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why do you have to get a pap smear

Most health care organizations recommend women begin regular Pap testing at age 21. If you're a virgin meaning you haven't had sexual (vaginal) intercourse you may have a low risk of cervical cancer, but you can still consider testing. The purpose of a Pap smear is to collect cells from your cervix, which is the lower end of your uterus. The cells collected in a Pap smear can detect if you have cervical cancer or suspicious cells that indicate you may develop cervical cancer. In most cases, cervical cancer is caused by a sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus (HPV).


If you've never had any type of sexual intercourse, you're unlikely to have HPV. However, there are other risk factors for developing cervical cancer, such as family history and smoking, so talk to your doctor if you have concerns. For effective cervical cancer screening, many organizations recommend an initial Pap smear at age 21. Discuss when to begin cervical cancer screening with your doctor. Together you can decide what's best for your particular situation. June 02, 2017
There are two possible results from a Pap smear: normal or abnormal.


If your results are normal, that means that no abnormal cells were identified. Normal results are sometimes also referred to as negative. If your results are normal, you probably wonвt need a Pap smear for another three years. If the test results are abnormal, this doesnвt mean you have cancer. It simply means that there are abnormal cells on your cervix, some of which could be precancerous. There are several levels of abnormal cells: Milder abnormal cells are more common than severe abnormalities. Depending on what the test results show, your doctor may recommend increasing the frequency of your Pap smears, or getting a closer look at your cervical tissue with a procedure called.


During a colposcopy exam, your doctor will use light and magnification to see vaginal and cervical tissues more clearly. In some cases, your doctor may also take a sample of your cervical tissue in a procedure called a. How accurate are the results? Pap tests are very accurate, and regular Pap screenings reduce cervical cancer rates and mortality by. It can be uncomfortable, but the brief discomfort can help protect your health.

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