A woman speaking with a doctor during consultation It’s perfectly understandable and common for any woman to feel anxious about getting their first Pap smear or Pap test done, mainly because they don’t know what’s it about and what happens during the test. A Pap test is a painless and straightforward procedure that lasts up to three to five minutes. To ease your anxiety, West Jordan Medical Center gives some basic things you should know about it.

What Is a Pap Test?

It’s a simple test used for checking out any changes in your cervix’s cells. Your gynecologist will collect cells from your cervix. These specimens would then be examined for any irregularities that might indicate abnormal changes in your cells, like cervical cancer or dysplasia.

When Will I Know the Results?

Prior to getting a Pap test, check with your gynecologist about their policy regarding notifying patients of the Pap test results. In general, your gynecologist would receive the results in two to three weeks and then notify you by mail or phone about your results. In case your gynecologist doesn’t contact you after three weeks, you should call for a follow-up. Abnormal test results usually require follow-up tests.

When Should I Have My First Pap Test Done?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you should get your first Pap test done at 21 years old. If you’re older than 21 years old (regardless if you’re sexually active or not) and have never had a Pap test, get tested as soon as possible, advises a renowned ob-gyn in West Jordan.

How Often Should I Undergo a Pap Test?

As per the recommendation of ACOG, this would depend on how old you are and your previous Pap test results. For women 20 and above, they should have one every three years.

For women between 30 and 65 years old, they should have one every three to five years.