The Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. Cells scraped from the opening of the cervix are examined under a microscope. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina. The Pap smear also can let you know if your cervical cells may turn into cancer later.
How does it work?
- This test is usually done in our office and can take anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes.
- Our physician will insert a speculum (plastic tool) into your vagina.
- The tool allows our physician to wide the vaginal walls, which we allow the Doctor to see your cervix.
- The physician will then use a swab to take cells from your cervix.
- The doctor will then place the cells in a liquid substance and send them to a lab to see the results of the test.
Results of a Pap Smear
The results of a Pap Smear come back either negative or positive.
A negative result may sound bad to you, but this is actually the best result you can get. This result means that the doctor didn’t find any harmful cells on your cervix. You won’t need another test until the next routine checkup.
If the results of the pap smear come back positive, it may not necessarily mean you have cancer. It could mean you have minor cell changes which are called dysplasia. We may recommend more tests and even include a colposcopy if required.
The physicians at Mesa Women’s Health Care perform Pap smears as part of routine gynecological care.