A Pap smear is a women’s health screening for cervical cancer. Finding cervical cancer during the early stages improves your chances of a full recovery. At Clinica San Miguel, with 12 offices throughout Texas — three in Dallas, five in Houston, and one in Arlington, Fresno, San Antonio, and Pasadena — the expert team provides Pap smears. To schedule your health screening, call the office most convenient to you or book your appointment online today.
A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, evaluates a woman’s cervical cells to look for signs of cancer. During a Pap smear, your provider uses a special tool that gently removes cells from your cervix during a pelvic exam. Then, they send the sample of cells to a lab for an evaluation.
Pap smears are often a life-saving routine health screening for women because cervical cancer is a slow-growing cancer. Pap smears help find changes to the cervical cells during the early stages when the cancer may be more responsive to treatment, improving your chance of a full recovery.
Your provider at Clinica San Miguel can advise you on how often you need a Pap smear. In general, women start Pap smears at age 21 and repeat the test every three years until age 65.
At age 30, you may combine your Pap smear with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test. If both are negative, you only need to repeat your Pap smear every five years.
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. Certain strains of HPV increase a woman’s risk of cervical cancer. If you test positive for HPV, your provider at Clinica San Miguel may recommend more frequent Pap smears.
You may also need more frequent Pap smears if you have a history of an abnormal test or a family history of cervical cancer.
During your Pap smear, you lie on your back on an exam table with your knees bent and legs spread. Your provider inserts a speculum into your vagina to gain access to your cervix. Then, they use a special tool to collect cells from your cervix.
A Pap smear takes only a few minutes, and you may feel mild discomfort during the test. You can resume your usual activities afterward.
Your provider explains when you can expect the results from your Pap smear. Once received, the clinic contacts you to share your results, which may be negative (no abnormal cells) or positive (abnormal cells).
A positive Pap smear doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. However, you do need additional tests to get more information about the abnormal cells found in your cervix so you can get the most effective care.
To schedule your Pap smear, call Clinica San Miguel or book an appointment online today.