Pap smear is an exam a doctor uses to test for cervical cancer in women. The test reveals the mutations in your cervical cells that may later turn into cancer.
Cervical cancer is prevalent in women over the age of 30 years. While its leading cause is unknown, scientists believe that Human Papilloma Virus (HIV) caused cervical cancer. Experts recommend that women have a pap smear test every three years starting at 21 years.
People with a weak immune system and HIV should take pap smear regularly as they have a higher risk of cancer and infections.
If you are above 30 years, undertake a human papillomavirus screening as it increases the risk of cervical cancer.
If you are between 20-29 years, take a pap smear test every three years. If you are between 30-65 years, take a pap smear test every three years and an HPV test after every five years. Women over 65 years may not need a pap smear test or an HPV test.
How To prepare for a pap smear test
1) Avoid having intercourse or douching.
2) Don't take the test when menstruating.
3) wear comfortable clothes as the doctor wants you to be comfortable when taking the test.
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