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Cervical cancer occurs in women when the cervix cells grow abnormally. While the exact cause is unknown, most cases can be attributed to certain strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease. Cervical cancer that is treated in its early stages can lead to positive outcomes, and precancerous cells are currently almost entirely curable.

Pap smear tests are used to detect precancerous or cancerous cells in the cervix and are generally performed during your routine gynecological exam. Dr. Ayalon suggests that women over the age of 20 and those who become sexually active before 21 have annual pap smear tests and pelvic exams.

Pap smear tests are quick and performed in Dr. Ayalon’s office. You will need to lie on your back with your feet in stirrups. A speculum will be used to gently open the walls of the vagina. With a small instrument, Dr. Ayalon will scrape a few cell samples from your cervix. These samples are then sent to a lab for examination.

Some women report that they experience slight discomfort or pressure during the test, but many do not. Slight bleeding may occur after the test. When the test results return, Dr. Ayalon will notify you.