As a woman, you know that you need to take steps to protect your body, and a Pap smear is one of the best things you can do to guard your health. You don’t need to schedule a separate appointment at a gynecologist to get this preventive procedure, either. Sophia Rahman, MD, offers Pap smears at her office in Stonewood Park in Plano, Texas. Call the office or schedule your appointment online.
Also called a Pap test, this quick procedure is done during your regular gynecologic exam and is a tool Dr. Rahman uses to detect cervical cancer. And because cervical cancer can develop without causing any symptoms in your body, regularly getting a Pap smear is an important step in protecting your reproductive and overall health.
Whether you’re due for your first Pap smear or you’ve been getting one for years but don’t know how your doctor uses the results, it’s helpful to understand this preventive measure.
To do your Pap smear, Dr. Rahman inserts a speculum into your vagina to open it enough to collect a small sample of cells from your cervix. The entire process should be painless, although some women report that they feel discomfort from the pressure of the speculum. Dr. Rahman talks with you about what to expect before she starts your exam and works with you during the process to ensure you’re comfortable and relaxed. The entire process takes just a few minutes.
Dr. Rahman then sends the cervical sample to her in-house lab where the cells are checked for any signs of cancer or precancerous characteristics. If any cell abnormalities are detected, she talks with you about your next steps. Catching any issues early with this screening ensures you start treatment as early as possible when it will be most effective.
Generally, medical professionals recommend that women start getting Pap smears at age 21. If you’re a young adult woman, talk with Dr. Rahman about your family health history and your lifestyle choices. Together, you can decide when it’s right for you to start this screening.
If your Pap smear comes back normal and you don’t have a family history of cervical cancer, you won’t need another one for another three years, because cervical cancer develops slowly. But if cervical cancer runs in your family or you have other risk factors, Dr. Rahman may recommend more regular Pap smears to be proactive about keeping you healthy. Either way, she monitors your records to ensure you get this screening as frequently as is needed to protect your cervical health.
If you’re due for a Pap smear or have questions about this process, don’t hesitate to contact Sophia Rahman, MD. Call her office or book your appointment online.