Pap Smears Screening Specialist in Austell, GA
Prevention is the first line of defense. A Pap test is a screening test that can detect cell changes in the cervix that may lead to cancer before people feel any symptoms. For more information, please contact us or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 1810 Mulkey Road, Suite 102, in Austell, Georgia.
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A Pap smear is a test performed on women to test for the presence of cervical cancer cells. During the test, a swab is inserted into the woman’s vagina to collect cells to be tested from the cervix. The early detection of cancer cells provides women with a greater chance of being cured of the disease.
The cells can also be flagged for abnormalities which can suggest that cancer is more likely to develop at some point in the future. In most cases, a pelvic exam is performed at the same time as a Pap smear, typically starting in women at the age of 21. Both tests are important for the long-term health and well-being of women to check for early signs of abnormalities or diseases that could affect their ability to have children and their overall health. The Pap test is performed quickly and easily in your doctor’s office, requiring you to undress from the waist down and lay on the exam table with your knees bent and feet in stirrups.
Once you are in place, your doctor will gently insert a speculum into your vagina. This is a medical instrument that holds open the vagina, so your doctor is able to see the cervix and easily collect the necessary sample. After the same is collected, your doctor will close and remove the speculum and you can get redressed.
A Pap smear is an important part of the preventative health and well-being of women over the age of 21. It is used to capture a sample of cells to be tested for the presence of cancer in the cervix. The samples can not only detect if cancer is present but also if there is a likelihood of cancer developing in the cervix in the future. While the procedure might sound like it is painful, it shouldn’t be. Women may feel pressure on the walls of their vagina when the speculum is inserted and opened, as well as a slight scraping feeling when the sample is collected, but the overall procedure isn’t painful, just slightly uncomfortable.
If you do experience any feelings of pain, make sure you let your doctor know right away so they can adjust. The procedure is very quick, taking only a couple of minutes from start to finish in order to obtain the test sample. Following a Pap smear, women are able to go about their day as normal with no restrictions to their activity levels.
Women should get a Pap smear on a regular basis, although the recommendations on frequency can vary by country, region, or on the woman’s health. In most cases, it is recommended that women get a Pap smear done every three years as part of their yearly physical exam, provided their test and previous tests have come back as normal. When a Pap test comes back as abnormal, it will typically need to be retested on a more frequent basis, which will be determined by the patient and her doctor. One abnormal test followed by consecutive normal tests will usually mean the abnormal test was an anomaly and the patient can go back to the normal cadence of testing. Women who are over the age of 65 will typically no longer require Pap tests, although each person is different. You and your doctor can decide on the best route for your continued medical care and determine if continued testing is necessary.
Women who have had a complete hysterectomy may also no longer require Pap testing, depending on the reason for the removal. Regardless, it is best to discuss your options for testing with your doctor to determine what the right cadence is for you.
At Cobb Women’s Health, our doctors are trained and experienced in many aspects of medical care, including Pap tests for female patients. To learn more, contact us today for more information or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from Austell GA, Lithia Springs GA, Mableton GA, Powder Springs GA, Douglasville GA, Fair Oaks GA, Hiram GA, Clarkdale GA, Smyrna GA, and Marietta GA.
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