A Pap test, or Pap smear, is a screening evaluation to check for the presence of certain diseases, including some types of cancer. The test is quick and it's performed during your normal pelvic exam, taking just a few minutes to complete.
For the test, you'll lie on your back on the exam table with your feet in special supports sometimes referred to as stirrups. A lubricated instrument called a speculum will be inserted into your vagina to gently widen the vaginal canal so your cervix (the opening of your uterus) can be easily accessed. The Pap test uses a long swab to gently gather cells from your cervix so they can be sent to a lab for evaluation. Once the cells have been gathered, the speculum will be removed.
No, the test causes no pain, but the speculum may make you a little uncomfortable, especially if you haven't had many – or any – pelvic exams in the past.
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women should have a Pap test every three to five years unless they have certain risk factors, such as participating in unprotected sex or having many sex partners.
Yes, a Pap test checks for the presence of cervical cancer, and although having unprotected or otherwise risky sex may increase your risks of cervical cancer, you can develop cervical cancer even if you've never had sex. Having a Pap test is an important way to identify the cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.
Please always verify we participate in your insurance plan when you call to schedule your appointment as our participation with different plans may change from time to time. We also strongly recommend that you contact your insurance carrier to verify your coverage, benefits, limitations and exclusions prior to appointment.
For insurance plans with which we participate, we will seek to obtain verification of your eligibility. However, even when coverage, benefits, and eligibility are verified, your insurance plan will not guarantee the accuracy of their confirmation.
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