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The Importance of Pelvic Exa​ms and Pap Tests

Why is a pelvic exam so important to a woman’s health?

“This type of health screening can help detect precancerous conditions in the early stages even before symptoms are exhibited.

Dr. Breazeale says that cervical cancer has a greater chance of being cured when detected in the early stages.

“A Pap smear takes only a few minutes to perform and is usually done in a doctor’s office as part of a well-woman exam,” she says. “A small sample of cells is gently brushed from the cervix and sent to a lab for examination. Your doctor can talk with you about concerns you may have regarding the exam and what the results m​ean.”

Dr. Breazeale says that pelvic exams can also help detect infections, ovarian tumors and uterine fibroids. Testing frequency may vary based on a woman’s medical and family history which may influence her risks for developing cervical or vaginal cancer.

“Well-woman physicals that include a pelvic exam and Pap smear are an important part of a woman’s overall health routine,” concludes Dr. Breazeale, who cares for patients at Kelsey-Seybold’s Kingwood Clinic and Kelsey-Seybold – The Woodlands OB/GYN Clinic.​