What is a Pap smear?
Pap smears are also called Pap tests. They are used to test for cervical cancer in women.
How is a Pap smear performed?
A pap smear is typically done in conjunction with your pelvic exam. It includes the collection of cells from your cervix. If you are older than 30, it may be combined with testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) – a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer.
The procedure takes only a few minutes while you lie down on your back on the exam table while your knees are bent. You will rest your heels in stirrups while your doctor gently inserts a speculum into your vagina. You will experience a small pressure in your cervix, but no pain. We will take sample of your cervical cells using a soft brush and a flat scraping device.
How often should you get a Pap smear?
Generally speaking, you should get a Pap every three years for women ages 21 to 65. If you have risk factors, you may need to get a Pap smear more often. Some of those risk factors include: history of smoking, HIV infection, abnormal Pap smears in the past. There are situations when you no longer need a Pap smear.
Our doctors at Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. will determine how often you will need a Pap smear as we consider your particular health situation and stage of life. We look forward to seeing you in our office.