If you’re a woman under the age of 65 who wants to keep her body healthy and whole, you need regular Pap smears. During this quick, simple procedure, Vasanth Vishwanath, MD, and the medical team at Fresno Women’s Care can test for any cancer or precancer in your cervix. Catching cervical cancer early dramatically increases the chances of beating it, so this routine procedure is key. To learn more or to schedule your Pap smear, contact the Fresno, California, practice or book your appointment online.
A Pap smear, also known as a Pap test, is a routine gynecological procedure designed to detect cervical cancer. During a Pap smear, Dr. Vishwanath or one of his expert medical team will check your cervix – the lower part of your uterus – for abnormal cells. If these abnormal cells are left undetected, they can develop into cervical cancer. A regular Pap smear gives you the opportunity to catch these cells early when treatment can be most effective.
During your Pap smear, a speculum will be inserted into your vagina, allowing your practitioner to see into your cervix. Then, a special soft tool is inserted to collect cells from the exterior of your cervix. Those cells are then sent to the lab to be tested. The entire process takes just a few minutes.
Some women report that a Pap smear is uncomfortable, but you should not feel any pain. At most, you’ll feel pressure as the speculum is inserted. If you’re nervous about the procedure, talk to one of the caring team members at Fresno Women’s Care. They can help you know what to expect so you can relax during this quick, routine procedure.
Most women should begin getting a Pap smear at age 21, but your practitioner at Fresno Women’s Care can talk with you to determine when is right for you and your unique body and lifestyle. Once you start getting Pap smears, you should generally get one every three years to ensure that no abnormal cells have developed in your cervix.
If, however, you have certain risk factors, your practitioner may recommend more frequent Pap tests. Some of the reasons you may want to increase the frequency of this testing include:
Once you reach age 65, you can most likely stop getting your regular Pap smear.
Ultimately, the team at Fresno Women’s Care can work with you to ensure you’re getting the testing you need to protect yourself from cervical cancer. To learn more about Pap smears or to schedule an appointment, call Fresno Women’s Care or book your appointment online today.