Cervix is the organ below the uterus, also called as mouth of uterus by some. Cancer of the cervix is one of the leading causes of death in Asian women, especially in India. Pap smear is a test to screen this cancer at early stages, thus is a life – saving measure. Pap test can also tell if you have an infection or unhealthy cells. The test cannot be done while the woman is menstruating.
When should the test be done?
- Pap test should be done every year in a woman who has had sexual relation.
- After the age of 65 years, the test can be avoided if previous three years result of pap smear are negative.
- Woman on chemotherapy or who have undergone organ transplant should have a regular pap test
- HIV positive woman should have regular pap smear test for life long
How is the test performed?
The test is performed in the clinic. It is a painless, non – invasive test, wherein I shall be collecting sample prior to your pelvic examination with the help of a small special wooden stick. The sample will be smeared on a slide, dipped in a solution and sent for microscopic examination.
Further management will be done depending on the result of the test.
Vaccination against HPV infection does not give you the liberty to avoid a pap test.