Leavitt Women’s Healthcare

Pap Smear Specialist

The medical practitioners at Leavitt Women’s Healthcare in Idaho Falls, Idaho provide Pap smears to women from throughout southeastern Idaho.

Pap Smear Q & A

  • What is a Pap Smear?  
    • Pap smears are routine medical screenings for abnormal cells on the cervix. During a pelvic exam, the doctor gently takes a small sample of cells from the cervix during, which is then sent for screening for any abnormal, cancerous, or precancerous cells. This exam is part of the annual wellness exam that many women undertake with their OB/GYN, although most women of childbearing age only need to have a Pap smear once every 3 years. The doctors at Leavitt Women’s Healthcare understand that this process may be uncomfortable or embarrassing for some patients. The practice is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable environment in which women can obtain their necessary medical care.
  • Why Do I Need a Pap Smear?  
    • A Pap smear is the most effective way to screen for cervical cancer in its early stages. In addition to the cancer screening completed with a Pap smear, women are often also tested for The Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a family of viruses that is common and can lead to the development of cervical cancer. Since most sexually active adults carry some strain of HPV, it is crucial to monitor cervical health so that any abnormal cells are identified and treated in the earliest possible stages.
  • How are Abnormal Pap Smear Results Treated?  
    • If a woman’s Pap smear reveals abnormal cells, she will have a consultation with her doctor. Depending on what condition is identified, treatment may be as simple as prescription antibiotics or an anti-inflammatory medication. If the doctor needs more information about the test results, he or she may order a biopsy to collect a larger sample of cells for a more detailed diagnosis. If a condition is caught in its early stages, treatment is often quick and effective. In other cases, if later-stage cancer is discovered, the patient may require surgery to remove the cancerous cells or the cervix and uterus. While abnormal Pap smear results can be stressful, the doctors at Leavitt Women’s Healthcare have many years of experience in preserving and protecting the health of their patients.