When the time comes to have a Pap smear done, doubts assail, and many women cancel the appointment because it is just going to catch them during menstruation. But should it really be canceled or is it more because of the modesty that we can face when facing that appointment during the period? Sometimes canceling a doctor’s appointment like this can lead to not having one again for a while. Therefore, it is time to consider whether, when the time comes, a cytology could be done or not while on your period.
Cytology with the rule, yes or no?
- The truth is that it can be done without problem during our menstruation. That is to say, between not doing a cytology and doing it with your period, you must choose the second: do it. Just as it can happen when we go to do the laser, many times we feel more uncomfortable than the professionals themselves who are used to seeing everything. But, as with everything, there are some drawbacks. In this case it is that the blood, in the case of being very abundant, can make it difficult to interpret some results.
- Therefore, we find ourselves with two options to face. On the one hand, if we go for a routine check-up and it is possible for us to set a new date or wait for the period to pass, we will always be in a better position to do it and for the results to be more accurate. On the other hand, if we are facing an urgent appointment because we have felt some symptoms or we believe that we may have an infection, it is best to make it and not postpone it.
What does a cytology consist of?
- Whether you have never had a Pap smear or if you have one every year, it is possible that the closer the date gets, the more afraid you are of going to the appointment. This is a test to examine the cells of the cervix. These are achieved by gently scraping that part with a small spatula.
- The objective of this test is to detect in time possible Sexually Transmitted Diseases -such as the Human Papilloma Virus- as well as infections or cancer of the uterus and that are usually manifested by presenting changes in the cells of the uterus. Therefore, these are taken as a sample to analyze.
- To perform it, the doctor will ask us to lie down on the gynecological table and, if it is the first time you are going to do it, he will explain what he is going to do to make you feel calmer. In any of the cases you should try to be as relaxed as possible, without tension.
- If you are nervous, there will be a greater chance that you will notice the scratching. He will insert a speculum that will allow easier access to the vagina and cervix, and then with a brush and spatula he will be able to obtain the cells he needs. This entire process may take a minute or two but is usually very short.
- With respect to whether it hurts or not, it depends on each type of woman and how we are at that moment, although we can never describe it as pain but rather a scratch that can bother us. While it is true that most women say they feel practically nothing when they do it.
How often should I have a cytology?
- It is important to know that a Pap smear should be done when sexual intercourse has started, not before. From that moment on, the first can be done 3 years after the relationship began, although there are also those who recommend doing it between the ages of 23 and 25.
- Subsequently, it is recommended to repeat it every year if we are sexually active. You should also listen to the doctor’s recommendations because, depending on the results, he may recommend taking the test up to two years away or having it done less often.