Pap smear is a screening test that is conducted on human beings to prevent the invasion of unwanted ailments. For this test, a sample of your cervical tissue is taken from your cervix to detect potential abnormalities. The dangers associated with the outcome of the test are cervical cancer and other sexually transmitted ailments. Remember, cervical cancer is responsible for the death of truckloads of women out there, especially in countries where pap smear test is not a part of the healthcare routine for women. Experts reckon that periodic pap smear test is a must in order to detect potential ailments, thereby ensuring timely medication.
The frequency of pap smear test varies from person to person. While one woman may be asked to have an annual pap smear test, another women may have to consider the test once in every two years or so. There are several factors that play a key role in determining how often a woman should consider having a pap smear test done. Individual’s age, medical background and personal history are the primary factors taken into consideration before conducting the test.
Several reports claim that a woman should start pap smear test when she is 21 years old or three years post her first vaginal intercourse. The golden rule to follow over here would be to consider a par smear test once in every one to three years, especially if you lead a sexually active life and if you are over 21. Here’s what the American College of Obstetricians have to state: Women should have a pap smear test done every year until the age of 30. Women above the age of 30 may consider pap smear test once in every two to three years. Some authorities even claim that sexually active women should consider pap smear test once they reach 18, and they should continue taking the test till the age of 65 to 70.
National Women’s Health Information Center suggests that women above the age of 65 can expect healthy living without pap smear test, if they had at least three pap tests without any abnormality in the last decade. One’s best bet over here would be to have a word with the doctor. The doctor will be able to make a well informed decision for you keeping in mind your medical history and personal records. In some cases, the results obtained from par smear test fail to give out a clear picture about the abnormality. In such cases, a doctor may ask you to undergo a series of pap smear tests every six months so that your condition can be closely monitored.
Pap smear test are generally conducted during a pelvic exam. As such, a regular gynecologist will be able to perform a pap smear during your yearly examination. In some states, the government is willing to fund women with pap smear test costs through Planned Parenthood and other programs centered towards helping women with their healthcare.