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If you’ve scheduled your first Pap smear at a gynecologist’s office, you’re taking an important step toward safeguarding your health. Pap tests allow your gynecologist to check for abnormal changes of the cervix, some of which may lead to cervical cancer. It’s perfectly normal to experience a little anxiety about having a Pap smear. However, staying relaxed and easing muscle tension in your lower body can make the test proceed more quickly.

Preparing for Your Appointment

When you call the gynecology office to schedule the Pap test, be sure to choose a date on which you do not expect to have your period. It’s generally best to schedule the test 10 to 20 days after the first day of your period. During the two days prior to your appointment, you should avoid certain things that may interfere with the results of your test. This includes using tampons, vaginal deodorant sprays or powders, vaginal creams, and vaginal suppositories. You should also avoid douching and having sex.

Undergoing the Exam

At the gynecology office, you’ll have privacy while you disrobe and put on a hospital gown. Then, you’ll sit on the edge of the exam table, place your feet in the stirrups, and lie back on the table. You’ll be asked to separate your legs and to relax your muscles. Some women may experience some minor discomfort during the exam. It can be helpful to take deep, steady breaths. Your gynecologist will examine your external genitalia before gently inserting a speculum. This device widens the opening so that the gynecologist can examine the cervix and vaginal walls. Then, the gynecologist uses other medical tools to collect a sample of cervical cells. After the provider collects the sample and removes the medical devices, he or she performs a manual internal examination. The gynecologist inserts two fingers into the vagina and places the other hand on your abdomen. This allows your gynecologist to check for any abnormalities in the pelvic region.

If you have any questions about your upcoming appointment at Washington Surgi-Clinic , you can call us at (202) 659-9403. Our state-of-the-art medical facility provides an unparalleled level of professional and courteous personal care for women. In addition to annual Pap tests and pelvic exams, our gynecology team provides STD testing, morning after pills, and pregnancy termination near Washington, D.C.