Regular medical checkups and tests can be very helpful in prevention of cancer and growth of malignant cells or tumours. With the increase in the rates of cervical cancer, gynaecological checkups are of utmost need. For effective cervical cancer prevention, Pap smear bears the maximum number of success rates.
Pap smear is a medical procedure that helps to detect cancer or signs of other cervical infections. The Pap smear test however cannot detect ovarian cell cancer or uterine cancer. It is known to detect changes only in the vaginal cells and cervical dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia refers to the growth of pre-cancerous cells.
How this test is conducted?
1. Pap smear is conducted when the woman is not menstruating.
2. An instrument called speculum is inserted into one’s vagina to be able to access the cervix more easily.
3. Pap smear involves the collection of sample cells from the outer cervix area.
4. Cervical brush is inserted into the speculum and the sample cells are collected.
5. Then, the samples are put on a glass slide for further evaluation.
6. The Pap smear procedure takes only a few minutes bu can prevent serious medical problems in the long run.
Who can undergo Pap smear?
1. Women can undergo Pap smear procedures once they are of 21 years of age and are generally sexually active
2. Women can go for pap smears up to the age of 70
3. Pap smears should be conducted preferably every two or three years
4. Women aged 65 and above and who have had no abnormalities in the last three consecutive tests, may stop taking pap smears
5. Before undergoing the test, it is important to stop douching and using vaginal creams for at least 2 days.
6. If there has been a case of multiple and frequent change of sexual partners, then you must go for Pap smear frequently
7. Women with weak immune system and who bear the risk of HIV Aids
8. Women who are heavy smokers