Do Pap Smears Hurt? And 12 Other FAQs

What are Pap Smear Tests?

Pap smear tests are used to check for cervical cancer (C) or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). A woman may have either C or any STD. If she’s positive, her doctor will order a Pap test to see if it’s C or some other STD.

The purpose of the test is to screen for cervical cancer (C), which is the most common type of cancer found in women. Some STDs are not usually fatal but they can cause long-term health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Symptoms include pain during urination, discharge from the urethra, fever, chills and headache. A negative result means there’s no sign of a problem with your cervix.

How Does Pap Test Work?

A Pap test involves taking a sample of cells from inside the cervix using a special instrument called a swab. These cells are then sent to be tested for various types of HPV (human papillomavirus). The results are usually available within 2 weeks. However, sometimes it takes longer. This is why it’s important to wait a month before repeating the process.

There are many types of pap tests and various ways of collecting these cells. You can find out more information about this by going through the type of pap test you’re having, such as a conventional or liquid-based pap test.

What Happens During The Test?

The process begins by lying down on an exam table with your feet in stirrups. The doctor or a nurse will gently place a speculum inside your vaginal opening, which is then opened wide to give them access to the cervix. They’ll then take a small cotton swab and use it to gently collect several cells from the surface of the cervix. This takes just a couple of minutes. The entire procedure doesn’t hurt but some women feel odd or uncomfortable sensations during the process.

Are There Any Risks Or Disadvantages?

There’s very little risk involved with pap tests, especially if you have them regularly. If you’re pregnant or have HIV, your doctor might not perform this procedure or might alter it slightly to reduce the risk of complications. There is a small chance that bleeding may occur as a result of this test. You may also feel some mild vaginal bleeding after the test.

How Often Should You Get A PAP Test?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that women should get a first time pap test at age 21. They then recommend that women get a pap smear every three years unless your doctor suggests otherwise. One or two out of every 100 women who have a pap test will find out that they have cervical cancer. If this happens, you’ll need to undergo treatment immediately. How early the disease is found makes a big difference in successful treatment. Most women who have a pap test find out that they don’t have any signs of disease and can continue living their lives without worrying about it.

You should also remember to always use protection such as a male or female condoms to prevent against STDs or pregnancies when having sexual contact with a partner.

If you want to find out more about Do Paps Smear Hurt? Or do you have any other questions?

Visit your nearest physician.

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Common questions about infectious mononucleosis by JP Womack, M Jimenez – American Family Physician, 2015 –

Akt-dependent phosphorylation of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase mediates penile erection by KJ Hurt, B Musicki, MA Palese… – Proceedings of the …, 2002 – National Acad Sciences