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What is Pap Smear test?

What is Pap Smear test?

Pap Smear can be defined as the most inexpensive and recommended way to check cervical cancer – the second most prevalent cancer amongst women. Cervical Cancer can be defined as the cancer of the cervix. In a Pap Smear Test a small sample of the cells from the cervix – the lower narrow end of the uterus – is taken and is examined microscopically to detect the growth of cancer cells, especially Cervical Cancer Cells.

pap smear test

How is it done?

This is a simple OPD procedure that takes only 10 minutes to perform. No hospitalization is required for the same. Also the procedure should be performed by a specialized gynecologist only.

When you enter the cabin of the doctor, they would request you to dress down completely or from the waist down. You will be told to lay down on the examination bed with your knees bent. The doctor will gentle insert a speculum (a small instrument) in your vagina. This instrument would hold the walls of the vagina apart so that the doctor can see the cervix easily. During this procedure you might feel some pressure in your pelvic area. Then with the help of a spatula or a small brush the doctor collects the samples of the cervix. This process 98% of the times doesn’t hurt. The doctor transfers the cells on a glass slide or in some liquid for examination.

When should you get a Pap Smear Test?

A Pap Smear test is best to detect the presence of Human Pappilloma Virus (HPV) responsible for causing Cervical Cancer. HPV infection can be from men and women. Every woman should go for an annual Pap Smear Test after commencing their sexual life. Many a times an HPV infection is asymptomatic and can stay undetected for a number of years. Also women post the age of 35 yrs should have a annual Pap Smear test for sure. It is to be noted that with the increase in the number of sexual partners the probability of contracting HPV infection increases, and so does the risk of developing Cervical Cancer.

Post three normal Pap Smear Tests, you can discuss with your doctor if you can opt for Pap Smear tests after an interval of 5 yrs.

How to prepare for a Pap Smear Test?

For your gynecological exam, make sure of the following:

  • You should not be menstruating at the time of the examination. If you are reschedule your appointment.
  • You should refrain from sexual activity for at least 48 hrs before the test.
  • You stay calm and relaxed during the test.

Post a Pap Smear test you are free to walk and do any kind of physical activity. In some select cases spotting has been observed, however the same is minor and doesn’t include any complications.

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