Cervical cancer is one of the complications affecting women globally. Fortunately, you can protect yourself from the condition through a pap smear, which keeps you alert to the condition. The White Plains Pap Smear specialists recommend regular pap smears for every woman to create a chance of identifying cervical cancer early when it can be manageable. Going for your pap smear can feel nervous or awkward for some people, which is normal. Most healthcare providers understand that the visit can be emotionally triggering and recommend certain things to ease tension and improve your experience. Here are some expert tips when going for a pap smear.
Understand a Pap Smear
Information is a better way to overcome some fears and worries about any health appointment. Many people are scared when they do not know what to expect or what will happen to them at the appointment. Understand that a pap smear is generally for cervical cancer screening, and no complicated procedures are involved. Your doctor only uses a long speculum to open your vagina and collects tissue from your cervix using special brushes. The sample is sent to the laboratory for testing to see if cervical cancer is present. The procedure is painless and only takes about 20 minutes.
Ease Yourself Before the Appointment
You are peeing before your pap smear can make you more comfortable during the operation. The extra pressure can only make you more uncomfortable. However, consult your doctor in advance to understand if a urine sample will be required later to understand how you can mitigate your concern. You might want to preserve the drops for later. Your doctor can help you understand better ways to curb your pressure and worries.
Be Ready to Talk About Your Sexuality
The sexual and reproductive health topic is one the most sensitive matters to handle. You might not initially feel free to discuss your sexual history or concerns. However, understand that your doctor might ask several questions about your sexuality to help them understand your reproductive health. Be free to ask relevant questions about your sexual health concerns. Also, share any concerns you might have, like if you are not often sexually active or have not inserted anything into your vagina before. Other issues worth sharing with our doctor include a history of sexual trauma, a tipped uterus, a history of pain when trying to insert something in your vagina, and gender identity information.
Postpone the Appointment if Your Period is Heavy
Being on a period does not necessarily mean you cannot have a pap smear. However, menstrual blood can complicate things, especially if you are bleeding heavily. Talk to your doctor about your experience before your appointment and consider holding off the appointment to a later date. It is crucial to schedule the pap smear away from your periods next time to avoid the mix-up.
Discuss the Speculum with Your Doctor
The speculum can be challenging for some patients. Talking to your doctor about your worries helps you customize your appointment to fit your needs. You can request the narrowest and smallest speculum to be used for you. You can also opt for a plastic device over a metallic one. Also, you can ask your doctor if warming the device is possible to make you more comfortable.
A pap smear should be part of your regular medical checkup. Use these tips for your next appointment to fight your fears. Contact the Forme Medical Center and Urgent Care specialists for more information and help.