If you’re a woman between the ages of 21 and 65, it’s recommended that you have a Pap smear at least once every three years. This simple, in-office test can alert you to cervical cancer before it presents any symptoms. At Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC, with locations in Lebanon, Branchburg, and two offices in Flemington, New Jersey, the dedicated team provides Pap smears and pelvic exams. If it's been more than three years since your last Pap smear, call the office nearest you or click the online booking tool to request your appointment today.
A Pap smear, or Pap test, is a preventive screening measure used to detect cervical cancer in women.
During a Pap smear, your Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC provider carefully collects a sample of cells from the surface of your cervix. Your provider sends your sample to a laboratory that looks for any abnormal or cancerous cells.
The team at Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC usually recommends that women 21 and older participate in a Pap smear every three years.
If you’re over the age of 30, the team might recommend a Pap smear once every five years if it's combined with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV). Your doctor might also recommend more frequent Pap smears if:
You might also benefit from more frequent testing if you’re a heavy smoker.
To ensure adequate results, the team at Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC recommends you avoid sexual intercourse, douching, or vaginal medicines starting at least two days prior to your appointment. If possible, you should also avoid scheduling your Pap smear during your period.
A Pap smear usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes. During a Pap smear, your provider asks you to lie down on your back with your knees bent.
Next, your doctor gently inserts a tool called a speculum into your vagina that holds the walls of your vagina apart. After placing the speculum, your doctor uses a soft brush to scrape a sample of cells off your cervix.
If your Pap smear reveals abnormal results, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. In fact, a positive result only means the lab discovered certain types of cells in your sample.
Depending on your results, your Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC provider might recommend a colposcopy. This procedure uses a special microscope to examine the tissues of your vagina, vulva, and cervix. Your doctor might also take a biopsy of any areas that appear abnormal.
Participating in a Pap smear is an easy and effective way to catch cervical cancer early when it’s more treatable. Make an appointment at Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.