Pap smear tools

Pap Test: Gear up for Your Smear

Many may be scared or embarrassed to get a regular Pap smear done but it is in fact a quick and simple procedure that has saved many lives. Don’t put it off any longer.
By the team at Speedoc,
January 18, 2024

A Pap smear, also known as a Pap test, is a screening procedure that detects any cellular abnormalities in the cervix which may be an early indication of cervical cancer. As we all know by now, early detection can help with early intervention and better prognosis. However, here are some common reasons why many women refuse to get the test done every three to five years, as recommended:

  • Fear of pain

  • Scared of the results

  • Feeling embarrassed 

  • Feel that test is unnecessary as one ages

Whether it is your first or tenth Pap smear, you may find the following tips useful for a smoother experience within minimal discomfort.

Fear of pain

“I heard that getting a Pap smear done is painful”

Pap smear is a quick five-minute process that may be slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. Convey your worries to the healthcare provider and ask for a smaller speculum. During the procedure, try to relax your body with breathing exercises or music.

Scared of the results

“What if my test indicates something negative”

It is normal to feel anxious about health test results especially when it is exacerbated by misconceptions that cervical screening is a test for cervical cancer. However, contrary to popular belief, a Pap smear is not a conclusive test for cancer. It is a way of preventing cancer from developing. Expressing your fears and concerns with a supportive network of doctors, family and friends can provide some comfort.

Feeling embarrassed

“I feel so exposed”

As Pap smear involves the examination of a very personal and intimate body part, it is completely normal to feel shy. Wear a long skirt or a dress as you can keep this on during the test without feeling completely exposed. Ask for an additional towel or blanket to cover up, if needed.

Opting for a home-based Pap test carried out by healthcare providers like Speedoc can help to alleviate any anxiety surrounding Pap smear as patients tend to feel more relaxed and comfortable in a familiar environment.

Using music to distract yourself while focusing on the health benefits may help to shift your perspective too.

Feel that test is unnecessary as one ages

“I’m too old, I don't need a Pap smear"

Unless you are above 65 years of age and have had two or three negative screening tests in a row, you are still advised to undergo routine cervical screening at a frequency recommended by your healthcare provider.

Communicate openly with a doctor about your concerns before deciding to discontinue any routine checks. They can provide personalised advice based on your health history and current guidelines.

Prep for Pap

  1. Dress comfortably for the appointment.

  2. Avoid swimming and soaking in a bath two days prior to your Pap smear.

  3. Use the restroom before the test to make the procedure more comfortable.

  4. Avoid using scented or perfumed products in the genital area on the day of the test, as they may interfere with the results.

  5. Schedule the appointment at a time when you are not menstruating as blood or menstrual fluid may affect the test results.

  6. Refrain from all sexual activities, douching or use of any vaginal medications, tampons and lubricants two days before your Pap smear appointment.

Preparing for Speedoc's home-based Pap smear test

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer affecting women globally. However, it can be treated with a high success rate if caught early with regular screening via a smear test.

Call 6909 7799  to book a home-based Pap smear for yourself or a loved one today!