If you are female and over 18, and have had sex you need to make sure you get a regular cervical screening test, or pap smear as you’ve probably heard it called. Its purpose is to detect the abnormal cells in the cervix that could lead to cervical cancer.
It’s actually pretty simple and won’t hurt – a quick and simple smear is taken from your cervix and cells are sent off to the laboratory to test for any changes. Despite the crazy looking contraptions the doctors use (just think of it as a little brush used to take a few cells from the inside of your vagina) this test could save your life.
Although it might seem scary at first, it’s a completely normal part of life – if you want to talk to someone before you have your first one it’s always a good idea to talk to a trusted adult, your doctor or even book an appointment at your local Family Planning Clinic.