Pap smears save lives. At Nova Women’s Health in North Reading, Massachusetts, board-certified OB/GYN Anju Nayar, MD, FACOG, performs Pap smears to screen for cervical cancer. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online to find out more about the Pap smear and why it’s so important for your health.
A Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. Finding cervical cancer during the early stages improves your chances of a full recovery.
Before Pap smears were a routine part of women’s health, cervical cancer was one of the leading causes of cancer death in women.
During a Pap smear, the OB/GYN at Nova Women’s Health collects cervical cells from your cervix — the organ that connects your uterus to your vagina — during a pelvic exam and sends the sample to a pathology lab for testing.
You should start getting Pap smears at age 21 and repeat the test every three years until you reach age 29. At age 30, Nova Women’s Health recommends combining your Pap smear with the human papillomavirus (HPV) test.
HPV is a very common sexually transmitted disease (HPV). Certain strains of HPV increase a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.
You only need to repeat your Pap smear and HPV test every five years when combined. If you continue to get only Pap smears, you need to continue screenings every three years.
Nova Women’s Health recommends women repeat their Pap smears until they reach 65.
You may feel some pressure during a Pap smear but little to no discomfort. During the test, you lie back on the exam table with your knees bent like you would during your annual pelvic exam.
Your OB/GYN has you slide down to the end of the table and inserts a speculum into the vagina so they can gain access to the cervix. Your provider inserts a swab through the speculum to collect cells from the cervix. The test itself only takes a few seconds.
The experts at Nova Women’s Health have years of experience and make sure you feel comfortable throughout the health screening test.
Your provider at Nova Women’s Health explains when you can expect results from your Pap smear. Most test results are negative.
If your Pap smear is positive, your OB/GYN has you return to the office for additional testing such as colposcopy and cervical biopsy. A positive Pap smear doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer.
Call Nova Women’s Health or schedule your Pap smear online today.