Pap Smear :- A Key to Avoid Cervical Cancer

The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for cancers and pre-cancers in the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina). Precancers are cell changes that might become cancer if they are not treated the right way.

What is a Pap test?

A Pap test checks the cervix for abnormal cell changes. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb), which opens into the vagina. Cell changes can develop on the cervix that, if not found and treated, can lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer can almost always be prevented, and having regular Pap tests is the key.

Why Do I need a Pap test?

Pap Smear is a key to avoid cervical cancer. Pap tests detects abnormal cervical cells before they turn into cancerous cells. Treating these abnormal cells can help prevent most cases of cervical cancer from developing.

Do all women need Pap tests?

Women's aged 21 to 65 should get Pap tests as part of routine health care. If you are not currently sexually active, you do not need a Pap test. Women who have gone through menopause (when a woman's periods stop) and are younger than 65 sneed regular Pap tests.

Women who do not have a cervix (usually because of a hysterectomy), and who also do not have a history of cervical cancer or abnormal Pap results, do not need Pap tests. Women ages 65 and older who have had three normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal test results in the last 10 years do not need Pap tests.

How often do i need to get a Pap Test?

It depends on your age and health history. Talk with your gynecologist about what is best for you. Most women can follow these guidelines:

  • If you are between ages 21 and 29, you should get a Pap test every 3 years.
  • If you are between ages 30 and 64, you should get a Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV) test together every 5 years or a Pap test alone every 3 years.
  • If you are 65 or older, ask your doctor if you can stop having Pap tests.

Some women may need more frequent Pap tests. You should talk to your gynecologist about getting a Pap test more often if:

  • You have a weakened immune system because of organ transplant, chemotherapy, or steroid use.
  • Your mother was exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) while pregnant.
  • You have had treatment for abnormal Pap results or cervical cancer in the past.
  • You are HIV-positive. Women who are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are at a higher risk of cervical cancer and other cervical diseases. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all HIV-positive women get an initial Pap test, and get re-tested 6 months later. If both Pap tests are normal, HIV-positive women can get yearly Pap tests in the future.

How to prepare for a Pap test?

Do not use or do following 5 days before test.

  • Use tampons
  • Use vaginal creams, suppositories, or medicines
  • Use vaginal deodorant sprays or powders
  • Have sex
  • Douche

Can i get a Pap test during my periods?


How can i reduce my chances of getting cervical cancer?

  • Get regular Pap test
  • Get an HPV vaccine
  • Be monogamus
  • Use Condoms