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Cervical Cancer Awareness: How to prepare for the PAP test

  • IWB Post
  •  February 17, 2015

Have you sent the Valentine’s Day greeting card to your beloved yet? The V-Day cards are especially designed by Arena Animation to spread the Cervical Cancer Awareness. Free download them from our website and send these cards to women you care about. You can even print and distribute them to your girlfriends, colleagues, relatives, siblings and even the female help at your home!

The V in our cards also represents Vagina which is prone to the dangerous Cervical Cancer. This cancer is detected by Pap test. It is advisable to regularly go for Pap test if you notice any symptoms. Let us talk about the Pap test elaborately today.

Also known as Pap smear test, it is often part of a pelvic exam where doctor notices and treats any abnormal cell changes on your cervix before they develop into cancer.

Let us see how the Pap test is conducted:

During Pap test, a sample of cells from the surface of the cervix (lower part of the uterus in female reproductive system) is collected by the doctor. The sample is then spread on a slide called Pap smear or is mixed in a liquid fixative (liquid-based cytology) and sent to a lab for examination. The cells are examined for abnormal cell change called the Cervical Cancer.

Most cases of Cervical Cancer are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV test is recommended alongside the Pap test by doctors.PapTest-large

How to prepare yourself for Pap test:

1. Go for test when you’re not having monthly period because blood can interfere with the results of the test.

2. Do not use douches, tampons, vaginal medicines, sprays, or powders for at least 24 hours before having a Pap test.

3. Some doctors even recommend avoiding sex for 24 hours before a pap test.

4. Inform your doctor if:

• You’re pregnant

• If you have any reproductive or urinary tract symptoms such as itching, redness, sores, swelling, or an unusual odor or increased vaginal discharge.

• If you have been performing regular vaginal self-exams.

• You’re using birth control.

• If this is your 1st Pap test.

• Details about your last period.

• If you have had surgery or other procedures such as radiation therapy to the vagina, cervix, uterus , or vulva.

Following are few points that are important to know about Pap test –

1. The virus ‘Human Papillomavirus’ (HPV) is responsible for cervical cancer. Generally women are encouraged to get an HPV test done while going for a Pap test.

2. If you are age 26 or younger, you can get the HPV shot to prevent infection with the types of HPV that are mostly responsible for cervical cancer.

3. But that doesn’t mean having a HPV test is enough. Even if you’ve already had the HPV vaccine, you still need Pap tests. That’s because the vaccine doesn’t protect you from all types of HPV.

4. Women who are 21 and above or are sexually active are advised to go for Pap test or regular testing for sexually transmitted infections.

 Now let us know how according to our age, the frequency of Pap test arises:

Age 21 to 29 – Go for Pap test every 3 years. If the tests are abnormal, go more often and keep the doctor in loop. Although the HPV is common in younger women, but their strong immune system usually gets rid of it.

Age 30 to 64 – Have Pap and HPV tests every 5 years.

Age 65+ – Women of this age may no longer need Pap tests. Most experts say that you no longer need Pap tests if:

• You’ve had 3 Pap tests in a row with normal results.

• You’ve had 2 combined HPV and Pap tests in a row with normal results in the past 10 years and one of those tests was in the past 5 years.

Do you find this article useful? Let us know if you have any queries related to Cervical Cancer or Pap test.

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