What is a pap smear?
A pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer which checks for any changes in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the womb that opens into the vagina. The pap smear shows whether there are any cancerous cells in the cervix or any abnormal cells that can lead to cervical cancer.
Why is it important to get a pap smear?
Pap smears can save your life, as cervical cancer is 100% curable if detected early. Getting regular pap smears is one of the most important things a woman could do to protect her health. Pap smears are also effective in detecting pre-cancerous cells in the cervix, so women with this condition can get treated for this before cancer even has a chance to develop.
When should I start getting pap smears?
It is recommended that women start getting pap smears 3 years after becoming sexually active.
How should I prepare for a pap smear?
- The most ideal time to schedule a pap smear is around 10 days after the first day of your last period.
It is best to avoid doing anything that can change the balance of cells in your cervix in the couple of days leading up to your exam, as this can lead to wrong test results. Doctors recommend that for 2 days before your test avoid:
- Having sex
- Using tampons
- Using any vaginal creams and medicines
- Using any vaginal sprays or deodorants
- Douching (washing or cleaning out the vagina with water or other fluids- in fact doctors usually recommend to not do this at all as it can increase risk of infections)
How often should I get one?
After your first pap smear, we recommend that you get one once a year. It helps to pick one month (such as the month of your birthday) and schedule all your annual early detection tests during that month, so that it is easy to remember when you need to take them.
How much does a pap smear cost?
A pap smear at the KHCC Early Detection Unit costs JD 20 (JD 16 for Cancer Care Program members).
Have a look at our price chart for a complete list of early detection exams offered at our Early Detection Unit.
To schedule an appointment or if you have any further questions about pap smears or cancer screening, do not hesitate to call us at (+962-6) 53 00 460 ext. 2317.