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Cervical Cancer Screenings st louis

Cervical Cancer Screenings

While you can perform self-exams to screen for breast cancer, there are no self-exams to screen for cervical cancer.

There are no obvious signs or symptoms of early cervical cancer. To stay one step ahead of any problems, you need regular cervical cancer screenings.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV can be passed on through sexual contact and is the leading cause of cervical cancer. HPV is also the most common STD and most people who have HPV don't have any symptoms.

Although HPV can't be cured, Pap tests look for abnormal cervical cells. If abnormal cells are found, they can be easily treated before they turn into cancer.

Reduce your chances

  • Use condoms and dental dams. They help minimize the chances that you will get an HPV infection that could lead to cervical cancer.
  • If you're under 26, get the HPV vaccine.

What to Expect During Your Cervical Cancer Screening

Your cervical cancer screening can be combined with the rest of your annual exam.

The most common test for cervical cancer is the Pap test. When you come in for your regular check-up and cervical cancer screening, the nurse or doctor will use a speculum (a metal or plastic instrument) to open the vagina and allow access to the cervix.

A small brush or swab will then be used to get a sample of cervical cells to be sent to a lab for analysis. The lab will be able to see if the cervical cells show pre-cancerous changes or if they are perfectly healthy.

How Often Should You Get Cervical Cancer Screenings?

  • If you're between 20-29: every 3 years
  • If you're between 30-65: A pap test combined with an HPV test every 5 years
  • If you're 65 and over with normal results in all Pap test and HPV test results for the past 10 years: you can stop cervical cancer screenings

Pap Test Results

If you have testing done at Planned Parenthood, we’ll contact you ONLY if your results are abnormal. If this is the case, we’ll give you a call to ask you to come back for follow up. Planned Parenthood does not contact patients if the results are negative. Patients can view negative results in the Patient Portal. If you want to confirm a negative result or want a copy for your records, please call the health center or stop by for a copy.

Re: Pap Tests

If you are between the ages of 21 and 66, and you’ve had a Pap test within the past three years, please bring the following information to your appointment:

  •          Name of doctor/location who provided the Pap test
  •          Approximate date of the Pap test
  •          Result of the Pap test

This information is to ensure we provide only the health care you need. If you’re not sure if you received a Pap test, then please bring the information above to the best of your ability.

If you received your Pap test at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, then you do not need to bring in this information.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 314-531-7526.