RTE News 24 Apr 13Pap smear tests are becoming increasingly popular in Ireland as they become a more popular alternative to using condoms.
However, a new study suggests the practice may cause women to have lower libido.
In the latest issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers looked at the impact of a pap smear on women who had recently started having sex.
They found that the procedure was associated with decreased sexual satisfaction and decreased self-esteem in a sample of women.
The authors say they think that women are more sensitive to this kind of stress and so may be more susceptible to the pap smears as they are less able to control their response to the stressors.
“This study is the first to look at the relationship between the use of a ‘pap smears’ and sexual satisfaction, as well as the impact on women’s libido,” study co-author Dr Catherine Fagan from the University of Southampton told RTE.
“We believe that women should be able to choose their partners without having to be forced into this practice.”
We have no evidence that the use [of a pap smelt] causes a reduction in sexual desire and satisfaction, and in fact, the effect was not even statistically significant.
“The authors argue that it is not possible to know how long the men in this study would have been exposed to the smears or whether their sexual satisfaction would have decreased.
However, the results do raise an interesting question for many women.”
Many women experience sexual frustration and sexual dissatisfaction when they are confronted with a pap test and feel that they need to resort to more risky behaviours to avoid being tested for STDs,” said co-lead author Dr Joanne O’Hagan from Queen Mary University of London.”
It seems that a more socially acceptable form of sexual harassment may be to deliberately expose yourself to the risk of having a smear test.
“The study found that women who reported higher levels of self-worth, social class, and perceived value in their relationships were more likely to have a pap stain.
This could be because women who feel less valued have a higher need to be seen as attractive or because they are more likely than women who do not feel valued to have the same sexual satisfaction.
This is in line with a recent survey which found that in the UK, a survey of 2,000 men found that those who had experienced sexual harassment during their lives reported feeling less sexual satisfaction when their behaviour was reported.
While the researchers argue that this may be due to people not feeling comfortable disclosing their own experience, it is possible that this is also due to a desire to avoid having a negative impact on the reputation of a partner.
The study was funded by the European Union’s Scientific and Technical Research Council, the Irish Government, the National Institutes of Health and the Medical Research Council.