“I am SO grateful planned parenthood serviced me a no insurance and barely any income. they’ve been there for me with STI/HIV testing, yeast infection treatments, and when i turned 21, my first Pap test. i learned that the purpose of a Pap test was to test for cervical cancer, they’re required every 3 years, and anyone with a vagina regardless of the presence of sexual activity should be getting tested as a precaution. a lot of people are turned off when they hear about how a plastic or metal speculum is used to hold the vaginas walls open while the doctor swabs the cervix but it doesn’t hurt, and the slight discomfort one might feel during a Pap test is well worth knowing whether or not they have cervical cancer. it’s so important that people with vaginas are able to access a doctor they feel comfortable with to get screened and access potentially life-saving treatment.
the fight for reproductive health rights is a longstanding one, and i feel thankful to live in a time and place where i can find help for something that’s so natural, yet so taboo. unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone around the world. globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women and people with vaginas, and more than 85% of deaths by cervical cancer occur in low and middle income countries (WHO, 2018). the fight for quality reproductive healthcare for all people with vaginas is ongoing. i say “people with vaginas” rather than “women” to remind u all that there are trans and gender noncomforming people with vaginas who have to jump through added hurdles of finding an LGBTQ competent provider who they feel safe to seek care from.”