MoonDragon's Women's Health Procedures Information
& PAP SMEAR (CERVICAL SMEAR)
For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
A pelvic examination is the examination of the female external and internal genitalia. The Pap smear (cervical smear), carried out during the pelvic examination, is a laboratory study used to detect cancerous or precancerous cells on the cervix. Annual pelvic examination with a Pap Smear is recommended for most women and more often for those in high-risk categories.
REASONS FOR PELVIC-PAP PROCEDURE
Routine diagnostic check. Investigate the cause of abdominal or pelvic pain. Unexpected vaginal bleeding or discharge. Bladder problems. A general check before prescribing any form of contraception. Pain during intercourse. Suspected sexually transmitted disease. In pregnancy, to assess the position of the baby. As a part of infertile studies. Screening test for cervical cancer.
PELVIC-PAP RISK FACTORS
DESCRIPTION OF PELVIC-PAP PROCEDURE
Do not douche before the examination.
The examination is usually performed in the examiner's office, but an examination may be performed during a client's home visit by a midwife or other health care provider.
On the examination table, you will lie on your back with knees bent and legs apart (legs are usually placed in stirrups for support). If the examination is performed in a client's home, the exam may be done on a bed (with the buttocks propped up slightly by pillows or padding if internal visual examination must be made using a speculum) or possibly on a firm surface, such as a table top with pillows and soft padding.
The external genital organs will be examined visually for lumps, sores, skin discoloration, inflammation and qualities suggesting the general hormonal status.
A speculum is placed inside the vagina and opened. The speculum is an instrument that holds the vaginal walls apart and allows the examiner to see the cervix and vagina and check for inflammation, infection, scars or growths. There may be some feeling of pressure on the bladder or rectum with the speculum in place.
With a swab, a sampling of cells is taken from the cervix and placed on a glass slide for the Pap smear test. If you have an infection or there are signs of infection present, a sample of vaginal or cervical discharge may be taken for laboratory analysis also.
After the speculum is removed, the examiner will place two fingers in the vagina and the other hand on top of the abdomen to check placement of uterus and ovaries and to assess their size, shape, consistency and tenderness. This procedure may cause some discomfort.
Usually there is a rectal examination, where the examiner places one finger in the rectum (often, one finger is placed in the vagina at the same time) to check the rectum itself and other nearby structures.
PELVIC-PAP EXPECTED OUTCOME
There are no after-effects expected from the examination. In routine examinations, the results are usually normal.
PELVIC-PAP POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS
None expected from the examination. The findings may indicate a disorder to be treated or a condition requiring further diagnostic testing.
PELVIC-PAP POST PROCEDURE CARE
There may be some slight vaginal discharge following the examination. Use a tissue to wipe or place one in the underpants temporarily. If there is bleeding (rare), a sanitary pad may be necessary.
Any findings from the physical examination or further diagnostic testing recommendations will be discussed with you by the examiner.
The results of the Pap smear testing may take several days or more. They will be reported to you by phone or mail. Be sure you and the midwife or health care provider follow up on any abnormalities that are detected.
Medication is usually not necessary.
ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS & RESTRICTIONS
DIET & NUTRITION
No special diet. However, you should follow a healthy, balanced nutritional program for a healthy immune system and a healthy body.
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Adult Regular Diet
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information, Guidelines, Dietary Recommendations
NOTIFY YOUR MIDWIFE OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
You or your family member have not had a routine pelvic examination as recommended.
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