Dolly Doctor

Dolly Doctor: Help! I Found A Lump Down There, Should I Get A Pap Smear?

Dolly Doctor clues us up on what could be the cause.
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Doctor Google sure has a way, doesn’t it? 

One minute you’re frolicking about slurping Starbucks iced-chocolates with your pals and the next your sitting in bed, laptop open and a look of horror on your face after typing ‘hand cramps’. 

WATCH: Steph Claire Smith’s healthy fitness advice: 

But if there’s one thing we can tell you, it’s this: Don’t jump to conclusions. 

If any of your symptoms are persistent, we recommend you get a professional doctors advice over a desperate search on Google. 

And yes, our very own Dolly Doctor will vouch for that!

Which is why we got to thinking – if you’ve ever noticed a ‘lump’ near your vulva, you’ve no doubt perhaps felt alarmed or at least intrigued. 

And likely Googling this will bring up a bunch of stuff about cervical cancer – but don’t be alarmed yet!

Dolly Doctor gave us a quick 411 on what might actually be going on, and what to do next, including what you might subsequently also be wondering about – pap smears.  

woman-undies
Nervous or worried? You’re not alone. (Getty)

What happens if I find a lump on my vagina/vulva?

That lump you felt may well be your cervix, Dolly Doctor tells us. 

The cervix will feel like a lump the same texture as the tip of your nose, and it sits at the top of the vagina.

Take a look at some websites with diagrams of the vagina, cervix and uterus and you will get an idea of where your cervix should be.

If this lump is lower down than the cervix (i.e. in the lower or middle part of your vagina) then what it might be depends on exactly where it is. Towards the opening of your vagina, near the vaginal lips, it could actually be a cyst or swollen gland.

If it’s right up inside the vagina (where there are no glands) it could be something quite uncommon.

girl-looking-at-phone
Hang fire on Doctor Google! (Getty)

So what’s the go on pap smears? Should I get a pap smear?

A Pap smear is a scraping of the cells from your cervix to look for pre-cancerous changes. Cancer of the cervix is related to the HPV (human papillomavirus) and only occurs once a woman has had sexual intercourse.

Fingering will not spread the HPV virus, even if you have warts on your hands (as they are a different strain of the virus).

You do not need a Pap smear until you are 18 or have started having sexual intercourse.

If you have had other sexual experiences or intercourse involving a partner then it would be worth getting a check-up.

On the other hand, regardless of your sexual experience, if you have found a lump that you’re unsure of, even if it might be a healthy cervix, it’s worth getting checked.

Have a question for Dolly Doctor? Drop us an email – dollydoctor@aremedia.com.au

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