The smear test, also known as the Pap smear test, is a screening test used to detect cervical cancer and precancerous lesions in women. This test is performed by examining cell samples taken from the cervix (the lower part of the uterus).
Early detection of cervical cancer through the smear test allows for easier treatment. The test is recommended as a screening test for every woman and is usually advised to be done every three years starting from the age of 25.
How is the smear test conducted?
To perform the smear test, the woman is positioned on a gynecological examination table, and the gynecologist inserts a speculum (an instrument that opens and closes) into the vagina. This instrument helps visualize the cervix. Then, using a fine brush or a small spatula, cell samples are taken. These cells are later examined in the laboratory.
During the smear test, there might be some discomfort, but it is generally not painful. The completion of the test takes about 5-10 minutes.
Smear test results
The results of the smear test are usually obtained within a few weeks. The test results can be classified as normal (negative), showing signs of infection (inflammation), or indicating precancerous cell changes (abnormal).
If the smear test results are classified as normal, it is recommended to repeat the test after 3 years. If there are signs of infection in the results, treatment or follow-up tests may be necessary. If abnormal results are found, it is advised to consult with a gynecologist or a specialist in cervical cancer for further testing or treatment planning.
In conclusion, the smear test is an essential screening test for the early detection of cervical cancer and precancerous lesions. Women should undergo this test regularly to maintain a healthy lifestyle.