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Starting July 30, 2024 we're moving to 300 Hickman Rd, Ste. 301, Charlottesville, 22911. Less than 1 mile from our current/old office! Last day at Peter Jefferson Parkway location is July 25, 2024.

Starting July 30, 2024 we're moving to 300 Hickman Rd, Ste. 301, Charlottesville, 22911. Less than 1 mile from our current/old office! Last day at Peter Jefferson Parkway location is July 25, 2024.

Pap Smear in Charlottesville, VA

Receive compassionate care in a safe environment for your gynecological health.

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What is a Pap Smear?

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is an important procedure to test for cervical cancer and detect changes in your cervical cells. During a Pap smear, your provider will collect cells from your cervix, located at the lower end of your uterus. Nowadays, testing for high-risk HPV (Human PapillomaVirus) is often done at the same time.

Regular Pap smears are crucial for women’s health because they can help identify the precursors to cervical cancer before it even becomes cancer. Depending on the results of the Pap smear, further tests or treatment might be necessary.

It is generally recommended that most people with a cervix start getting regular Pap smears around the age of 21 and continue to do so at intervals recommended by their healthcare provider, typically every 3 to 5 years.

Why is a Pap Smear Done?

A Pap smear is done to:

  • Screen for cervical cancer
  • Detect precancerous changes in cervical cells
  • Monitor cervical health
  • Detect and manage any cervical infections (including HPV, also known as human papillomavirus)

Who Needs a Pap Smear?

The need for a Pap smear will depend on your age and risk factors. Most people with a cervix should start getting a Pap smear at the age of 21. For individuals 21 to 29 years old, Pap smears are often recommended every 3 years. For individuals ages 30 to 65, Pap smears are typically recommended with an HPV test every 5 years. After age 65, Pap smears are usually not necessary.

A member of our healthcare team will provide you with guidance on the appropriate Pap smear schedule for your needs.

  • What are the Risks?
  • Pap smears are generally safe and have minimal risks. Potential risks include:
  • Mild discomfort during the procedure
  • Light bleeding or spotting afterward
  • Complications such as infection or injury are exceptionally uncommon
  • What To Expect During Your Appointment

During your appointment, you’ll change into a gown, lie down on an exam table, and place your feet in stirrups. A lubricated speculum is then used to gently open the vaginal canal, allowing your provider to collect a quick sample of cervical cells. This process typically lasts a few minutes and might cause mild discomfort or pressure but is not usually painful.

Afterward, you can resume your normal activities for the day. The collected cells are sent to a lab for analysis. We will notify you about your results once they are received, along with any next steps if necessary.

Why Choose The Center For Advanced Gynecology

The Center for Advanced Gynecology, established in 2018, is dedicated to improving your health by offering expertise in various areas, with a specific focus on Pap smears, gynecological care, and advanced surgical techniques. Dr. Barron has gone through extensive training in minimally invasive surgical techniques for managing problems previously requiring large incisions. This means less pain, less time in the hospital, smaller scars, and a quicker recovery. He has a specific focus on surgical excision of endometriosis and regularly updates his techniques and approaches to the latest innovations in the field.

Our team also provides specialized expertise in non-surgical treatment of chronic pelvic pain, painful intercourse, pudendal neuralgia, and vaginal, vulvar and bladder pain.

Since opening our doors, we have recognized the need in our community for more than just specialty care and have a growing practice in routine gynecologic care, cancer screening, pap smears, menopausal management, hormonal imbalances, hormone replacement therapy, breast care, contraceptive care, urinary incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pap smears are crucial in detecting precancerous or cancerous cells in their early stages, enabling timely intervention, treatment, and effective cervical cancer screening.

During a Pap smear, a healthcare provider uses a speculum to gently open the vaginal canal and collect a sample of cells from the cervix's surface using a small brush or spatula.

Pap smears are usually not painful, but some people might experience mild discomfort or a sensation of pressure during the Pap testing procedure.

The procedure itself typically takes only a few minutes. However, you should allow for up to an hour at our office.

The results from a Pap smear test can be categorized into several types:

Normal: This means that no abnormal cervical cells were found. Routine follow-up as recommended by your healthcare provider is advised.

ASCUS (Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance): This indicates minor cell changes that may or may not be related to HPV. Follow-up testing might be needed.

LSIL (Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion): These are mildly abnormal cells often caused by HPV. Further testing or follow-up is recommended.

HSIL (High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion): These are more significant cell changes and may indicate precancerous lesions. Additional tests and treatments are usually recommended.

Cancer: A Pap smear can detect cervical cancer in its early stages. Further evaluation and treatment will be required if cancer is suspected.

Abnormal results in Pap tests might indicate changes in cervical cells, which can be due to infection, inflammation, precancerous conditions, or other reasons. An abnormal result doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, but it will require additional evaluation. As your healthcare provider, we will guide you through the next steps based on your results.

Yes. Pap smears play a very important role in potentially preventing cervical cancer since they can detect precancerous cells and cell changes early.

It's generally best to schedule a Pap smear when you are not menstruating, as blood can interfere with the test results. A member of our healthcare team can advise you on the ideal timing.

This will depend on the type of hysterectomy and your medical history. A member of our healthcare team can help determine whether you will need a Pap smear on a consistent basis.