A Pap smear is an important and lifesaving screening test for cervical cancer. At Naples Women's Center in Naples, Florida, the team of health professionals performs Pap smears at your annual exam and provides follow-up exams and tests for abnormal results. Call today or use the online booking button to schedule your Pap smear.
A Pap smear is a health screening test that involves collecting cervical cells from your cervix to check for signs of cervical cancer — cancer that starts in the cervix, which is the tube-like structure that connects the vagina and uterus. It’s a lifesaving test that’s helped decrease cervical cancer rates in the United States.
The Naples Women's Center team performs Pap smears during the pelvic exam at your annual physical.
While you lie on your back on the gynecology table with your knees bent, your provider at Naples Women's Center inserts a speculum into your vagina to separate the walls and gain access to the cervix. Then, they use a soft brush or scraping tool to collect cells. They place the cells into a container and send it to the pathology lab for testing.
A Pap smear only takes a few seconds and causes little to no discomfort. You may have some mild bleeding after, but you can go back to your usual routine following the test.
The frequency of your Pap smears depends on results from your previous screenings and your personal medical and family history. You should start Pap smears at age 21 and repeat the test every three years until age 29.
At age 30, your provider at Naples Women's Center may recommend combining your Pap smear with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that increases your risk of cervical cancer.
The test for HPV is similar to the Pap smear and involves collecting cells from the cervix.
If your Pap smear and HPV test are negative, you only need to repeat these tests every five years. You continue Pap screenings until age 65.
Abnormal Pap smear results are alarming, but it doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. The team at Naples Women's Center has you return to the office for additional testing.
They perform a colposcopy, which allows your provider to closely examine your cervix using a special magnifying device to look for abnormal tissue and take a sample for further testing.
If your results indicate you have precancerous cells, the team at Naples Women's Center recommends a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) to remove the precancerous tissue.
Call Naples Women's Center today or schedule your Pap smear screening test online.