8 Pap Smear Tips by a female doctor in Singapore. Want to know more about the Pap Smear exam? Here’s everything you need to know about this essential test for women.
Pap Smears (Pap Test) – What every woman wants (and needs) to know!
1. What is a pap smear?
A pap smear test is a simple screening test for cervical cancer in ladies.
2. How is a pap smear done?
A Pap test can be performed by most doctors.
Your doctor will start the examination by positioning you on your back, on a patient examination bed.
A device known as a speculum will be inserted into the vaginal opening, to allow your doctor to see the cervix.
The cervix sits at the top of the vaginal canal.
Your doctor will then use a soft tipped brush to gently brush the surface of the cervix – this allows for the collection of cervical cells.
These cells will be placed into a special collection fluid, to be taken to the laboratory.
Cervical cells will be examined under the microscope for any cancerous, or pre-cancerous changes.
Your doctor will inform you if your test shows abnormal cells, and advise you on further management.
3. Who should get a pap smear?
If you have had any previous sexual intercourse, you should start having pap smear tests.
4. How often do I need a pap smear?
Pap smear tests should be performed once every 3 years as a minimum.
Your doctor may advise you to have your pap smear tests more regularly, if you have risk factors for cervical cancer, or have a history of an abnormal pap smear.
5. When should I get a pap smear?
It is not advisable to have the pap smear done while you are on your period.
Please ensure that your bleeding has completely stopped before seeing your doctor for this test.
6. Is the pap smear painful?
Some women may experience mild discomfort during the pap exam.
Speak to your doctor prior to the test if you have any concerns about the pap test.
Pap smear test should not cause you significant pain. If you experience significant discomfort at any point during the pap examination, do inform your doctor.
7. Do I need the pap smear even if I have no symptoms and feeling healthy?
Cervical cancer in its early stages may not present with any symptoms at all.
Early detection with a pap smear is the best way to protect yourself against cervical cancer.
8. Do I still need a pap smear if I have had my Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines?
While vaccination significantly reduces the risk of cervical cancer, it does not protect against all the cancer-causing strains of Human papillomavirus (HPV).
Therefore, you are still at risk of cervical cancer even after completing vaccinations.
Learn more about HPV Vaccination in Singapore
REMEMBER: The Causes and risk factors for cervical cancer include Human PapillomaVirus (HPV) infection, smoking, taking birth control pills, having multiple sexual partners, and engaging in early sexual contact. Typically, cervical cancer develops slowly over a period of several years, and not every woman will experience symptoms. Therefore, screening with pap smears is the most effective way of protecting yourself against cervical cancer.
Need a Female Doctor?
Having Women’s Health concerns? Please visit or contact our partner clinics at their GP Plus Clinics in Singapore. They are open on weekends too.
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- STD Women’s Gonorrhoea Symptoms & Treatment
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- Bleeding After Sex
- Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
- Women’s STD Screening, Testing and Treatment Service