What Every Woman Should Understand About a Pap Smear

5 Things every woman should know about Pap tests | Novant Health | Healthy  Headlines

A pap smear can help you detect and eliminate abnormal cells before they are advanced to cervical cancer. Every woman should take this life-saving exam regularly as a proactive measure against cervical cancer. The Upper West Side Pap Smear specialists recommend regular pap smears for patients of any age and irrespective of their sexual activities. Everyone has a right to know what is happening to their body. However, you are more encouraged never to miss a pap smear if you are sexually active. Here is what you should know as you plan never to miss your regular examination.

Pap Smears Are More Preventative

Regular pap smears improve our chances of catching abnormalities in your cervix early before they turn cancerous. Many people refer to a pap smear as cancer screening due to its association with a cancer diagnosis. The pap smear allows your doctor to investigate the cells in your cervix and observe any chances. The human papillomavirus (HPV) often causes abnormal changes in your cervical cells and can be detected during a pap smear. Early detection allows your doctor to monitor the changes and apply treatments where possible to avoid cervical cancer.

Pap Smear is Not Cervical Exams

Some people interchange names for a pap smear and cervical exams and think they are similar. Just because you have had a speculum or a pelvic exam doesn’t mean you have had a pap smear. Ask your doctor about the test you will receive during your regular woman well exam to understand better. A pap smear involves your doctor using a little brush to sweep your inner and outer cervix to collect samples. Do not feel ashamed to ask your doctor about the specific test. It is your body, and you deserve to know what is happening and what you can expect.

Pap Smears are Quick

Those who have undergone a pap smear witness that the procedure is quick. It is normal to be anxious about your first pap smear, but know that it will be over before you know it. Ensure that you get the right professional with experience to ensure a straightforward process. Your doctor should inform you what to expect and help you prepare for the test. You will undress and be in a hospital gown before the test. The test only takes a few minutes and involves your provider inserting special tools to collect the sample.

Pap Smear Positive Results Do Not Always Mean Cancer

It can be overwhelming to receive positive results after the pap smear test. However, take things easy and consult your doctor adequately. All that the results are saying is that you have abnormal changes in your cells that need monitoring. Your doctor can call you in for more tests. No matter the findings, it tells you to be alert and watchful. Taking the right actions can help you never develop cervical cancer.

Not all Time is Right for a Pap Smear

Sometimes your doctor can advise against a pap smear as it would not be effective. Consult your doctor to understand the right time to go for the test and what you can do to improve its effectiveness. Sex, tampon, douching, and periods can complicate pap smear results. Consult your doctor to understand when you can get a pap smear.

Get in touch with Karen F. Brodman, MD, PLLC pap smear specialist, to understand more about the test. You can book an initial consultation appointment today by calling or online.