1. What is a Pap smear?
It is a short and simple medical procedure used to obtain cells from the cervix and exam them for abnormalities associated with cancer.
2. How accurate is it?
Like all tests, the Pap smear is unfortunately not 100% accurate.
This is because the result is based on a very small sample of cells present in the cervical area. Early cell changes will not be detected if the smear does not contain enough abnormal cells.
It is therefore important to have the Pap smear done regularly, at least once every 3 years.
3. Who needs the Pap smear?
The Screening Test Review Committee of the Academy of Medicine Singapore recommends that all women who have ever had sexual intercourse undergo screening for cervical cancer from the age of 25 to 69 years.
After the age of 69, a woman does not have to continue screening if her Pap smear at 69 years is negative and she has had 2 previous negative smears within the last 10 years.
4. How is a Pap smear done?
The Pap smear test is a simple procedure which takes only a few minutes.
To learn more: click here
5. Is it painful?
Most women do not feel any pain at all!
However there are some that experience mild discomfort. Regardless, it is important to always remain calm and relaxed.
If pain is experienced, inform the doctor or nurse immediately.
6. How should I prepare for a Pap smear?
If you have reached menopause, you have the privilege to schedule a Pap smear at any time of the month. But if you are still menstruating, schedule your Pap smear appointment 2 weeks after the start of your menstrual period, up to about a week before the next one is due.
It is important to note that there are activities that irritate the cervix and may cause inadequate cell sample collection and should be avoided during the 48 hours before the smear:
- Sexual intercourse
- Taking a tub bath
- Lubricants and tampons
- Consumption of drugs and medication such as digitalis and tetracycline
It is recommended that you bring along a panty liner or thin sanitary pad as light bleeding or spotting may occur after a Pap smear.
7. How will I know the result of my Pap smear?
You will receive the results within 5 working days after the test is done.
If the results are normal, you will receive a laboratory report together with information from Ulink about your next scheduled screening.
If the results require further investigation, a nurse from the clinic will call you to make an appointment either to repeat your Pap smear or to see a gynaecologist.
8. What do the results mean?
If you are unfamiliar with the results click here to learn more about it!
9. How can Ulink help?
We help our clients arrange consultations with the best gynaecologists in Singapore. In their care, you can rest assured that the test is administered in the best way possible and the results interpreted correctly.
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