Not too long ago, women needed Pap smears every year to screen for cervical cancer. But with advances in medical knowledge, you no longer need an annual Pap smear. However, if it’s been a while since your last Pap smear or you have concerns about cervical cancer, Hetal Shah, MD, Luminita Iacob, PA-C, and Julie Denton, FNP-C, at Arizona Women's Specialists can provide the care you need. Schedule your Pap smear by calling the office in Glendale or Phoenix, Arizona, or booking an appointment online today.
Pap smears are screening tests for cervical cancer. During the test, your provider at Arizona Women's Specialists collects a sample of cells from your cervix during a pelvic exam. They send the cells to a pathology lab for analysis.
Cervical cancer is a slow-growing cancer. However, finding and treating abnormal cervical cells early may prevent cervical cancer or improve your chances of a full recovery.
When you need a Pap smear depends on your age, gynecological history, family history, and results of your previous tests. In general, women start Pap smears at age 21 and continue up to get them regularly until age 65.
If your Pap smear results are normal and you're between the ages of 21 and 29, you need to repeat your Pap smear every three years. After age 30, the team may include the human papillomavirus (HPV) test along with your Pap smear.
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Certain strains of HPV increase your risk of developing cervical cancer. If your Pap smear and HPV results are negative, you only need to repeat your Pap smear every five years.
If you have HPV, the team at Arizona Women's Specialists may recommend more frequent Pap smears.
During your Pap smear, you lie on your back with your knees bent and legs spread. Your provider inserts a speculum into your vagina to gain access to your cervix.
Then, your provider uses a special tool to collect cells from your cervix. You may feel some pressure during the cell collection, but no pain. Pap smears only take a few minutes.
You can resume your usual activities after your Pap smear, and the team at Arizona Women's Specialists lets you know when you can expect your results. In most cases, Pap smears are negative.
In the event that your Pap smear results show abnormal cells, the team has you return to the office so they can perform additional tests. Your abnormal Pap smear doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer.
Pap smears save lives. Call Arizona Women's Specialists or schedule your Pap smear online today.