What is a pap test?
A Pap (cervical smear) test is a routine test, performed in a doctor’s room, that checks presence of abnormal cells in the cervix. During the test, the doctor will take a tiny sample of cells from the cervix – the lower part of the uterus which connects to the vagina. Those cells are examined to locate abnormal changes. When such a phenomenon is found, the doctor may recommend further tests and treatment.
There is no reason to be afraid or anxious about doing a Pap test. It’s a simple procedure that can save lives!
When is it recommended to perform a Pap test?
After starting having sexual intercourse or upon reaching the age of 21 (whichever comes first). If the pap test is negative, the next test should be taken three years later. This is true in case the relationship did not change. It’s important to remember, there are actions that may interfere with the test’s effectiveness:
If there is a significant vaginal excretion, bleeding or bleeding
Sexual intercourse in the 48 hours prior to the test.
Use of candles or vaginal ointments before the test.
The tests are usually performed during ovulation, 10 to 20 days after the first day of menstruation.
What is an abnormal Pap (cervical smear) test?
An abnormal pap (cervical smear) test means that the cells taken from the cervical smear look different then healthy cells. There can be a few reasons for getting abnormal test results:
· Local irritation in the cervical smear.
· A lab error.
In the event of abnormal lab results, the doctor may repeat the pap test or conduct different test to determine more accurately the cause of the situation. Is some cases the doctor will perform an HPV typing test, a test that checks the presence of the Human Papilloma VIrus in the cervix. HPV is considered to be the No.1 cause of Cervical Cancer. In other cases the doctor might perform a colposcopy, a test that uses micro tules to see the cervix through the vagina. A lesion can be taken out using micro tules too. If there is a more advanced lesion, there might be a need for surgery, and oncological treatment.
Early detection is the key!