It is a test to find abnormal cells that have a possibility to turn into cancer (precancerous cells).
Finding abnormal cells early by doing the test allows treating them before they turn into cancer.
Who should take this test?
It is recommended when turning 21 year old.
Also it is recommended to repeat the test every 3-5 years.
Women older than 65 year old can stop doing the test if:
– Done the test regularly until they turn 65.
– Had three normal tests in a row.
– Never smoked.
Also women who had total hysterectomy do not need to do the test.
Preparation for the test:
It is recommended but not necessary to:
1. Avoid intercourse and using vaginal medications 2 days before the test.
2. Avoid doing the test during period.
It only takes few minutes.
The results comes out in about 2 weeks.
If the result is positive, it does not mean that you have cervical cancer.
Positive results may mean that you have inflammation or cells changes, and they usually go away by themselves.
Your doctor will recommend any of the following according to your case:
– HPV (human papillomavirus) test: for a virus that can cause cervical cancer. It is a sexually transmitted disease.
– Another Pap test in a year.
– Colposcopy : using a microscope to check the cervix. And a tissue sample might be collected to be checked for any abnormalities.