PAP SMEAR near me in San Antonio | Solv (2024)

A Pap smear is a commonly-used medical test that screens for cervical cancer in women.Knowing more about Pap smears and where to find one can help you prevent or detect cervical cancer early on so you can receive treatment.

Pap smear overview

A Pap smear is a cervical cancer screening test for women. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), this test involves collecting a sample of cells from the cervix and checking them for signs of cancer. Women with precancerous cells on their cervix can work with their doctors to prevent or treat cervical cancer. A Pap smear is also known as a Papanicolaou test or Pap smear test, adds the NLM.

Pap smear (Pap test): What to expect

The purpose of a Pap smear is to look for the presence of cervical cancer and precancerous cells in the cervix. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that precancers in the cervix are usually caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Pap tests are generally recommended for women between the ages of 21 and 65 years, adds the DHHS. Women should get a Pap smear every three to five years based on their age or as often as recommended by their healthcare providers.

A Pap test usually takes place during a pelvic exam or well-woman exam at your doctor’s office. According to the University of Utah, your doctor will usually ask you to remove your clothing from the waist down, lie on an exam table, and place your feet in stirrups. Then, your doctor will use a long cotton swab to collect a sample of cells from your cervix. Your cell sample will be sent to the lab where it is analyzed for signs of precancers and cervical cancer, noted the University of Utah.

Who needs a Pap smear?

The DHHS recommends a Pap smear for most women between the ages of 21 and 65 years. It suggests that women should still have regular Pap tests even if they are not sexually active, have had the HPV vaccine, or have already gone through menopause.

How often do you need a Pap smear?

If you are between the ages of 21 and 29, the DHHS recommends getting a Pap smear test once every three years. If you are between the ages of 30 and 65, you should have either a Pap smear once every three years or a Pap and HPV co-test once every five years, notes the DHHS.

The DHHS also recommends having a Pap test if you are older than 65 and have never been tested, or if you have not been tested since you turned 60.

How to prepare for a Pap smear

The NLM recommends against using tampons, having sex, douching, and using vagin*l creams or birth control foams two to three days before your Pap smear. It also recommends scheduling a Pap smear on a day that you are not having your period. Aside from taking these steps, no other preparation is needed for a Pap smear, according the the NLM.

What happens during a Pap smear?

First, your doctor will ask you to remove your clothing from the waist down and lie on an exam table. Then, according to the University of Utah, your doctor will open the walls of your vagin* using an instrument called a speculum, which provides your doctor with a clear view of your cervix.

Your doctor will then insert a long swab into your vagin* and gently swipe it against your cervix to collect a sample of cells. Your cell sample will be sent to a lab where it is observed and analyzed for the presence of precancerous cells and cervical cancer, states the University of Utah.

The NLM says a Pap smear causes little to no discomfort for most women, though some women may feel some pressure and mild discomfort that feels similar to menstrual cramps. It adds that some women may also experience some spotting or bleeding afterward, which is completely normal.

What do the results of a Pap smear mean?

Pap smear results can come back normal or abnormal. Notes the NLMl. Your doctor will contact you to discuss your results after they are ready.

Normal Pap smear

A normal Pap result means that the cells in your cervix were found to be normal and that no signs of precancers or cervical cancer were found, notes the NLM. Your doctor will usually recommend coming back in three to five years for another routine checkup.

Abnormal Pap smear

An abnormal Pap result means there were abnormalities detected in your cervical cell sample, reports the NLM. This does not necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. The NLM adds that your doctor may recommend follow-up testing or treatments that can prevent your cell abnormalities from developing into cancer.

How accurate are the results?

The NLM states that the Pap test is not 100% accurate, and that cervical cancer may be missed in a small number of cases. It also recommends making sure you avoid having this test while on your period, as blood can make results less accurate.

Does a Pap smear test for HPV?

According to DHHS, a Pap smear test does not check for the presence of HPV. However, it does check for the presence of abnormal cervical cells, which may be caused by HPV. The DHHS recommends having a routine HPV test if you are aged 30 years or older.

PAP SMEAR near me in San Antonio | Solv (2024)


What is the average cost of a Pap smear? ›

Procedure Details

On MDsave, the cost of a Pelvic Exam with Pap Smear ranges from $125 to $273. Those on high deductible health plans or without insurance can shop, compare prices and save. Read more about how MDsave works.

How much is a private Pap smear? ›

Cervical Smear (Screening) + 'High risk' HPV [Human Papilloma Virus] test£148
Cervical Smear (Screening) + 'Full' HPV [Human Papilloma Virus] test (low and high risk)£225
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Do you have to pay for a Pap smear? ›

The Cervical Screening Test is free for many eligible women aged 25 to 74. However, your doctor or health provider may charge a small fee.

How many minutes does a Pap smear take? ›

Pap Smear Procedure. It takes about 10-20 minutes for the whole exam, but only a few minutes for the actual Pap smear. The test is done in your doctor's office or clinic. You'll lie back on a table with your feet placed firmly in stirrups.

Will my insurance cover a Pap smear? ›

Per the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and private insurers are required to cover services, without copay, that are given an “A” or “B” grade. That means, under current law, if you have health insurance and you have a cervix, your cervical cancer screenings are covered.

Should I shave before Pap smear? ›

Do I need to shave or wax before my appointment? No, you don't need to shave or wax. However, if there's something going on with your skin, shaving or waxing will make it easier for your physician to evaluate the area.

Can you go without a Pap smear? ›

We want you to know that your Pap smear is a test that is far too important to skip and doing so means cervical precancerous changes may go undetected until they have reached an advanced stage or turned into cancer.

When not to have a smear test? ›

If you have had treatment for cancer

You do not need to have cervical screening if you had radiotherapy for: cervical cancer. bladder cancer. rectal cancer.

Do you get a Pap smear on your first visit? ›

Will I Have a Pap Smear? Typically, we don't perform Pap smears unless you're 21 or older. But if you've had some problems—such as heavy periods, pain or itching– we will need to check things out to determine the cause.

Can I do Pap smear on my own? ›

You can now self-collect your Cervical Screening Test or have it done by a doctor or nurse. A Cervical Screening Test is the best way that you can protect yourself against cervical cancer. The test looks for the presence of a virus called HPV (human papillomavirus), which causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.

Is Pap smear painful? ›

In general, a pap smear is painless. This is the same regardless of sexual and reproductive history. When the doctor introduces the vagin*l speculum device, it may cause a sensation of pressure in the pelvic area. The pap smear itself may cause slight pressure but is not supposed to cause pain.

How do you prepare for a Pap smear? ›

Avoid intercourse, douching, or using any vagin*l medicines or spermicidal foams, creams or jellies for two days before having a Pap smear, as these may wash away or obscure abnormal cells. Try not to schedule a Pap smear during your menstrual period. It's best to avoid this time of your cycle, if possible.

Can Pap smear detect STD? ›

Does a Pap smear detect STIs? A Pap smear can't detect STIs. To test for infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea, your healthcare provider takes a swab from your cervix. Blood tests can also identify certain STIs.

Do you shower before a Pap smear? ›

Do not use douche, bubble bath, or use vagin*l medicine for three days before Pap test. You may shower, but do not tub bathe 24 hours before the Pap test. Inform your clinician about additional medications/conditions that may interfere with an accurate test.

At what age should a woman get a Pap smear? ›

There is no need to screen younger than 21. If you are younger than 30, you can likely be tested for cervical cancer every 3 years if your Pap test results are normal. Starting at age 30, have a Pap test with an HPV test (co-test) every 5 years. This should be done until age 65.

At what age are Pap smears no longer necessary? ›

Starting at age 30, have a Pap test with an HPV test (co-test) every 5 years. This should be done until age 65.

Should I be charged for a Pap smear? ›

Your well woman visit itself should have been covered at no cost to you, as should have any of the following you might have received: screening for sexually transmitted infections, cervical cancer screening (pap smear), pelvic exam, and contraceptives and related counseling.

How often do you really need a Pap smear? ›

Women age 21 to 29 should have a Pap test alone every 3 years. HPV testing alone can be considered for women who are 25 to 29, but Pap tests are preferred. Women age 30 to 65 have three options for testing. They can have both a Pap test and an HPV test every 5 years.

How much does a Pap smear cost for HPV? ›

Test details in brief
Also Known AsHuman Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA Detector Test, Human Papillomavirus Test
PreparationDo not take any over-the-counter medicine without confirming with your Doctor.
FastingNo Fasting Required
Get ReportsWithin 5 days
HPV Test CostINR ₹1450
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