How A Pap Smear Works

Men have it easy while they turn their head and cough twice. Lucky them! Women, on the other hand, have it a little more complicated. No matter how much the discomfort may be, it is vital to get your pap smear either three years after the first time of intercourse or no later than 21 years old.

The Pap smear should be performed once a year after that. For the first timers I can understand how this may sound a little scary to get around to. The sooner you go, the faster you’ll have it done and over with and with a clear head knowing you’re as healthy inside as you are outside.

A Pap smear is a medical procedure where the doctor takes samples of the woman’s cervix to check for any abnormalities or cancerous cells. It is mainly painless besides a slight discomfort and a normal awkwardness you may feel. The nurse will bring you into the room where you will undress and put on the beautiful paper dress provided by the clinic. You will then lie down on the examining bed and you will place your feet on stand similar to those you see in the movies when women give birth.

The doctor will then examine the outside of the genital area along with the rectum and urethra. A Speculum is then inserted to spread vaginal walls to get a clear view of the cervix. A cotton swab will be used to collect and clear away any mucous from the cervix. A brush will also be inserted into the opening of the cervix to get a sample of cells and then smeared on a glass to be observed under a microscope. After the speculum is pulled out then the doctor will perform a pelvic exam where he/she inserts 2 fingers and feels the ovaries and uterus with the other hand on top of the belly or abdomen. It takes about 2 weeks for results and if everything comes back normal then you won’t be due for another year. Best results if Pap smear is performed anywhere from 10-20 days from last day of period. A pap smear can not be performed if patient is menstruating.

If the results come back abnormal then there are other procedures that are performed to check for cancerous cells. Some have risks of damaging the cervix and may cause infertility so make sure you look into risks involved with each procedure. Pap Smears are not 100% accurate so make sure you take the necessary precautions if something comes back.