Pap smears are routine tests to help prevent cervical cancer in women. These tests for women’s health can be performed during women’s annual gynecological exams. All women between the ages of 21 to 65 should receive pap smears every three years, regardless of sexual activity. The only exception is women who do not have a cervix and no history of abnormal pap smears or cervical cancer.
How to Prepare for Pap Smears
Before getting pap smears, you should tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or sensitive to latex. Pap smears should be scheduled when you are not menstruating. The best time to get pap smears is 10 days after the first day of your period. Avoid sexual activity and using vaginal lubricants, spermicides, tampons or douches for 48 hours prior to the test.
What to Expect During Pap Smears
Pap smears are performed by a physician or nurse practitioner along with pelvic exams. Before the procedure, you will be asked to undress from the waist down and use a paper gown to cover yourself. You will lie down on an exam table and place your feet in stirrups. The doctor or nurse will gently insert a lubricated speculum to widen the vagina in order to perform the test. A sample of cells from the cervix will be collected and sent to a lab for analysis.
Pap smears take about five minutes and you may experience some minor discomfort during the procedure. The cell scraping may cause some spotting, so you may want to bring a sanitary pad with you to your visit. You may receive the results of the test within a couple days.
Protect Your Health with Pap Smears
Pap smears are essential tests to detect cervical cancers that can cause serious health complications. You can receive affordable pap smears through the primary services for women here at Rapid Immediate Care. Schedule an appointment for your pap smear at our urgent care clinic today.