The Pap smear is done in women to check for cervical cancer. A typical Pap smear procedure involves gently scraping cells from the cervix to look for the presence of cancer or precancerous cells. It may be a little uncomfortable, but it doesn’t cause long-term pain.
Women over the age of 21 are recommended to have a regular Pap smear test every 3 years. Pap smears to screen for cervical cancer may be needed more frequently if a woman is HIV-positive or has a weakened immune system due to chemotherapy or an organ transplant. Women over the age of 30 with a normal Pap test can take a Pap test every five years after consulting a doctor provided the test is combined with HPV (human papillomavirus) screening.
What forces to go for Pap smear Test?
Doctors recommend regular cervical cancer screening irrespective of sexual history. Tests used for screening cervical cancer include the Pap test and the HPV test. The main objective of regular Pap smear tests is to eliminate the risks and signs of cervical cancer. It also helps detect 40 different STD viruses that may be lurking in your system. The Pap test may not detect the exact type of virus, but it can easily detect cell growth and changes that the virus can cause.
Preparation of Test Procedure
First, it is necessary to make sure that there is no menstruation on the day of the examination. If there is menstruation, the inspection should be postponed. Also, avoid sex for at least a few days before the test.
Procedure – The testing procedures are fairly straightforward, but a little tricky. Your doctor will ask you to spread your legs and will have to put them into supports called stirrups and insert a speculum into your vagina to take a sample of cells for testing. Scratching can cause mild pain later. A small sample of cells is then scraped off the cervix with a spatula. Sample cells are then sent to a laboratory to check for the presence of abnormal or cancerous cells.
Colposcopy is a detailed examination of the cervix. The cervix spreads from the entrance of the vagina to the uterus. Colposcopy is done when screening of the cervix reveals cellular changes caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). These abnormal cells can turn into cervical cancer cells.
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