Although it is one of the least favorite procedures that women have to endure, the Pap smear has an important role to play in your health. A Pap smear is a test that checks for changes in the cells of your cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. The Pap smear test can help to detect cervical cancer at an early stage.
How is the Pap smear beneficial?
This procedure helps detect precancerous and cancerous conditions before they can progress to cancer that could spread to other parts of your body. However, the Pap smear is not 100% accurate. Occasionally, results will show normal cell growth when in fact abnormal cells are present. This is called a false-negative test.
What is a false-negative test?
To decrease your chances of a problem going undetected, make sure to go for a Pap smear on a regular basis. False-negative tests can occur for many reasons, including:
- the abnormal cells may not have been contained in the sample
- too many or too few cells to give an accurate reading
- an infection, which could cover up abnormal cells
What steps should I take to prepare for a Pap smear?
Do not douche or use vaginal creams for two days prior to the test. Do not have intercourse within twenty-four hours of the test because it could cause inaccurate test results. Do not use tampons, birth control foams or jellies for 48 hours prior to your appointment. Do not take tub baths, instead take showers for the two days prior to your appointment. Tell your doctor if you have been exposed to HPV – human papillomavirus, a virus that causes abnormal tissue growth (warts) and is often associated with some types of cancer.
What happens during and after the Pap smear?
You are first asked to lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet apart. Your doctor then inserts a speculum into your vagina so that the cervix is visible. A special swab is used to wipe off cells from the inside opening and outer part of the cervix. These cells are smeared onto a microscope slide and taken for analysis.
After the Pap smear has been performed and if the cells appear normal, no treatment is necessary. If an infection is present, treatment is prescribed. If the cells appear abnormal, more tests may be necessary.
Are some women at a higher risk for cervical cancer?
Women at an increased risk for cervical cancer include those who:
- have had more than one sexual partner or whose partner has had more than one partner
- were sexually active beginning at a young age (before age eighteen)
- have a history of genital warts
BirthControlBuzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, birth control types (prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase pharmaceuticals on-line.
For more information, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.
Birth Control Buzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, types of birth control(prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase pharmaceuticals on-line. For more information, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.