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Gynecological (OB/GYN) & PAP Smears

What Is PAP Smears?

What Is PAP Smears?

Pap smears are vital screening tools that can help save lives from cervical cancer. If there are any irregular cells in the cervix, these tests can help detect them early, before they become cancerous at the Arleta pap smear clinic in Arleta. The screening test designed to detect whether there are precancerous or cancerous cells in the cervix that can cause cervical cancer is known as a Pap smear test. An OB/GYN who conducts the Pap smear test on a patient typically tries to look for abnormal cervical cells that may be precancerous or cancerous. 

Providers also conduct HPV tests along with pap tests. This allows us to look for cells that may increase cervical cancer chances. If the Pap smear test 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.

Main Motive Of Performing A Pap Smears

In many instances, pap tests are done together with the pelvic exam test at the Arleta pap smear clinic. For women over 30 years old, pap tests are done together with a test for HPV or human papillomavirus. This is a disease-causing virus that is sexually transmitted. If not detected early for treatment, it may lead to Cervical Cancer. Typically, the patient and the doctor will decide the appropriate time to perform the pap smear test and how regularly it should be done. Doctors generally advise patients to go for pap smear tests once they reach 21 years, and after that, the rest should be done after every 2 or 3 years. For women who have just turned 30 years, it is suggested that they undergo a pap smear test every 3 to 5 years. The test should be merged with the HPV test. Occasionally, if a woman has a high chance of developing cervical cancer, the doctor suggests taking the pap smear near Pacoima more frequently. Several factors may increase the risk of getting cervical cancer. They include:

  • If the patient is HIV positive
  • If someone has a weak immune system brought about by chronic use of corticosteroid, chemotherapy, or an organ transplant.
  • If a person is exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) before birth.
Main Motive Of Performing A Pap Smears


When various tests are done, and it is discovered that a person has contracted Human Immunodeficiency Virus, several changes will happen in the body. Some of these changes may affect how cells are formed in the uterine and cervix walls. Due to the weak immune system caused by HIV, an infected person will experience countless subsequent infections in the productive system. Besides having pap smear tests to detect cancerous cells, the test also ensures that the vagina and cervix stay healthy even as the patient continues with her medication.

Cancer Remission

Cancer Remission

Suppose the tests were done, and the doctor discovered cancerous cervical cells in the system, which developed into Cancer later. In that case, you need to ensure that the cancerous cells don't grow again by checking to see if you are recovering progressively. A recovering patient will have to go for more regular checks than usual compared to chronic patients. Progressive healing happens when the Pap smear Panorama shows that the abnormal cancerous cells have reduced significantly.

Weak Immune System

Weak Immune System

Some patients have pre-existing health complications that are pretty severe and weaken their immune systems. A weakened immune system will allow all kinds of abnormal cells to attack the cervical tissue. Intense chemotherapy sessions or HIV may weaken the immune system. Occasionally, a weak immune system may come due to a genetic trait that has carried on in a family for generations. A patient in such a situation should schedule a Pap smear with a gynecologist. This helps to ensure that abnormal cells don't occupy the cervical area to cause complications. Lastly, it is essential to have peace of mind health-wise. Knowing what is going on with your Health helps prevent certain complications that may arise if an underlying illness is not detected early enough. Besides that, it also benefits your mental health. Having peace of mind is also important because it reduces the anxiety of inaccurate information. You can reassure yourself that you are doing well health-wise by taking a pap smear test in Arleta.

Not every woman can get a pap smear test because of specific health issues. These cases include:

  • If a person has undergone a total hysterectomy procedure

This procedure involves the removal of the cervix and the uterus. If you have experienced such a procedure, you should consult your doctor to discuss whether having a pap smear test is necessary. Routine Pap tests should be discontinued if the patient underwent the surgical procedure of hysterectomy to eliminate non-cancerous lesions. Going for routine pap smear tests should continue at the Arleta pap smear clinic if the hysterectomy procedure removes a precancerous or cancerous lesion.

  • Age factor  

Routine Pap testing may stop in older women. For women who have turned 30 years and above, regular pap smear tests reduce to once every 3 to 5 years. The test is done together with the HPV test. In cases where the patient continues to get regular results, and she is above 65 years, the Pap smear test should be discontinued.

Which Procedures Can OB-GYNs Perform?

An OB-GYN is a trained surgeon who can do a wide variety of procedures. Some of these medical procedures include:

  • A hysterectomy
  • Cesarean sections
  • Instrumental deliveries in childbirth
  • Pelvic organ injury repair surgery
  • Growth removals such as uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts

An OB-GYN is a medical professional who can conduct various in-office and routine procedures. These procedures include the following:

  • STI tests
  • Pap Smears for cervical cancer screening
  • Fertility treatments, which include egg retrievals for egg-freezing or IVF
  • Infertility treatments and counseling
  • Pelvic ultrasounds for monitoring pregnancy and checking the pelvic organs
  • Treating anemia and other common problems
  • Managing urinary issues, such as urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections
  • Managing breast health and breast exams such as mammograms and other breast cancer screenings

An OB-GYN is also trained to provide general health care, including filling prescriptions for common ailments, referring people to specialists, screening for mental health, and performing blood work for common diseases.

Significance Of Taking A Pap Smear Test

Going for a Pap smear test regularly is highly beneficial to any woman. This test allows you to better understand your cervical Health because it impacts your entire reproductive Health. The most significant benefit of going for a routine Pap smear test is that it allows you to establish whether there are cancerous cells that may cause cervical Cancer. Advanced cancer stages can be avoided by taking Pap smear tests regularly. When you do this, the results from the Pap tests will help the doctor detect any abnormal cells that may cause cervical Cancer. Moreover, an urgent care Pap smear test helps detect and eliminate the possible spread of other fetal viruses, such as the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV virus usually attacks the vagina and cervical regions of the productive system. This virus can also cause the spread of cancerous cells. Doctors usually recommend taking both the Pap and HPV tests together when you reach 30 years and above. Every Pap test done gives vital information about underlying conditions, if any. Another great benefit of going for a pap test is that it helps detect risk factors that may lead to lifelong diseases or infections.

Significance Of Taking A Pap Smear Test
Eligibility For Pap Smear Test

Eligibility For Pap Smear Test

In Arleta Urgent Care, we often receive many inquiries from people who want to establish who is eligible for the pap smear in terms of age. Most doctors suggest having a Pap smear test for the first time when you reach 21 years. A pap smear should begin at 21 because cervical development has taken place. Regular appointments will continue once you start your first Pap test, which will be after every two or three years. Routine tests help ensure that your cervix's Health is on point. This doesn't mean that you can't get this test if you are younger than 21 years. Suppose you are sexually active and prone to infections that may affect your vagina or cervix health. You should not hesitate to go for a Pap test if you've had health conditions in the past.

You can also get a Pap smear test if you are a virgin and have not yet had sexual penetration. The risk of having abnormal cervical cells at this stage is extremely low, but there is no harm in taking a Pap smear test if you have attained the age of 21 years. A Pap smear test will serve no purpose on women who have reached 65 years, and abnormal cervical cells were not detected in the past. If you have been going for regular Pap tests in the past and just turned 65, you stand no risk of getting cervical Cancer. You may also not need to go for Pap tests if you have undergone a hysterectomy procedure. This kind of medical procedure involves the removal of cervical and uterine tissues from the body. If this is the case, you will no longer require a Pap smear test since you no longer have these vital reproductive parts on your body that are a source of testing samples. It is also impossible to contract cervical Cancer once you have had this procedure.

How To Get Ready For The Pap Smear Procedure

Before the procedure:
Just when the pap smear test starts, the doctor will explain to the patient what it is all about and how it will be carried out. Some of the things that you require to consider are its efficiency areas mentioned below:

  • Refrain from using any vaginal medications
  • Don't have sexual intercourse
  • 24 hours before going with the pap smear test, you need to avoid using tampons
  • Avoid douching
  • Other products that you should avoid using at least 2 days before the test include spermicidal foams, jellies, or creams because they may end up washing the abnormal cells away
  • If you are going through your menstrual period, you should reschedule the appointment
How To Get Ready For The Pap Smear Procedure
During The Procedure:

During The Procedure:

There are two main health facilities to take a pap smear test -- an outpatient facility or a doctor's office. The test will take a few minutes. As a patient, you will need to undress the lower part of your body or wear a hospital gown. The patient will require to lie down on her back and bend her knees on the examination table. For support, the knees will rest on the stirrups. The test will begin when the doctor inserts or puts the speculum instrument into the vagina. The doctor needs to see the inside of the patient's vagina. That is why the speculum is used to hold the vaginal walls apart. While the speculum is inserted, the patient will feel pressure exertion in the pelvic part or vagina. Samples from the vagina will be extracted through a spatula or a small, soft brush. The physician then retains the samples of the cervix cells. As a patient undergoes the Pap smear test, she won't feel any pain.

After The Procedure:
There are several Pap smear tests based on the type of instrument used to collect the sample. A liquid-based Pap test is when the doctor inserts the collected sample in a container filled up with a special fluid to preserve the collected cervical sample. A conventional Pap test is when the doctor does not preserve the sample with a liquid but instead puts it in a slide to examine it. The gathered cervical sample is then sent to the lab for additional tests. These tests are done to detect cancer cells within the tested area – the cervix and vagina. The microscope is powerful enough to show any precancerous or Cancer cells in the sample. Once the test has ended, the patient will change back into her dress and return home. If she came in her car, she could still drive home.

Expected Outcomes Of The Procedure

The Pap smear test results will be sent back to the concerned doctor, who will interpret it. The doctor will then explain the meaning of the results to the patient comprehensively. A negative or normal result will show no cervical cancer cells growth detected, which means they are normal. The doctor will advise the patient not to take any other Pap smear test until the next scheduled routine check. If the results turn out to be abnormal or positive, the doctor will carry out an analysis of the abnormal cells detected in the test. The patient will be educated about some abnormal cells found in the cervical sample. Here are some of them:

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

These types of abnormal cervical cells are naturally flat and thin. Squamous cells usually grow on the surface of a healthy cervix. Once ASCUS is detected, the report from the test will state that there is the growth of abnormal squamous cells. The test will, however, not diagnose the presence of precancerous cells. The doctor can examine the sample again if placed in a liquid perseverative test known as a liquid-based Pap test. This is done to detect other viruses such as HPV (Human Papillomavirus). This type of virus may develop into Cancer later on. The detected abnormal cells found before will not raise any concerns if no high-risk viruses are found. The doctor will only call for further tests if the collected sample had high-risk viruses.

  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion

If the result from the Pap test reveals that there is a squamous intraepithelial lesion in the sample, it means that the abnormal cells are precancerous or Cancer cells. The doctor may identify the cell shape and characteristics, if the abnormal cells are low-grade or precancerous lesions. To know whether the precancerous cells will grow into cancer cells earlier or later, the doctor will have to further examine the precancerous lesions. There is a high risk of precancerous cells turning into Cancer if the cell changes are of high grade. Further tests will have to be done in such cases

  • Atypical glandular cells

Glandular cells usually grow within the opening of the cervix and the uterus and secrete mucus. There is no clear understanding of whether these cells are cancerous or not, even though their presence is slightly abnormal. The doctor may not know the significance and the source of these abnormal cells unless several more tests are done.

  • Adenocarcinoma cells or squamous cell cancer

If the collected cervical sample has these cells, there is cancer present. The cancer cell increase in the glandular cells is referred to as adenocarcinoma. The arising of Cancer in the flat surface cells of the vagina or cervix is called squamous cell cancer. Prompt evaluation will be required if these abnormal cells are detected in the sample. The patient would have to undergo a procedure known as colposcopy if the results from the Pap smear test turned out to be abnormal. While performing this procedure, a particular instrument called a colposcope is used. The procedure is performed to closely evaluate the cervix, vagina, and vulva tissues. The doctor may sometimes suggest that a biopsy test be done. The test involves removing a small tissue sample from the affected area with abnormal cells. The small tissue sample will be sent to the lab for further tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Cost Of The Procedure In Los Angeles

If you want to undergo a Pap smear test in Los Angeles, you should be ready to pay between $20 to $50. It may, however, vary based on whether preparatory medications for the procedure will be required. If any other tests are related to the Pap smear test that the patient will have to do, the cost may increase to $600. If you have medical insurance coverage, your provider will have to cover the medical bills for this procedure. It will have to pay half of the entire cost if it's a comprehensive cover.

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Why Visit An Arleta Urgent Clinic
For PAP Smears?

There are several reasons why anyone would prefer seeking medical care services from an urgent care clinic rather than going to a hospital's emergency room. Urgent care clinics are unique health care facilities usually designed to cater to medical conditions and cases that are time-sensitive. You can't expect to get the same treatment from emergency rooms because they typically cater to medical cases that concern life-threatening conditions. Emergency rooms take time to get access to because a specialist will have to come around to evaluate and treat the medical condition. On the other hand, Urgent care clinics can handle multiple health conditions and offer effective treatment options. A local urgent family clinic is an ideal pick for any patient who requires a quick response to minor medical conditions that can be fatal within 24 hours. If your primary health care provider is not around, you can rely on an urgent care center for the best medical services.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a woman who has just clocked 21 years, it is high time you start going for Pap Smears tests. Women between 21 to 29 years should have regular Pap smear tests once or twice every three years. Once you reach 30 years, you can start taking pap smear tests and human papillomavirus (HPV), which usually causes Cervical Cancer.

If you are afraid of going for a Pap smear test because you think it is painful, you need to know that you won't feel any pain during the procedure. However, since the procedure is quite complex, you will only feel slight discomfort during and after the procedure. This should not bother you because it will take a few hours to subside.

Regardless of whether you engage in sexual activities that involve penetration or not, you still need to go for a pap smear test. The majority of cervical cancer conditions are usually caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), meaning that you can still get cervical Cancer, whether you are sexually active 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.

If you experience light bleeding or spotting, you should not get worried because this is quite typical. However, you must consult your gynecologist if you undergo heavy bleeding for more than a week or cramping.

Virgins can also get cervical Cancer. That is why doctors recommend routine screening for cervical Cancer regardless of your sexual orientation. Pap smear and HPV tests are the main tests to detect precancerous cells that can cause cervical Cancer.

Once you have had a Pap smear test, you need to refrain from having sexual intercourse and stop using tampons for two to three days if you are experiencing bleeding. Pressure caused by tampons may cause the bleeding to become heavier or start again.

If your result turns out to be abnormal, it should not worry you because such results occur in 5 percent of the Pap smear tests turning out to be positive or abnormal. While it is not always alarming, you should follow up to rule out the possibility of cervical cancer.

About Arleta Urgent Clinic

Arleta Urgent Family Clinic is a one-of-a-kind healthcare facility located in Los Angeles. We offer high-quality and effective treatments at affordable rates compared to other medical and health facilities. If you have any medical issue that requires urgent attention, then what you need to do is seek medical attention at your local urgent care facility. All care services offered at Arleta Urgent Care are done with patients in mind. No matter who you are or what you are suffering from, Arleta Urgent Care will offer you effective treatment.

At Arleta Urgent Family Clinic, we treat every client uniquely based on their different healthcare goals. We offer diagnostic and treatment care to patients who require quick services in this fast-moving world. If you have just had a mild injury or sickness, you can rest assured that our highly trained medical staff will offer you treatment as fast as possible. All our equipment has been approved by the Department of Health. The extended hours of service has made it easier to cater to all matters of health.

Health care is paramount to everyone on a global scale. Most people prefer urgent care because they offer quick response medical services. You can reach out to Arleta Urgent care service if you require physical examinations conveniently, such as pap smears or even a COVID-19 test; just type "pap smear near me" in Google's search bar. You will get all the information about Arleta Urgent Family Clinic.


Need Of Urgent Care?

Do you want to receive medical attention and treatment right away? You can start by visiting urgent care that offers a one-stop solution for you. Without any hardship, you will get proper treatment for various health conditions that you may be suffering from. Visit Arleta urgent care today for effective treatment and quick recovery.