A few decades ago, the leading cause of death for women in the United States was cervical cancer. While the number of women with cervical cancer has dropped significantly during the past four decades, over 12,000 new cases are recorded each year. One of the biggest contributors to the declining number of cases is screenings tests such as pap smears.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends getting the first screening done between the ages of 13 and 15 years. As a parent, you might be dreading the inevitable talk about your daughter’s pelvic health. However, it’s important to make your daughter overcome embarrassment and understand the importance of proper preventive care.
Purpose of A Pap Smear
During a pap smear, the doctor scrapes the cells from the cervix gently using a small spatula or brush. The cell sample is then sent for testing in a lab for possible cancer or any STDs. There are three main purposes of a pap smear:
INFORMATION — A pap smear is an effective way of determining the cervix health and is a great way to understand the importance of taking care of pelvic health
PREVENTION —In case the pap smear detects pre-cancer cells, a vaccine can be administered to protect your daughter against infections that are commonly linked to cervical cancer.
TREATMENT — Pap smears can also help identify any other issues with the cervix that are causing problems such as missed periods and severe cramps. By identifying the issues, the doctor can prescribe effective treatments and offer insight into why the problem is occurring in the first place.
Helping You Daughter Prepare for Her First Pap Smear
Even though pap smears are a vital part of reproductive health, they can be quite comfortable. Here are some encouraging tips to help your daughter feel more comfortable during her first pap smear:
- Encourage her to do online research about the benefits of a pap smear
- Ensure her that while it might be a bit uncomfortable, pap smears are relatively painless
- Let her know that a pap test is quite fast and is over within minutes
- Urge her to ask the doctor regarding any questions or concerns she might have about her pelvic health.
Experienced and Compassionate Women’s Health Care Specialists in Sacramento, CA
Get an early start on preventive care by booking an appointment with our women’s health care specialists in Sacramento, California. We provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatments for a variety of gynecological issues and hormonal imbalances. Our doctors have years of experience and treat every patient with compassion and understanding to make them feel comfortable during various tests and consultations.
Book your daughter’s first pap smear with us today by calling us at 916-928-0856.