Pap Smear & Pelvic Exams: Why They Matter

It’s a fact. Gynecologic exams are necessary for maintaining a woman’s optimal health. But, if you’re like many women who feel fine most of the time, and whose menstrual cycles are normal, you may question the need for regular Pap smears and pelvic exams.

Certainly, as you age, your doctor may recommend that you get them less frequently, but do not stop getting them altogether. Why? Pap smears and pelvic exams can identify a disease or condition that doesn’t make you feel sick or out of sorts in any way. In fact, it may show no symptoms at all.

At Adriatica Women’s Health, helping you stay healthy throughout your life is our purpose. Ensuring that you get the proper screenings for your stage of life is part of that purpose, and an important focal point in practicing gynecology in McKinney, Texas.

Why a Pap smear is essential to your health

A Pap smear, or Pap test, can detect changes in the cells on your cervix. This test is considered one of the most reliable and effective cancer screenings. Here are some crucial problems a Pap smear can detect:

  • Precancerous changes on the cervix that can be treated before cancer develops.
  • Cancer in its early stages, when it’s most treatable.
  • Non-cancerous infections or inflammations.
  • The human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus that causes approximately 99 percent of cervical cancers.

The screening is performed by your doctor, who uses a small plastic spatula and brush to collect cells from the cervix. The cells are then examined under a microscope in a laboratory to look for any abnormalities, which, when detected early, can most often be successfully treated.

The purpose of pelvic exams

Pelvic exams are different than Pap tests. During a pelvic exam, your doctor will examine you by touch; looking for medical problems in your pelvis, vagina and your “pelvic floor”—the area your hip bones encompass. Your doctor will also check the size, shape and position of the uterus and ovaries and feel for any lumps or cysts. The rectum may also be checked for lumps or abnormal areas. Most healthcare providers will tell you what to expect at each step of the exam, so you will be at ease. If they don’t, ask!

Complete, compassionate women’s healthcare in McKinney

From gynecology to complete well-woman care, the team at Adriatica Women’s Health is here for you. We are proud to be an all-woman group of board-certified physicians known for our supportive, personalized bedside manner. We strive to provide you the kind of care we expect for ourselves. After all, we are moms, wives, sisters and aunts, too, and we know how many people are counting on you to stay healthy!

Let us help you get on the proper gynecological exam schedule for your individual needs. To schedule an initial consultation, call 855-398-5962, or use our easy online form to book your appointment today.