According to the Centers for Disease Control, cervical cancer was the leading cause of death in United States women until the advent of the Pap smear about 40 years ago. Dr. Joan Hazel Calinisan, or Dr. Nerissa C. Safie -- expert gynecologists at Trinity Women’s Health -- use the fast and simple Pap smear and HPV testing to detect early changes in your cervix that could be a sign of cancer. If you live in Murrieta, California or the surrounding areas, preserve your health by getting a regular Pap smear at Trinity Women’s Health Center. Set up your appointment online today or call the warm, friendly, all-female Trinity team.
A Pap smear is a test that your Trinity OB/GYN performs to detect precancerous changes on your cervix. Regular Pap smears, also known as Pap tests, should be part of your well-woman self-care routine.
Cervical cancer is cancer on your cervix, which is the portion of your uterus that extends into and opens onto your vagina. In 2014, 12,578 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 4,115 women died from it, according to the CDC.
Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). You can contract HPV during sexual intercourse or even during intimate skin-to-skin contact with a partner who has HPV.
You can reduce your risk for HPV infection by wearing a condom whenever you have sex and by avoiding sex with people who’ve had multiple sexual partners. If you’re between the ages of 9 and 26, you can also get an HPV vaccine.
While you recline on the exam table with your feet in the stirrups, Dr. Calinisan, or Dr. Safie inserts an instrument called a speculum into your vagina so she can examine your cervix. She takes a swab of the cells on your cervix. She then sends the sampled cells to a laboratory for evaluation.
If your Pap smear comes back negative, that means you don’t have cancer. However, if your first test is positive, you shouldn’t panic. You may have inflammation that antibiotics can clear up
If your Pap smear shows changes that are moderate to severe, your doctor may recommend further tests. There can be treatment to prevent precancerous cells from developing into cervical cancer.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that you get your first Pap smear at age 21. After that, you should have a Pap smear every three years. At age 65, you may be able to stop screening, depending on your history.
Don’t take the risk of developing cervical cancer. Use protection during sex and get a Pap smear as part of your exam at Trinity Women’s Health. Call or book a Pap smear appointment online.