Why have a PAP Test

GynecologicalPap tests are used in yearly gynecological exams as the industry standard medical test to screen for abnormal cells which could lead to cervical cancer.

These tests also referred to as Pap smears due to the cells being smeared on the slide, are done in your doctor’s office. After putting on a paper gown you will lie back and place your feet into the stirrups on the examination table. The doctor will insert a speculum into your vagina so that it widens the walls enabling him or her to see your cervix. A swab is then used to take a cervical cell sample which is then sent off to the lab for review.

This is a painless procedure though you may feel a slightly odd brief pinch.

Test results come back within a few days and will read as either negative (no abnormal cells) or positive (yes you have some abnormal cells).

If it is negative nothing else is needed. You are free and clear and just simply wait till your next exam.

If the test comes back positive, don’t freak out. It does not automatically mean that you have cancerous cells. It could be inflammation or other cell changes. These can clear on their own. A wait and see approach is often taken. The test will be repeated in a couple of months.

If the cell results keep coming back as positive a colposcopy will be performed. A colposcope will be used which has an intensified sense and a bright light that allows a better look at the cervix. If areas are found that look suspicious, a small biopsy will be taken. The area will be swabbed with a chemical solution to help prevent bleeding.

If you are scheduled for a colposcopy, they may tell you that you can return to work directly after. While that is the standard medical advice you may be better off taking the rest of the day to go home and rest up and take care of yourself as everyone’s body reacts differently to this type of procedure.

Results take a few days or more. Make sure to check back with the office if you do not hear from them. Depending on the results your doctor will guide you as to how to best proceed. 

If you are looking for a board certified gynecologist in Lee county, Florida please visit www.ipalc.org/find.

Share on Facebook

Leave a Reply