What to Expect During a Pap Smear

Pap Smear Pembroke Pines, FL

A pap smear should be a regular part of wellness visits for people who have vaginas. However, many people avoid this procedure because they are concerned that it might hurt or cause other issues. In reality, a pap smear is a quick and straightforward process that can give practitioners important insights about the patient's health.

Pap smears can detect abnormal cells, which can be the first warning sign for diseases like cancer or STIs. By understanding what to expect during a pap smear, you can go into the appointment with confidence.

Understanding pap smears

Pap smears are part of regular health checkups in which a practitioner will take a small sample from the cervix, which is located at the far end of the vagina and connects the vaginal canal with the uterus. Pap smear appointments usually only take a few minutes.

A pap smear appointment from start to finish

Preparing for a pap smear often takes longer than the procedure itself. From beginning to end, most appointments will require:

  1. Getting undressed: The first step in a pap smear appointment is to undress. Patients should remove their clothing below the waist and put on a gown or cover themselves with a blanket.
  2. Lying down: Next, the patient lies down on a table and places their feet in specialized holders called stirrups. These give the practitioner a good view while keeping the patient stable, so they do not have to hold their legs up on their own.
  3. The speculum: The practitioner will then choose a speculum that is appropriately sized for the patient. This is a type of metal or plastic device that is used to hold the vaginal canal open so the practitioner can look inside. They will add lubricant so the speculum does not tug on the skin. Then, they will insert it gently into the vaginal canal.
  4. The swab: Next, the practitioner will take a swab on a long stick and swab the cervical area. It typically looks like a long Q-tip and has a slightly textured surface to help the practitioner collect cells from the cervix. Patients may feel a slight scratching sensation in addition to a small amount of pressure.
  5. The pelvic exam (optional): Once the practitioner has taken the sample, they will send it off for testing. It is common for practitioners to perform a general pelvic exam after a pap smear by feeling the ovaries and uterus for abnormalities using their fingers, but this is not mandatory.

After a pap smear

Once a pap smear is complete, the patient can go back to their normal routine right away. They may experience very light bleeding or minor cramping, which should go away in an hour or two. The practitioner will report the results within a few days to a week.

Get a pap smear for good health

If you have a cervix, you should get regular pap smears to ensure that your reproductive system remains in good health. Our practitioner can walk you through the process so it is as simple and stress free as possible. Contact our office to schedule your pap smear or ask any questions that you may have.

Request an appointment here: https://Southfloridadoctorsgroup.com or call South Florida Doctors Group at (954) 905-2432 for an appointment in our Pembroke Pines office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Pap Smear in Pembroke Pines, FL.

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