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What to expect during a pap smear

When it comes to routine evaluations with a gynecologist, pap smears or pap “tests” are often performed as an important part of one’s reproductive health and wellness. The doctors at GYN Choices in East Brunswick, NJ are here to help women in the area in monitoring their risks of potential reproductive problems, especially those that can be identified with a simple pap smear.

What is a pap smear?

The doctors of GYN Choices describe the pap smear as a diagnostic testing and screening tool. It is used in detecting the presence of possibly cancerous cells around the cervix and the opening of the uterus. It is not only used as a cancer screening tool, but can pick up other changes in the reproductive system that might indicate other issues that require diagnosis and treatment. The test is done quickly during a woman’s routine pelvic examination, using a long-handled swab that is run along the inner vaginal area to gather cells for further evaluation. This is done while the speculum is in place to widen the vaginal canal. The swab with the harvested cells is sent to a laboratory to look for changes in the area, such as the presence of cancerous cells or infections such as HPV (human papillomavirus). The process is painless and takes just a minute to complete.

What happens if my results come back abnormal?

In some instances, a pap smear will provide abnormal test results. This is not always an indication of cancer. In fact, some other changes in the reproductive system can cause an abnormal pap smear result, including HPV, yeast infections, or hormonal fluctuations. If a test comes back abnormal, another may be done or a more thorough evaluation of the vaginal area may be made using a colposcopy. During this evaluation, any unusual tissues may be sampled during a biopsy for further evaluation at a laboratory.

Are you due for a pap smear?

Contact the doctors of GYN Choices today in East Brunswick, NJ to learn more about this and other services offered at our facility located at 281 Summerhill Road. Call (732) 408-6182 today and get started taking charge of your reproductive health and wellness.

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