Womens Health

Pap Smears Can Save Your Life

If you had a real understanding of the importance of pap smears it would make it far easier to endure the slight awkwardness and cold stirrups at the doctor’s office. Pap smears are hardly fun, but they aren’t painful and they’re only embarrassing for you because to your gynecologist they're second nature. And really, when did doing something life-saving become a source of embarrassment anyway?

Pap Smear Publicity

The importance of pap smears is something that has gotten more media attention in the last year after the diagnosis and then tragic death of UK reality star, Jade Goody, who died at the age of 27 from cervical cancer. She went public with her battle and spent the last few months of her life doing her part to educate girls and women about the importance of regular pap smears. Yet, even with all of this publicity and information just a click away there are still far too many women out there who put off pap smears and don’t understand why they are so important or even what they are for!

What You Must Know

A pap smear is a simple test done at your doctor or gynecologists office that only takes a few minutes. That few minutes can check for a number of STDs as well as cervical changes that can lead to or indicate cervical cancer, a cancer that can often be caused by the STD HPV. By finding abnormal cells early on, a woman is able to start treating and even get rid of those cells completely before they become cancerous. This is by far the best example of the importance of pap smears and the best reason to have regular smears. You are more likely to catch pre-cancerous cells BEFORE they become cancer, giving you the best possible chance at a full recovery. Women who skip their annual pap smears are at a high risk of missing these cervical changes and finding them in time. And while not all of those who have abnormal cell changes will develop cancer, you are playing a dangerous round of Russian roulette by hoping that you will be one of the lucky ones.

Detecting STDs can also help save your fertility. Many women still do not realize that an untreated sexually transmitted disease like Chlamydia can cause infertility as well as other reproductive problems such as PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), tubal/ectopic pregnancy and cystitis. The importance of pap smears isn’t something that you can afford to question in this day and age. The Pap test may be a little uncomfortable, but it can’t even compare to the discomfort of an STD, cervical cancer or the tragedy of losing your life to something that was preventable.

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