Pap Smear Specialist

Laura Kuperman, MD

Gynecology located in Forest Hills, NY

Cervical cancer used to be one of the most common types of cancer death for women in the United States, but Pap smears have changed that. Laura Kuperman, MD, is a skilled gynecologist offering Pap smears and other preventive gynecological services to women in Forest Hills, New York. To schedule your Pap smear, call the office or schedule a well-woman exam online today.

Pap Smear Q & A

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear, or Pap test, is a test that looks for cervical cancer. Your cervix is at the top of your vagina and the lower end of your uterus.

Dr. Kuperman takes samples from your cervix for testing during a pelvic exam while holding your vaginal walls open with a speculum. She screens these cells for abnormalities that either indicates cancer is present or may develop in the future. A Pap smear isn’t painful, but the quick procedure may be mildly uncomfortable.

Early detection is a critical step in diagnosing, treating, and preventing cervical cancer, and Pap smears reduce cervical cancer rates and death by 80%.

Who needs a Pap smear?

Regular Pap tests usually begin at age 21 or when you first become sexually active. Based on your health, Dr. Kuperman might recommend additional testing if you:

  • Have a weakened immune system or HIV
  • Have a history of cervical cancer or abnormal Pap smears
  • Were exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) before being born

Some women no longer require Pap smears. For example, you may be able to stop them following a hysterectomy or if you’re over 65 and have a history of routine Pap smears. Dr. Kuperman works with you and evaluates your risks to determine the best testing guidelines to protect your health.

What is an abnormal Pap smear?

Receiving abnormal Pap smear results doesn’t mean you have cancer. These results tell Dr. Kuperman that your cervical cells have changed. Abnormal Pap smears can be due to:

  • Yeast, bacterial, or protozoan infections
  • Viral infections like human papillomavirus (HPV), a cause of cervical cancer
  • Natural changes to the cervix from atrophic vaginitis due to menopause

Certain factors can also increase the likelihood of having an abnormal Pap test, like smoking or high-risk sexual behavior. This sexual activity could include having multiple partners or not using condoms. These are both factors that increase your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or other infections that might endanger your reproductive health.

If you have an abnormal Pap smear, Dr. Kuperman might recommend additional testing, such as a colposcopy. During this procedure, she examines the cells of your cervix under magnification and can perform biopsies.

Call Laura Kuperman, MD, or schedule a well-woman exam online to have a Pap smear screening.