Cervical cancer was once a leading cause of cancer death in women. Pap smears have significantly reduced that statistic. Jamie Kim, MD, FACOG, in Fountain Valley, California, is an OB/GYN specialist who provides well-woman exams and Pap smears to help keep you well. Call today, or schedule your Pap smear using the online booking button.
A Pap smear, also referred to as a Pap test, is a gynecological procedure that tests for cervical cancer. It not only checks for cervical cancer, but also identifies changes in your cells that may indicate early signs of cancer.
Catching these changes early may improve your overall outcome and reduce your risk of death.
Dr. Kim determines the frequency of your Pap smear based on your age and health history. Most women begin the test at age 21 and get tested every three years until age 65.
You may need to get tested more often if:
After age 30, Dr. Kim may suggest combining your Pap smear with the human papillomavirus (HPV) test. HPV infection is linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer, and the results of your HPV test may change the frequency of your Pap smear.
Dr. Kim usually conducts a Pap smear during your annual well-woman exam. She may also do a Pap smear at your first prenatal visit.
During the test, Dr. Kim has you lie back on the exam table with your knees bent and feet in stirrups. She inserts a speculum into your vagina, which allows her access to your cervix. She then gently scrapes cells from the walls of your cervix and places them in a container for testing.
The entire procedure only takes a few minutes. You may experience some spotting after your Pap smear.
A positive Pap smear doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer, but it does mean abnormal cells were found. Dr. Kim may perform a colposcopy, which is a procedure in which she views your cervix through a magnifying tool called a colposcope to look for abnormalities in the tissue that may indicate cancer. She may also take a tissue sample for further testing during your colposcopy.
If you’re overdue for your Pap smear, call Dr. Kim today for an examination and testing. You can also book an appointment online.