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SOOOOOO, anyone know if I can just go anyway? Things aren't *ahem* heavy or anything, and I need to get in there before the 21st because that's when the insurance runs out and I need to sneak in another three months of pills on the Army. I'm not even completely sure there's a PAP involved, just a consult.

Greetings, impolite, I think you could go. You are not by far and away the only one on her period, light, heavy or in-between who has had a need for a pelvic exam (if indeed you do) - I did my share of these exams on women in the midst of their flow. It's possible to use a syringe filled with warm water to wash the fluids away from the cervical opening and the vaginal walls if it comes to that. The only complicated part COULD be the pap smear in that the extra cells shed by menstrual flow could obscure the cervical cells collected that need to be read microscopically. I'm not an OB/Gyn - medgoddess (Kristi) is, so perhaps she could answer you more definitely, but there are also plenty of women for whom their major gynecological issue is menometrorrhagia (or prolonged, heavy periods) and who may essentially find it IMPOSSIBLE to be off their period at the time of an appointment. Guess who gets gyn exams anyway?

I envy you the precision of your timing. I am still regular but think I'll be slowing down soon because this year I will be 50 and my mom, who had a hysterectomy (though whose ovaries were left in place) at age 35 THINKS she went into menopause around age 51. Hers was so easy she said she barely noticed it - nary a hot flash nor emotional flare-ups nor foggy-brain. I hope I take after her. But what I really hope is that I still retain SOME kind of warning sign that I will be about to start my flow. Messes suck and can you believe I don't think I've made it through a single d*mn period since age 11 when I started without having at least a slight mess somehow? That is practically 40 YEARS of unimpeded periods (I never did have kids), and given 12 months in a year, that is a stupid *480* periods with some stupid stain in my undies or on the bedsheets or something. Yuck. It's not like I'm NEW at this or anything. Is it any wonder that I keep a container of Iron-Out in the laundry room? Sigh. And just to add insult to injury, I still have cramps. Yuck, YUck, YUCK. Enough, already, eh? But ibuprofen works just fine (kissing the ground in thanks) and I've somehow mananged to keep my youthful visage - must be all that estrogen I must still be producing. Nonetheless, I don't think I could for sure anymore be able to predict THAT closely when things will begin. It used to be that close when I was on the pill, 20 years ago or so. Now I have to rely on nature to hint to me and sometimes I think I've gone deaf where nature's whispers are concerned.


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