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Gynecological (OB/GYN) & PAP Smears

What Is A Pap Smear Test?

What Is A Pap Smear Test?

Having a Pap can be a lifesaver because it allows doctors to screen for cervical cancer, a deadly disease. A Pap smear test is reproductive system care meant for preventive purposes. The test works by detecting abnormal cells from a cervical sample that is collected or extracted by a gynecologist. It is typically used to screen cervical cancer. A Pap smear test is done by an OB GYN to check for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells that are usually abnormal in the cervix. During a Pap smear test, doctors from North hills urgent care also check for human papillomavirus in the sample. HPV is usually the main culprit when it comes to causes of cervical cancer. Patients who get an unclear or abnormal Pap smear Panorama results may be a sign of cancer, an infection, or another health issue. A north hills pap smear test is crucial because it makes it easier for doctors to detect abnormal cells in the cervix that can potentially develop into cancerous cells in the future. A Pap smear test should be done together with an HPV test that helps detect the human papillomavirus that often causes cervical cancer.

Providers also conduct HPV tests along with pap tests. If the Pap smear Panorama result turns out to be abnormal or unclear, it may indicate an infection, cancer, or another health issue. These tests may also help you detect other health conditions, such as inflammation or disorders. Sometimes a pap smear test may be done with a pelvic exam or certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). A pap smear test is sometimes called the Papanicolaou test or Pap test.

Reasons For Getting A Pap Smear Test

Pelvic exams are often performed together with the Pap tests. If you have reached 30 years, you should get the north hills pap smear test and the human papillomavirus at the same time. The HPV virus is usually transferred via sexual intercourse and may cause cervical cancer in women. Both the patient and the doctor have to agree on when to perform a Pap smear test and how often it should be done. The appropriate age to start going for Pap smear tests is when a girl reaches the age of 21 years. Once you have started going for Pap tests, you can return for routine tests at least once every 2 to 3 years.
When you hit 30, the testing interval widens to once every 3 to 5 years. Pap tests should be done with the HPV tests once a woman clocks 30. You may need to go for Pap tests more frequently if certain risk factors cause cervical cancer. Factors that may increase the probability of getting cervical cancer include:

  • A previous diagnosis that revealed the presence of precancerous cells or cancer of the cervix
  • If the patient has HIV infections
  • If a person has a weakened immune system due to overuse of chemotherapy or corticosteroid drugs, or organ transplant surgery
  • When a person is exposed to Des – diethylstilbestrol before birth
Reasons For Getting A Pap Smear Test


If a person is diagnosed with HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the body undergoes various changes that often affect the formation of cells in the uterine walls of the cervix. The presence of HIV in the system also makes the body prone to various infections due to a lowered defense system. These infections usually attack the body's reproductive system. Therefore, it is important to get an urgent care Pap smear test because it helps the patient maintain good health of the vagina and cervical tissues even as the patient continues to take medication.

Cancer Remission

Cancer Remission

Patients who had Pap smear tests and cancerous cells were detected that later became full of stage cancer must focus on their recovery and ensure it is progressive. This helps to eliminate the cancerous cells. If this is the case, the affected needs to increase the Pap routine visits. The doctors will monitor the progression of the treatment and if the cells are reducing as expected. Suppose there are no changes. The doctor will have to increase the dosage or switch to another treatment medication entirely.

Weak Immune System

Weak Immune System

Sometimes, the immune system may be compromised if the patient has preexisting health conditions. This makes the body vulnerable to various kinds of infections, including an attack by abnormal cells directed to cervical tissues. Intense chemotherapy sessions or HIV in the body may weaken the immune system. Occasionally, genetics are the main culprits of a weakened immune system. It is recommended that you schedule an appointment with a gynecologist who will arrange or schedule a Pap smear test. This will help to detect the presence of abnormal cells in the vagina and cervical region. At North hills urgent, we believe that the recovery process will be swift and more effective when a patient has peace of mind. Knowing your health status is beneficial to your mental health and helps to detect underlying health issues that can lead to complications in the future. Anxiety levels are reduced when you decide to seek medical care from reputable health facilities such as North hills urgent care, which offers an effective Pap smear test clinic in North hills.

Not all women 21 years and above can take the Pap smear test. Here are two of such instances:

If the patient has undergone a total hysterectomy procedure

The hysterectomy procedure refers to the removal of the uterus and the cervix. If you have had this procedure, you need to consult your doctor to know if it is necessary to still get a north hills pap smear test. You may no longer need to get a Pap smear test if you underwent the hysterectomy surgical procedure to eliminate the non-cancerous lesions. You may, however, still need routine Pap smear tests if the hysterectomy procedure was done to remove precancerous or cancerous lesions.

If the patient has passed a certain age

Most women who have reached 65 years and above can stop going for Pap smear routine tests. The doctor may advise discontinuing the north hills pap smear test if the older woman had no signs of abnormal cell growth. The number of routine checks will reduce to once every 3 to 5 years once a woman reaches 30 years. However, the Pap smear test will be done together with the HPV test to detect the presence of human papillomavirus.

Which Procedures Can OB-GYNs Perform?

An OB-GYN is a medical physician who has undergone special medical training to perform various procedures, which include:

  • Surgery to repair pelvic organ injuries
  • Hysterectomy 
  • Cesarean sections
  • Instrumental deliveries during childbirth
  • Removing ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids, which are types of growths that affect the reproductive system 

An OB-GYN is a medical physician who has undergone special medical training to perform various procedures, which include:

  • Cervical cancer screening through Pap tests
  • Infertility treatments and counseling
  • STI tests
  • Fertility treatments including egg-freezing or egg retrievals for IVF 
  • Treating common problems like anemia
  • Pelvic ultrasounds for detecting the pelvic organs and monitoring pregnancy
  • Breast health management and exam 
  • Management of urinary problems, like urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence

An OB-GYN may also provide other types of medical care services such as referring people to specialists when necessary, prescribing medication for common diseases, performing blood work for common ailments, and handling mental health issues.


Pap Smear Test Benefits

There is no doubt that taking a Pap smear test is highly beneficial to your reproductive health. One of the benefits of taking this test is that you will better understand your reproductive well-being by focusing on your cervical health. The most important aspect of taking an emergency pap smear test is that it allows doctors to detect the presence of cancerous cells that may put your cervical health in danger by developing cancer. You can prevent the cells from developing into cancer stages by going for routine checks. Any cells that seem threatening can be depicted from the results that will be obtained after a north hills pap smear test.

Moreover, a pap test allows doctors to detect and eliminate other viruses such as the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) before they spread. This type of virus attacks the cervix and vagina regions in a patient. Our patients who have just turned 30 are always encouraged to have the Pap smear and HPV test simultaneously. Various benefits may come from taking up these two tests. They both relay important information when it comes to helping patients to detect underlying health issues. When running checks to establish cases of severe infections, pap smear tests can be quite handy.

Pap Smear Test Benefits
Who Is Eligible For A Pap Smear Test?

Who Is Eligible For A Pap Smear Test?

Many of our clients often ask us who can and cannot take that pap smear test regarding age. Most doctors will agree that the best age to begin taking the Pap smear test is when a woman reaches the age of 21. This is the ideal age because the cervical region is fully developed. This is important for doctors because they can make a detailed analysis of the cell samples. After the first Pap smear test, the patient will have to wait for two or two and half years for another routine checkup. This is the time it takes to monitor your cervical tissue health.
This doesn't mean if you are younger than 21, you cannot start getting a pap smear test. If you suspect that you are at risk of getting cervical cancer, you can start having these tests no matter how old you are. You should not hesitate to get a pap smear test if you previously had a health condition that affected your reproductive tissues. Even if you are a virgin, you can still get the Pap smear test. A virgin is a young girl had not yet had sexual intercourse. It doesn't hurt to have this test even though the probability of developing abnormal cells is almost zero. When you have just turned 65 years, you can discontinue your routine north hills pap smear test visits, provided you've never had an abnormal result during your previous visits. This is a safe age to declare you are unlikely to develop any abnormal cells that may cause cervical cancer.

You also need not go for pap tests if you have just had your uterus removed from your body through a surgical process known as a hysterectomy procedure. The cervical tissue is also removed during this procedure. A north hills pap smear test will be irrelevant because the patient does not have the cervix and the uterus, which usually provide test samples. The risk of developing cervical cancer is zero once you have had a hysterectomy.

How To Get Ready For The Pap Smear Procedure

Before the procedure:

Before the test is conducted, the patient will get a detailed explanation of what will happen from the nurse or doctor. Below are the factors that you need to be considered before going through with the Pap smear test:

  • Using vaginal fluids is not allowed
  • Tampons should not be used 24 hours before the procedure
  • Don't engage in sexual intercourse
  • You should not douche
  • Spermicidal foams, creams, and jellies should be avoided 2 days before the Pap test procedure since they may wash or tamper with the abnormal cells.
  • Don't schedule for a north hills pap smear test during your menstrual days
How To Get Ready For The Pap Smear Procedure
During The Procedure:

During The Procedure:

The north hills pap smear test is usually conducted in a doctor's examination room or outpatient facility. Within minutes, the test will be done. When the Pap smear procedure in North Hills starts, the patient needs to put on a hospital gown and undress below the waist. To make it easier to access the test site, the patient needs to lie on her back on the examination table. The knees are bent, while the heels are supported with stirrups.
A device called a speculum is inserted into the patient's vagina to collect the cervical sample test. This device does not collect the sample but rather holds the vaginal walls to make it easier to reach the cervix. The patient may experience a pressure exertion feeling in the pelvic or vagina region when the doctor inserts the speculum device. A small soft brush is inserted into the vagina until it reaches the cervix for cell sample collection. You don't need to worry about the sample collection process because it is completely painless.

After The Procedure:

Several Pap smear tests are available and are determined by the kind of instrument used in the sample collection. When the doctor performing the test uses a special liquid to preserve the collected sample, the test type is a liquid-based Pap test. And the conventional pap test approach is when the doctor collects the sample and puts it directly into the slide. The gathered sample is sent to the lab to undergo tests to determine whether abnormal or precancerous cells are present. This is done by putting the sample under a microscope for closer observation.
Once the doctor is through with the sample collection, the patient is allowed to put on the clothes and head back home and go on with her normal activities without any worries.

Expected Outcomes From The Procedure

Once the Pap smear test results come out, it is sent to the concerned doctor who performed the test. The test result details are shared with the patient as the doctor explains what it means. The North hills pap smear results can either be normal (negative) or abnormal (positive). A normal or negative report shows that there are no abnormal cervical cells. This suggests no sign of cancerous cells growing in the cervical region. The doctor will instruct the patient not to go for further tests and wait for the next routine Pap smear test.
The results may also turn out to be positive or abnormal. If this happens, abnormal cervical cells were detected in the test sample. Since there are many abnormal cervical cells, the doctor will assess the cells to establish the type. Depending on which type of abnormal cervical cells were found, this is how the doctor will explain each one of them:

Expected Outcomes From The Procedure
  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS)

Squamous cells have a distinctive thin and flat shape, and they often develop on the surface of a healthy cervix. Once ASCUS is detected, the report will state that some abnormal squamous cells growth in the cervix. However, the presence of certain precancerous cells will not be detected. The liquid-based Pap test allows the sample to be preserved. If this method is used, the doctor can evaluate the preserved sample to determine if there are other viruses, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV). These kinds of viruses may develop cancer cells later on. The detected abnormal cervical cells would be of no concern if there were no high-risk viruses found after the liquid-based Pap test was done. The doctor will only request further tests if the sample contains high-risk viruses.

  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion

If the pap smear test report reveals that there was the presence of these types of abnormal cells, it means that cancer or precarious cells are present. The doctor will notice the existence of a precancerous lesion by analyzing the shape, size, and other characteristics if the cell changes found are of low grade. The presence of precancerous lesions will determine whether they will grow into cancer cells in a few months or years. There is a high risk of developing cancer sooner if the cell changes are of high grade. The physician will advise the patient to visit for further tests in such a case.

  • Atypical glandular cells

Glandular are abnormal cervical cells that grow at the opening of the cervix or within the uterus, and they secrete mucus. It is not yet clear if atypical glandular cells are cancerous or not, even though they are slightly abnormal. Further tests have to be done for the doctor to know the significance and the source of these abnormal cells. Therefore, the doctor may request further tests.

  • Adenocarcinoma cells or squamous cell cancer 

If the collected sample contained these abnormal cells, then it strongly shows that there is a presence of cancer. The cancer cell growth in the granular cells is referred to as adenocarcinoma. The arising of cancer in the flat surface cells of the vagina or the cervix is called squamous cell cancer. The doctor will strongly suggest a quick evaluation of these cells if detected.

If the Pap smear test results indicate the presence of abnormal cells, then the doctor will request the patient to undergo a procedure called colposcopy. A special instrument known as a colposcope will be used in this procedure. The work of this instrument is to help the doctor closely observe the vulva, cervix, and vagina. There are certain instances where the doctor will ask the patient to take a biopsy test. This test takes a small sample from the affected area that suffers abnormality. The sample is then taken to the lab for further tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Pap Smear Test Cost In Los Angeles

It will cost you about $20 to $50 to take a Pap smear test. However, if you take any preparatory medical procedures, the cost will slightly go up. Any other test you may need to take will make the cost go up to $600. The expenses may be sorted out with your medical insurance coverage if you have one. It may cover half of the cost with a comprehensive payment plan.

North Hills Urgent Clinic Difference

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some of our happy customers

Why visit a North Hills Urgent Care
for PAP Smears?

The care services offered at an urgent care clinic are preferred over an emergency room due to the many benefits. Among the reasons is that an urgent care will always look after your care bearing in mind the sensitivity of time. This means that the response is quite fast. Emergency rooms are designed to handle medical and health care issues that are life-threatening. Their downside is that you will be forced to wait for hours to receive care. North Hills Urgent Care Clinic is highly sought after because of its convenience. The next time you want to access the best and high-quality care and your primary care doctor is not close by, just go to your nearest urgent family clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you turn 21, this is the best time to start getting a Pap smear test. If you are between the ages of 21 to 29, you can only get the Pap smear test once every two years if your Pap smear test turns out to be normal. Once you turn 30, you may need to reduce the number of visits to once every three to five years. You will also need to take a Pap smear test with HPV once you turn 30.

You won't feel any pain when the doctor performs the Pap smear test. However, there will be some discomfort since the procedure is quite complex to perform. You will feel some discomfort during and after, but it will subside after a few hours.

Getting a Pap smear test is critical whether you are sexually active or not. The reason for this is that most cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus, which is sexually transmitted. The HPV virus is not the only virus that can cause cervical cancer. Therefore, you will still need to consider taking the Pap smear test whether you engage in sexual activities or not.

It is typical for your OB to do a Pap test on your first prenatal visit. This allows this OB-GYN to establish right away if there are any abnormal cells. A colposcopy procedure will be required if abnormal cells are detected.

It is normal to experience light bleeding after a pap smear. You may also experience spotting. Symptoms that may cause you to be concerned are heavy bleeding or cramping.

Even if you are a virgin, you can still get the Pap smear test. It doesn't hurt to have this test, even though the probability of developing abnormal cells is almost zero.

The test works by detecting abnormal cells from a cervical sample that is collected or extracted by a gynecologist. It is typically used to screen cervical cancer. A Pap smear test is done by an OB GYN to check for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells that are usually abnormal in the cervix.

Once you have just had a pap smear test, you should avoid having sex. If you are bleeding, you should not use tampons as they may cause heavy bleeding.

If your Pap smear results end up positive or abnormal, it should not worry you. In your lifetime, you may get one abnormal test result. Having abnormal results does not mean that you are developing cancer. However, you will need to follow through for more tests.

About North Hills Urgent Care

North Hills Urgent Care offers excellent health and medical care to patients living in North Hills, California. We have our patients' best interest at hand. That is why we never delay our assistance. Our highly skilled staff are often ready to take on any medical issues. Don't worry about the equipment because they are all new and state-of-the-art.

North Hills Urgent Care services help many people access quality care without waiting in long queues. All patients who walk into our health facility always leave smiling because of the timely services at affordable rates. Among the health care services that we offer is x-ray imaging. Our medical equipment is all new and delivers desired results. Our women patients feel empowered because we provide them with the information they need about their reproductive health, including cervical cancer and pap smear screening.


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Do you want to have convenient medical attention without delay? Who doesn't? The only way to achieve that is by visiting urgent care clinics, which offer the best and high-quality health care services. Get a wide range of medical care and services with no hardship and quickly.