Pap Smears/HPV Testing and Vaccinations
The Pap smear is a test Dr. Unterseher performs at the time of a pelvic examination to screen for abnormal cells from your cervix that could lead to cancer. A woman who keeps up with current Pap smear guidelines reduces her risk of dying of cervical cancer tremendously.
Pap smear guidelines have changed over the past several years and in the past it was recommended to have a Pap smear every year. Current Pap smear guidelines recommend that you get your first Pap at age 21 and have a Pap smear every three years. Women between ages 30 and 65 should continue to have a Pap smear every three years or if they have a Pap smear that includes a test for the HPV virus, (Co-testing) they could have a Pap smear as infrequent as every five years.
To obtain a Pap smear Dr. Unterseher will place a speculum into the vagina in order to see your cervix and then use a brush to sample cells from the surface of the cervix. HPV testing can be performed on the Pap smear. HPV testing is helpful in deciding whether a slightly abnormal Pap smear truly needs further investigation such as a cervical biopsy procedure. Most cervical cancers are caused by getting an infection with a high-risk HPV virus. Other HPV viruses can cause genital warts.
Fortunately, there are vaccines available that can protect you against the highest risk HPV viruses associated with cervical cancer as well as the HPV viruses associated with genital warts. If you are interested in more information regarding Pap smears, HPV testing and vaccination, call the caring staff at Esplanade Women’s Care under the direction of Dr. Raleigh Unterseher.
Don’t wait – call us today at (530) 332-9288 to schedule your confidential consultation.