Pap Smear Specialist
Some women may choose to forego yearly Pap smears but the healthcare specialists at Embry Women’s Health in Mesa, Arizona consider it a valuable screening tool for detecting changes that may signal the future development of cervical cancer. Call to schedule an appointment for your annual physical and an in-depth discussion regarding preventive health measures such as the Pap smear.
Pap Smear Q&A
Why get a Pap smear?
The Pap smear is a simple, painless test that can screen for changes in your cervical tissue that may eventually lead to cervical cancer. Most Pap smears come out perfectly normal. An abnormal Pap smear gives your practitioner reason to monitor your cervical health more closely for a time, which gives her the opportunity to treat the underlying problem long before cancer becomes an issue. Most precancerous issues are easily treated when noted early.
What’s the test like?
It takes just a few minutes to complete and is typically part of your pelvic exam. The nurse practitioners at Embry Women’s Health understand what it’s like to have the test and spend the time it takes to make you feel comfortable, whether it’s your first or 21st exam. You’ll lie back on a padded exam table with your feet in stirrups. The practitioner will use a speculum to open your vagina so that she can have a better view of your cervix. She’ll then take a swab of the cervical tissue and send it off for analysis. It’s generally recommended you avoid douching or sexual intercourse 2-3 days before the Pap smear because foreign substances in the vagina can interfere with the accuracy of a Pap smear.
How often do I need one?
Your medical history, current health concerns, and age all play a role in determining how frequently you should have a Pap smear. Many healthcare providers recommend you have your first pap smear when you become sexually active or by age 21. After that, every 2 years is the normal recommendation, but that differs if you’ve ever had an abnormal Pap smear. In that case, your healthcare provider may want to see you back every 4-6 months until she’s sure the problem has cleared.
What if my Pap smear is abnormal?
If your Pap test remains abnormal after a second test, or the first results are concerning due to the type of abnormality noted, your practitioner may do further testing with colposcopy, a painless test that uses a tiny camera inserted into the vagina and up to the cervix that allows her to get a closer look at the cervical tissue. She’ll also take a tissue sample for biopsy at this time to discover more about the abnormal cells discovered during a biopsy.
Embry Women’s Health is committed to providing quality, affordable health care. We’re in-network with all major insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare. No insurance? No problem. We offer a simple fee schedule for those who wish to pay out-of-pocket. Click the button below for our complete list and more information:
Words from our patients
JoEllen is AMAZING! Not only is she professional- she makes your whole experience comfortable. If you’re looking for a professional that never judges your situation and treats you very well- I would definitely recommend this office!
5 Stars – Yelp
It is refreshing to meet a practitioner who sees the whole patient and not just a series of symptoms. JoEllen is willing to spend the time to ask questions and really listen to the responses. I have seen JoEllen several times and I have always appreciated how much time she spends with each appointment and her pragmatic approach with solutions. I feel like my health drives the appointment and not the schedule. Finding JoEllen’s practice was like finding a needle in a haystack, a caring practitioner who encourages patients to listen to their bodies and to be their own best advocate.
5 Stars – 10/11/2018
Friendly staff. JoEllen is incredibly kind, patient and answers all of my questions whenever I see her. I don’t feel like I am being rushed when I am there, it is very nice.
5 Stars – 10/4/2018
I went in as a new patient just for an annual exam and Dr. Barbara Lockwood was so professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. She made sure to answer any and every question I had and she made sure I understood everything I needed to know. I have been to some offices in the past where you feel judged but she was so kind and made me feel so comfortable talking to her! I will be moving away soon but I might just have to make the drive back to see her next year!
5 Stars – 10/4/2018
“I started seeing Joellen earlier this year and I have had nothing but good experiences every time I have gone back. She is very down to earth and listens to any concerns. I would highly recommend Embry Womens Health.”
5 stars – 09/28/2018