These exams can detect abnormalities that may lead to cancer or early cancers. Cancer found early is easier to treat and cure.
The pap test is a way to look at cells collected from your cervix and vagina. This test can show the presence of abnormal cells, or cancer.
All women who are or have ever been sexually active should have regular pap tests.
A woman doctor or nurse will ask you a few questions about your medical and sexual history in private. We will assist with your transfer to our large examination table. If required, a ceiling lift is available. We will do all we can to make the examination as comfortable as possible for you.
The doctor or nurse will check both your breasts for any abnormalities. She will then do a pap test. She will also check your tubes, ovaries, and uterus (womb) by putting two gloved fingers inside your vagina. With her other hand, she will feel from the outside for any lumps or tenderness. This takes only a few minutes.
A pap test is simple, quick and painless. While you lie on the exam table, your doctor or nurse inserts a special instrument called a speculum into your vagina to open it. She will use a small brush or wooden stick to take a few cells from your cervix (the opening to the uterus). A lab will check these cells for cancer or other problems.
It is important that you do not have your period when you have your pap test.
Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to remove. We will help you dress and undress if you need us to.
You may bring whomever you want to the appointment. This may be an advocate or an attendant.
For women over 40, information on mammograms is available. The Access clinic can also assist with this exam.