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Pap Smear Tips

Pap Smear Test - Know Its Eligibility!

Dr. Pooja Mehta 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, Certified IVF Specialist, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Chandigarh
Pap Smear Test - Know Its Eligibility!

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,t can prevent serious medical problems in the long run.
7. The Pap smear is not a painful procedure, though it may be slightly uncomfortable for a few minutes only.

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

2367 people found this helpful

How Often Should You Get A Pap Smear Test?

Dr. Vandana Jain 90% (62 ratings)
MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Ghaziabad
How Often Should You Get A Pap Smear Test?

Regular preventive check ups are a must for being healthy and if you wait too long between check ups, it may become too late to detect a problem. Cervical cancer screening is especially important for women via a pap smear test, as it's the best way to detect cancer.

A Pap test is done to screen any changes in the cells of the cervix, including cervical cancer or conditions that may develop into cancer. Doctors recommend that Pap smear testing should begin at the age of 21 for women, and should be done every 3-5 years for women between the ages of 21 to 65 years.

For women between ages 30 - 65 years, the test can be done once in five years, if it is combined with testing for HPV. A doctor may recommend frequent Pap smear tests if a person is diagnosed with cervical cancer, HIV infection or a weak immune system caused due to organ transplant or chemotherapy.

When can you discontinue Pap smear Tests?
If you are sexually active, doctors may ask you to continue your Pap smear tests even after the age of 65. Women can discontinue Pap smear tests after getting a total hysterectomy. However, some women may still have to undergo the test if they have had the surgery for cervical or uterine cancers or if you are a high risk patient with HIV or have a weakened immune system. In these cases, women will have to continue getting Pap smear tests. Even if you stop getting Pap smear tests, it's advisable to keep getting regular pelvic tests.

What symptoms to watch out for between Pap smear tests?

  • Pain is not an early warning sign of the disease, and not all people experience pain while suffering from cancer of the cervix. The symptoms to watch out for are abnormal bleeding in the cervix, which is one of the most common symptoms of cancer in cervix. If you get bleeding between your regular menstrual periods and after sexual intercourse that it is another sign that you should get a Pap smear done to check for cancer in the cervix.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge is another symptom of cancer of the cervix. You must get these symptoms checked from your doctor via a Pap smear test.
  • It is advisable to discuss with your doctor and decide how frequently you need to decide what's best for you based on different risk factors.
3821 people found this helpful

Pap Smear - How Important Is It For Cancer Screening?

Dr. Somya Sinha 90% (54 ratings)
MBBS, MS- Obs & Gynae, DNB - Obs & Gynae
Gynaecologist, Ranchi
Pap Smear - How Important Is It For Cancer Screening?

Cervical cancer can throw life completely off balance. It is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women worldwide. Lack of an early diagnosis makes this life threatening condition almost untreatable. A Pap smear also referred to as a Pap Test comes as a ray of hope for many women.

A Pap smear is a screening test that plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and detection of cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear may further be used to point out any abnormalities in the cervical cells which may have a potential to turn malignant in the future. Doctors recommend all women (between 21-65 years of age) to undergo a pap smear to be on the safer side. While most women are advised to repeat the pap smear between every 3-5 years, women with the following conditions or ailments should be extra careful.

  1. Having white discharge, leucorrhora, foul smelling discharge 
  2. Having erosion, ulcers on cervix , bleeding after sex 
  3. Having more than 3children 
  4. Multiple partners 
  5. Early age of marriage  

The above mentioned conditions are the most important. Consult your doctor and follow the necessary advice and precautions.

The procedure involved in a Pap smear
The Pap test is not a very tedious process and is often carried out in the doctor's clinic itself. The person to undergo the test is made to lie down on her back (the knees should be in a bent position). The physician then carefully inserts a speculum into the vagina. The main idea is to widen the vaginal walls so that the doctor can have a clear view of the cervix. Next, using a spatula, the doctor will collect samples of your cervical cells and send it for examination.


The significance of the Pap smear result

 

  • A negative test indicates a healthy cervix with no precancerous cells.
  • A positive result can, however, have many implications, such as there can be a condition known as dysplasia (minute alterations in the cervical cells). There may be some inflammation. However, the condition may be nothing to lose your sleep over. In many women, the condition heals by itself. A thorough investigation, (colonoscopy followed by a biopsy) may be needed if the problem persists for long.

Further, there can be 

  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion: This, unfortunately, indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  • Squamous cell cancer: As the name suggests, this more than often, confirms the presence of malignant or cancer cells.
  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance: Here the squamous cells appear very flat and thin, growing on the cervical surface. The condition may not necessarily indicate something serious. The person concerned may require further tests for a better interpretation of the condition.

A Pap smear is for your good. Go for a Pap smear and also encourage women in your circle to indulge in this healthy practice.

Pap Smear - Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Dr. Tripti Raheja 87% (10 ratings)
M.R.C.O.G. (LONDON) Gold Medalist, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology , MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Pap Smear - Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Cervical cancer can throw life completely off balance. It is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women worldwide. Lack of an early diagnosis makes this life threatening condition almost untreatable. A Pap smear also referred to as a Pap Test comes as a ray of hope for many women.

A Pap smear is a screening test that plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and detection of cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear may further be used to point out any abnormalities in the cervical cells which may have a potential to turn malignant in the future. Doctors recommend all women (between 21-65 years of age) to undergo a pap smear to be on the safer side. While most women are advised to repeat the pap smear between every 3-5 years, women with the following conditions or ailments should be extra careful.

  1. Women who are HIV positive or those with a weak immune system.
  2. Those who have undergone an organ transplant.
  3. Any woman whose pap smear indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  4. Women who had chemotherapy sessions.

The above mentioned conditions do not necessarily imply a 100% probability of cervical cancer. Consult your doctor and follow the necessary advice and precautions.

The procedure involved in a Pap smear
The Pap test is not a very tedious process and is often carried out in the doctor's clinic itself. The person to undergo the test is made to lie down on her back (the knees should be in a bent position). The physician then carefully inserts a speculum into the vagina. The main idea is to widen the vaginal walls so that the doctor can have a clear view of the cervix. Next, using a spatula, the doctor will collect samples of your cervical cells and send it for examination.


The significance of the Pap smear result

 

  • A negative test indicates a healthy cervix with no precancerous cells.
  • A positive result can, however, have many implications, such as there can be a condition known as dysplasia (minute alterations in the cervical cells). There may be some inflammation. However, the condition may be nothing to lose your sleep over. In many women, the condition heals by itself. A thorough investigation, (colposcopy followed by a biopsy) may be needed if the problem persists for long.

Further, there can be 

  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion: This, unfortunately, indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  • Squamous cell cancer: As the name suggests, this more than often, confirms the presence of malignant or cancer cells.
  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance: Here the squamous cells appear very flat and thin, growing on the cervical surface. The condition may not necessarily indicate something serious. The person concerned may require further tests for a better interpretation of the condition.

A Pap smear is for your good. Go for a Pap smear and also encourage women in your circle to indulge in this healthy practice. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

5790 people found this helpful

Pap Smear - Know About Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Dr. Shashi Agarwal 88% (78 ratings)
MBBS, DNB
Gynaecologist, Bangalore
Pap Smear - Know About Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Cervical cancer can throw life completely off balance. It is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women worldwide. Lack of an early diagnosis makes this life threatening condition almost untreatable. A Pap smear also referred to as a Pap Test comes as a ray of hope for many women.

A Pap smear is a screening test that plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and detection of cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear may further be used to point out any abnormalities in the cervical cells which may have a potential to turn malignant in the future. Doctors recommend all women (between 21-65 years of age) to undergo a pap smear to be on the safer side. While most women are advised to repeat the pap smear between every 3-5 years, women with the following conditions or ailments should be extra careful.

  1. Women who are HIV positive or those with a weak immune system.
  2. Those who have undergone an organ transplant.
  3. Any woman whose pap smear indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  4. Women who had chemotherapy sessions.

The above mentioned conditions do not necessarily imply a 100% probability of cervical cancer. Consult your doctor and follow the necessary advice and precautions.

The procedure involved in a Pap smear
The Pap test is not a very tedious process and is often carried out in the doctor's clinic itself. The person to undergo the test is made to lie down on her back (the knees should be in a bent position). The physician then carefully inserts a speculum into the vagina. The main idea is to widen the vaginal walls so that the doctor can have a clear view of the cervix. Next, using a spatula, the doctor will collect samples of your cervical cells and send it for examination.


The significance of the Pap smear result

 

  • A negative test indicates a healthy cervix with no precancerous cells.
  • A positive result can, however, have many implications, such as there can be a condition known as dysplasia (minute alterations in the cervical cells). There may be some inflammation. However, the condition may be nothing to lose your sleep over. In many women, the condition heals by itself. A thorough investigation, (colonoscopy followed by a biopsy) may be needed if the problem persists for long.

Further, there can be 

  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion: This, unfortunately, indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  • Squamous cell cancer: As the name suggests, this more than often, confirms the presence of malignant or cancer cells.
  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance: Here the squamous cells appear very flat and thin, growing on the cervical surface. The condition may not necessarily indicate something serious. The person concerned may require further tests for a better interpretation of the condition.

A Pap smear is for your good. Go for a Pap smear and also encourage women in your circle to indulge in this healthy practice. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2406 people found this helpful

Abnormal Pap Smear - What Should You Do In Such A Case?

Dr. Shruti Bhatia 89% (23 ratings)
DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Abnormal Pap Smear - What Should You Do In Such A Case?

A Pap smear test helps in detecting the signs and onset of cervical cancer. This test helps in pointing at the presence of any suspicious cells that may require further examination and testing with the help of an oncologist. You will enjoy a negative result in case you have a normal reading during the examination process and no further treatment will be required. Yet, you will be asked to go through the test on a regular basis. But here is what happens if you have an abnormal reading.

  1. Positive Result: You are said to have a positive result, if you any unusual or abnormal cells were found during this Pap Smear Test. While this may not necessarily mean that you have cervical cancer, it can show what kind of abnormal cells are present in this area of your body. The doctor will check for the following things after a positive result.
  2. ASCUS: This is also known as Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance. This is a liquid based test that will seek to study the thin and flat squamous cells that may be found on the surface of a perfectly healthy and normal cervix. This test will check for the presence of any virus that may lead to the development of cancer and to determine the level of risk to the patient. Further, if there is any high risk virus, then further treatment and testing will be required.
  3. Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion: When some of the cells that have been extracted during the Pap Smear test turn out to be precancerous, then they are Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions. In many cases, it takes a few years for these lesions to turn cancerous especially when the changes are low grade, which pertains to the size, shape and other features of the same. If a high grade lesion is detected, then diagnostic testing in the form of imaging tests may be required.
  4. Atypical Glandular Cells: These mucus producing cells grow within the cervical opening and usually spread into the uterus as well. While they may appear abnormal, it is difficult to tell whether or not they are cancerous, especially in the early stages.
  5. Squamous Cell Cancer: This is an almost certain reading of the growth of cancer in the cervix. When a reading from the Pap Smear includes such a finding, the doctor will recommend immediate evaluation.
  6. Colposcopy: Once you have had a positive reading with any of the above findings, the doctor will perform this procedure with sample tissue extracted during a biopsy. This will be done with the use of a special magnifying tool known as a colposcope to examine the cervix, vagina and vulva tissues.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2522 people found this helpful

Pap Smear - A Guide To Understanding Its Role In Cervical Screening!

Dr. Meenakshi Yelvantge 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Pune
Pap Smear - A Guide To Understanding Its Role In Cervical Screening!

Cervical cancer can throw life completely off balance. It is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women worldwide. Lack of an early diagnosis makes this life threatening condition almost untreatable. A Pap smear also referred to as a Pap Test comes as a ray of hope for many women.

A Pap smear is a screening test that plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and detection of cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear may further be used to point out any abnormalities in the cervical cells which may have a potential to turn malignant in the future. Doctors recommend all women (between 21-65 years of age) to undergo a pap smear to be on the safer side. While most women are advised to repeat the pap smear between every 3-5 years, women with the following conditions or ailments should be extra careful.

  1. Women who are HIV positive or those with a weak immune system.
  2. Those who have undergone an organ transplant.
  3. Any woman whose pap smear indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  4. Women who had chemotherapy sessions.

The above mentioned conditions do not necessarily imply a 100% probability of cervical cancer. Consult your doctor and follow the necessary advice and precautions.

The procedure involved in a Pap smear
The Pap test is not a very tedious process and is often carried out in the doctor's clinic itself. The person to undergo the test is made to lie down on her back (the knees should be in a bent position). The physician then carefully inserts a speculum into the vagina. The main idea is to widen the vaginal walls so that the doctor can have a clear view of the cervix. Next, using a spatula, the doctor will collect samples of your cervical cells and send it for examination.


The significance of the Pap smear result

 

  • A negative test indicates a healthy cervix with no precancerous cells.
  • A positive result can, however, have many implications, such as there can be a condition known as dysplasia (minute alterations in the cervical cells). There may be some inflammation. However, the condition may be nothing to lose your sleep over. In many women, the condition heals by itself. A thorough investigation, (colonoscopy followed by a biopsy) may be needed if the problem persists for long.

Further, there can be 

  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion: This, unfortunately, indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  • Squamous cell cancer: As the name suggests, this more than often, confirms the presence of malignant or cancer cells.
  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance: Here the squamous cells appear very flat and thin, growing on the cervical surface. The condition may not necessarily indicate something serious. The person concerned may require further tests for a better interpretation of the condition.

A Pap smear is for your good. Go for a Pap smear and also encourage women in your circle to indulge in this healthy practice.

2531 people found this helpful

My smear campaign

MBBS, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Kota

Have a pap smear once a year. Not on our list of favourite things, but it’s vital. Cervical cancer kills 200 000 women a year and it’s the most prevalent form of cancer among black women, affecting more than 30 percent. 

But the chances of survival are nearly 100 percent if it’s detected early. Be particularly careful if you became sexually active at an early age, have had multiple sex partners or smoke.

1 person found this helpful

Everything You Need to Know About Your Pap Smear!

Dr. Upendra Patel 87% (19 ratings)
MD - General Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Ahmedabad
Everything You Need to Know About Your Pap Smear!

A Pap Smear is a screening test done to to test for occurrence of uterine cancer. Carried out in a quick and simple way to extract a sample, the sample is collected from the cervix area of a woman during a pelvic exam. The examination of the sample takes place under a microscope thereafter to find abnormalities that can point towards cancer and pre cancer changes.

There are many reasons why women should get a pap smear screening done:

1. Women who are HIV positive should get this test done regularly so as to detect any anomalies in the cervix. This condition usually comes with higher risk of infections and cancer, which is why regular screening is required.

2. Age is also another factor and women over the age of 30 should go through an annual screening on a compulsory basis. This is also true for women who have been through pregnancy and child birth.

Preparing for a Pap Smear: To prepare for a pap smear test, you need to ensure that you are not menstruating at the time. Also, you may want to avoid sexual activity just before the test so as to get the most accurate readings. During the process, remember to stay calm and relax your body physically.

Procedure: The pap smear procedure is a quick one that might be only slightly uncomfortable. This test is usually carried out on the examination table at the gynecologist's clinic. The legs will need to be spread and placed in stirrups. The doctor will insert a speculum to hold open the vaginal opening so that the spatula can be inserted easily to take a sample from the area. This sample of the cells will be tested in a lab after due preservation.

Test Results: The test results can either be normal or abnormal. An abnormal result does not point at the presence of cancer. Rather it can simply mean that abnormal cells exist in the cervix. The doctor may ask you to go through these tests and screening more frequently so as to study the anomalies in a more detailed manner. Consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4896 people found this helpful

Cervical Smear - Understanding It In Detail!

Dr. Nutan Hegde 89% (149 ratings)
MBBS, DGO, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Cervical Smear - Understanding It In Detail!

A cervical smear test is often known as a Pap test and is done to establish the changes that might have occurred in cells of the cervix. A small sample of cells is taken from the surface of the cervix and is tested for any abnormalities. The sample is spread on a slide or in some cases mixed with a liquid fixative and studied under a microscope. It is one of the most popular methods to test the abnormalities in your cells and can pinpoint point cervical cancers.

About the test
A typical cervical smear or Pap test is done to identify the changes that have happened to the cells of the cervix. Diagnosing them early can be beneficial in many ways and can lower your chance of cervical cancer. PAP smear or a cervical smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. For other cases, once the results of the cell growth are identified it is safe to seek other tests and medical options for diagnosis.

The procedure of typical Pap smear
The test is mostly recommended when you do not have the periods as the blood can interfere with the results. Also, before taking the test discuss with your doctor about the medications you are taking and in case you are under any birth control pills. No other special preparations are needed for the Pap test. Feel free to discuss with your doctor about the impact the test will have on you or on the pain levels, etc.The test is done by inserting a speculum into the vagina, which spreads it further. Later, a cotton swab is inserted to get the samples of cells from your cervix. The cells from the vagina are also collected in some cases and tested accordingly.


The risks involved
There no chances of risks when you go for such tests. You might feel a bit of pressure in your vaginal region and may experience a small bleeding after the testing. However, this is extremely normal. Also, there is no pain involved. If you experience heavy period and blood loss, you might experience minor discomfort when the test is being done.

The final result
Once the test is done, the results would be available usually within a week. The results can be categorized into normal and abnormal. If your cells are normal and no abnormality is found then the condition is termed as a normal result. In the case of abnormality in the cell structure, then it requires further evaluation and diagnosis to rule out cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.

3664 people found this helpful
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