Most women understand the importance of having a pap smear completed.
However, recent studies have shown that there are many misconceptions about how the process should be completed.
There are many things that should be planned, and taken into consideration when having a pap smear completed.
If it is time to have your annual checkup consider the following five tip s to make sure you get the right results.
After all, if the process is not completed correctly your results can be useless to determining your overall health.
1. Scheduling Pap smears at unusual times: Schedule your pap smear at the right time of the month. Most physicians recommend scheduling your pap smear between ten and twenty days after the beginning of your period.
If menstrual blood is present during a pap smear it can make the test results incorrect. Many physicians will find it difficult to detect abnormal cells or abnormalities in this case.
2. Having sex or using vaginal inserts before Pap smear: Never have sex, douche, or use vaginal inserts within the two days before your pap smear. Inserting anything into the vagina within the two days before a pap smear can make abnormal cells to look normal.
If you cannot avoid the use of a medication or insert before your pap smear make sure your gynecologist is aware. Your result can come back abnormal and cause unneeded stress and additional testing.
3.Not disclosing the complete medical history: Make sure you use full disclosure when discussing your medical history with your doctor. Certain things can be very embarrassing.
However, if your doctor isn’t aware of any conditions you have previously suffered from, they cannot provide you with an accurate diagnosis. You will also want to discuss any concerns you have with your doctor.
If you have noticed a change in the flow of your period or an increase in cramps, these could be the beginning symptoms of a serious condition. Only your doctor can set your mind at ease, and tell you if you should be concerned or not.
4.Not indicating how you receive results after taking test: Make sure you are clear on how you will receive test results. Some doctors will notify you of the results by phone, while others will mail you the results.
If you are never home during the day, you might want to give a different number where you can be reached. The key to staying healthy is having a pap smear, and understanding your results.
5.No follow up after test: Follow up on any abnormal test results. If your doctor tells you there were abnormal results in your test, you need to immediately follow up.
Many doctors will schedule your next appointment when giving you the results. However, the biggest way to prevent cervical cancer [cervical cancer vaccine] or other life threatening conditions is early detection and treatment.
While having a pap smear completed is never fun or comfortable, it is an essential test that will help in preventing life threatening conditions.
Most forms of cancer can be detected early and be cured if you take the time to have your pap smear completed. The key to prevention is early detection.