Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageDon't fear the smear: One view on how to normalize the Pap Special

By Carolyn E. Price     Jan 12, 2012 in Health
Toronto - Toronto women's health doctor, Sheila Wijayasinghe, is currently presenting a unique thought provoking and slightly whimsical photo exhibit entitled Reframe the Pap. The exhibit is being shown in the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.
Through her photographs, Dr. Wijayasinghe attempts to present the speculum, a device used to take the pap smear during a gynecological exam, in normal, every day situations.
Now, as every woman who has put her feet up in those stirrups knows, the pap test is not shall we say, the most pleasant of experiences. Many bite the bullet, so to speak, and book an annual physical as part of our healthy living routine. However, as Wijayasinghe points out, many women actually do fear the smear.
Through her photos, Dr. Wijayasinghe shows us the story of the Pap and reminds women of the importance of the annual exam. 'Let's get Crackin' ' is a photo of a speculum used as a nut cracker. Every year in Canada, about 1,300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and almost 1/3 of them, around 400 women, die from the disease. Getting a Pap every year may lead to early detection of this devastating disease.
Let s get crackin  ... the speculum as a nut cracker.
Let's get crackin' ... the speculum as a nut cracker.
Wijayasinghe reminds us to 'Pin It Up', and book your next pap test around a memorable birthday or anniversary, that way you won't forget when it is.
Pin it up ... the speculum as a clothes pin.
Pin it up ... the speculum as a clothes pin.
A lesson learned is to make sure you 'Find the right fit.' Wijayasinghe tells us that there are different sizes of speculum and if you are uncomfortable during an exam, you should ask your doctor to use a smaller sized one.
Find the right fit ... the speculum as a shoehorn.
Find the right fit ... the speculum as a shoehorn.
Another lesson learned is to ask to 'Just add water' Wijayasinghe says
In the past, it was thought that water or lubrication may affect the quality of the Pap result. Evidence now shows that this has no effect on the quality so add water or lube to make the Pap more comfortable.
Just add water ... the speculum as a garden hose head.
Just add water ... the speculum as a garden hose head.
Wijayasinghe want us all to 'Open up the discussion' and encourage the women in our lives to get a Pap test "and after...go for a drink to your health."
Open the discussion ... the speculum as a bottle opener.
Open the discussion ... the speculum as a bottle opener.
And, she also reminds us that 'Paps are for guys too' and transgendered men who still have a cervix still need to have a Pap done. There is an excellent site, checkitoutguys.ca, that provides all kinds of information and links. The intro tells us that:
Paps matter for trans men, regardless of who we have sex with, how we have sex, or where we’re at in transition. If you have a cervix, you need a Pap. This site, developed by and for trans men and our healthcare providers, is here to provide more information about why you may need a Pap, and how to make the experience of getting one better. Paps are worth it!
Paps are for guys too ... the speculum as a razor.
Paps are for guys too ... the speculum as a razor.
Dr. Wijayasinghe is the Medical Director at the Immigrant Womens’ Health Center, works as a Staff Physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in their Family Practice Unit and at Hassle Free Clinic, and established and runs an onsite clinic at Women’s Habitat Shelter in Etobicoke. She also contributes to the Globe and Mail via an "Ask a Health Expert/Ask a Doctor" column, found here.
Reframe the Pap runs through til January 15th in The Gladstone Hotel's Art Bar, located at 1214 Queen Street West. The art bar is open from noon until 5 pm, and the exhibit is free and open to the public. Pictures can be purchased by contacting reframethepap@gmail.com and all proceeds raised go to the Immigrant Womens' Health Center in Toronto.
Reframe the Pap price list for pictures.
Reframe the Pap price list for pictures.
Gladstone Hotel  Art Bar
Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar
 
More about Women's health, Transgenedered issues, pap smear, speculum
More news from
Latest News
Top News