Pap Smear in New Jersey
Between the ages of 21 and 65, a woman should have a Pap Smear performed every 3 years. A Pap Smear, otherwise known as a Pap Test, is a screening procedure that tests for cervical cancer and STIs in women. This is an important test that should be performed regularly in order to monitor changes in the cells of a female’s reproductive organs. Doing so will spot changes that may be a sign of a serious problem including cervical cancer. This is especially vital in diagnosing those conditions that may not cause you to experience any symptoms.
Pap Smear Test in West Orange
During a Pap Smear, your doctor uses a device called a speculum to widen the vagina in order to get a better look into the cervix. By inserting a small spatula, your doctor will brush the inside of the cervix to retrieve a small cell sample. You can expect to feel a slight discomfort, but the procedure should not be painful.
The retrieved cell samples are then sent to a lab for testing. It can take about a week to hear back regarding your test results. Normal Pap results mean that your cells appear as they should. Abnormal Pap results mean that your cells do not look normal and require further testing. A colposcopy is another procedure that may be performed in which the cervix and vagina are examined in closer detail through a microscope and if necessary, a biopsy (tissue sample) may be retrieved and examined of the abnormal area.
These abnormal cells have the potential to turn into cervical cancer, which is closely linked to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US. Because it is so common and can lead to cervical cancer, it is recommended for females to protect themselves with the GARDASIL vaccine. GARDASIL helps protect females ages 9 to 26 against 2 types of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases.
Pap Smear results in NJ
Unfortunately, a Pap Smear does not detect any other sexually transmitted diseases or infections. In order to receive this kind of testing, request that your gynecologist performs either a urine or blood STD/STI test. A urine test looks for bacteria that can cause chlamydia, gonorrhea or UTIs. A blood test screens for others like syphilis, both forms of herpes, HIV, as well as hepatitis B and C.
Most bacterial and parasitic infections can be cured through antibiotics taken by mouth or applied as gels, and in more serious cases, by a series of injections. Viral infections cannot be cured, but treatment options are offered to help reduce symptoms.
If for any reason you suspect that you may have an STD/STI, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to undergo testing. Our friendly staff at Women First Health Center will be happy to answer any of your questions. Call our conveniently located West Orange office at (973) 669-5711.