Pap Smear Exam in Miami
The Pap test, also called a Pap smear, checks for changes in the cells of your cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens into the birth canal. The Pap test can tell if you have an infection, unhealthy cervical cells, or cervical cancer.
A Pap test can save your life. It can find the earliest signs of cervical cancer. If caught early, the chance of curing cervical cancer is very high. Pap tests also can find infections and abnormal cervical cells that can turn into cancer cells. Treatment can prevent most cases of cervical cancer from developing.
Speak With Your Doctor
Getting regular Pap tests is the best thing you can do to prevent cervical cancer. In fact, regular Pap tests have led to a major decline in the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths.
Make sure your doctor or nurse knows about all the medicines you are taking. Some birth control pills that contain estrogen or progestin may interfere with test results.
Also tell your doctor or nurse if you:
- Have had an abnormal Pap smear
- Might be pregnant
Avoid the following for 24 hours before the test:
- Having intercourse
- Taking a bath
- Using tampons
When Should I have a Pap- Smear?
Avoid scheduling your Pap smear while you have your period (are menstruating), because it may affect the accuracy of the Pap smear. Empty your bladder just before the test. A Pap smear may cause some discomfort, similar to menstrual cramps. You may also feel some pressure during the exam. You may bleed a little bit after the test.
The Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. Most cervical cancers can be detected early if a woman has routine Pap smears.
Screening should start at age 21. After the first test:
- You should have a Pap smear every 2 years to check for cervical cancer.
- If you are over age 30 or your Pap smears have been negative for 3 times in a row, your doctor may tell you that you only need a Pap smear every 3 years.
- If you or your sexual partner have other new partners, then you should have a Pap smear every 2 years.
After age 65-70:
- Most women can stop having Pap smears as long as they have had three negative tests within the past 10 years.
- If you have a new sexual partner after age 65, you should begin having Pap smear screening again.
You may not need to have a Pap smear if you have had a total hysterectomy (uterus and cervix removed) and have not had an abnormal Pap smear, cervical cancer, or other pelvic cancer. Click here to find one of our Fox Medical Centers near you.