Cervical brushing is a method where use a Cervical Brush for PAP cervical cancer screening .
Getting your first Cervical Screening Test, or in years gone past, Pap smear is something of a rite of passage for women. You may have heard stories from your mum, other relatives, or friends about what it’s like, or you might know nothing at all about it except that you need to have one.
If you’re 25 or over and you haven’t had a Cervical Screening Test yet, now is your time. To help you feel prepared, we’ve broken down exactly what you can expect.
What is a Cervical Screening Test for?
Before you know what’s going to happen, it’s good to know why we’re so bent on you getting a Cervical Screening Test in the first place.
A Cervical Screening Test takes cells from your cervix and tests them for a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV. HPV is a super common virus that’s spread through sexual activity (and that’s any activity, including intercourse, but also sexual activity using the hands, oral sex, Cervical brushes, and anal sex).
The thing about HPV is that it can go on to cause some types of cancer, including cervical cancer. Most people who get HPV don’t get cancer, but the link between the two makes it important to test for HPV, and if it’s there, make sure it doesn’t develop into cancer. You can read more about HPV, how it spreads and how it can cause cancer to develop here.
Having a Cervical Screening Test every five years means you can check if you have been infected with HPV, and if you have been, monitor for any changes that require preventative treatment.
I’ve had the HPV vaccine, does this mean I don’t need to get screened?
Sorry, but this one’s a no. The HPV vaccine protects you from some strains of HPV that cause cancer, but not all of them. So, even if you’ve had the HPV vaccine, you still need to get regular Cervical Screening Tests.
Wait what and where is my cervix?
We’re glad you asked!
Your cervix is located at the top or ‘end’ of your vagina, inside your body. While some women call all their genitals their vagina, technically the outer parts (you might call them lips) are your labia. Your vagina is the opening and passage that starts from inside your labia and continues up inside your body to end where your uterus starts. It’s where menstrual blood comes out and where a baby travels through in a vaginal birth.
Your cervix is the tissue at the end of your vagina that connects your vagina and your uterus, which is the organ where your menstrual tissue grows and a baby is grown during pregnancy. Your cervix allows your menstrual blood to pass out of the uterus and through the vagina, and for sperm to travel through the vagina and into your uterus during sexual intercourse. At the end of pregnancy, it widens and opens for the baby to pass through.
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