How can I prepare for my yearly pap test?
If you want the most accurate results from your pap smear there are a few simple tips. A simple plan before your visit
1) It’s best not to have your period. Try to schedule your appointment about 10-14 days after you expect your period. You do not need to cancel your appointment if you are bleeding but let your doctor’s office know before you go to the office in case they want you to reschedule.
2) Remind your physician if you have ever had an abnormal pap or HPV in the past. The doctor has probably seen thousands of patients since your last visit. Do not assume it is on “right there” on the record
3) Tell your doctor if you have noticed anything abnormal. For example an odor or discharge. If you are having pain, that is important to mention too.
4) The most common mistake is to douche before you go to the GYN. Don’t douche for at least three days prior to your appointment.
5) Another common mistake is intercourse. Refrain from intercourse for two days prior to your appointment.
6) Along the same lines, do not use tampons, birth control foams or jellies for 48 hours prior to your appointment.
7) The worst mistake you can make is not calling for your results. Call for your results in about one week time. Never assume they are normal because the doctor didn’t contact you. No news is no news and you need your results.
8) Make sure you understand your results and the follow up plan. If you have to go back for follow up, go. Don’t let it slide. The Pap smear program works and it works well. Follow it and you should never get into any trouble.
By: Dr. Jonathan Herman. www.learnabouthboc.com