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PAP & Cultures

Cervical cancer screening is used to find changes in the cells of the cervix that could lead to cancer. The cervix is the opening to the uterus and is located at the top of the vagina. Screening includes cervical cytology (also called the Pap testor Pap smear) and, for some women, testing for human papillomavirus (HPV).

Current ACOG Guidelines:

  • Women aged 21–29 years should have a Pap test alone every 3 years. HPV testing is not recommended.
  • Women aged 30–65 years should have a Pap test and an HPV test (co-testing) every 5 years (preferred). It also is acceptable to have a Pap test alone every 3 years.

Infections, caused by the presence of bacteria, can cause or increase infertility problems such as tubal blockage, pelvic adhesions and miscarriage.

To obtain a specimen for pathology, a swab of your cervix will be performed. The specimen​ can be collected during any visit, after your menses has ended. Typically, the specimen will be collected during the hysteroscopy procedure. 

The specimen will be sent to an external laboratory (LabCorp, Quest, MDL, etc) for processing. The specimen will be tested for the following:

  • Chlamydia
    • A sexually transmitted infection caused by the microorganism chlamydia trachomatis, which if left untreated in a woman may cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), pelvic adhesions, and tubal blockage.​
    • Treated with antibiotics for both partners, if left untreated laparoscopy may be needed to remove adhesions and unblock tubes.
  • Gonorrhea
    • ​A sexually transmitted infection caused by the microorganism Neisseria gonorrhea, which if left untreated in a woman may cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), pelvic adhesions, and tubal blockage.
    • Treated with antibiotics for both partners, if left untreated laparoscopy may be needed to remove adhesions and unblock tubes.
  • Trichomoniasis
    • Trichomoniasis (or “trich”) is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by infection with a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. Although symptoms of the disease vary, most women and men who have the parasite cannot tell they are infected.​
    • Treated with antibiotics and a microbial for both partners.
  • Ureaplasma & Mycoplasma
    • Ureaplasma and mycoplasma are bacteria that can be commonly found in the reproductive tract of both men and women.​
    • Treated with antibiotics for both partners.

As the uterus is designed to be a sterile environment, bacterial interferes with this delicate enviroment. Occasionally, additional culture samples will be obtained during an endometrial biopsy to determine if additional treatent is needed. 

These bacterial growths include, but are not limited to:

  • Escherichia coli (E. Coli)
  • Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis)
  • Group B strep
  • Yeast
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