A pap smear is a procedure in which a small selection of cells is taken from the cervix, which is the lower portion of the uterus opening into the vagina. The sample is then examined under a microscope to look for abnormal cells.
For many patients, a pap smear is not necessarily the most relaxing procedure. It can be slightly uncomfortable, but that does not mean it is a procedure you shouldn't follow through with. In fact, these are the reasons why you should follow through with a pap smear.
Pap Smears Can Detect Early Cancerous Cells
The main reason why pap smears are so important is that they can help to detect cervical cancer in its early stages. When cancerous cells are found early on, treatment is often more effective. In some cases, cancer can even be completely removed.
Pap Smears Can Help Prevent Cancer
Another reason why pap smears are important is that they can actually help to prevent cancer from developing in the first place. Abnormal cells that have not yet become cancer can be detected and removed before they have a chance to turn into cancer.
Pap Smears Are Relatively Inexpensive
Compared to other medical procedures, pap smears are relatively inexpensive. For example, they are much more affordable than treatment for cervical cancer itself. You can save yourself some money by getting regular pap smears before cancer has a chance to develop.
Pap Smears Help You Start a Great Health Routine
If you have never had sexual intercourse, you may wonder why you need a pap smear. The truth is that getting pap smears can help set you up for success by helping you grow comfortable with these types of appointments. You'll build healthy habits early on.
Pap Smears Help Identify Bacteria as Well
Pap smears can also help to identify bacteria that may be present in the cervix. This is important because certain types of bacteria can lead to other types of infections. When you catch these infections early, you can make sure that they don't develop into something more serious.
Schedule Your Pap Smear Today
Now that you know why pap smears are important, it's time to schedule one for yourself. You can typically get a pap smear during your annual visit. If it has been a while since your last pap smear, or if you have any concerns, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with your OBGYN doctor.