Who is the Pap test for?
All women aged 21 and over should have a Pap smear. Together we will assess how often you need to have a Pap test. This usually depends on whether you have a history of abnormal Pap smears or cancerous changes, or if for some reason you have a weakened immune system.
When can I take the Pap Test?
The best time to have a Pap smear is when you are not on your period, after abstaining from sexual intercourse for 1-2 days.
What exactly does the process of a Pap test involve?
The Pap test is performed by inserting a single-use plastic speculum into your vagina until your cervix is visible. During the examination, your gynecologist will use a brush to collect a sample from your cervix. You may feel slight pressure or mild cramps during the examination. Afterwards, you may notice a few drops of blood and/or feel mild pain, similar to menstrual pain. These side effects are minimal and temporary and are considered negligible compared to the potential benefits and peace of mind provided by the Pap test.
When will my results come out and what do they mean?
After collecting the sample, it will be sent to the laboratory for examination. The results come out in about a week. A normal or negative result means that no atypical cells were found and you can continue to have regular Pap tests. An abnormal result means that atypical cells were found and further evaluation with colposcopy or closer monitoring may be recommended. This does not necessarily mean that you have cancer, but it is important to follow our recommendations to ensure the best possible outcome for your health.
"Classic" Pap test or Thin Prep (liquid phase test)?
There are two types of Pap smears: the "classic" and the Thin Prep (liquid phase test). The main difference between them is that Thin Prep can detect the HPV virus itself, which is the main cause of cervical cancer. So, with a single sample, you can have both a Pap test and an HPV test if needed.
In addition, the liquid phase test is more accurate than the Pap test and can detect more pre-cancerous changes. That's why the liquid phase test is becoming increasingly popular among women.
How will we help you?
The Pap test is an essential preventive examination for every woman. Cervical cancer usually does not show symptoms in its early stages, so there may be no visible signs that something is wrong until it reaches advanced stages.
The examination process is short and painless, and we will help you overcome the awkwardness and anxiety that we know accompanies it. If you have delayed or postponed the check-up, visit us for a Pap test or a Thin Prep by making an appointment today. Now you know how to protect yourself!