In terrifying and sad news, a young woman died from cervical cancer after she was told she was too young to have a pap smear. Dawn Weston passed away at 26 after battling cervical cancer for a year. She moved up the wedding to her husband to January before she started chemotherapy. Weston lost her battle to cancer on May 22, 2014, and now her husband is petitioning to do something about it.
At 24, Weston was dealing with severe back pain (a common symptom of cervical cancer) but none of her doctors considered a pap smear because she “was too young” to have one. In fact, the third time she went to the doctor, she demanded to have one. The law in the UK was changed back in 2003, stating that only women 25 and over were able to get pap smears because women under 25 are much less at risk for cervical cancer. However rare it is, it still happens.
Had Dawn Weston known that she had cervical cancer when she first developed symptoms, she might still be here today. Her husband and family are now working to get that law reversed. Even here in the US, you now don’t have to get a pap smear every year. I still do because I’ve had pre-cancerous cells before, and I’m paranoid.
Here are some really important reasons why you should go to the gyno right now:
They Can Test You
We've told you time and time again, but you can in fact get an STD even if you've never had sex! You can get them from oral sex, too. You can also be born with STDs. It's important to get tested and doing so at your gyno is much more comfortable than heading to a doctor you don't know.
They Make Sure Everything's Healthy
You don't know what a healthy vagina is supposed to look like, and you're not really sure what to feel for down there either. Your gyno is trained to do that! He or she will be able to tell you if everything is looking okay and figure out if there's something of concern. Like I said before, even if you don't need to get a pap smear, just ask for one anyway. It's way better to know if something is wrong sooner rather than later.
They Know Everything About Periods
Your general practitioner can't really do that much when it comes to relieving your period issues. Your gyno can definitely help! Whether you're having bad cramps or irregular cycles, gynecologists are there to help you figure out the best way to have a better period. Mine gave me a fantastic prescription to ease my cramps and help my migraines as well.
They Can Answer Your Questions
You might not feel comfortable talking to a friend or your mom about certain things, but you can ask your gyno anything. I know it might seem weird, but I promise there is nothing your gyno hasn't seen or heard before. I mean, they spend their day looking at vaginas. You will not freak them out with your questions.
They Can Help You Figure Out If You're Pregnant
I know better than anyone that home pregnancy tests do have errors. I had a false positive and was absolutely terrified. I really thought I was pregnant. But one quick trip to the gyno and a test later revealed that I was not actually pregnant. If you have a scare, see your gyno. Not only can they give you a more accurate test, but they can also counsel you on what to do.
They Help You Figure Out Birth Control
One of the best things about gynos is they can help you decide what birth control is right for you! Their job is to know basically everything about birth control and how it affects you so they're the best person to discuss your options with. They know your vag almost better than you do and can help you pick the right birth control for your body.
They Can Make Sure You're Boobs Are In Good Condition
Your regular doctor might give you a breast exam, but a gynecologist typically does a more thorough job. My friend found out she had a lump after a regular gyno visit because she did a breast exam. It was benign and she was okay, but she wouldn't have found it otherwise. Get yourself to your gyno and get your boobs grabbed ASAP.
They Can Help With Other Down There Issues
I get frequent UTIs, even when I'm not sexually active! It's a big problem for me, and my regular doctor didn't know what to do. My gyno was the one who gave me the best advice, tests and recommendations. You might be getting a lot of yeast infections or have other issues going on down there. A good rule of thumb is if there's anything wrong happening in your vag, go to the gyno.