Before, during, and after the appointment there are things that can be done to ensure the process goes smoothly. These tips include:
Be sure to schedule the appointment when it is not time for the patient's menstrual cycle. About 10 days after the patient's menstrual period is ideal. If the patient happens to be on her menstrual period on the day of the appointment call the doctor to cancel and reschedule the appointment for a time when she is not on her menstrual period.
On the day of the appointment before the test begins, all patients must tell their doctor about any discharges, infections, or pain that she has or currently is experiencing. If the patient knows that she has been exposed to HPV, or if there is a possibility that she has been exposed, she should tell her doctor about this so that her doctor can pay special attention for signs and symptoms.
All patients should take the time to write down any questions that they have for their doctor. She should bring this list of questions with her to her Pap smear appointment and make it a point to ask all of them.
After the appointment once the patient receives her Pap smear results, if the results are abnormal, the patient should take the time to get the details as to why the results were abnormal from her doctor. Ask questions if there is anything that is difficult to understand.
If the patient's doctor suggests further treatment procedures or diagnostic testing the patient should schedule it promptly. If the patient feels that further treatment or testing may not be necessary she should get a second opinion and not just ignore her doctor's advice.