Pap Smear & Gynecological Exam

Overview

Preventive Care for Women’s Health

Aurora Health Care gynecologists offer the preventive services you need to stay healthy — now and for the rest of your life. When your needs go beyond screening and prevention, you can count on us for comprehensive care, including:

Gynecological Exams

Yearly Gynecological Examination

Getting a routine gynecological exam is one of the best ways to protect your health. During the exam, your doctor may provide vaccinations, perform a gynecological cancer screening, as well as provide education about staying healthy. They’ll also answer any questions you may have about gynecological issues, reproduction, fertility questions, menstruation and menopause.

Routine gynecological exams may include testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and other tests such as:

  • Pap smear: This test detects abnormalities that can lead to cervical cancer.
  • Breast exams: Your health professional performs a physical examination of your breasts to check for lumps.
  • Pelvic Exam: Examine the vagina and cervix to ensure organs are healthy.

An annual examination and screening usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete. A little time goes a long way toward preventing future fertility issues or cancer.

Pap Smear

Pap Smear Screening

During a Pap smear, your doctor will insert a small plastic spatula or brush into the vagina to collect cervical cells for testing. A Pap smear can help detect infections, abnormalities and precancerous cells that can lead to cervical cancer. You may experience mild discomfort when the doctor collects cells during the screening test.

While you should have a gynecological examination every year, the American Cancer Society, American College of OBGYN and other national organizations recommend that:

  • Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a Pap smear every three years.
  • Women from 30 to 64 should get a Pap smear and an HPV (human papillomavirus) test every five years.
  • If you're 65 or older, you should ask your doctor if you need to continue Pap smear screenings.

Some women may need to get Pap smears more frequently. If you have had abnormal Pap smears in the past, or have HPV, precancerous cells or cervical cancer, talk to your doctor about getting tested more frequently.

Specialty Care

Your gynecologist may recommend additional testing after your gynecological exam or if you have an abnormal Pap smear. These tests could include:

When you need it, you can find specialized women’s care at:

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