Pap Smear Specialist

Southern Connecticut Women's Health Care Associates -  - OB-GYN

Southern Connecticut Women's Health Care Associates

OB-GYNs located in Milford, CT & Westport, CT

Women caring for women is a central theme at Southern Connecticut Women's Health Care Associates located in Milford and Westport, Connecticut. Our obstetricians and gynecologists diagnose, treat, and put proper care into all aspect of a woman's life that may be affecting their health. A pap smear (also called a pap test) is a screening procedure for cervical cancer. It tests for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus. During the procedure, cells from your cervix are gently scraped away and then examined for abnormal growth.

Pap Smear Q & A

Why is a Pap Smear Test Necessary?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that causes warts. There are over 100 different types of HPV. There are 40 that are sexually transmitted. The primary causes of cervical cancer are HPV types 16 and 18. Even though a pap smear doesn’t test for HPV, it identifies cellular changes caused by the virus. By detecting cervical cancer cells early with a pap smear, treatment can start before it spreads and becomes a bigger problem. You can get HPV from sex with men or women. All sexually active women are at risk of contracting HPV.  

Does Having a Pap Smear Hurt?

The bad news is pap smears can be a bit uncomfortable. The good news is that they’re very quick.  During the procedure, you’ll lie on your back on an examination table with your legs spread and your feet resting in supports called stirrups. Your doctor will slowly insert a device called a speculum into your vagina to keep the vaginal walls open and provide access to the cervix. Then your doctor will scrape a small sample of cells from your cervix using a tool called a spatula. Most women feel a slight push and irritation during the brief scraping.

The sample of cells from your cervix will be preserved and sent to a lab to be tested for the presence of abnormal cells.

After the test, you might feel mild discomfort from the scraping, or a bit of cramping. You could also experience very light vaginal bleeding immediately following the test. Tell your doctor if discomfort or bleeding continues after the day of the test.

Our doctors provide the utmost quality care to ensure every patient's comfort at Southern Connecticut Women's Health Care Associates.

How Long Does it Take to Have a Pap Smear?

Typically, a pap smear test takes only a few minutes. Expect for the entire procedure to be over in less than ten minutes.

How Often Should I Get a Pap Smear?

Most women ages 21 to 65 should get pap tests as part of routine health care. Even if you are not currently sexually active, you should still have a pap test. Women who have gone through menopause (when a woman's periods stop) and are younger than 65 still need regular pap tests. Women who do not have a cervix (usually because of a hysterectomy), and who also do not have a history of cervical cancer or abnormal pap results, do not need pap tests.

Can I Have a Pap Smear While Pregnant?

A pap smear is part of the entire prenatal program. The reason for this is to test for STDs that may harm your baby, and to look for signs of HPV and cervical cancer. Pap smear tests are safe for pregnant women. The results of the test, if positive for an STD or HPV, allow your doctor to customize a plan of care that takes into account your baby's health. This, in turn, allows you and your doctor to determine the best way to treat your condition while keeping your baby safe from STDs and from treatment.


If you do not see your insurance listed here, please call our office to find out if we accept your insurance.

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