In the summer of 2017 I came home from the Philippines noticing I put on weight and felt increasingly lethargic. I chalked it up to jet lag and eating well, thinking it’s something that will pass. It wasn’t until much later I realized something was wrong. The weight gain was drastic and I couldn’t stay awake for more than 6 hours without feeling extreme exhaustion.

While balancing senior year, college applications, and performances, I was in and out of the doctors for months trying to diagnose what the problem was. After various health screenings it was determined that I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and other internal complications which made it difficult to pinpoint my PCOS as quickly.
Commonly, reproductive health affects all parts of the body and impacts your everyday life. Reproductive health is primarily internal so it’s hard to detect a problem until it’s too late or presenting in other ways. Pap smears serve as regular methods of ensuring the wellbeing of your cellular level, cervical health, and furthermore reproductive health before it’s too late and begins to affect other regions in the body.

…Removing Pap smears serves to shift the focus of medicine from preventative to curative by decreasing the options and methods of testing for early signs of cervical cancer…removing Pap smears as part of standard testing heightens the risk for missing an early diagnosis of cervical cancer.

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The summer of 2017 I came home from the Philippines noticing I put on weight and felt increasingly lethargic. I chalked it up to jet lag and eating well, thinking it’s something that will pass. It wasn’t until much later I realized something was wrong. The weight gain was drastic and I couldn’t stay awake for more than 6 hours without feeling extreme exhaustion. While balancing senior year, college applications, and performances, I was in and out of the doctors for months trying to diagnose what the problem was. After various health screenings it was determined that I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and other internal complications which made it difficult to pinpoint my PCOS as quickly. Commonly, reproductive health affects all parts of the body and impacts your everyday life. Reproductive health is primarily internal so it’s hard to detect a problem until it’s too late or presenting in other ways. Pap smears serve as regular methods of ensuring the wellbeing of your cellular level, cervical health, and furthermore reproductive health before it’s too late and begins to affect other regions in the body. Routine wellness screenings like the Pap smears and HPV testing is just one way of protecting the reproductive health and autonomy of the individual. People should be provided access to preventative health care just as much as curative treatments. Removing Pap smears serves to shift the focus of medicine from preventative to curative by decreasing the options and methods of testing for early signs of cervical cancer. HPV testing for screening for cervical cancer alone works but is not sufficient to be deemed completely efficient in predicting disorder. Therefore, removing Pap smears as part of standard testing heightens the risk for missing an early diagnosis of cervical cancer.  #ProtectThePap and take your own reproductive wellness into your own hands. In order to learn more about protecting your own reproductive health, check out @protectthepap! Paid for by Protect the Pap

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