pap smear

Should you Get a Pap Smear?

pap test

Healthcare professionals perform Pap Smears or Papanicolaou Smears to diagnose cancerous or precancerous cells in the cervix and other possible medical conditions. This screening test has helped reduce the development of cervical cancer and mortality rates. You can visit one of the healthcare clinics in Nashville, like Clinica Hispana La Paz, for a Pap Smear.

Pap Smear procedure

Doctors perform Pap Smears to detect changes in the cervix that can often result from HPV (human papillomavirus). Ideally, your doctor should perform your pap test during the second half of your menstrual cycle (around day 14). Before your test appointment you should:

  • Not have sexual intercourse for 48 hours before the sample collection.
  • You should also avoid any form of vaginal medication or contraceptives during this time.

During the procedure the patient lies on the exam table. Your doctor will use a special device called a speculum to check your cervix. Your doctor will then use the end of an Ayre spatula (basically a thin long stick) to gently scrape the cervix for cells so they can run tests to keep you healthy.

Your gynecologist may also perform a pelvic exam to check your ovary, uterus and other organs to diagnose any possible issues.

Who should get a Pap test?

Doctors at medical clinics in Nashville, TN, recommend women over 21 years old or about three years prior to being involved in sexual intercourse should get regular Pap tests. Generally speaking, if your Pap tests come back negative three years in a row, the recommended test interval could be changed from every year to once every two to three years.

Pap Test Results

You can receive a negative or positive result from this test.  A negative result will usually indicate there are no precancerous or cancerous cells on your cervix. While a positive result doesn’t mean you have cancer, but it does possibly indicate you have a problem and you should be re-tested to confirm.  Some other reasons you may get a positive result are:

  • Dysplasia – a mild inflammation or minor cell changes
  • HPV or other infection
  • Lab error

If you had sex or used a diaphragm (birth control barrier) shortly before a Pap smear, you can experience inflammation which could give a false positive reading. Your doctor will advise you on what to do next, including waiting for a short while and then re-checking or getting a closer look at your cervix with a procedure called a colposcopy.

Gynecology clinics in Nashville recommend women get regular Pap smears (pap tests). A regular pap test can

  • Help you learn whether there is any problem with your cervix
  • Help identify cervical changes early to aid in early treatment.
  • Help in early diagnosis even before you experience symptoms

Clinica Hispana La Paz is a family healthcare clinic in Nashville. They offer a wide range of healthcare solutions, including Thin-Prep Pap smears. Thin-Prep Pap smears are a highly effective screening test to help diagnose the possibility of cervical cancer and dysplasia. Stay safe and prevent cervical cancer, visit your Nashville gynecology clinic for regular Thin Prep Pap smears.