If you’re getting your first Pap smear soon and you’re nervous and unsure about what to expect, your gynecologist will walk you through the procedure to ensure you feel comfortable. This test checks for cervical cancer in women by detecting abnormal cells. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Pap smear tests to help you get ready for your appointment.
What You Should Know About Pap Smears
How is a Pap smear performed?
During the procedure, you’ll remove your clothes from the waist down and lie on an examination table with your feet in stirrups. Your gynecologist will insert a small instrument called a speculum into your vagina. This tool widens the walls of your vagina, helping your doctor see your cervix. Then, they’ll take samples of your cervical cells with a soft brush and scraping device.
Does the procedure hurt?
A Pap smear shouldn’t be painful, but you may feel some pressure during the procedure. If you’re nervous about feeling discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever an hour before your appointment. The test itself shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
How often do I need to get a Pap test?
In general, women between the ages of 21 and 30 should get a Pap smear every three years. Those over 30 should schedule a test every five years. If you have certain risk factors, like a weakened immune system or history of smoking, your doctor may advise getting the procedure more frequently.
How long do I have to wait for the results?
How soon you’ll get your results back will depend on the lab that examines your sample. While some labs can determine your results in just a few days, others may take a week or two. It’s important to note that if your results produce abnormal cells, your gynecologist will call you to schedule a follow-up appointment. Otherwise, the physician may not contact you if the results are normal, unless you request them to do so.
If it’s time to get your Pap smear, turn to the professionals at Greece Obstetrics and Gynecology LLP in Rochester, NY. They have been providing quality OB-GYN services for over 30 years and do everything they can to help women feel at ease in the office. From Pap tests to breast exams and STD testing, they offer an array of services. For your convenience, their office also offers evening hours. For more information about their offerings, visit their website. Call (585) 225-6680 to schedule an appointment.