This is a standard used by doctors to detect cervical cancer in women. It also reveals changes in your cervical cells that might become cancerous later. A pap smear walk in clinic conducts these tests to find changes in your cervical cells before becoming cancerous. You need regular pap smears if you are between 21 to 65 years. How often you get these tests done depends on whether or not you have had any abnormal cancerous cells in your cervix. You might as well decide to combine these tests with HPV starting from 30 years. After, you will then need the tests after every five years. Human papillomavirus is a significant sexually transmitted infection that causes cervical cancer. Read on to know more about the best time these tests should be conducted.
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The Best Time to Get a Pap Smear Test
A pap smear test should be conducted every three years, from 21 to 65. You might as well have these tests with HPV when you turn 30 years. Suppose you have any health issues, the doctor would recommend you get pap smears more often. These concerns typically include the following;
- A previous pap smear test revealed you have precancerous cells
- If you have an HIV infection
- The weakened immune system results from an organ transplant, chemotherapy, or chronic corticosteroid use.
- Ensure you talk to your doctor if you have any queries or concerns regarding these tests.
Preparing a Pap Smear Test
It is not recommended to have a pap smear test when you are on your menses since heavy bleeding can impact the accuracy of the results. Suppose the tests have been set around that time of the month. You should request your doctor to reschedule. To get the most accurate outcomes from the pap smear test, the doctor recommends you take the following steps, beginning 48 hours prior.
- Avoid sex or any lubricants
- Avoid any sprays or powders near the vagina
- Do not put anything inside your vagina, and these include tampons, medications, creams, and suppositories
- Avoid rinsing your vagina with water, vinegar, or other fluids like douching.
The Pap Smear Procedure
The pap smear test exam takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete. The test is typically conducted in the doctor’s office or clinic. You will be required to lie on the table and the feet placed firmly in the stirrups. The physician will insert a speculum into your vagina to help widen the vagina walls. The speculum tool allows doctors to see your cervix. They will then use a swab to take a cell sample from your cervix. The samples are then placed into a liquid substance in a tiny jar and will be sent to the lab for testing. During these tests, you will not feel any pain but some little pinch or a bit of pressure.
Pap Smears Outcomes
After a pap smear walk in clinic conducts the tests, and it will take them a few days to produce its results. The tests will come back either normal or abnormal.
1. Normal Results
A negative outcome is a good thing. And this means your doctor did not find any abnormal cervical cells, so you will not need another test until the day you were scheduled.
2. Abnormal Results
If the test results from these tests come out positive, it does not mean you have cancer. Other reasons cause abnormal cells. These are lab errors, cancer or pre-cancer, HPV or other infections, or mild inflammation.
A pap smear walk in clinic is the best place to get these critical tests. The procedure is known to be safe, but you might have some false negatives or positives. Therefore, make sure to talk to your doctor about the positives and risks of these tests. The best time to get these tests is when a woman turns 21.
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