At Dr. Sayyed, our goal is to look after the health of every patient who visits us at our office in La Grange. In addition to family medicine and pediatric care, we also look after women’s health. One service we are proud to provide in order to help promote women’s health is a pap smear. This test is useful for combating cervical cancer, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
What is a Pap Smear?
A pap smear is a quick and simple test to screen for cervical cancer. It tests for the presence of cancerous or precancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus.
Why is a Pap Smear Needed?
Pap smears are recommended for women starting at age 21, taking place every three years. Pap smears are important because they alert your doctor to the presence of cervical cancer. As with many diseases, early detection of cervical cancer is very helpful in getting it treated successfully.
How is a Pap Smear Performed?
The procedure is very quick and, though it isn’t painful, can be somewhat uncomfortable while your doctor is collecting the sample. The sample will be taken from the cervix using a special tool and preserved to be sent to a lab for testing. To help the procedure go smoothly and with as little discomfort as possible, it is important that you try to relax. Take deep breaths to calm down the body.
What Happens After a Pap Smear?
After a pap smear at Dr. Sayyed has been completed, you may feel some mild discomfort from the scraping (for the sample) or some mild cramping. Vaginal bleeding could also occur following the test. If these issues continue the day after the test, contact your doctor.
The lab will test the sample taken from your cervix. If the results are normal (also called negative), you won’t need another pap smear in Chicago for another three years. If the results are abnormal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that cancer is an issue. Your doctor will need to get a closer look with either a colposcopy or biopsy to confirm or dismiss the presence of cancer.