If you’re reading this then you know. You’ve heard it from your mom or daughter or best friend: “Girl, go get a pap smear every year!” Whether you listened (or didn’t…and we really hope you did), pap smears remain the standard of care for our lady bits. That said, we hear you – why is it so important? Just as important, exactly what is a pap smear? Here’s what you need to know:
What is a Pap smear?
To perform the test, usually as part of your annual gynecological check-up, your doctor first inserts a speculum to hold your vagina open and uses a swab to collect cells from in and around your cervix, where your uterus opens into the vaginal canal. Still following? Good. The cells that are collected are then put on a slide and sent to a laboratory where they are examined for abnormal cells that might signal cancerous growth. Simple enough, right? A quick in-and-out and you’re good to go!
Why get a Pap smear?
A Pap is typically done in order to look for cervical cancer. New studies show that a Pap smear may also be capable of detecting signs of uterine and ovarian cancers, too. A quick note about the human papillomavirus, or HPV for short: This sexually transmitted infection causes most cases of cervical cancer. By age 50, you have an 80% chance of getting HPV. That’s a pretty significant percentage, ladies. The more dangerous versions give you little or no symptoms, so you might not even know you have it. So, if you’re waiting for a “sign” or a “symptom” – don’t. If you are between the ages of 13 and 26, go get the shots! If you have a daughter between the ages of 13 and 26, send her to get the shots!
As with any tests, treatments or medications, communication is key. Talk to your gynecologist about your personal risks and the best course of action for you. Schedule a pap smear today!
It’s 2017 and it still feels like folks are tip-toeing around the name – let alone the smells and fluids – of our lady bits. We are all too familiar with the lengthy (and awkward) pause right before the word vagina gets dropped. Or we get phrases like vag, vajayjay, nether regions, hoohaw, cooch…pink panther? Whatever you’re calling it these days, here are three easy and practical ways of optimizing the health and comfort of your pink taco…wait, banana basket? Punani? Oh, never mind.
Wear Cotton Underwear or Go Commando
When it comes to your underwear selection, your vagina has a favorite: cotton. Ever wonder why most underwear come with a thin strip of cotton fabric in the crotch? Because cotton breathes and absorbs moisture, so it’s ideal for your vagina. When you’re lounging around the house, feel free to go commando so you can let things air out!
Say No To Douching
Girl, we get it. Our vaginas each have a unique smell. They can also be very juicy – or not – depending on your body. When you begin thinking that you might need some assistance keeping your blossom clear, think again. The vagina actually cleans itself, she’s a powerhouse! Ditch the douche…really. Studies have shown that using intravaginal hygiene products can put you at increased risk of infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and STDs. Just don’t do it.
Always Go To Your Annual Exam
A visit to your doctor isn’t just about poking around your cooch, ladies. An annual exam is important for talking about health problems – use this time to chat about using condoms, fertility, and any random sex questions you might have. This is just as important as checking for STDs. So before you switch up your doctor visits, have a conversation about it with your doctor first. If it’s about that time of year, be sure to schedule your consultation today! (link to consult form)