A Pap smear is a test for women to determine if you’re at risk of developing cervical cancer. Ernestina Agresti, DO, and Linda Agresti, DO, are highly trained primary care physicians at Sierra Rose Family Physicians Medical Group, Inc., in Roseville, California, who perform Pap smears for the detection of abnormal cervical cells. Call the office and speak with a friendly team member today to schedule your Pap smear.

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What is a Pap smear?

At Sierra Rose Family Physicians Medical Group, Inc., your doctor performs Pap smears to test for cervical cancer. The test checks your cervix for abnormal cells.

Abnormal cells can turn into cervical cancer. The good news is that cervical cancer can usually be prevented. That’s why women should get a Pap smear as it’s an essential tool in your cancer detection and prevention.

Who needs a Pap smear?

To prevent cervical cancer, Pap smears are typically recommended for women who are within three years of becoming sexually active, or you should start getting them at 21 years old. The test is usually part of a pelvic exam and is advised every three years.

If you have risk factors that require more attention, your doctor might want to perform a Pap smear yearly.

Reasons for having Pap smears more frequently include:

  • Previous Pap smear showing precancerous cells
  • History of cervical cancer
  • Weakened immune system
  • HIV infection
  • History of smoking

Pap smears are no longer needed once you turn 65 years old or if you’ve had a complete hysterectomy.

What happens during a Pap smear?

Before your procedure begins, your doctor at Sierra Rose Family Physicians Medical Group, Inc., gives you the opportunity to ask questions. If you’ve noticed any changes in your body, provide that information, as well.

Once you’re ready for your exam, your doctor leaves the room to give you a few minutes to remove your clothes and put on a gown provided for you. When your doctor comes back into the room, you lie down on an exam table with your feet comfortably resting on footrests that are level with the table.

Your doctor inserts a speculum into your vagina, which is an instrument that opens your vaginal walls, making your cervix visible. Your doctor then uses a tool to take cells from the inside and surface of your cervix. Those cells are placed on a slide and sent to a lab for testing.

A Pap smear can be slightly uncomfortable, but it’s relatively painless and only takes a few minutes. Once your results are ready, your doctor notifies you. If your cells appear abnormal, you might be asked to repeat the test.

To schedule your Pap smear at Sierra Rose Family Physicians Medical Group, Inc., call the office today or use the online booking tool.