It’s normal to be nervous about getting a Pap smear. While this is an essential women’s health test, it can be intimidating when you’re not sure what to expect. With the right information, you can arrive at your exam fully informed and prepared for this gynecological procedure.
What Happens During a Pap Smear?
Your gynecologist will ask you to change into a gown and lie back on the exam table. Next, your feet will be placed in stirrups and a device called a speculum will be inserted into your vagina. This allows the doctor to take a sample of cervical cells using a special tool. While you might feel some pressure, Pap smears usually aren’t painful. You can resume regular activities as soon as the test is finished.
What Can I Expect From the Results?
A normal result means you’re all clear until your next test. For women between 21 and 29 years of age, gynecologists recommend an exam every three years. An abnormal result can mean a few different reasons. If no other issues are found, your doctor may choose to monitor the situation via further testing. If precancerous, high-grade cells are detected, further testing is a must. This usually results in a colposcopy or biopsy, which involves taking a tissue sample.
What Can I Do to Prepare?
When scheduling a Pap smear, try to make an appointment for a time when you won’t be menstruating. Also, refrain from intercourse or vaginal medications two days before. This can impact the presence of abnormal cells and may affect your results. Also, make sure you’re prepared with any questions you might have to stay on top of your health.
The team at Greece OB-GYN, LLP know that undergoing a Pap smear for the first time can be intimidating. Because they’ve spent more than 30 years treating women in the Greater Rochester, NY, area, they know what it takes to create a stress-free office visit. They also provide information on birth control, breast exams, sexually-transmitted diseases protection, sexual dysfunction, and offer obstetrical care to expectant mothers. Schedule an appointment by calling (585) 225-6680. You can also learn more about their services on their website.