Pap Smear Specialist

Damon Cobb Ob/Gyn

Obstetrics and Gynecologist located in Poway, CA

A Pap smear or Pap test is a routine part of a women’s health exam that screens for abnormal cells in your cervix. At Damon Cobb OB/GYN in Poway, California, the skilled team of gynecologists performs Pap smears as part of your pelvic exam. This quick, painless test can detect the earliest signs of abnormal cell growth before they become cancerous and cause serious health complications. To schedule a preventive Pap test and pelvic exam, call the friendly office team or book online today.

Pap Smear Q & A

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer. It’s the only way to detect abnormal cell activity that may lead to cancer, so it’s an important part of your routine women’s health exam. During the procedure, your doctor at Damon Cobb OB/GYN uses a small brush, or spatula, to gently remove cells from your cervix.

It’s not a painful procedure, but you may feel some brief discomfort or pressure on your cervix. A lab technician examines the cells under a microscope for signs of abnormalities or cancer. A Pap smear can also help diagnose other conditions, such as infections or certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV).

When should I get a Pap test?

Typically, if you’re 21-65 years old, your doctor performs a Pap smear as part of your exam as follows:

  • Every three years for women 21-65 years old
  • Or, an HPV test every five years
  • Or, a Pap test and HPV test together every five years

You and your doctor can determine the best time frame for your individual needs for Pap or HPV testing based on your health history, age, and any other concerns, including risk factors like:

  • A diagnosis of cervical cancer
  • A history of Pap smears showing abnormal or precancerous cell growth
  • HIV
  • A weak immune system
  • History of smoking

It’s important to note that just because a Pap smear indicates abnormal cells, it doesn’t mean you have cancer, but it’s an essential test for keeping a close eye on your likelihood of developing a condition.

What can I expect during a Pap smear?

A Pap smear takes just a few minutes in the office as part of your pelvic exam. Using a small, flat spatula and a soft brush, your OB/GYN scrapes a small sample of tissue from the cervix. It usually doesn’t hurt, and you can resume your usual activities after your appointment.

If your Pap test indicates that you do have abnormal cells, it’s nothing to be alarmed about. The team of expert physicians at Damon Cobb OB/GYN can explain the results and the next appropriate course of action.

In many cases, the next step is simply to monitor cell growth and schedule a follow-up appointment. The team is also proficient in the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) to remove abnormal cells from your cervix.

If you have questions about a Pap test, or you’d like to schedule an exam, call the office today or use the online booking system anytime, day or night.