TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR HEALTH
Are you 18 and above ? Are you sexually active? |
Have you had a pap smear test in 1997?
If not, make an appointment today.|
The pap smear does not test for pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, vaginal infections or other types of gynecological problems.
The pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. It is a lifesaving test that can detect very early precancerous changes in a woman's cervical cells. |
The cervix is the opening of the uterus, or womb.. Named after its founder, George Papinicolaou, the Pap test is the best method available for the early detection of cervical cancer.
Before Pap smears were available, cancer of the cervix was common and often fatal. Today, cancer of the cervix in women who have regular Pap smears is rare and it is easily treated when found early.
The causes of cancer of the cervix are not known. However, it is known that once women become sexually active, their risk increases.
Studies have shown that almost all cancer of the cervix can be prevented. Women can reduce their risk of developing cancer of the cervix by:
having a yearly Pap test |
limiting their number of sexual partners |
not having sex at an early age |
What happens during a Pap smear Test?
When you go for a Pap test, you will be asked to lie down on an examining table and to slide your bottom down. Your feet are put in foot rests and you will be asked to relax and to let your knees fall to the side.
An instrument called a speculum is gently placed in your vagina. The speculum opens up your vagina, just a bit, so your cervix can be seen more clearly. Remember, the more you are able to relax during your test, the more comfortable it will be for you. Cells are gently taken from your cervix using a tiny brush and a small stick. These cells are then sent to the lab on a glass slide.
Although somewhat uncomfortable and embarrassing for some, the test takes only a few minutes and it COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.
Why a test every year?
The health community currently recommends a yearly Pap test. Having a Pap test every year will ensure that changes to the cells of your cervix - are not missed and cancer doesn't develop. Studies have found that when women have fewer Pap tests, the cancer rate increases.
As with any other cancer, early detection is a key to successful cure.
Before going for your test, it is best if you:
Have not douched or used birth control creams or jellies for 48 hours |
Have not had sex for 24 hours |
Are not on your period |
Visit your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
Irregular or unusually heavy periods |
Any spotting or bleeding between periods, after sexual activity, after douching, or after menopause |
Take responsibility for your health and make an appointment today!