Prevent Cervical Cancer – Visit Your Gynecologist Doctor
Pap smears are tests of a sample of cells that are taken from a female’s cervix. A pap smear is used to look for a change in the cells that show cancer or conditions that may become cancer. Bear in mind that cervical cancer can be cured when it is detected early by your gynecologist doctor.
So, when should women get pap smears done? Pap screen testing should start when women reach the age of 21 and every two years after that for women who are between the ages of 21 and 29. For women who are 30 years old or older, who have had 3 consecutive normal test results, testing can be administered every 3 years.
Are pap smear tests painful? Pap smear tests are not painful, but the exam may be a little uncomfortable for some women.
Remember that you should never get a pap smear when you are on your period. Instead, you should wait 10 to 20 days after the first day of your period.
If your doctor informed you that your test results are abnormal, that does not mean that you have cervical cancer; there may be a small problem with your cervix. However, sometimes abnormal cells develop into cancer. Usually, these unhealthy cells go away on their own. If you treat these unhealthy cells, you may prevent cervical cancer.
After you get a pap smear done, it will take about 3 weeks before you receive the test results. If you have not heard from your physician’s office after a few weeks, call them to see if they have your results.
Women with risk factors such as having HIV or a weakened immune system due to organ transplant, chemotherapy, or chronic steroid use should be screened more often.
Bear in mind that when cervical cancer is present, a common symptom is abnormal bleeding. Bleeding can start and stop between menstrual periods or it may start after douching or having sexual intercourse. Vaginal discharge may also be present. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should consult with a doctor. Remember that pain is never an early warning sign of cervical cancer.
If you need to get a pap smear testing, you will need to find a viable gynecologist doctor. You can find a good one by visiting websites that review them online. Before you choose a gynecologist doctor, make a list of such doctors in your area and contact them. Make appointments to meet with them in person and ask questions. Find out what their office hours are, if they accept your health insurance plan, etc. If you do enough research, you will find the best one for your needs.