An urgent care pap smear center is one of the places where women can get a pap test. And if you’re wondering if you need this screening since you have no family history of cancer, yes, you do. Stick around as we enlighten you with the pap smear procedure, cost, and benefits of this test.
What is a Pap Test?
It’s an exam that an OB/GYN performs on a woman’s cervix to test precancerous cells or cervical cancer. Doctors recommend women from 21 years and over get screened even if they are not sexually active.
Most people say it can be a little uncomfortable, but this procedure only takes a few minutes, which is bearable. So, what can you expect?
Pap Smear Procedure
Before going for urgent care pap smear test, you must consider a few preparations.
- Ensure you’re not on your periods on the scheduled day.
- Skip douching or using forms into your vagina.
- Avoid sexual intercourse
Since a pap test is super quick, you can have it done in a doctor’s office. After a short conversation with your doctor, explaining what to expect, he will advise you to lie on the table. And he will place your feet in stirrups to ensure they are firmly in position.
With your legs apart, he will insert a (plastic/metal) speculum into your vagina to widen the vaginal walls for easy access to the cervix.
Now, your doctor will take a sample of cells using a swab from your cervix. Then, the sample is collected into a small jar containing a liquid substance and sent to a lab for analysis.
After your pap test, you don’t get the results immediately, but you have to wait for a few days. The urgent care pap smear center will call you for your outcome. And this can either be:
You can be over the moon when a medical provider mentions that your test results came negative. Why? Because it means they didn’t find precancerous or cancerous cells on your cervix. Your doctor will recommend your next test after three years.
If your results are not negative, they must be positive. What does this mean to a person? Should they panic, and does it mean they have cancer? No, they should be calm. Several reasons could suggest these abnormal results include:
- HPV or other infection
- Cancer or pre-cancer
- Lab test error
- Mild inflammation can happen if a person has had sex before a pap test.
A doctor may suggest you have a repeat test after a month to check if the test had an error.
Healthcare providers can also perform HPV and Pap tests for women 30 years and above. Human papillomavirus affects about 79 million Americans. And this test checks for the HPV virus that primarily causes cervical cancer. But only some types of HPV cause cancer.
If the results are unclear, it may suggest a sign of infection. But if it’s normal and the pap smear test is the same, then you’re safe. You can have your following schedule for these two results after five years.
How Often Do you Need A Pap Test?
After urgent care pap smear results, your doctor will advise your next appointment. But factors he will consider are your health history, your previous pap test and HPV test, and your age. Generally, if a person has consistently shown negative results, she can stop these tests after age 65.
Advantages of Pap Smear Test
- A pap smear done early can detect any changes in cervical cells before turning into cancer.
- Finding cancer early on can help the doctor mitigate it if a person already has cancer. So, there might be a chance of treating it.
We hope you now understand why you need to go for an urgent care pap smear test. It’s a lifesaving tool for cervical cancer, as it can detect abnormal cells in your cervix, and a doctor can address them before becoming cancerous. Every woman needs to have this test as there will be no symptoms of this illness. As soon as you celebrate your 21st birthday, please talk to your OB/GYN.