LadyNaija just said:

Pap smear: why you need to get one

I remember the first time I heard the term, ‘pap smear’. It was from the movie ‘White Chicks’ and as the name suggests, I assumed it is a medical exam in which the doctor would smear a paste-like substance.

Well, I am older and wiser now, and I know it is very far from that. 

I am still not sure why it is called a ‘pap smear’ though. However, I do know that it is a very important test for women and I am going to bring you up to speed on all you should know about it.

A pap smear is also called a pap test. It is a medical examination of the cervix to check for cancerous cells in women. Often, it is done in conjunction with a pelvic exam.

An instrument is inserted into the vagina to widen it and then a swab is used to collect samples that will be tested later. 

This procedure is very important because it is the first step in detecting cervical cancer early (a very common form of cancer in women) and treating it.

Most doctors recommend that women aged 21 to 65 should do it every three years, especially the sexually active ones. Once you are over 30, they advise that the procedure is combined with testing for HPV. 

However, there are other cases in which doctors may recommend that a patient gets more frequent pap smears. Those who have shown precancerous cells, have HIV infection, have a history of smoking, or have a weakened immune system are under this category.

But if you have had a hysterectomy or are over 65 then you don’t need to get a pap smear.

Now, you know the basics. Take care of yourself and get a pap smear today!

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