Does Rancho OB/GYN Offer Well Woman Exams?

A procedure in which cells are carefully removed from the cervix using a small brush or spatula to examine them under a microscope for signs of cervical cancer or cell mutations that could lead to the development of cervical cancer. In addition, a Pap smear can help detect other conditions such as infection or inflammation.

 

Women should begin obtaining pap smears at the age of 21 to detect cervical cancer. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 who have a normal pap smear test should only have it redone every three years after that. Women over the age of 30 should have their cervical smears checked for the human papillomavirus (HPV) presence.

At Rancho OB/GYN in Murrieta, CA, we understand that better health starts with regular screenings to detect and treat problems early. Annual Well Woman Exams if the line of first defense in women’s health. Your age and stage in life will determine what types of services and screenings you will need to have addressed at your annual checkups. These include such things as:
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • STD testing
  • Birth Control Prescriptions
  • Infertility Issues
  • Breast Cancer Screening
  • Perimenopausal Issues
  • Ovarian Cancer Screening
  • Counseling for Risk of Cancer
  • Hormone Replacement needs
  • Osteoporosis Screening
  • Blood pressure screening
mayra and sazsa

Why are Well Woman Exams Important?

If you are healthy, it may be difficult to imagine why you need a well woman exam every year. They are important because they address a host of female health issues and allow for early detection of general medical problems and female cancers.

Important Health Screening Milestones

Woman’s’ AgeHealth Issues Addressed
20-29 years
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • STD Testing
  • Birth Control Needs
30-39 years
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Infertility Issues
  • Breast Cancer Screening
  • Birth Control Needs
40-49 years
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Breast Cancer Screening
  • Perimenopausal Issues
50-59 years
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Breast Cancer Screening
  • Ovarian Cancer Screening
  • Colon-rectal Cancer Screening
  • Hormone Replacement Needs
60 plus years
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Breast Cancer Screening
  • Ovarian Cancer Screening
  • Colon-rectal Cancer Screening
  • Hormone Replacement Needs
  • Osteoporosis Screening
pap smears and annual exams in murrieta and temecula ca

What Do I Need to Know About the Pap Test?

Women should begin Pap tests at the age of 21 years to detect cervical cancer. A Pap test can detect the presence of abnormal cells that require additional testing. If your Pap smear reveals exclusively normal cervical cells, you are considered to have a negative result. You will not require further treatment or testing until your next Pap smear and pelvic exam are due. A positive result indicates that abnormal or atypical cells were detected during your Pap smear. A positive test does not necessarily indicate that you have cervical cancer. What a positive result indicates varies according to the cell type detected throughout your examination. If your Pap test is abnormal, your doctor may perform a colposcopy technique in which the tissues of the cervix, vagina, and vulva are examined using a unique magnifying device (colposcope). Additionally, your doctor may do a tissue biopsy on any spots that appear suspicious. After that, the tissue sample is sent to a laboratory for investigation and confirmation of the diagnosis.

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY WELL WOMAN EXAM?

To maximize the effectiveness of your Pap test, follow these guidelines for the 48 hours before your well woman exam:

  • Avoid intercourse and the use of vaginal lubricants.
  • Avoid using any types of vaginal sprays or powders.
  • Make your appointment when you are not on your period.
  • Avoid using tampons, pills, creams, and vaginal suppositories.
  • Avoid washing with water, vinegar, or any other liquid
  • Do not douche before your appointment.

Significant bleeding can impair the pap test’s accuracy. If your appointment is scheduled while you are on your period, please call our front office to inquire about rescheduling your well woman exam.

CAN A PAP TEST DETECT CERVICAL CANCER?

Cervical cancer can be detected earlier and treated more effectively using a Pap smear. Additionally, a Pap smear can detect changes in your cervix’s cells that indicate the development of cancer in the future. Preventing cervical cancer is the first step in preventing it from forming. This is accomplished by discovering abnormal cells as early as possible with a Pap test.

 

If you have specific risk factors, your doctor may suggest more frequent Pap smears regardless of your age. These risk factors include the following:

 

  • Cervical cancer diagnosis or a Pap smear demonstrating precancerous cells.
  • Infection with HIV
  • Immune system impairment as a result of organ transplantation, chemotherapy, or long-term corticosteroid use
  • Prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES).
  • Smoking history

ARE THERE ARE RISKS OF TAKING A PAP TEST?

Cervical cancer screening with a Pap smear is a safe procedure. However, a Pap smear is not 100% accurate. It is possible to have false-negative findings — that is, the test will indicate that there are no abnormal cells present, even if you do have abnormal cells.

A false-negative result does not necessarily indicate that an error occurred. Several factors can contribute to a false-negative development, including the following:

  • An insufficient cell harvest
  • A few aberrant cells
  • The aberrant cells are obscured by blood or inflammatory cells.

Although aberrant cells might remain undiagnosed for an extended period, time is on your side. Cervical cancer develops over several years. And if one test fails to discover aberrant cells, the subsequent test is almost certain to do so.

Results

A Pap smear can detect the presence of abnormal cells that require additional testing.


Typical outcomes
If your Pap smear reveals exclusively normal cervical cells, you are considered to have a negative result. You will not require further treatment or testing until your next Pap smear and pelvic exam are due.


Unusual outcomes
A positive result indicates that abnormal or atypical cells were detected during your Pap smear. A positive test does not necessarily indicate that you have cervical cancer. What a positive result indicates varies according to the cell type detected throughout your examination.


If your Pap smear is abnormal, your doctor may perform a colposcopy technique in which the tissues of the cervix, vagina, and vulva are examined using a unique magnifying device (colposcope).


Additionally, your doctor may do a tissue biopsy on any spots that appear suspicious. After that, the tissue sample is sent to a laboratory for investigation and confirmation of the diagnosis.