Pap Smears

Pap Smears services offered in Bluffdale, UT

Pap Smears

Pap smears, sometimes called Pap tests, are a valuable tool for the early detection of many diseases. With early detection, conditions can be treated before they advance to more serious stages, making treatment more complicated. The skilled team of health care professionals at South Valley Women’s Health Care in Bluffdale, Utah, provide Pap Smears and other tests like labs and STD testing to keep patients healthy and at their best. Call the office to schedule a Pap test or request an appointment online today.

Pap Smears Q & A

What are Pap smears?

A Pap smear is a procedure used to examine cervical cells. For women, Pap Smears are an essential element of regular health checkups. 

During Pap smears, the doctor takes a sample of cervical cells. Samples are then observed under a microscope to look for any cell abnormalities.

A cervix biopsy needs to be taken and tested if specific abnormal cells are present to verify whether or not the cells are precancerous or indicative of cancer already present in the cervix or colon. With cervical cancer being the cause of death for women, having regular pap smears is a life-saving procedure.

What do Pap smears test for?

Pap smears are most widely known as an early detection exam for cervical cancer. If the sample reveals abnormalities, it’s sometimes a precursor to cancer. 

In women over age 30, Pap smears may be combined with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) — a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. An estimated 80% of women will be infected with at least one type of HPV.

The good news is 9 out of 10 cases of HPV are benign, do not show any symptoms, and go away on their own. However, some types of HPV can lead to more serious health problems, including genital warts and cervical cancer.

During pap smears at South Valley Women's Health Care, your doctor will also check if there is any inflammation present in the cervix, as this can indicate infection.

While the Pap test does not detect STDs, it allows your doctor to notice any visible symptoms of diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. Further testing can be done if recommended.

How often should you get Pap smears?

Healthy women between the ages of 21 and 65 should have a pap smear once every three years. If someone has had an abnormal result from a pap smear in the past, however, they will need to be tested more frequently. HPV testing can start at age 30.

You should also have pap smears more often if you have cervical cancer, are HIV positive, if your immune system has been compromised, or in certain other cases. Your doctor will tell you how often you should get pap smears if any of these circumstances apply.

Call South Valley Women's Health Care to learn more about Pap smears and schedule your visit. Or request an appointment online today, which is fast and convenient.