What Does A Pap Smear Reveal in Women?
A Pap smear is a routine cervical cancer screening performed by a primary care doctor or specialist. There are many benefits of this exam, including finding pre-cancerous cells and treating them before they develop into cancer. Still, many patients in Lawrence, KS, might wonder what a Pap smear actually involves.
So, what is a Pap smear? And how is it performed? Today, we can cover when you need a Pap smear and how often women should have them done. Call to schedule your routine Pap smear today. Lawrence Family Practice Center is proud to offer comprehensive care for women of all needs and backgrounds.
What is a Pap smear?
So, what is a Pap smear? This simple procedure involves using a small, handheld device called a speculum that opens up the vaginal canal. The professionals at Lawrence Family Practice Center then use a special instrument to gently take cells from your cervix. Samples from your appointment are then sent to a lab and inspected. If we discover any abnormalities during a cervical cancer screening, you will be called in for a more thorough exam to assess your condition.
How often should I get a Pap smear?
Women should start scheduling Pap smears at the age of 21, regardless of sexual activity. While the frequency of the test depends on your age and health history, it's generally recommended to get screened every three years to make sure nothing suspicious is developing. The specialists at Lawrence Family Practice Center can prepare you for a pap smear appointment and help set up necessary follow-ups if any abnormal cells are found.
How do I prepare for a cervical cancer screening?
You can participate in your normal activities in the days leading up to a Pap smear in Lawrence, KS. You may want to gather information about your health and medical history, medications, and previous surgeries to keep your doctor informed. We understand that you might be nervous about your pap smear – our staff will make sure you feel comfortable with the procedure before it begins.
What happens if I have an abnormal Pap smear?
Patients with abnormal Pap smear results will be notified and asked to come in for another assessment at Lawrence Family Practice Center. In most cases, an abnormal Pap smear is the result of HPV (human papillomavirus), which is a sexually transmitted infection. Because certain types of HPV have been linked with cervical cancer, our providers may perform additional screenings.
Other tests include a colposcopy to get a clearer view of the cervix, or a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) to biopsy cells in the lower genital tract. We may also recommend a follow-up Pap smear in 6 – 12 months to ensure your health. No matter what, our experienced team can take care of any issues you are facing and help you understand the next steps for treatment.
Schedule a cervical cancer screening
A Pap smear is a routine screening that detects changes in the cells of your cervix. If you’ve been wondering what this exam entails or if it's necessary for you to have one done, the practitioners at Lawrence Family Practice Center hope this post has answered your questions and given you helpful information. Call to schedule your Pap smear appointment in Lawrence, KS, so we can take steps to improve your health and wellness today.