Regular Pap smear testing is essential for every woman for maintaining good reproductive health. Dr. Helen Matthews in San Ramon, CA is a board-certified gynecologist and obstetrician whose practice provides Pap smear testing for patients in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Typically performed along with a pelvic exam, a Pap smear is a test carried out to check for the presence of cervical cancer. A gynecologist collects cell samples from the cervix and sends them to a laboratory to be examined for characteristics that indicate cancer. A Pap smear only takes a few minutes and is usually painless. Some women may experience pain, however, which could be a sign of a problem. If you experience pain during a Pap smear, let your gynecologist know.
If women are between the ages of 21 and 29, they should get a Pap smear every three years, unless they have gynecological problems that warrant more frequent Pap smears. If you are between the ages of 30 thru 64, you should get either a Pap smear and test for human papillomavirus (HPV) every five years, or just a Pap smear test every three years. Women under 21 and over 65 do not need to have Pap smears unless instructed otherwise by their doctor. Women who have had a total hysterectomy due to a non-cancerous condition, such as fibroids, may discontinue Pap smears unless otherwise instructed by their doctor.
If your Pap smear shows an abnormality, remain calm and ask your gynecologist any questions you have about your test result. Abnormal Pap smears can be unsettling, but often an abnormal test result is merely indicative of a less serious condition and not cervical cancer. When a Pap smear is abnormal, your doctor will either repeat the Pap smear immediately or in a few months and/or do further testing to determine the cause of the abnormality.
Dr. Helen Matthews is currently accepting new patients at her practice and welcomes any woman who is seeking Pap smear testing in the San Ramon area. Her practice, Women Physicians for Women’s Health, provides women-centered health care services and treatment. Call today to schedule an appointment.
At the office of Dr. Helen Matthews, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
"I saw Dr. Matthews for the birth of my second child and she was excellent. She thoroughly asked how I felt, examined me, was kind to my child who came with me..."
"I'm pregnant with my first child, and have emailed Dr. Matthews several times with different questions. Each time she's gotten back to me within a couple hours."
"Dr. Matthews is AWESOME. She is very personable, cheerful, knowledgeable and makes you feel so comfortable."
"Dr. Matthews is truly the best obstetrician I have met. She delivered my second child, and will be delivering my third. She was very attentive to all of my needs..."