Everything You Need to Know before Your Next Pap Smear

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Doctor’s visits can be unnerving. Sitting in the waiting room and not knowing what to expect can be the worst part of it. If you find yourself worrying about your upcoming pap smear exam, then look no further because this is the article for you. Read on to learn everything you need to know about your next pap smear exam!

When Should You Start Getting Pap Smears?

A pap smear obstetrician in Daytona Beach recommends that you should start getting pap smear exams once every three years starting at age 21, regardless of whether or not you're sexually active.

What Is a Pap Smear?

The Pap Smear, also called a Pap Test, is an examination of your cervix to look for cervical cancer. The most common forms of cervical cancer are HPVs 16 and 18. HPV is usually sexually transmitted, but not all forms of cervical cancer are transmitted this way. It’s for this reason that it’s important for you to be examined starting at the age of 21 even if you aren’t currently sexually active.

How Often Should You Get Tested?

This varies woman to woman as it is based on prior test results. A healthy woman aged 21-29, who has not tested positive for HPV or precancerous cells should plan on getting a pap smear exam every three years. A healthy woman aged 30- 65 can go every 3 to 5 years, again depending on prior test results. You doctor will inform you if you need to schedule exams more periodically.

What to Expect

Your pap smear OB-GYN in Daytona Beach, will usually talk through the procedure as they go so that you’re fully aware of everything that’s going on and why they are doing it. When you get into the exam room, you will be instructed to put on a medical gown. You may be permitted to keep your bra on. You will be told to lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet in the stirrups. Your doctor will insert a speculum to provide access to the cervix. You will feel some discomfort and a slight pushing sensation as your doctor scrapes the wall of the cervix to obtain a small sample of cells for further testing. You may experience some light bleeding and or cramping after the exam.

 

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