A new report found that a lot of women rejects smear tests due to embarrassment, even though the tests are essential in the prevention of cervical cancer. In this article, we are going to discuss further about what is smear test. Not only that, we will also be discussing more details on why you need it or what it does to you. Give this article a read and get to learn more about it!
What is Smear Test?
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Smear test or Pap smear test or Pap test is a screening test procedure, which is mainly done for the detection or prevention of cervical cancer. These tests for the presence of some cancerous or precancerous cells on the cervix. As we know, the cervix is the opening that we see in the uterus.
Throughout the routine procedure, the cells from the cervix are being scraped gently and are examined for their abnormal growth. This particular procedure is done at a doctor’s office. The procedure might be a bit uncomfortable, yet it does not typically cause any long-term pain.
Moreover, smear test detects the early signs of cervical pre-cancer or the changes that occur before the cancer develops.
Who needs Pap Smear Test?
Most of the women must get regular Pap smears at the age of 21. There are some who might be at risk of infection or even cancer. You might need more regular check-up or tests if:
- Having a weak immunity due to chemotherapy or organ transplant.
- You are positive of HIV.
If you are over the age of 30 and already had 3 normal Pap test in a row, you can ask your doctor about having one each five years if the test got additional human papillomavirus screening. HPV is a kind of virus, which causes warts. The main causes of cervical cancer are the type 16 and type 18 of HPV. If you acquired HPV, you may be at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
Those who are over 65 years old, having a normal Pap smear test result might be able to stop getting Pap smear tests in the near future. Furthermore, you must get a regular Pap smear test even though you are in a monogamous relationship. This is mainly because the HPV virus might be dormant for years, and may become active again.
Why do you need Pap Smear Test?
The regular Pap smear tests prevent cervical cancer. This is by way of detecting the precancerous changes, which may get treated before becoming a cancer.
What is Smear Test: What do the tests involve?
A doctor or nurse takes the cervical smear. In a private room, you will undress from your waist down. You will then be asked to lie on your back spreading your knees apart. After which, a speculum will gently be placed in the vagina. The speculum is a hallow cylinder, which part the vagina to get a much clearer view of the cervix. Then, a soft broom will be brushed against the cervix in order to collect some cells. These cells on the broom will be shaken off to fluid preservative and then sent off for analysis.
Does Pap smear hurt?
We now know what is smear test, now the question is, does it hurt? Well, actually having a Pap smear test is not that painful. In fact, it will just be uncomfortable. If you are terrified even just by thinking about having a Pap smear, make sure that you get to talk to your doctor or nurse beforehand. This for them to know all of your concerns.
The procedure just takes about a few minutes. For most women, the discomfort goes away after the procedure, though some may still feel discomfort after the smear is already taken. If ever you find the procedure uncomfortable, discuss it with your smear taker. So that the next time that you will do the test, they will make it much more comfortable.
What Happens to the Smear?
Once the test is done, the cells will then be looked at under the microscope. This particular process is called cytology. Most of the smear tests show the normal cells. If the result of the Pap smear test is normal, it is referred to as negative. Therefore, you will not be needing Pap smear tests for another three years. Furthermore, sometimes, the cells look a bit abnormal in shape or size. This is what they call as the dyskaryosis. This particular condition is classified as mild, severe, or moderate, varying on the abnormality of the appearance of the cells.
How accurate are the results of Pap smear?
The Pap smear tests are so accurate, and the regular Pap screenings reduce the risks of cervical cancer, as well as the mortality by 80%. It may also be uncomfortable, ye the short discomfort may be beneficial or the overall health.
You now know a lot of facts about what is smear test. If you want to learn more about it, feel free to check it out on the internet.