Having a regular Pap smear is a vital part of your overall health as a woman. Nurse practitioners Raisa Howard and Mallory Guagenti of Womens Clinic LA offer comprehensive Pap smear testing for women in the greater Los Angeles area. Use the online scheduler or call today to book your appointment at either office location in Los Angeles or El Segundo, California.
A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is used to screen women for cervical abnormalities that may lead to cancer. The diagnostic test only takes a few minutes.
Your nurse practitioner has you lie back comfortably while she uses a swab to collect cells from your cervix. The swab is sent to the laboratory for evaluation. Results are usually back in less than two weeks.
Every woman should get a Pap smear regularly. The frequency is dependent on your health, age, and medical history.
Between ages 21 and 29, you should have a cervical screening Pap test every year. Between ages 30 and 65, you should have a Pap test every five years. During this age span, your provider may also recommend HPV testing.
If you have a history of abnormal Pap smears or cervical cancer or have HPV, it’s likely that your nurse practitioner will recommend that you come in for testing more frequently. At your next appointment, a custom plan will be developed for you.
First of all, don’t panic or worry. If your test comes back with abnormal results, the compassionate team at Womens Clinic LA helps you get to the bottom of it. An abnormal test does not automatically mean that you have cancer.
Your nurse practitioner will order and conduct additional testing. Typically, these are more advanced tests like a colposcopy or a biopsy to learn more about what the cells on your cervix look like.
Frequently, infections cause a Pap test to come back abnormal. Nurse Raisa or Nurse Mallory will prescribe medication and follow you closely until your cervical cells return to normal.
Because of the nature and location of the test, most women are naturally apprehensive. That’s completely normal.
You may have some discomfort when your provider uses the speculum, but you should not have pain. The entire test takes no longer than a minute or two.
Patient Resource: Pap Smear Information