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What is a Pap Smear

Pap smear is the shorten name of Papanicolaou smear also known as a Pap test. This test is to check for cervical cancer and was named after it’s inventor, Dr. Papanicolaou.

Blood Testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A yearly Pap smear test is advised for all women who are sexually active or age 18 or older. The frequency of the test should be discussed with your gynecologist.

Some women need this test done more frequently than others depending on family history of cervical cancer, number of sexual partners, history of sexual diseases or abnormal findings in past test.

The actual test consists of the doctor taking a scraping or sample of cells taken from the cervix which is the opening to the uterus from the vagina.

The cells are then looked at under a microscope to check for any signs of cervical cancer or sexually transmitted diseases.

This test does not detect all sexually transmitted diseases and it doesn’t always detect the early signs of cancer.

Women should always protect their selves against sexually transmitted diseases, the more partners you have the greater the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease also referred to as a STD.

Ask your health care professional what are the best ways to protect yourself against contracting any STD’s besides the optimal protection of abstaining.

Some of the sexually transmitted diseases out there are:

AIDS, Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, syphilis and more. Some of these diseases are chronic and some are deadly.

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