The Pap Smear
A Simple Test That Could Save Your Life
A pap smear is as simple test that checks to see whether there is any sign of cancer in the cervix (neck of the womb). The test will show whether there is a change in the cells, which can happen without any pain. If this change is not treated it can lead to cancer. A pap smear can also show for the presence of STIs.
How is the test done?
The doctor or nurse will gently open your vagina with a speculum and take out fluid from the cervix with a small brush. The fluid will be smeared on a glass slide and sent to a lab for testing.
Testing takes time, so if you are waiting to see if you have an STI, you should use a condom until you receive the results.
Remember: having regular pap smears can prevent cancer to the cervix.
What is Thrush?
Most females will get thrush at some point in their lives. Thrush is a fungal infection caused by the Candida albicans organism. It causes itching, irritation and swelling of the vagina and surrounding area, sometimes with a creamy white discharge.
Vaginal thrush is fairly harmless, but it can be uncomfortable. It can also keep returning – this is known as recurrent (or complicated) thrush.
Vaginal thrush isn’t an STI and therefore the treatment of your partner is not usually recommended unless you suffer from recurrent thrush.
The treatment for thrush is usually Canesten or its equivalent, which can be taken as a pill or applied as a cream to the affected area. Although treatment can be obtained at the pharmacy over the counter, it is recommended to see your doctor first.
Some medical officer offer a VIA test- a visual Inspection with Acetic Acid-for cervical cancer, which can give immediate results.
Any woman who is sexually active should have pap smears every one or two years.
Your doctor, nearest health center or Medical Services Pacific can do the test.