If you’re sexually active or older than 21, an annual Pap smear is an important part of your health care. At Oak Hills Women’s Center, P.A. located in San Antonio, Texas, the expert OB/GYNs offer regular Pap tests at your annual exams and follow-up should your results come back as abnormal. Call the office or book an appointment to schedule your Pap test today.
A Pap smear screens for cervical disorders by obtaining cells from the surface of your cervix during a pelvic exam. The test is important because it detects precancerous conditions early so they can be treated before turning into cervical cancer.
A Pap smear is usually part of your annual exam. One of the doctors from Oak Hills Women’s Center, P.A. uses a swab or brush to lightly take a sampling of cells from your cervix. You may feel a bit of pressure and the brief test is a bit awkward, as you’re in the stirrups on an exam table for your annual pelvic exam, but it doesn’t hurt.
The doctors then send the sampling of cells to a laboratory for analysis.
If your test comes back normal, you can wait until your next scheduled screening. If the test comes back abnormal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. But, you should schedule a follow-up visit to determine if precancerous conditions or cervical cancer are present.
In most cases, abnormal results mean you have cell changes that occurred due to the human papillomavirus (HPV) — likely due to the natural results of aging, or because of another infection. In some cases, depending on the type of abnormal cells found in your cervix, you may need additional testing and screening.
The doctors at Oak Hills Women’s Center, P.A. may advise a watch and wait approach and schedule you for a repeat Pap test in a few weeks. Often, the irregular cells go away on their own.
If the cells are suspicious or the test is inconclusive, they may schedule you for a colposcopy. This test involves using a magnifying device to look more closely at your cervix and the suspect tissue. During a colposcopy, your doctor may take a biopsy of tissue, too, for further analysis at the lab.
To schedule your Pap test, call Oak Hills Women’s Center, P.A. or book an appointment using the online scheduler.