What Is a Pap Smear?
Pap smears, also known as Pap tests, are standard procedures for women to screen for abnormal cervical cells. These cells may lead to cancer, and the Pap smear is the only way to detect them, so it’s very important that women get these exams regularly. Dr. Sherry Neyman usually does Pap smears on women who are 21 or older, but she may recommend one for younger people who may be at risk due to HIV, another sexually transmitted infection, or a compromised immune system.
How Does a Pap Smear Work?
The Pap smear will be part of your regular annual pelvic exam. Dr. Neyman will collect cells from your cervix with a thin wand and small brush. It is a very quick procedure where you should feel no more than some light pressure. Dr. Neyman will then analyze those cells for abnormalities, as well as for Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
Why Would I Have an Abnormal Pap Smear Result?
An abnormal Pap smear result is not necessarily a reason to panic. There could be many causes for such a result, such as:
- HPV/Genital warts
- Inflammation of the cervix
- Precancerous dysplasia/abnormal cells
- Recent sexual activity
- Sexually transmitted disease
What to Expect During a Pap Smear
A Pap smear is fast and only mildly uncomfortable in most cases. You should expect to complete your physical exam and resume your normal activities shortly thereafter. Dr. Neyman will call you with more information as soon as the results are in.
What If I Have Abnormal Pap Smear Results?
If your results come back abnormal, the doctor may want to perform a colposcopy, which is a simple, 10 minute in-office procedure where she examines your vagina, vulva and cervix for indicators of disease. She may also feel that a biopsy is indicated. This involves collecting a small amount of cervical or vaginal tissue with a tiny brush for further analysis.
If there are abnormal cervical cells that require treatment, Dr. Neyman may perform a Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP). This is an outpatient procedure performed under IV sedation or local anesthesia. LEEP is a minimally invasive procedure where a thin wire loop is used to direct a safe electrical current to the abnormal tissue. This electrical current serves as a scalpel, removing the thin layer of tissue containing the abnormal cells.
Pap Smears in Austin, TX
If you are interested in a checkup and Pap smear, we at Helio Health & Wellness are happy to be your go-to for all aspects of your vaginal health. Contact our center today to schedule an annual exam and give your body the compassionate, comprehensive care it deserves. To make an appointment, please fill out the form below or call (512) 425-3840. We look forward to your visit!