The Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. Cervix is the lower part of the uterus which opens into the vagina. Sometimes due to an HPV infection, the virus reaches cervix by sexual encounter and changes in cells of cervix begins to occur, which may lead to cervical cancer in due course.
A Pap test can detect infections, occurrence of abnormal cells which may turn cancerous and can also diagnose cervical cancer.
If cervical cancer is caught in the early stages, chances of recovery increase manifold. Due to simplicity of procedure, a pap test can be done in, outpatient setting or health camps and a large number of women can be screened for cervical cancer in cities and small towns and villages. This can bring down the mortality (or death rate) to a large extent.
The test is usually done by a gynaecologist or a trained practitioner. The woman is asked to lie on her back on the examination table with legs spread apart. The doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina to widen and visualise the cervix. Then a plastic spatula & brush are used to scrape the cervix and collect the cervical cells. Sample is then sent to laboratory for testing.
The procedure is not exactly painful but may cause some discomfort.
Before a pap test, it is advisable to avoid douching, sexual intercourse and using vaginal creams 48 hours before the test is scheduled. All these may interfere with the results.
Regular preventive care is a crucial way to maintain health. Some examinations like cervical cancer screening are important for the health of women. For early detection of the deadly cervical cancer, a pap smear is the best bet of all the tests. It can detect cervical precancerous changes. Indus Health Plus offers complete body checkup including this key test. To connect with us, fill the given form and we will connect with you soon.