Going for a pap smear test can be an awkward and uncomfortable experience, so it’s no surprise that many women begin to dread when their appointment comes back around. However, the temporary discomfort and embarrassment that you feel during a pap smear test could potentially save your life! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular screenings make it easier to prevent cervical cancer. Here are four good reasons to stop putting off your pap smear test.
#1. Detect Early Signs:
Although most women get all clear results back from their pap smear test, this procedure is hugely effective in finding the early signs of cervical cancer. A pap smear test looks for precancerous cell changes in the cervix that are at risk of developing into cervical cancer if left untreated. If detected, a second test will look for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes abnormal changes to cells. Even if you’ve had the HPV vaccine, it’s still important to go for regular pap smear screenings since the vaccine does not protect against all forms of HPV.
#2. Symptoms Don’t Always Show:
You may wonder if there’s any need to have a pap smear screening if you’ve been feeling fine and haven’t experienced any issues. But, the scary truth is that during the early stages of cervical cancer, most women will experience no symptoms. Symptoms don’t begin to manifest themselves until the cancer has invaded nearby tissue, in which case, a woman may begin to experience issues such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, weight loss, pain in the legs, pain during sex, and unusual swelling. Bear in mind that these symptoms can be caused by other less serious issues such as infections. If you’re experiencing any, you should see your doctor or gynaecologist immediately. Read more about what your gynaecologist can help you with at healthcaresalariesguide.com.
#3. It’s Not That Bad:
If you’re about to go for your pap smear test for the first time, then you might be feeling a little overwhelmed and nervous when it comes to what to expect. The idea of a pap smear isn’t the most appealing, however, the good news is that the test itself actually isn’t all that bad. During the test, the doctor or nurse will use a speculum to hold the walls of your vagina apart which allows the doctor to see your cervix easily. Then, using a specially designed soft brush or spatula, the doctor will take samples of your cervical cells. Although slightly uncomfortable, the test doesn’t hurt.
#4. Risk Factors:
As a woman, there are several factors which could increase your risk of developing cervical cancer. If you are a smoker or are overweight, for example, then your level of risk will be higher. Women who use oral contraceptives over a long-term period or use intrauterine devices for contraception also have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer, making it even more important for them to get a regular screening.
Don’t risk it – book your pap smear screening today!