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What Does a Pap Smear Feel Like?

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You might have heard about it and might be feeling a bit anxious about it, but rest assured; a Pap smear at Lawrence Family Practice Center isn't something to be frightened of. Named after Dr. George Papanicolaou, the doctor who introduced the test in the 1940s, the Pap smear is a routine well-woman exam in Lawrence, KS to screen for cervical cancer in women. The test's name can make it sound intimidating, but it is just a simple and quick pelvic exam that can potentially save your life.

How is a pap smear performed?

So, what does the process involve? A routine Pap smear at Lawrence Family Practice Center is performed in our office and usually takes just a few minutes. We will ask you to lie on an examination table with your knees bent and feet placed on footrests. A speculum is then gently inserted into your vagina to widen it, allowing your doctor to see the cervix clearly. A small brush or spatula will collect cells from the cervix, and we'll send them to a lab for examination.

What does a pap smear feel like?

You might be wondering about discomfort and whether a Pap smear hurts. Most women report that a Pap smear feels a little uncomfortable but is not considered painful. You might feel some pressure or a mild cramping sensation while your practitioner swabs the cervix, but this typically subsides quickly after the procedure. If you experience pain, it's important to communicate this to your practitioner, who can suggest ways to make the procedure more comfortable for you, such as a smaller speculum or a different position.

Preparing for a Pap smear

To prepare for your Pap smear, avoid intercourse, douching, or using any vaginal medicines or spermicidal foams, creams, or jellies for at least two days before the test. It's also best to schedule your Pap smear for a date when you are not menstruating.

Understanding abnormal results

Pap smears are vital because they can detect abnormalities that could potentially lead to cervical cancer. Early detection is key in successfully treating many forms of cancer, including cervical cancer. Regular Pap smears can help catch precancerous cells early, increasing treatment options and success rates. If you have abnormal Pap smear results, it does not necessarily mean you have cancer. It could simply indicate an infection or irregular cell changes. In case of abnormal results, your doctor might recommend further tests or more frequent Pap smears to closely monitor your health.

Schedule a Pap smear in Lawrence, KS

A Pap smear might not be the most pleasant experience, so feeling a bit anxious is okay. This test may be brief and slightly uncomfortable, but it could potentially save your life. With the expertise and compassionate care of our team at Lawrence Family Practice Center, you will have support every step of the way. We are committed to addressing all your concerns and making your Pap smear as comfortable as possible. Don't let fear hold you back from this vital aspect of women's healthcare. Contact us today to schedule your appointment in Lawrence, KS. Your health is our priority.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.