A Pap smear is a routine procedure used to screen women for cervical cancer.  It is part of your routine wellness care and will be done by your gynecologist during a pelvic exam.

The four female OBGYNs at Associated Women’s Healthcare are all board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and are all members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. They have extensive experience performing safe and accurate pap smears. They will walk you through each step of the test and help you feel at ease. Contact Associated Women’s Healthcare today to schedule an appointment in Plano, TX by calling (972) 612-8829.

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Does Every Woman Need a Pap Smear?  How often?  What if I had a Hysterectomy?

It is advised for women to begin receiving regular Pap smears starting at 21 years of age. Pap smear guidelines have changed and are continually being updated.  These tests usually occur every 3 years, but some individuals may be asked to perform Pap smears more often based on certain risk factors such as:

  • Prior abnormal pap smears
  • Confirmed cases of an HIV infection
  • Those with a weakened immune system, usually due to chemotherapy, frequent use of corticosteroids, or an organ transplant

Some women also prefer to complete Pap smears more often than every 3 years for reassurance regarding their health, though this is not necessary. Your gynecologist will communicate with you about what is best for you moving forward with Pap smear testing.

There are a few situations in which regular Pap smears will no longer be recommended for certain women. These cases include women who have undergone a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix that was performed for a noncancerous condition, as well as women who are over the age of 65.

Women within this older age range are usually exempt from Pap smears if they have received them regularly throughout their lifetime and have never had one of these tests come back with positive results for cancer. However, you should absolutely discuss other potential risk factors with your gynecologist before suddenly stopping your recommended Pap smears.

How do Pap Smears Work?

It is advised to avoid scheduling your test during your menstrual cycle, recent intercourse or using any substances that may enter the vagina (jellies, douches, etc.). All of these activities are best to refrain from because they may alter the cells of the cervix, which could lead to incorrect Pap smear results.

The entire procedure will take place in your OBGYN’s office. Your gynecologist will perform a pelvic exam and use a small brush to gather cells from the cervix to send to the lab for evaluation.  The results take a few days then are communicated to you.

Schedule an Appointment in Plano, TX

Contact women-led Associated Women’s Healthcare to schedule an appointment and address all of your questions and concerns surrounding pap smears. Patients may call our office in Plano, TX, at (972) 612-8829 to schedule an appointment with one of our four female gynecologists!