PAP Test (PAP Smear) Clinic in Brampton
Whether it’s your first time or your 10th time, having a PAP test done is an important part of a woman’s health plan. Googling a “PAP test clinic near me” to book an appointment needs to be a main priority for any woman over the age of 20.
Heart Lake Health Centre is a family medical centre in Brampton that offers various women’s health programs and assessments, including a cervical cancer test known as a PAP smear.
About the PAP Test
Commonly referred to as a PAP test, a Papanicolaou test is a method of cervical screening used to test for cancer or precancerous cells within the cervix.
The PAP test, or PAP smear, is performed in a doctor’s office or walk-in clinic and only takes a few minutes to complete. Most women only need to visit a PAP test clinic once every three years. Any signs of abnormal cells may require a PAP smear to be done every six months until two negative tests are achieved. Varying results can uncover any precancerous cells.
What to Expect at Our PAP Test Clinic
At Heart Lake Health Centre, we want all women to feel comfortable and safe when undergoing a PAP smear test. Our health team will discuss the procedure with you and answer any questions you may have. It’s important to notify your healthcare provider of any allergies you have, prescribed medications and/or herbal supplements you’re taking and give them a brief history of your menstrual cycle.
In regard to the actual procedure, you will undress from the waist down, put on a a gown, and lie down on the examination table with your feet in stirrups.
A metal or plastic medical instrument, a speculum, will be inserted into your vagina to widen the inner walls to gain access to the cervix. A medical soft spatula is inserted through the speculum to swab the inner cervix to collect cells. These cells are then placed in a secure vial to be sent to the lab for testing. A pelvic examination will immediately follow. The PAP smear test will just take a few minutes.
When to Expect Results of the PAP Test
PAP test results can be expected to be delivered from the lab within three weeks of testing. Most healthcare providers are able to receive the results three days after the test, depending on the lab used.
Normal results with no abnormalities are commonly referred to as negative results. It’s likely no further gynecological procedures or appointments will be needed until your next scheduled PAP test.
Abnormal results do not immediately translate to a cancer diagnosis. Cervix cells may offer abnormal results due to various levels of abnormal cells. These include mild, moderate and severe dysplasia, atypical squamous cells, and adenocarcinoma in situ.
If you receive abnormal results from your PAP test, your doctor can explain what they mean and what the next steps might be.
Book an Appointment for a PAP Test in Brampton
Follow-Up Procedures and Appointments
A follow-up appointment and/or test may be needed with any abnormal or negative PAP smear test results. These can involve another PAP smear test, a tissue biopsy, or a colposcopy (an examination done with a magnifying instrument called a colposcope).
Your doctor may also recommend an HPV test if it wasn’t already done as part of your PAP test. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a type of virus that can cause abnormal tissue growth, including warts and other cell changes that may lead to cancer in some cases. HPV is a very common virus that’s often transmitted sexually.
Why Choose Heart Lake Health Centre Clinic for a PAP Test in Brampton?
At Heart Lake Health Centre, we offer various tests and vaccinations related to the PAP test, including the HPV vaccine Gardasil. Our team of professional medical personnel provides assessments and care in our modern facility with state-of-the-art equipment and scientifically proven treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions About PAP Tests
All women aged 21 to 69 years should get a PAP test, especially if they have had oral sex or sexual intercourse.
The PAP test is covered by OHIP. With no valid health insurance, the service is available for a fee.
At Heart Lake Health Centre, conveniently located in Brampton, we offer PAP smear tests for women. We are proud to serve the communities of Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon, providing compassionate care and promoting women’s health.
Make sure to book your PAP smear appointment at a time when you won’t be on your period.
If you are on treatment for any kind of vaginal or cervical infection, you’ll have to rebook your PAP test for at least two weeks after the end of treatment.
It’s recommended that you avoid using vaginal medicines and spermicidal foams, creams, and jellies for at least two days before the scheduled test. Sexual intercourse and douching should also be avoided during this time.
For many women, the first PAP smear can be uncomfortable, depending on individual pain threshold. Most women describe the sensation as a slight pinch on the inner walls of the vagina. Some women experience very light bleeding after the procedure.
All women, sexually active or not, should get a PAP test every one to three years, depending on their previous test results.
The PAP test is intended to detect any cervical precancerous changes. Without the test, any cervical abnormalities may reach an advanced stage or turn into cancer.
Every woman should begin having the PAP test at the age of 21 years.
No, the HPV test is not covered by OHIP.
In Ontario, only students in grade 7 can get the HPV vaccine for free.
Otherwise, for those under the age of 26, the vaccine can be purchased with a prescription and might be covered by private insurance plans.
At Heart Lake Health Centre, we offer medical services to international travellers and students to ensure that they are in good health during their time in Canada.