Women’s healthcare has taken a front seat in the medical industry. This is because of the spread of information about their importance, primarily inspired by the onset of the internet. This has led to the formation of more women’s facilities to deal with their issues in a more personalized setting. An example of a standard procedure performed is the South Charleston Pap Smear. More about what a pap smear entails and its benefits is discussed below.
What is a Pap Smear?
A pap smear is an operation that is performed to screen for cancer of the cervix. This involves checking out the opening of your uterus for cancerous or precancerous cells. The cells found in the cervix are carefully obtained and checked out for abnormal growth during a routine procedure. This happens at your physician’s office without causing any long-term pain but may be slightly uncomfortable.
Who requires a pap smear?
Medical professionals recommend pap smear screenings begin at age twenty-five. Some women may have a higher risk of getting infections or cancer. Further frequent tests may be needed if:
- An organ transplant or chemotherapy makes your immune system weakened
- You are positive for the HIV
Women above the age of twenty-five who have not gotten abnormal pap tests may ask their physicians to perform one every five years combined with an HPV screening. This should apply even to those who do not suspect they have any issues.
HPV is a virus that heightens the likelihood of getting cervical cancer and warts. The leading causes of cervical cancer from HPV involve types sixteen and eighteen. HPV infection significantly increases your chances of contracting cancer of the cervix.
When women get above the age of sixty-five and have pap smear tests regularly may stop getting them in the future. Regardless of your sexual activity, regular pap smears are recommended, mainly because HPV can be dormant for a long time and be suddenly triggered to become active.
How often you get pap smears depends on factors like risk and age. These recommendations are only applicable to women with cervixes. Screening is not necessary if you have had a hysterectomy and have no history of cervical cancer.
What does a pap smear test involve?
This test is pretty quick but can be slightly uncomfortable. The procedure begins with lying on an examination table, resting your feet on stirrups supports, and your legs spread. A speculum device is placed in your vagina to keep the walls open and the cervix accessible.
The doctor will remove a small sample of cells from your cervix. This can be via:
- Use of a brush and spatula
- Using a spatula only
- Using a cytobrush device that combines both a brush and spatula
The brief scraping involves irritation after a slight push. The sample collected is stored and taken to the lab to test for cells that seem abnormal.
A pap smear test can be a pretty invasive procedure, mainly due to the private body part it involves. This can make it quite unpopular even though it is crucial for women’s health. For any pap smear inquiries, visit us online, or call our offices in South Charleston, WV.