Pap Smear: What To Expect at Your First Visit
One of the best ways to protect women against cervical cancer is to perform a pap smear, which allows our doctors to be able to examine the cells of the cervix to look for any abnormalities. A Pap smear is truly the most effective test we have for detecting pre-cancerous cells and providing young women with the treatment they need to prevent cervical cancer in the future.
Of course, if this is yours or your daughter’s first time getting a Pap smear, it’s normal to feel a bit nervous. Our friendly team here at Community Health Clinic in Greensburg and New Kensington PA will be here to guide you every step of the way so that you feel completely comfortable. There is nothing to worry about and this diagnostic test only takes a couple of minutes.
Your Annual Checkup
All women should start seeing their gynecologist for an annual checkup by the time they turn 18 years old, or when they become sexually active; however, most women do not need to get a Pap smear until age 21.
These wellness visits are incredibly important for establishing rapport with your women’s doctor and for keeping you healthy. A Pap smear is performed at the same time as your wellness visit, so you don’t have to worry about making a separate appointment.
It’s Completely Normal
While a gynecological exam may not be fun, it certainly shouldn’t be unpleasant or painful. When done properly a Pap smear is quick and relatively painless. Once your gynecologist has performed a basic physical exam they will place a speculum into the vagina to make it easier to examine you. From there, a small swab is inserted into the vagina and rubbed along the lining of the cervix to collect cells and send them away for testing. Simple as that!
You Don’t Need One Every Year
You will get your Pap smear results back in about 1-2 weeks from your Greensburg or New Kensington PA office. If the test results come back normal then you probably won’t need to get another one for three years (this will depend on your age; women need Pap smears less frequently as they get older). If the test comes back abnormal then your gynecologist may recommend repeating the test now or in a couple of months.