Cervical cancer is a devastating disease, and it’s important to stay ahead by having regular screenings. However, some people may be hesitant to get screened due to fear of pain or discomfort during the procedure.
That’s why in this blog post, we’re going to demystify cervical cancer screening in Singapore and answer questions like “how painful is the screening?” We’ll look at what actually happens during the screening process, talk about potential causes of discomfort, and explore how medical professionals make the experience as comfortable as possible for patients. Ready to find out more? Keep reading!
What is Cervical Cancer Screening, and why is it Important?
Cervical screening is the process of testing for abnormal changes in the cells of a woman’s cervix. The cells are tested to identify potential areas that may lead to cervical cancer, one of the most common cancers affecting women worldwide.
Cervical cancer screening is important in maintaining overall health as it can save lives when detected early. When a woman undergoes cervical cancer screening, it typically involves a Pap test or pelvic exam.
During this procedure, tissue samples from the cervix are taken and examined under a microscope to detect any abnormal cells that could indicate pre-cancerous or cancerous conditions. Further tests are usually conducted to make a definitive diagnosis if any abnormal cells are detected.
Doctors recommend cervical cancer screening for all women over 21 who have had sex before. It is also recommended every two to three years until a woman reaches 30 years old or gets her first HPV vaccination, after which yearly screenings are suggested until she turns 65.
Cervical screenings are especially important for women at an increased risk of developing cervical cancer, such as those with weakened immune systems or multiple sexual partners. By having routine screenings done early and doing regular follow-ups, women can significantly reduce their chances of getting cervical cancer while catching it in its earliest stages if they do develop the illness.
Although there is no single known cause for cervical cancer, several factors have been linked to its development. These include certain types of HPV infections, smoking, and other lifestyle choices such as poor diet and pregnancy complications that can put some women at higher risk than others.
Early detection really helps give women more control over their own health destiny. It provides them with invaluable knowledge about their body’s current condition while offering them proactive solutions they need to take charge and reduce potential health risks associated with cervical cancers today and into the future.
What Happens during Cervical Cancer Screenings and what are Potential Causes of Discomfort?
Even though cervical cancer screening is essential to maintaining overall health, many women are still uncertain and anxious about the process. We understand that it can be intimidating to go through a procedure you may not be familiar with.
So, our goal is to provide you with more information about what happens during the screening process and how medical professionals make it as painless as possible. Now, the actual screening takes only a few minutes to complete.
However, you may have to wait in the examination room for some time as the doctor prepares and reviews your results. Now, during a cervical cancer screening, a doctor or nurse will use a specialized instrument called a speculum to gently open the walls of the vagina and view the cervix.
They may also take a sample of cells from the cervix to test for HPV, (Human Papilloma Virus), or other signs of disease. The potential causes of discomfort during this procedure can vary depending on individual sensitivity and the particular method being used.
For example, some women may experience mild pain when their cervix is opened with a speculum. Additionally, some women may be uncomfortable due to embarrassment or anxiety over being exposed during the exam.
In general, however, these screenings should not be overly painful or cause too much discomfort since they typically only take a few minutes and involve minimal contact with sensitive areas. If you’re concerned about the potential discomfort during the exam, you should talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have before the appointment.
There are also ways to make the process more comfortable, such as taking ibuprofen an hour before the exam to reduce any potential cramping. Additionally, you can ask your doctor about other ways to reduce discomfort or anxiety during the screening process.
They may recommend deep breathing techniques, relaxation exercises. Or even having a friend or family member present during the exam if you feel more comfortable with someone there.
What Happens if Abnormal Results Occur?
If the screening results show any suspicious cells or other abnormal findings, your doctor may order additional tests and procedures to investigate the cause. The most common test used in this situation is an HPV test, which looks for the presence of the Human Papilloma Virus.
If HPV is detected during the exam, it may indicate that pre-cancerous cells are present and further evaluation such as a colposcopy or biopsy may be recommended. Your doctor can provide more information about these procedures and the potential risks associated with them.
While it can be frightening to learn that you have abnormal results, it’s important to remember that early detection of cervical cancer is key to successful treatment. Therefore, any discomfort or anxiety you may experience during a screening appointment pales in comparison to the benefits of being informed about your body’s condition while offering proactive solutions. You need to take charge and reduce potential health risks associated with cervical cancer.
The Bottom Line
Cervical cancer screenings are an important part of maintaining overall health. Nonetheless, it’s understandable that many women- oftentimes due to fear and uncertainty- may be apprehensive about the process.
Although there may be some minor discomfort during the screening, medical professionals strive to make it as painless and comfortable as possible. Additionally, catching any signs of potential danger early creates an opportunity to treat them quickly and effectively. So don’t be afraid to take charge of your health: schedule regular cervical cancer screenings and stay informed about your body!
At PK Women’s Specialist Clinic, we understand that going through cervical cancer screenings can be a challenging and sometimes uncomfortable experience. That’s why our experienced team of doctors and nurses strive to make the process as comfortable and informative as possible, so you can stay on top of your health without any unnecessary stress or anxiety. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
PKWomen’s Specialist Clinic
2 Tai Thong Crescent #01-12
The Venue Residences/ Shoppers,
+65 6636 9909