Pap Smears in San Antonio, TX
A Pap test is a test that is done in order to check your cervix for any cells that are not normal. If abnormal cervical cells are not found and treated, it can lead to cervical cancer. A Pap test can save your life by being able to find cervical cancer cells early. The chance of successful treatment of cervical cancer is very high if the disease is caught early. Pap tests can also find abnormal cervical cells before they become cancer (precancers). Removing these precancers prevents cervical cancer.
Who Should Have a Pap Smear?
Most women who are between the ages of 21 to 65 years old should have a Pap smear completed as part of routine health care. Even if you are not currently sexually active, got the HPV vaccine, or have gone through menopause, you should still have a regular Pap test.
- Women aged 21–29 should have a Pap test every 3 years
- Women aged 30–65 should have a Pap test every 3 years, or an HPV test every 5 years, or a Pap and HPV test together (co-testing) every 5 years
- Women who are older than 65 should have a Pap test if they have never been tested, or if they have not been tested after age 60
What Happens During a Pap Test?
A Pap test usually takes just a couple minutes to complete. A tool called a speculum will be inserted into your vagina and will open it in order to be able to see your cervix. a small brush or spatula is then used to gently remove cells from the cervix so they can be checked under a microscope for cervical cancer or cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer. A Pap smear may also help find other conditions, such as infections or inflammation.