Pap smear

Avoid sexual intercourse, douching, or using spermicidal products the day before the test. Take deep breaths and try to stay calm.

Pap smear

Pregnancy[ edit ] Pap tests can usually be performed during pregnancy up to at least 24 weeks of Pap smear age. Obtaining a pap smear should not cause much pain, [29] but it can if the woman has certain untreated vaginal problems such as cervical stenosis or vaginismusor if the person performing it is too harsh, or uses the wrong size speculum.

It is, however, not comfortable, for two reasons which work together: So it can be uncomfortable, but it is generally quick, and the information obtained may be critical.

How the Test is Performed

People with underlying pain or tissue diseases that can react to nociceptors pain nerves being scraped or to excessive cold in the mucous membranes should take appropriate precautions and discuss the process ahead of time with their providers, in writing if necessary.

A smaller speculum, lidocaine gel, and warming the instruments and lubricant ahead of time, along with extra time in the exam room and gentle technique, can all contribute to reducing the risk to manageable levels.

These are reasonable accommodations to ask for and are aligned with good practice. Many people experience spotting or mild diarrhea afterward. The spotting is usually from the scrape on the cervix and the diarrhea may be due to indirect stimulation of the lower intestine during the exam.

Many health care providers are under the false impression that only sterile water, or no lubricant at all, should be used to lubricate the speculum. This may result in unnecessary discomfort.

A number of studies have shown that using a small amount of water-based gel lubricant does not interfere with, obscure, or distort the PAP smear. Further, cytology is not affected, nor are some STD testing.

The health care provider then collects a sample of cells from the outer opening or os of the cervix by scraping it with an Aylesbury spatula. An endocervical brush is rotated in the central opening of the cervix. The cells are placed on a glass slide and taken to the laboratory to be checked for abnormalities.

A plastic-fronded broom is sometimes used in place of the spatula and brush.

Pap test - Wikipedia

The broom is not as good a collection device, since it is much less effective at collecting endocervical material than the spatula and brush. The sample is stained using the Papanicolaou techniquein which tinctorial dyes and acids are selectively retained by cells.

Unstained cells cannot be seen with a light microscope.

Pap smear

Papanicolaou chose stains that highlighted cytoplasmic keratinization, which actually has almost nothing to do with the nuclear features used to make diagnoses now. In some cases, a computer system may prescreen the slides, indicating those that do not need examination by a person or highlighting areas for special attention.

The sample is then usually screened by a specially trained and qualified cytotechnologist using a light microscope. The terminology for who screens the sample varies according to the country; in the UKthe personnel are known as cytoscreenersbiomedical scientists BMSadvanced practitioners and pathologists.

The latter two take responsibility for reporting the abnormal sample which may require further investigation.The Pap test checks for cervical cancer. Cells scraped from the opening of the cervix are examined under a microscope.

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina. Pap tests detect abnormal cervical cells, including precancerous cervical lesions, as well as early cervical cancers.


HPV tests detect HPV infections that can cause cervical cell abnormalities. Learn how Pap and HPV tests are done, how often testing should be done, and how are HPV test results are reported. A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women.

Pap and HPV Testing - National Cancer Institute

A Pap smear involves collecting cells from your cervix — the lower, narrow . A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a screening procedure for cervical cancer.

Pap smear

It tests for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix. The cervix is the opening of the. A Pap smear (Papanicolau smear; also known as the Pap test) is a screening test for cervical cancer. The test itself involves collection of a sample of cells from a woman's cervix (the end of the uterus that extends into the vagina) during a routine pelvic exam.

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a screening procedure for cervical tests for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix. The cervix is the opening of the.

Pap smear - Mayo Clinic