Pap smears examine the cervix for abnormal cell changes that could lead to cervical cancer. Pap tests can also detect HPV-related cell alterations. Pap smears are available via Planned Parenthood, urgent care centers, OB/GYN offices, and The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.
A pap smear with a pelvic exam costs $331 on average, while a pap smear alone costs between $39 and $125.
For only $45 a month, Mira offers low-cost urgent care visits, low-cost lab testing, and inexpensive prescriptions. Unfortunately, many women skip Pap smears due to a lack of health insurance and financial difficulties.
However, owing to government and nonprofit organizations, no woman needs to forego a routine Pap smear due to financial constraints.
This is because county health departments across the country, as well as a federally funded program, provide low-cost or free Pap smears and/or HPV testing, which is an important cervical cancer screening test. Diagnostic tests and referrals for treatment of aberrant results are also included in the program.
Low-Cost and Free Pap Smear Clinics
Local county health departments and women’s clinics offer free and low-cost Pap smears. For the uninsured, the cost of the test is usually based on income level.
Your local Planned Parenthood may also offer low-cost Pap smears. Planned Parenthood is an organization that offers sexual and reproductive health care to individuals, regardless of income.
The Cost of a Pap Smear without Insurance
A pap smear costs between $39- $125 without insurance. The costs shown below do not include a pelvic exam, which is usually provided with a pap smear.
Below we outline the out-of-pocket cost for a pap smear at various medical centers in different cities and states. Please keep in mind that this is the pap smear’s cost alone, not including additional services.
|StatCare Urgent Care, New York, NY
|Maine Health, Biddeford, ME
|Landmark Family Healthcare, Londonderry, NH
|Women’s Health Care Tampa, Tampa, FL
|Medical Arts OBGYN, San Mateo, CA
Additional Costs for a Pap Smear
When paying for a pap smear out-of-pocket, you will likely incur additional charges. Below we outline possible additional services that you should be aware of.
|Gynecological or pelvic exam
|Office/ Follow-up visit
Factors that Influence the Cost of a Pap Smear
When receiving a pap smear, your cost will be influenced by various factors.
After your healthcare provider takes the sample, it will be analyzed in a laboratory to identify any abnormal cells. Since it needs to be taken to a lab, you will likely incur an additional lab charge on your bill.
Due to lack of price regulation, the cost of healthcare services varies depending on which city and state you live in. When it comes to getting a pap smear, the chart above shows that it costs $65 at a medical center in New York but $39 at a provider in Maine.
Where you receive the test
Where you go to receive a pap smear will influence how much it costs. The cost of a pap smear at Planned Parenthood, for example, maybe based on your income. However, at a private OB/GYN, the cost will be established, and you will have to request the cost for an out-of-pocket visit.
Pap Smear Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below we answer some frequently asked questions about pap smears.
What is a pap smear?
Pap tests, often called Pap smears, test for cervical cancer abnormal cell changes in the cervix. Pap tests can also find cell changes caused by HPV (human papillomavirus), but they don’t detect HPV itself. Pap tests may be part of your regular check-up, pelvic exam, or women’s wellness exam.
What can I expect during my pap smear?
During a Pap test, your doctor or nurse puts a metal or plastic speculum into your vagina. The speculum opens up to separate the walls of your vagina so that they can get to your cervix. Then they use a small sampler, a tiny spatula, or a brush to gently collect cells from your cervix.
The cells are sent to a lab to be tested. They only take a few minutes and it typically doe not hurt. You may feel some discomfort or pressure during the test.
Who should get a pap smear?
It’s typical to start getting regular pap smears at age 21. How often you get tested after that depends on your age, medical history, and the results of your last Pap or HPV tests. In general, these are the guidelines:
- If you’re 21–29 years old, you should get a Pap test once every 3 years (at age 25, your doctor may switch to an HPV test).
- If you’re 30–65 years old, get a Pap test and HPV test (co-testing) once every 5 years, or just a Pap test or HPV test every 3 years.
- If you’re older than 65, you may not need Pap tests anymore.
Please note that you may need to get tested more often if you’ve had problems with your cervix before, have a weak immune system, or if your mother took a medicine called DES while she was pregnant with you. Your doctor or nurse will tell you which tests you need and how often you should get them.
How do I know if I have abnormal pap smear results?
If abnormal or unusual cells were discovered during your pap smear, you would have a positive result. However, a positive result doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. What a positive result means depends on the type of cells discovered in your test.
If your Pap smear is abnormal, your doctor may perform a colposcopy procedure using a special magnifying instrument (colposcope) to examine the tissues of the cervix, vagina, and vulva.
Your doctor also may take a tissue sample (biopsy) from any areas that appear abnormal. The tissue sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis and a definitive diagnosis.
While pap smears can be costly when adding additional costs such as a pelvic exam, follow-ups visits, and other medical services, there are ways to avoid these high costs.
One way to avoid high costs is by using Mira. For $45 per month, you can get access to low-cost lab testing, discounted prescriptions, affordable urgent care visits, and more. If you need a pap smear, our customer service team will help you find a location you can afford.
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