Although all people with cervixes, no matter their sexual activity or age, should get a Pap smear, too many people don't really know the most basic facts about Pap smears. Whether that's because they're afraid to ask or their doctors don't take the time to tell them, the reality is that people need to know what's going on in their bodies. No one can be fully in touch with their health if they're not sure about how their body works, where things are inside and out, and what regular exams are looking for.
"Pap tests are important because they allow us to detect abnormalities before they turn into cancer," Dr. Christine Greves, certified obstetrician and gynecologist at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, tells Bustle. "Basically, we sample cells from the cervix to evaluate whether they are normal, pre-cancerous, or cancerous."
It doesn't matter if it's understanding your sexual health or your general health as a whole, it's absolutely something with which we should all become very familiar. In an age where information is literally at the tips of our fingers, we really don't have any excuses to not be aware of what's going on with our health and bodies.
Here are nine things no one tells you about Pap smears.