Re: What is the science behind Pap Smear screening guidelines?
Frankly I don't see any untoward risks in having a Pap smear annually. I've had 3 or 4abnormal paps over the years and was not pressured to any treatment plan other than to come back in 6 months for another. I did and nothing showed up the second time. One time I am sure the abnormal result was from having sex the night before as I forgot about the gyno appt the next day. I do agree that women aren't told reasons a pap could be abnormal from such things as sex in the recent past and even so much as bubble bath the night before so that they can avoid them and have valid test results. But it behooves us all to ask more questions and demand more answers and alternatives.
We need to be participants in our healthcare - not bystanders.
None of this however, changes the fact that some cases of cervical cancer are not caused by the woman being HPV positive. To say they all are is to put women who have not been exposed to HPV and have cervical cancer in an untenable situation with their loved ones. And then there are those cases where HPV was transmitted by the mother to the child during birth. And that's a whole other story.