Serving the Greater Miami Area
It is a gentle scraping of the loose cells at the opening of the cervix which is located at the back of the vagina. The cells are put on a glass slide and examined under a microscope for any changes or abnormalities.
Why do a Pap smear?
The purpose of doing them is to find early changes in the cells that may need treatment so that cancer never gets a chance to develop.
When should I get a Pap smear?
For most women we suggest a Pap smear every 12 months. If you have ever had an abnormal Pap, or if you have a history of genital warts, you may need to get repeat tests every 3 – 6 months, until the cells return to normal.
What do Pap smears have to do with genital warts?
Another useful function of the Pap smear test is to find possible wart changes on the cervix. If you have had genital warts (outside or inside the vagina) you should get a Pap test every six months.
You may be asked by letter to return to the clinic for a repeat Pap test if changes on the cervix are found. Many of the changes will have gone back to normal and won’t need any treatment. Sometimes we will treat you for a vaginal infection, which might be causing the changes. If changes in the cells keep showing up after several Pap repeats, or if more serious changes in the cells are seen, we may recommend a colposcopy.
Please remember the best time for a Pap smear is before or after your menstrual period. For best results don’t douche, use any medication in your vagina, or have sexual intercourse for 24 hours before your Pap is done.