Getting a Pap smear isn’t exactly something every woman looks forward to. That’s why at the offices of Daniel S. Kushner, MD, we take pride in providing our patients with comprehensive Pap tests in a comfortable environment.
Sometimes called a Pap test, a Pap smear is a type of procedure that screens for cervical cancer. It specifically looks for abnormal, precancerous, and cancerous cells on your cervix. We strive to make the entire process as simple and stress-free as possible, and we aim to ensure that each of our patients understands the importance of regularly scheduling a Pap smear.
How often should you get a Pap smear?
While every individual is different, guidelines state that if you’re between the ages of 21 and 65, you should typically get a Pap smear every three years. However, if your Pap smears have come back with abnormal or concerning results, or if you’ve had cervical cancer in the past, the frequency may increase. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Depending on your personal medical history, it’s typically acceptable to stop getting Pap smears after age 65 or if you’ve had a hysterectomy.
Why are Pap smears so important?
Visiting Dr. Kushner for regular Pap smears ensures that you’re getting checked on a regular basis for cervical cancer. The tests look for abnormal cells on your cervix — these can indicate a problem is developing that may lead to cervical cancer if left untreated.
Pap smears were specifically designed to find cancer in its earliest stages, before its turned into full-blown cancer. This makes Pap smears one of the most reliable steps you can take to prevent cervical cancer.
Regularly getting Pap smears increases your chances of being able to successfully battle the disease if it develops, or avoid it altogether.
How should you prepare for a Pap smear?
When it comes to preparation for your Pap smear, there isn’t much you need to do. Substances within your vagina can cause your Pap smear to be less accurate, so it’s important to avoid douching and engaging in sexual intercourse a few days before your test. This helps to ensure accurate results. It’s also best to get a Pap smear done while not menstruating, as menstruation can also cause the test to be less accurate.
If you’re due for a Pap smear, or if you’re concerned about your overall vaginal health, call our office today or schedule an appointment online for a consultation with Dr. Kushner. We have convenient locations in White Plains and Queens, New York.