What is a Pap Smear?
The cervix is at the base of the uterus, connecting it with the vagina. It is an area where abnormal cellular changes and cancers are found.
The Pap smear test is aimed at detecting cervical cancer. During the test, a small plastic brush is used to collect some cells from the cervix area. The cells are then examined microscopically, to look for abnormal cells, inflammation, or cancer.
Why Pap Smear Screening?
The Pap smear test is aimed at screening for cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is usually preceded by abnormal changes in the cervical cells. These early abnormalities may not cause any symptoms or pain. Out of the many tests for cancers, the Pap smear test is effective in detecting these early abnormal cellular changes in the cervix. With early detection, prompt and proper management would prevent such lesions from developing into cervical cancer.
Who Needs Pap Smear Screening?
All women who have ever had sexual experience should have regular Pap smear test. The smear test should be done whether being single or married, or whether having reached menopause or not.
Women who have never had sexual experience or who have had total hysterectomy do not need screening.
When Should I do the Pap Smear Test?
The Pap smear test should be done once a year. After two consecutive normal smears, it can be done once every three years.
If there is any abnormalities, your doctor will advise you otherwise. If you have other abnormal symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding or pain, you should also seek the doctor's advise.
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