Women's Health Specialist of North Atlanta
OB-GYNs located in Johns Creek, GA
A Pap smear is an important gynecological procedure to screen for cervical cancer and infections. Dr. Ann Cha offers a safe space at Women’s Health Specialists of North Atlanta for women to seek these tests that are vital to their well-being. Schedule your appointment at her practice in Suwanee, Georgia, to get a routine Pap smear. HPV testing is typically included during these visits as well.
Pap Smear Q & A
What is a Pap smear?
A Pap smear, also referred to as a Pap test, generally screens for cervical cancer. The procedure tests for abnormal cells in your cervix that may be precancerous or cancerous. At the same time, you can also be tested for human papillomavirus (HPV), a very common sexually transmitted infection that most sexually active people get at some point in their lives. Although HPV usually goes away by itself, certain types can be linked to cervical cancer, so it’s a good idea to also test for HPV. Dr. Cha offers Pap and HPV co-testing.
Who should get Pap smears?
It’s recommended for women to start getting Pap smears once you’re 21. From then on, you should get these tests done once a year, as they’re usually administered during annual exams. You may need more frequent tests if you’re HIV positive or if you have a weakened immune system from chemotherapy or an organ transplant. If you’re over 30 and have had three normal Pap smears in a row, you can consult with your doctor about getting them less frequently, about every five years, if combined with an HPV screening.
If you’re over 65, with a history of normal Pap smears, you no longer need these tests.
What can I expect during a Pap smear procedure?
Pap smears only involve a few minutes of slight discomfort, although generally painless.
At the doctor’s office, you’ll lie back with your legs spread and propped up by stirrups as your doctor inserts a device into your vagina.
This device, called a speculum, keeps your vaginal walls open so your doctor can access your cervix to scrape a small sample of cells.
This sample is then sent to a lab to test for abnormal cells.
Light cramping or bleeding right after a Pap smear is normal. Let your doctor know if these symptoms persist a day after testing.
What kind of results can I expect from a Pap smear?
The two results that are possible from a Pap smear are either normal or abnormal.
A normal, or negative, Pap smear means no abnormal cells were detected.
An abnormal, or positive, Pap smear means that there are abnormal cells present in your cervix, which isn’t automatically indicative of cancer. The cells may simply be an inprecancerous. There are five levels of abnormal cells:
- Severe dysplasia
- Carcinoma in situ
Mild abnormal cells tend to be more common than severe ones, but depending on your test results, Dr. Cha can recommend what to do next. She may recommend either increasing the frequency of your Pap smears to note any cell changes or taking a closer look via a colposcopy exam or biopsy procedure.
This is a just a list of some of the insurances accepted at Women's Health Specialist of North Atlanta. Please call our office to confirm that we accept your plan.
Words from our patients
"Very comforting, friendly, and caring place. The service is absolutely top notch. Dr. Cha is very personable, friendly and highly competent. Highly recommend!"
"Dr. Cha is a wonderful, caring and fun person. Had hysterectomy with her and everything went very well. Her office is clean and neat, the staffs are sweet and great."
"I went to Dr. Cha's office to have the Mona Lisa procedure. Dr. Cha and her entire staff are amazing! The staff was extremely professional... Highly recommend!"
"Dr. Ann Cha made me feel very comfortable and so relaxed. I will definitely be coming in for any future procedures."
"I am so glad that I found Dr. Cha's office. She and all of her staff were very professional and caring. They really take the time to get to know their patients."
"I recently completed the 3-step Mona Lisa procedure. I cannot say enough about the professionalism of the team and what an amazing experience it was...."
"Her staff has always been awesome... I would recommend Dr. Cha's office to anyone looking for a reliable OB/Gyn you can trust."