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Should I be worried if I never had a pap-smear?

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Dear Doc,

During intercourse I experience pain deep within my vagina and bleeding. I am 32 years old and have never had a pap-smear. Should I be worried?{{more}}

Kathy

Dear Kathy,

Pain and bleeding during intercourse for a person who is not having intercourse for the first time, or who is not about to have her period has to be investigated by her gynaecologist.

It is possible that the pain deep within the vagina and the bleeding are from the cervix. Because you have never had a pap-smear or a recent one, there can be suspicion of cancer of the cervix. During intercourse, the penis comes into contact with the cervix and thus can cause pain and or bleeding from any lesions located on it.

Other reasons for bleeding can include cancers of the vaginal wall, bleeding from trauma of the normal wall of the vagina, bleeding from the placenta during pregnancy, cancer of the uterus, among others.

It is paramount that regular pap-smears be done, so as not to have any surprises.

Doc

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