A lot of women still think that the right time to go to the gynecologist is when the lady parts suffer some sort of malfunction. The truth is, you could be sick and not develop symptoms before it is too late. One of these diseases is Cervical Cancer.
The story is classic for medical professionals: a middle-aged woman who hasn’t been to her regular check-ups in years presents with vaginal bleeding after sex. This is the first symptom and sadly a tell sign for advanced disease.
What is more tragic about the story is that CERVICAL CANCER can be easily prevented and easily cured if diagnosed in its early stages, all with the help of our HERO, the PAP SMEAR.
Ladies, it is your duty to take care of your body and the PAP smear is a fast and easy way to ensure that you stay healthy down there!
First of all, what is a cervix? It is an organ that connects the uterus to the vagina, and serves as an opening through which the menstrual blood comes out of the body and through which sperm can enter the uterus in order to make a baby.
What is a PAP smear? A PAP smear or a PAP test is when cells from your cervix are collected in order to be analyzed later under a microscope, to check for abnormal/cancer cells.
So how do you get the PAP test? No, there is nothing to fill out or anything. But you will get a grade at the end of it. Almost any medical professional should be able to make it: your general practitioner, your gynecologist, trained nurses and even midwives. It’s not rocket science!
- You lay down on the consulting table, legs in the foot holders (undressed from the waist down, of course)
- An instrument called speculum is inserted into the vagina and it will be spread to display the cervix(it might be a bit cold, usually always a bit uncomfortable)
- With a small brush (looks like a Q-Tip) some cells will be scraped from your cervix (it might feel like a little pinch, it might bleed a bit after, it usually isn’t painful)
DONE! The results come in about a week and you will talk them over with your doctor.
(I won’t detail the various interpretations here. In my experience, women misinterpret what they have read online and come desperate in the office/hospital, when there is actually no reason to worry).
How do you prepare for the test? Come a couple of days after your period and 24h prior no sex/tampons/vaginal cremes.
Should a virgin take the test? Absolutely. Cervical cancer is produced by HPV, which is a virus, and can be transmitted in many more ways than sex.
When should you take the first test? It depends on the country, but I would say ASAP! The same goes for follow-ups. In some countries it is every year, in some every 3 or 5 years.
So now you ladies know how simple it is, pick up your phone and call for an appointment NOW!
For all of you who are up to date with the PAP SMEAR, I tip my hat to you, you amazing females, and request that you encourage your friends to do the same.
We are not only responsible for our own cervix, but for the cervix of other women as well!