Routine Pap tests at Dakota Women’s Clinic are one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer. OB/GYN Michael Krause, DO and physician assistant Michele Peitz provide Pap tests for women in and around Mitchell, South Dakota. If you need a Pap test or treatment for an abnormal Pap test, call Dakota Women’s Clinic or book an appointment online today.
Pap tests, sometimes called Pap smears, are simple procedures that play a critical role in maintaining good reproductive health. The test involves collecting a small sample of cells from your cervix to screen for signs of cervical cancer.
During a Pap test, Dr. Krause or Michele gently inserts a speculum into your vagina and swabs the surface of your cervix to obtain a cell sample. The entire procedure only takes a few minutes and doesn’t cause pain, although you may experience minor discomfort. Relaxing with deep breaths can make the process easier.
Then, they send the sample to a lab that checks your cells for any abnormal changes that may become cancerous.
Women aged 21-65 should get a Pap test once every three years. If you’ve had a recent abnormal Pap test, Dr. Krause or Michele may recommend more frequent testing after reviewing your medical history.
Dr. Krause and Michele get your results back from the lab a few days after your test. If they’re negative, that’s a good sign. Negative results mean there are no abnormal changes to the cells in your cervix.
Positive results mean some of your cervical cells show unusual changes. This doesn’t mean you have cancer, but Dr. Krause may recommend further testing and treatment.
If you have an abnormal Pap test, the next step is usually a colposcopy. During this procedure, Dr. Krause visually examines your cervix and vagina with a colposcope, a specialized magnifying instrument.
If he sees unusual tissue, Dr. Krause may take a small biopsy from the affected area. He sends this biopsy to a lab for further diagnostic testing.
Depending on the results of your biopsy, Dr. Krause may suggest removing the abnormal tissue with a LEEP procedure. LEEP stands for Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. It may sound scary, but it causes minimal discomfort and can prevent you from getting cervical cancer.
For Pap tests and preventive care from compassionate professionals, call Dakota Women’s Clinic or book an appointment online today.