Pap smear testing is one of the most powerful diagnostic tools in the history of women’s health. Board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Meryl E. Kahan, MD, of SheMD serving the Little Neck and Douglaston neighborhoods of Queens, New York City, New York, in addition to the Great Neck area of Nassau County, offers Pap smear testing as one of many services. Book your visit online to get started, or call to check appointment availability.
Pap smear testing is a leading diagnostic tool for cervical cancer. You should begin having Pap smear testing during your wellness exams beginning at the age of 21.
If your test results are normal, you don’t need to have a Pap smear every year; you can choose to have the test performed every three years. Depending on your health history, Dr. Kahan may recommend more frequent screening.
Since Pap smear testing became widely available along with the HPV vaccine, deaths from cervical cancer have steeply declined. These simple tests can reveal cellular abnormalities that occur before cervical cancer is present, enabling the earliest possible interventions.
Pap smear testing is a simple process that Dr. Kahan performs during your routine pelvic exams. A small spatula or brush collects cells from several areas of your cervix. Those cells are then examined microscopically to check for abnormalities.
You might feel a brief cramping sensation during the Pap smear, but any discomfort is only temporary. Some women feel nothing at all during their Pap smears. There is no need for any form of anesthesia or preparation, although if you are having your period, you may need to reschedule your test to a day when you aren’t bleeding.
You won’t receive your results right away, but it usually only takes a few days for your Pap smear results to arrive from the lab.
If you learn your Pap smear test yielded an abnormal result, there is no need to panic. Many different things can cause abnormal test results.
The next step is to take a closer look at your reproductive system to determine if there is an area of concern. A colposcopy is often performed after an abnormal Pap smear. You recline on the exam table or chair with your feet in stirrups as Dr. Kahan uses a device equipped with a light and magnifying lens to examine your vaginal and cervical tissue.
The device does not touch your body, and there is no significant discomfort associated with the test. Dr. Kahan might swab a special solution onto your cervix to help detect any tissue changes.
If you need a biopsy or any additional diagnostic efforts, Dr. Kahan explains the next steps in detail. If you’re ready to book your next Pap smear, call or click today.