Cervical cancer used to be one of the most serious cancer risks facing women in America, but Pap smears have changed that. At Dr. Fozouni OB/GYN & Associates in Palm Springs, California, Derakhsh Fozouni, MD, provides Pap smears and abnormal Pap smear monitoring through a colposcopy. For the highest-quality gynecological care in a relaxing and supportive environment, call Dr. Fozouni or schedule an appointment online today.
Pap smears, or Pap tests, are cervical cancer screenings. Your cervix connects the top of your vagina with the lower end of your uterus.
During a Pap smear, Dr. Fozouni takes samples of your cervix. This test typically occurs during a pelvic exam. To access your cervix, Dr. Fozouni holds your vaginal walls open with a device called a speculum. It’s not painful when she swabs your cervix for cells, but it can be mildly uncomfortable.
Pap smears reduce cervical cancer rates and death by 80% and are the best method for early detection for diagnosing, treating, and preventing cervical cancer.
An abnormal Pap smear doesn’t mean you have cancer, but rather simply lets Dr. Fozouni know your cervical cells have changed. Several factors can cause abnormal Pap smears, including:
Certain activities may also increase your risk of an abnormal Pap smear, such as smoking or high-risk sexual activity. Sexual activity that’s considered high risk includes not using condoms, having multiple sexual partners, or having a partner who has multiple sexual partners. When you participate in high-risk sexual behavior, you increase your chances of getting infections that endanger your reproductive health, like sexually transmitted diseases.
Depending on your abnormal Pap test results, Dr. Fozouni may recommend a colposcopy.
A colposcopy is a gynecological test that enables Dr. Fozouni to look at your cervix, vagina, and vulva under magnification.
Dr. Fozouni performs your colposcopy at her clinic while you lie on a table with your feet supported. She uses a speculum to hold the walls of your vagina open and applies a solution to your cervix. This solution removes mucus from your cervix and vagina and helps Dr. Fozouni identify suspicious tissue.
If Dr. Fozouni finds irregular cells during your colposcopy, she collects tissue samples for additional testing. This sample is called a biopsy.
To reduce your risk of cervical cancer, call Dr. Derakhsh Fozouni in Palm Springs, California, or schedule a Pap smear appointment online today.