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Annual Pap smear


Annual Pap smear

About Annual Pap smear

Undergoing routine Pap smears is important to detect or rule out signs of cervical cancer, as about 11,500 new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed yearly in the United States. At AssociatesMD, with offices in Plantation, Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Weston, Margate, and Dania Beach, Florida, skilled women’s health specialists offer annual Pap smears to women in all life stages. Schedule an evaluation by calling the office or using the online booking feature today.

Annual Pap smear Q & A

What is an annual Pap smear?

An annual Pap smear is a diagnostic test that screens for cervical cancer in women. Your specialist collects a sample of cells from your cervix, located in the lower part of the uterus at the top of the vaginal canal, and tests them for cancer. 

Pap tests, along with a breast exam, pelvic exam, and general health examination, are usually part of a well-woman exam.

Early detection makes cervical cancer easier to treat, with a higher chance of a successful outcome.

Who needs an annual Pap smear?

Your AssociatesMD specialist determines if you’re due for an annual Pap smear based on your age and other risk factors. They typically combine a Pap smear with a pelvic exam and/or a test for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease (STD). 

Many women should begin annual Pap smears at age 21, but follow your provider’s recommendations. You may not need a Pap test yearly, though annual pelvic exams are ideal. 

Women with a history of cervical cancer, abnormal Pap smears, smoking, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, or a weakened immune system typically need Pap smears more often than women without these risk factors. 

Your provider determines if it’s safe to stop Pap smears because of a total hysterectomy or being older than 65. 

How should I prepare for an annual Pap smear?

Follow your specialist’s instructions to prepare for an annual Pap smear. That involves avoiding douching, sexual intercourse, vaginal medicines, or spermicidal products for two days before your scheduled appointment. Don’t schedule a Pap smear during menstruation. 

What happens during a Pap smear?

Before a Pap smear, you undress from the waist down and change into a hospital gown. You lie down on a comfortable exam table and place your heels in stirrups with your knees bent. 

Your provider gently inserts a speculum into your vagina to hold its walls open. They use a brush and scraping tool to collect a sample of cervical cells while you relax. This is not painful and there’s no downtime needed.

After your annual Pap smear, your specialist sends your cell sample to a lab for an analysis and discusses the results with you. If you have an abnormal test result, you might need additional diagnostic testing, such as a colposcopy or biopsy, to confirm a diagnosis and receive an effective treatment plan. 

Schedule your annual Pap smear at AssociatesMD by calling the office or using the online booking feature today.