Desert Hills Care Center
Board Certified Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Southwest Las Vegas, NV
Thanks to screening methods like the Pap smear, the prevalence of cervical cancer in the United States is more than 50% lower now than it was 30 years ago. Helard Ballon-Hennings MD, FACOG, and the Desert Hills Care Center team offer Pap smears at their office in Las Vegas, Nevada. To take the first step toward preventing cervical cancer, schedule your Pap smear by calling Desert Hills Care Center or booking online today.
Pap Smear Q & A
What is a Pap smear?
A Pap smear is a way for your OB/GYN to screen for abnormal changes to the cells on your cervix, which is the lower part of your uterus that’s visible at the top of your vagina. If left untreated, abnormal cervical cells may develop into cancer.
Why do I need a Pap smear?
Pap smears are an essential part of cervical cancer screening, and they may often occur during your annual wellness exam. Early detection of cervical cancer gives you the strongest chance of beating this disease.
Additionally, Pap smears can reveal abnormal cervical cells before they become cancer. Removing precancerous cells prevents cervical cancer in more than 95% of cases.
How often do I need to get Pap smears?
Most women aged 21-65 need routine Pap smears as part of their preventive health care. Experts recommend women aged 21-29 get the test every three years. Women ages 30-65 may continue to get a Pap smear alone every three years, or a Pap smear combined with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years.
Dr. Ballon-Hennings may recommend more frequent Pap smears if you have certain risk factors for cervical cancer, such as a recent history of abnormal Pap smear results. If you’re older than 65 or don’t have a cervix due to a surgical procedure, talk to your provider about whether you need to continue getting Pap smears.
What should I expect from a Pap smear?
It’s common to feel nervous about a Pap smear, but the more you relax, the easier it will be. The entire process only takes a few minutes and most women find it painless.
Dr. Ballon-Hennings performs a Pap smear during your pelvic exam. You lay on the exam table with your feet elevated in support stirrups as Dr. Ballon-Hennings explains each step so you know what to expect. You may feel some pressure as he inserts the speculum to expand your vaginal walls and view your cervix.
Then, Dr. Ballon-Hennings quickly swabs your cervix to collect cells and removes the speculum. He sends the cell sample to a lab for analysis. Desert Hills Care Center calls you with the results within a few weeks.
Normal results mean you don’t have to do anything until your next scheduled Pap smear. Abnormal results don’t mean you have cancer, but Dr. Ballon-Hennings may ask you to come in for additional tests, like a colposcopy.
To schedule your Pap smear, call Desert Hills Care Center, or book an appointment online today.