Pap Smear Specialist

Reno Tahoe Women's Health

Board Certified OBGYNs located in Reno, NV

A Pap smear can detect signs of cervical cancer, so you can get treated and prevent serious complications. At Reno Tahoe Women's Health in Reno, Nevada, Arathi Veeraswamy, MD, and Brooke Maclennan, CNM, complete Pap tests during routine gynecological exams to optimize women’s health, catch cancer early, and prevent it from spreading. Schedule a women’s wellness exam over the phone or online today.

Pap Smear Q & A

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear is a diagnostic test that screens you for cervical cancer. Detecting the disease early prevents it from worsening or spreading, and can even save your life. Cervical cancer is highly treatable when detected in its early stage.

What should I expect during a Pap smear?

Your Reno Tahoe Women’s Health provider can complete a Pap smear with a routine gynecological exam. After a review of your gynecological and health history, you lie down on a comfortable exam table and place your feet in stirrups. Your provider inserts a speculum into your vagina and scrapes a sample of cervical cells to send to a lab for analysis. 

The procedure is fast and painless, though you may feel slight pressure during speculum insertion. 

Who should have a Pap smear?

Your Reno Tahoe Women’s Health provider recommends a Pap smear every 3-5 years if you’re between the ages of 21 and 65. 

Your provider may perform a Pap smear more frequently if you have certain risk factors, including:

  • A history of smoking
  • A weak immune system
  • HIV infection
  • Past diagnosis of abnormal Pap tests or cervical cancer
  • Exposure to diethylstilbestrol before birth

Everybody is different, and so is your personalized Pap smear schedule. Your Reno Tahoe Women’s Health provider will customize your screening frequency according to your unique needs.

What do my results mean?

If your Pap smear results are normal, no further treatment is required. If the test yields an abnormal result, your Reno Tahoe Women’s Health provider might recommend a colposcopy, which is a procedure in which they examine cervical and other tissues using a magnifying glass-type instrument called a colposcope. They may take a biopsy, too.

Your provider might recommend completing a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) to remove abnormal cells and prevent them from turning into cancer or spreading to other areas of your body.

Every woman is different, which is why your doctor personalizes each routine women’s health exam based on your health and risk factors. Schedule an appointment with Reno Tahoe Women’s Health over the phone or online today.