Pap Smear

The big “C” we are all afraid of. Cancer!

As women a lot of the times we are not just worried about ourselves but we also know what it will do to our families. And that’s a good enough reason to be aware and to “screen” for cancer.

Screening basically means doing some tests to detect a problem even before it has actually become one.

And luckily for us, one of our biggest worries, the cervical cancer is easy to screen for!

Thats where the Pap smear comes in. Pap is short for Papinacolou, the stain used in this test.

So what is the test all about? Well, the basic principle of the test is to obtain some cells ( the tiniest units that make up every part of our body) from the cervix or the mouth of the womb, and to examine them, after applying some special stains, in a laboratory. This will help pick up any abnormal looking cells which may then tell us if there is any changes that may indicate a cancer is developing or likely to develop in the future.

When should you have it? Different countries have different guidelines. The UK guidelines suggest starting your pap smears at 25 years of age or 3 years after your first sexual activity, whichever happened earlier. The Health authority at Abu Dhabi suggests you start at 25 years of age if you are sexually active. You should then repeat it every 3 years if they are normal. Most organisations suggest regular screening till you are 64 years of age. After you turn 50 you may increase the interval to 5 years between your pap smears.

With respect to your period it is best to go 1-2 days after your period has ended so as to get only cells from your cervix and not blood mixed with them.

How is the test done? If you have ever had what we doctors call a speculum examination then that’s exactly what is done for a pap smear. Your doctor would ask you to pass urine to empty your bladder and lie down on a couch after undressing from waist down. She will then insert a small plastic or metal tube like thing from down below and use a light from the foot end to look at your cervix (mouth of the womb). She will then use a brush to gently scrape some cells off the cervix.

pap smear brush
the brush and kit used to collect a pap smear

Trust me you will not even feel that! And that’s it! It’s over!!

You will then get your report from your doctor in a week or so.


What if you get an abnormal result? Pap smear usually picks up problems way, and i mean years, before cancer actually develops. So an abnormal result may not actually mean much. However you may be asked to return for further tests like HPV test ( Human Papilloma Virus ) or Colposcopy. That’s for another blog!

If you have any other queries about a pap smear or need an opinion on you pap smear result and what you should do about it you could leave a comment or email me at drnehagami(at) and ill try and get back to you ASAP.

You could also

Happy screening!!



Everything you needed to know about your Periods !!

I have seen that most women have many questions about their periods but don’t know who to ask.

First of all in case u’re confused as to what I am talking about that may be because you might be using another name for your periods. Periods or Menstrual Period refers to the period of bleeding that women have from Puberty till menopause. There are many slang names used to refer to them. Some of them are chums, menses, time of the month and monthlies. Most are used as young women have usually been embarrassed talking about them. However, that seems to be changing. Thankfully!

Menstruation and the Menstrual cycle

Menstruation is the scientific name given to the monthly discharge of blood hat women have from puberty until menopause. It is the result of the perfect and harmonic functioning of the body’s hormones, internal and external genital organs.

Normally the period of bleeding can last from 2-7 days. Anything less or more than that, especially if it was not always like that, should prompt you to consult a gynecologist.

The interval between two periods is what we commonly call “the cycle”. It can be calculated as the number of days between the first day of one cycle to the first day of the next cycle. A regular cycle coming at the same interval every month is a good sign. But a small variation of up to 7 days is also fine. So a cycle length varying form 21-35 days is also normal.

Now, coming to the amount of flow. Every woman has a unique flow pattern. Some criteria to know that your flow is normal is that there should be no or minimal clots, no flooding ( where you suddenly feel a gush of blood coming out) and you should not have to change your sanitary pad or tampon every 1-2 hours. You might feel a little low during your heavy flow days but it should not prevent you from doing your routine activities like going to work, exercising or having a normal social life. Another thing that should alert you is if there a change in your pattern or amount of bleeding.

Scanty flow is when there is very minimal bleeding, lasting for less than 2 days or only spotting and no proper flow. Again, if it was more earlier and you think it is decreasing suddenly, you may want to see your gynecologist.

If you have any other questions feel free to write to me at and i will try and get back to you ASAP.


Hello Ladies!

Welcome to !

I have realised over the last many years working as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist (OBGYN) that most women have many many questions about their health and may not have figured out the answers. It does not matter if you are a teenager or a mature lady there are some things that are just never clear.

This is a place where you can find answers to many of your questions related to your body – your periods, your hormones, your infections and your pregnancy!

Not knowing what’s happening inside of you can be disturbing and uncomfortable.

This is just my little effort to make you all feel better about yourselves and put your fears to rest

If you don’t find it on the posts yet, just send me a query and i will get back to you ASAP.