Women’s Health Check


You do not need a referral from a physician to access this program. If you are interested in participating, you are welcome to self-refer by calling us at 780-714-2193 to book an appointment.

Cervical Cancer Screening (Pap Testing)

To access a gynecologist/obstetrician in Fort McMurray, you need to be referred by a family physician.

If you have a history of abnormal pap results, please call the PCN to speak with a nurse prior to your appointment. The nurse will review your history to determine whether the screening can be completed at the PCN, or if a visit with your family physician is required.

According to recent changes to the Pap guidelines, there are specific things you must avoid prior to your appointment.

For 24 hours prior to your appointment you must avoid:

  • Douching
  • Sexual Intercourse
  • The use of birth control creams/jellies, or lubricant

Do I need a referral?
A referral to the Women’s Health program is not needed. Patients may self-refer. However, if you do not have a regular family physician here in Fort McMurray, you cannot book an appointment. You must have previously connected with a local family physician, as we need to specify the physician to whom the results are to be forwarded for review. We cannot review test results with patients, either in person or over the phone. You will need to book an appointment with your family doctor at a later date to discuss your results.

When should you have a Pap test?
If you’ve ever been sexually active, you should begin having regular pap tests by the age of 25. Unless your family physician has reason to place you on a more frequent screening schedule (past abnormalities, family history, etc), pap tests should be completed once every three years.

How effective is Pap Testing?
Pap tests are extremely effective; regular testing prevents 9 in 10 cases of cervical cancer. Screening can save your life.

Who will conduct my pap test?
All pap tests at the Wood Buffalo PCN are performed by female nurses.

How long does the test take?
The test itself takes less than 5 minutes. However, we make up to 30 minutes available for every patient. After the test, you are free to discuss any sexual health concerns you may have with your nurse. STI screening can be incorporated into your visit.

Do your nurses conduct breast exams during the test?
Research has shown that the clinical breast exam (manual examination) is not an effective screening method. If you are concerned about abnormalities or changes in your breasts, this needs to be addressed in a visit with your family physician. Otherwise, asymptomatic women are recommended to begin mammography at the age of 50.

For more information...

Taking charge of your health couldn’t be easier. One call. One Test. Once every three years. For more information about cervical cancer and pap testing, click HERE. Call 780-714-2193​​​ to book your appointment today.