active and never intend to. When a doctor asked me about getting a pap smear I told her that. She told me not to worry about it until I was sexually active. She seemed to believe since majority of cervical cancer cases are caused by the HPV virus I wasn’t at risk since I couldn’t have the virus transmitted to me without having sex? I plan to get a secons opinion though but it may be worth asking your doctor about your specific circumstances. I think it also depends if you have family history of cervical cancer or other conditions that may predispose you to problems.


  2. After a certain age (idk, mid-20s?) they supposedly get more pushy about pap smears. But yepppp there’s no scientific evidence I’ve found that doesn’t assume sexual activity – and specifically penetrative, and no differentiation there as to whether it’s different if not penile.

    When I was considering going on testosterone, the trans-competent doctor wanted to do a pelvic exam, but she actually backed right off when it became apparent everything Hurt Real Bad – even though at the time I was very like, “go ahead, let’s do this now, I’m curious about the results, and if you think I can you’d know how.” Instead she did some stomach palpation.

    Idk if it’s relevant to your experience, but if you’ve never been able to use tampons or anything, a competent doctor will, like mine did, back off and find alternatives that don’t hurt or traumatize you. And yeah that may mean not being able to do The Routine Checks and maybe some things can’t be directly checked, but they ought to accommodate that.


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