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Sexual Violence Has Lasting Effects on Health

By Anonymous

In 1994 I was raped.

This caused me to feel insecure, unsafe and truly UNABLE to have a pap test done regularly.

I was often referred out by my male doctor - at my request - to a female doctor. But because I live in a small town that has a doctor shortage, that is even harder than it sounds.

Sometimes I would skip a year, or even two, because no doctor would accept me. Even the Sexual Assault Centre in my area wouldn't allow 'their' doctor to see me, because I already HAVE a doctor.

Thank God I found a woman doctor willing to do a pap test for me this year. Unfortunately, this year also brought with it my first abnormal Pap test result. This was back in January.

I got tested again at the end of June, and had another abnormal test; this time, with recommendations for a colposcopy.

A referral out to a surgeon in another city came next. September was the colposcopy, and the cramping and pain for a week after were really bad. Three weeks later, the results were in: severe dysplasia.

(Editor's note: Dysplasia refers to the appearance of abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix, the lowest part of the uterus. These changes in cervical tissue are classified as mild, moderate or severe. While dysplasia itself does not cause health problems, it is considered to be a precancerous condition.)

It's been a week now since my latest test - a cone biopsy. I am awaiting results, and hoping for the best.

It's a sad time for me. And, I am mad too.




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