This week it was revealed millions of women are missing their smear tests out of embarrassment or fear of pain. But smear tests are the most reliable way to detect cervical cancer, so it's vital you don't miss your recommended check-ups. While most women don't find the experience particular pleasant, some women find it more painful that others.
Cervical cancer is cancer that starts in the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus womb that opens at the top of the vagina. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women.
Knowing the difference between a pelvic exam and a Pap smear can be confusing. Both exams are typically performed during the same appointment, but there are significant differences to be aware of so you can take the best care of your health. A pelvic exam is when the doctor evaluates your reproductive organs.
A Pap smear or Pap test is a medical test that helps doctors figure out if there are any problems with a girl's cervix the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. The importance of the Pap smear is in the early detection, before there are any symptoms. Finding abnormal cells early can lead to treatment that prevents the development of cancer, and detecting cancer cells early enough can lead to greater chance of a cure.
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I remember the first time I got a Pap smear, I was really nervous. Not only was I definitely not looking forward to putting my legs up in those weird metal stirrups and having a stranger stare deep into my vag, but the nagging question that kept endlessly circling in my mind was definitely, " Do Pap smears hurt? To back up a little, just in case you don't know, a Pap smear is a method used to screen your cervix for cancerous and precancerous cells, essentially by scraping off some cell samples and testing them. I know, the word "scraping" doesn't sound all that promising if you're worried about the pain factor of such a procedure, but rest assured, there are a few things that might ease your mind if you're worried about what the process might feel like.
A Pap can feel awkward, intimidating, or even emotionally triggering for some. Good doctors know their patients might have these feelings, and they want to make a Pap as easy on your mind and body as possible. Here are 11 ways to do exactly that.