A Pap smear is one of the most important tests you can have as a woman. It can detect changes in the cells of the cervix, which could lead to cancer. That’s what you must do before your next Pap smear.
What Is A Pap Smear?
Pap smear tests look for changes in the cells of the cervix. The doctor will take a small sample of cervical cells and send it to a laboratory for examination.
You must remember to take these three steps before your next Pap smear helps you get the most accurate results:
1. Know Your Risk Factors
Certain factors can increase your risk of cervical cancer. It’s important to know what these risk factors are, so you can discuss them with your doctor.
The risk of cervical cancer increases with age. The majority of cases occur in women over the age of 50.
You may be at an increased risk of cervical cancer if you have family members who have had it.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is a common virus that can lead to changes in the cells of the cervix. Some types of HPV are more likely to cause cancer than others.
HPV is detected using a separate test, not a Pap smear. If you test positive for it, your doctor may recommend more frequent Pap smears.
Women who smoke are more likely to develop cervical cancer.
2. Schedule Your Pap Smear Accordingly
The best time to have a Pap smear is in the middle of your menstrual cycle. The middle of your cycle falls around the time you ovulate. That’s day 14 if your menstrual cycle is 28 days long. If it is shorter or longer, you should count 14 days from the first day of your last period.
That is when the cells of your cervix are most likely normal. Menstruation can cause changes in the cells of your cervix. For this reason, it’s best to avoid having a Pap smear during your period.
3. Abstain From Sexual Activity
Sexual activity can cause changes in the cells of the cervix. To avoid this, you should abstain from sexual intercourse for two days before the test. You should also avoid using tampons, douching, or vaginal creams.
After Your Pap Smear
Once you have your Pap smear, you will need to wait for the results. Your doctor will usually contact you within a few days to inform you of the results. You may need another Pap smear or a biopsy if the results are abnormal. A biopsy is where your provider gathers a small tissue sample from the cervix to examine it for cancerous cells.
In most cases, abnormal Pap smear results should not be cause for concern. However, it’s important to follow up with your doctor, so they can monitor changes.
Reliable Women’s Health Doctor Near You In Syracuse, NY
Pap smears can help women detect cervical cancer in its early stages. You should prepare for your Pap smear by knowing your risk factors. You should schedule it for the middle of your menstrual cycle and abstain from intercourse two days before the test. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to talk to your provider.
Are you looking for a trusted women’s health doctor near you? Look no further than the University OB/GYN Associates in Syracuse, NY. Our highly trained and experienced physicians are excited to give you the best care. You may call our friendly staff at (315) 464-5162. You may also use our convenient appointment request form to book a consultation with the best obstetrician–gynecologist.
We look forward to serving you!