A Pap smear, or Pap test, is an essential part of preventing cervical cancer. Board-certified OB/GYN Mary Kerr, MD, performs Pap tests for women at her private practice in Beverly Hills, California. More than 95% of the time, Pap tests prevent cervical cancer from occurring by revealing precancerous cells that Dr. Kerr can easily remove. Call Mary Kerr, M.D., Inc. or book an appointment online to schedule your Pap test today.
A Pap test is a simple procedure to screen for cervical cancer in women. Dr. Kerr collects a small sample of cells from your cervix and sends them to a laboratory for testing.
Abnormal changes in your cervical cells suggest you may develop cancer in the future. Discovering these abnormal cells is the first step in preventing cervical cancer.
Most women between ages 21-65 need routine Pap tests, regardless of whether you’re sexually active or have gone through menopause. Experts recommend women age 21-29 get a Pap test every three years. Women age 30-65 should get a Pap test alone every three years or a combined Pap and HPV test every five years.
This schedule may vary depending on your personal risk factors for cervical cancer. The best way to find out how frequently you should get a Pap test is to discuss your medical history with Dr. Kerr.
There’s no need to feel nervous about getting a Pap test. Dr. Kerr is a highly experienced OB/GYN who completes the procedure in only a few minutes.
During a Pap test, you lay on your back with your feet elevated in footrests. Dr. Kerr inserts a speculum into your vagina and gently opens it to reveal your cervix. Then, she swabs your cervix to collect a cell sample.
Pap tests aren’t painful, but some women experience discomfort. Relaxing with deep breathing actually helps reduce discomfort during a Pap test procedure. You may also take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, about an hour before your Pap test.
About 1-3 weeks after your Pap test, Dr. Kerr calls you with the results. Abnormal results don’t necessarily mean you have cancer, but Dr. Kerr may ask you to come in for more tests.
She may recommend a procedure called colposcopy to more closely examine your cervix. If she finds suspicious-looking cells, Dr. Kerr may take a biopsy for additional lab testing.
Normal Pap test results mean there were no changes to your cervical cells and you don’t have to do anything until your next routine visit.
Don’t hesitate to call the office of Mary Kerr, M.D., Inc., or book an appointment online to take the first step toward preventing cervical cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States. Board-certified OB/GYN Mary Kerr, MD, provides HPV screening and treatment at her private practice in Beverly Hills, California. To take steps toward preventing cervical cancer and other complications of HPV infection, call Mary Kerr, M.D., Inc. or book an appointment online today.
There are more than 200 different types of human papillomaviruses (HPV). These viruses cause warts to grow on various parts of your body, such as plantar warts on the feet. About 40 strains of HPV affect the genitals and spread through sexual contact with an infected partner.
Most of the time, your immune system defeats HPV before the virus can cause problems. However, when HPV does cause complications, they can be serious. The type of health problems you develop depends on the strain of HPV you have.
There are two main categories of sexually transmitted HPV: low-risk and high-risk. The low-risk HPV strains may cause genital warts to grow on your vulva, vagina, anus, or cervix. The high-risk viruses can lead to cancer of the cervix, vagina, or the back of your throat.
HPV spreads easily from direct physical contact with an infected person. This common STD spreads during any type of sexual activity involving the vagina, anus, or mouth. You can even get HPV from touching an infected person’s genital without penetration.
Most people have HPV without ever showing any symptoms. However, you can still get HPV from sexual contact with a person who doesn’t show any signs or symptoms of infection. Correct use of latex condoms dramatically reduces your chances of getting HPV.
You may have HPV without even knowing it. In most cases, your body overcomes the infection before warts appear.
If you notice genital warts or abnormal growths on your vulva or anus, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Kerr right away.
Otherwise, Dr. Kerr may discover you have HPV during a routine pelvic exam and Pap test. Women over age 30 may receive an HPV test during their Pap test. HPV is so common in women under age 30 that this test isn’t recommended.
However, a Pap test reveals abnormal changes to your cervical cells that may result from HPV infection.
Genital warts and cervical precancers are easiest to treat when caught early. That’s why it’s so crucial to see Dr. Kerr for regular well-woman visits. She treats genital warts with prescription medications. She uses the most advanced techniques to remove cervical precancers and warts that resist treatment.
Dr. Kerr also provides access and counseling for women interested in HPV prevention with the Gardasil vaccine. To learn more about reducing your risk of HPV and associated complications, call the office of Mary Kerr, M.D., Inc., or book an appointment online today.