CERVICAL SMEAR TEST
has overdeveloped to form an extra
that lies parallel to and above the first
normal rib. The abnormality can vary
from a small, bony swelling to a fully
developed rib and it may occur on only
one or on both sides.
In many cases, there are no symptoms.
I f the rib presses on the lower
of nerves passing
from the spinal cord into the arm ),
however, there may be pain, numbness,
the forearm and hand.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
w ill show the presence of a
cervical rib, but other possible causes
o f pain and tingling in the hand or arm
carpal tunnel syndrome
) still need to be excluded.
Exercises designed to strengthen the
shoulder muscles and improve posture
may bring relief. Severe or persistent
symptoms may, however, require surgery
in order to remove the rib.
cervical smear test
A test that is used to detect
(abnormal changes in the cells of
the neck of the uterus) that
could develop into cancer (see
A cervical smear test can also
detect viral infections o f the cervix,
WHEN IT IS DONE
A cervical smear test should be carried
out w ithin six months after a woman
first starts to have sexual intercourse. A
repeat test may be carried out between
six and twelve months later. I f no
smears, tests should subsequently be
yearly intervals until the age of
HOW IT IS DONE
Cervical smear tests are usually per-
formed by doctors or nurses in general
or at sexual health
clinics. A small sample o f cells is taken
from the surface o f the cervix using a
spatula or special brush and is exam-
ined under a microscope. If all the cells
appear normal, nothing further needs
to be done. If any cells show dysplasia,
severity, and repeat smear tests and
(inspection of the cervix w ith a
viewing instrument), may be required.
Inflammation of the
(the neck of
the uterus). The condition is usually
due to a sexually transmitted infection,
or genital herpes (see
However, cervical infection may also
result from injury to the cervix during
childbirth or surgery.
symptoms, although there may be a
bleeding, and lower abdominal pain.
If it is left untreated,
spread to cause
o f the
o f the
(inflammation of the fallopi-
an tubes), or
pelvic inflammatory disease.
I f a pregnant woman has cervicitis,
her baby may be infected during deliv-
ery, resulting in
infection) or, less commonly,
due to chlamydial infection.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
The condition is diagnosed by means
o f internal examination and by taking
swabs o f the vaginal discharge, w hich
Regular cervical smear tests should begin within six months of a woman first
having sexual intercourse, then be done every three years as a matter of routine.
The procedure is risk-free, although it may be slightly uncomfortable, and the
actual collection of the cells from the cervix takes only a few seconds.
N o r m a l c e l l
n u c l e u s
S p e c u l u m
B l a d d e r .
C e r v ix
Procedure for cervical smear
The woman lies on her backwith her legs bent
and relaxed so thattheyfall open atthe knees.
The vagina is held open with a speculum. Cells
are collected with a spatula or a special brush
and either smeared on to a glass slide or put in
a preservative for later microscopic examination.
l a r g e d a r k -
s t a i n e d n u c l e u s
o f a b n o r m a l c e ll
cells as seen