pap smear

Routine Exams and Pap Smear

An annual or routine exam for women involves a complete breast exam and collection of Pap smear. Unless you have a medical problem, these exams should start three years after you first have vaginal intercourse or when you turn 21 — whichever comes first.

A pelvic exam is required in order to obtain the Pap smear screening. During a pelvic exam, your health care provider examines your pelvic area. It includes your vulva and your internal reproductive organs — your cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and vagina.

During your pelvic exam, your provider will look for signs of infection and other conditions. It will most likely include taking a few cells from your cervix for a Pap test. This is to protect you from cervical cancer. Detecting problems early can help you get the treatment you need to keep healthy.

The pelvic exam is a very important part of a woman's periodic gynecological visit — also called a gyn exam. Gynecology is health care for women. A gyn exam checks out a woman's health — especially her sexual and reproductive health. It may include:

  • taking your medical history
  • a general physical exam
  • a breast exam
  • tests for sexually transmitted infections
  • a pelvic exam
  • vaccinations
  • talking with your health care provider and learning about any issues that come up during the visit

If you are interested in having a routine exam, please contact us.

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