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Changes To Pap Smear Screening Guidelines


Dec. 20, 2017 8:58 am


If you're like most women who dread having to get a Pap smear done at your yearly wellness check, you're in luck! Changes in the Pap smear screening guidelines now advise against annual Pap smears for the majority of women. We sat down with Dr. Valary Gass at Women's Care of Wisconsin to discuss what guidelines have changed so you know what to expect at your next gynecologist visit.

First, Let's Talk About What A Pap Smear Is


Even though Pap smears are no longer a yearly requirement, they're still important! Pap smears are
used to screen for cervical cancer in women. The test itself is used to collect cells from your cervix
and it helps your gynecologist screen for changes in your cervical cells that indicate cancer may
develop in the future. Cervical cancer is a particularly aggressive disease, so catching it early on
through Pap smear screening is crucial!

How Often Do You Actually Need To Have A Pap Smear Done?

All of the recent changes to the Pap smear screening guidelines have caused a lot of confusion
about when women should be screened, but the real answer is that it depends on the age, health,
and family history of each woman.

"The new guidelines state that women should start screening at the age of 21," Dr. Gass says,
but most women don't need to be screened every year.

"Women over the age of 21 should have a Pap smear done every 3 years," Dr. Gass explains.
"At age 30, women can continue getting a Pap smear every 3 years or they can choose to get a
Pap smear with HPV co-testing every 5 years."


For women who cringe at the thought of getting their next Pap smear done, these new guidelines
are great, but it's important to remember that your health and family history are also factors when
it comes to determining how often you should be screened.

If you have had an abnormal Pap smear in the past, have a history of cervical cancer, are HIV+,
have a weakened immune system, or if you were exposed to diethylstibestrol (a synthetic form of
estrogen) in utero, you may need to be screened more frequently.


Dr. Gass also points out that women should not stop screening unless advised by their doctor.


"If you have questions about when you should be screened, how often you should be screened or
when you should stop screening, please have a frank conversation with your doctor," Dr. Gass
advises.  


Keep Seeing Your Gynecologist Annually -- Even If You Don't Need A Pap Smear


Just because you get to skip your Pap smear this year doesn't mean you should skip your annual
wellness check too! For many women, their gynecologist is the only doctor they see each year.
Your annual wellness check is an opportunity to go over more than just your cervical cells -- plus,
it's covered by the Affordable Care Act! So do your body a favor and don't skip your annual
appointment completely.


Schedule An Appointment

If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Women's Care, you can
call us at 920-729-7105 or click here.

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Why Are More Women Choosing To Use Nitrous Oxide?


Aug. 17, 2017 11:39 am



At Women's Care, we believe in providing our patients with options so we can develop a health plan that meets both their physical and emotional needs. That means having the most advanced techniques, which is why we're happy to offer patient-controlled nitrous oxide to assist with pain relief and anxiety during gynecological procedures.

"We have a lot of women who are now choosing to use nitrous just because of the ease and the availability," Tanya Henry, RN, explains. "Before when we didn't have it, just the simple procedure of an IUD placement or a biopsy for a patient who couldn't tolerate it meant we would have to use sedation of some sort."

When nitrous oxide is used for gynecologic procedures, the gas is inhaled through a mask for about 30 seconds before the procedure begins.

Unlike a sedative, the effects of nitrous oxide start to fade quickly as the gas is cleared from the body through the lungs.

"Nitrous oxide completely relaxes the patient enough without the complications that could arise in having to go to sleep," Tanya says. "It's much better than using a sedation option where the patient would be down and out for the rest of the day."

Within a few minutes after the nitrous oxide mask is pulled away, the gas leaves the patient's system, making it a great option for women who need to drive after their procedure.


If you would like more information about how to request nitrous oxide for your next procedure, please call our office at 920.729.7105.

You can also learn more about nitrous oxide on our website by clicking here.

- Comments

What Is Nitrous Oxide and How Does It Work?


July 19, 2017 12:34 pm

Nitrous oxide, often called "laughing gas", has been a common practice to help cope with pain for many years. While it's mainly used in dental offices, Women's Care of Wisconsin is happy to offer you the option of patient-controlled nitrous oxide to assist with pain relief and anxiety during gynecological procedures.



Women's Care's Registered Nurse, Tanya Henry, explains that the nitrous oxide "helps relax you and helps you manage your pain" so that in-office procedures like getting a Pap smear or having an IUD placed are more comfortable.



When nitrous oxide is used for gynecologic procedures, it is a mixture of 50% nitrous gas and 50% oxygen. This gas is inhaled through a mask for about 30 seconds before the procedure begins and is self-administered by the patient, so you can breathe it in as you feel necessary.  


"Some people do find relief from the gas, however some people don't see that the pain goes away, but they're much more relaxed and allow us to do the procedure better because of it," Tanya explains.


Nitrous oxide is cleared from the body through the lungs, so as soon as you pull the mask away, the nitrous effect starts to fade. Within a few minutes, the nitrous oxide will have left your system, making it a great option for women who need to drive after their procedure.


"Essentially, what it's doing when we give you the nitrous is allowing you to relax so the doctor can do what they need to do and in the meantime you're not feeling as much pain or discomfort," Tanya says.


If you would like more information about how to request nitrous oxide for your next procedure, please call our office at 920.729.7105.

You can also learn more about nitrous oxide on our website by clicking here.

- Comments

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