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The Pap Smear Test: A Quick Overview Of The Procedure

If you’re a woman, you must have heard about a Pap smear (or Pap test). Right? And if you’re over 21 years old and haven’t had one, maybe you don’t know the essence of this test. It’s a quick procedure that involves screening for cervical cancer.

Pap smear panorama experts look for abnormal cervical changes and precancerous or cancer cells. Then they take the cells to the lab and examine them under a microscope. If there is any indication of cancerous cells, the doctor might use another test such as a biopsy to help diagnose cancer.  

What to Expect?

If it’s your first time having a pap smear, you must have many questions. How long will this procedure take? Can I bear the pain? Should I have this procedure with a male or female OB/GYN? 

Maybe, it would help if you came a day before your schedule. Talk to your Pap smear panorama practitioner and find out if you’re comfortable speaking to them. You can even request a female practitioner if it makes you feel more comfortable. It’s always good to come 15 minutes earlier for your appointment so you can relax. 

You’ll have your Pap test in a doctor’s office or an exam room at a medical facility. Then you’ll get into an exam table after removing your clothes from the waist down and lie back. The bed will have stirrups at the foot end, which allows your feet to stay in position as your doctor examines you.

And for the doctor to access your cervix, he will insert a speculum (which can be a plastic or metal instrument) into your vagina to hold the walls of your vagina open. The practitioner will first apply lubrication to the speculum before sliding it inside. 

You’re likely to feel a little pressure and a clicking sound as the doctor adjusts the speculum to allow a clear view of your cervix. It might feel a little uncomfortable and strange, but nothing painful. But taking some deep breaths can help you relax.

As soon as the speculum is in place, the Pap smear panorama practitioner will insert a tiny swab or a brush. Think of this as something resembling a mascara wand. And this is what he puts into your vagina. It’s an instrument with a long handle enough to reach your cervix. Then your practitioner will collect a sample of cells by gently rubbing its lining. Depending on your HPV schedule, your doctor may incorporate this pap test with an HPV by using the same swab. Or you may choose a different one but on the same day. He will gently remove the speculum to examine the sample under a microscope. 

What Might Interfere With A Pap Smear?

Menstruation: Pap smear panorama gynecologists, among others, advise the patients intending to come for a pap test to schedule it for one to two weeks after their periods. That way, it won’t interfere with the accuracy of a Pap smear or mask abnormal cells. 

Sexual intercourse: avoid having sex 48 hours before you go for your appointment.

Spermicides (jellies, forms, or birth control products): same with sex; it’s best if you don’t use any of the mentioned for 48 hours before starting a pap test.  

Vaginal lubricants: A lube also falls in the same category as other products such as jellies. So, abstain from using them for at least 48 hours before your Pap smear.

Vaginal douches: If you usually douche (washing the vagina with water or other mixtures of products), you need to stop it at least three days before your pap smear appointment. 

In Conclusion

That’s the overview of how a Pap smear panorama is done. Other than some little discomfort, this procedure is quick and tolerable. It’s a necessary medical test that every woman should consider if they are 21 years and above. Since it’s a cervix screening for cancerous cells, it can help detect the abnormal cells and handle them before spreading to other regions. 

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