Normal Pap Smear
The Pap test, also called a “Pap smear”, checks for changes in the cells of your cervix. The Pap test can tell if you have an infection, abnormal (unhealthy) cervical cells, or cervical cancer.
A Pap test can save your life. It can find the earliest signs of cervical cancer. If caught early, the chance of curing cervical cancer is very high. Pap tests can also find infections and abnormal cervical cells that can turn into cancer cells. Treatment can prevent most cases of cervical cancer from developing.
It is important for all women to have Pap tests, along with pelvic exams, as part of their routine health care. Getting regular Pap tests is the best thing you can do to prevent cervical cancer. In fact, regular Pap tests have led to a major decline in the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths. There is no age limit for the Pap test. Even women who have gone through menopause need regular Pap tests.
Your doctor can do a Pap test during a pelvic exam. It is a simple and quick test. Usually, it takes 3 weeks to get Pap test results. Most of the time, test results are normal. If the test shows that something might be wrong, your doctor will contact you to schedule more tests. There are many reasons for abnormal Pap test results. It does not usually mean you have cancer.