According to everydayhealth.com, a yearly pap smear is one of the most important ways to detect and prevent abnormalities from turning into cancer in the cervix. This form of preventive care is vital to maintaining your health over time. Scheduling your Pap Smear is a productive way to take hold of your health and prevent later health issues. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
What problems can a Pap Smear detect?
Pap Smears are designed to detect cervical dysplasia, or precancerous changes in the cervix.
How often should you have a Pap Smear?
Current Gynecologists recommend that women should have a Pap Smear every two years starting at age 21. After age 30, you may potentially decrease the frequency to every three years.
What if you have an abnormal Pap Smear?
An abnormal Pap smear means abnormal cells have been identified on your cervix. Your doctor may recommend repeating the test in four to six months or they may choose to perform a colposcopy to get a better look and take tissue samples to biopsy.
How should you prepare for your Pap Smear?
Gynecologists recommends you avoid douching or engaging in sexual intercourse for two to three days prior to having a Pap smear to get more accurate results.
What happens during a Pap Smear?
Pap Smears are basically painless and usually performed during your regular pelvic exam. The doctor will swab your cervix with a brush or cotton swab to collect cells from its surface, and then send the cells off for analysis to see if there are any abnormal cells present.