Pap Smear Test

What is Pap smear

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is an exam a doctor uses to test for cervical cancer in women. It can also reveal changes in your cervical cells that may turn into cancer later.

Why Is a Pap Smear Done?

A pap smear is done to look for changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer. If you have cancer, finding it early on gives you the best chance of fighting it. If you don’t, finding cell changes early can help prevent you from getting cancer.

Women ages 21-65 should have a Pap smear on a regular basis. How often you do depends on your overall health and whether or not you’ve had an abnormal Pap smear in the past.


How Often Should I Have a Pap Smear?

You should have the test every 3 years from ages 21 to 65. You may choose to combine your Pap testing with being tested for the human papillomavirus (HPV) starting at age 30. If you do so, then you can be tested every 5 years instead. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), and it’s linked to cervical cancer.

You shouldn’t have a Pap smear during your period. Heavy bleeding can affect the accuracy of the test. If your test ends up being scheduled for that time of month, ask your doctor if you can reschedule.

For the most accurate Pap smear, doctors recommend taking the following steps, starting 48 hours before your test.

  • Don’t have sex or use lubricants.
  • Don’t use sprays or powders near the vagina.
  • Don’t insert anything into the vagina, including tampons, medications, creams, and suppositories.
  • Don’t rinse the vagina with water, vinegar, or other fluid (douche).

The test is done in your doctor’s office or clinic. It takes about 10 to 20 minutes.

You’ll lie on a table with your feet placed firmly in stirrups. You’ll spread your legs, and your doctor will insert a metal or plastic tool (speculum) into your vagina. They’ll open it so that it widens the vaginal walls. This allows them to see your cervix. Your doctor will use a swab to take a sample of cells from your cervix. They’ll place them into a liquid substance in a small jar, and send them to a lab for review. The Pap test doesn’t hurt, but you may feel a little pinch or a bit of pressure.


What are the results & risks of Pap Smear Test?

Your doctor will get them within a few days. They’ll come back either negative (normal) or positive (abnormal). If your results come back positive, it doesn’t mean you have cancer.

There are several reasons you could have an abnormal Pap smear.

  • Mild inflammation or minor cell changes (dysplasia)
  • HPV or other infection
  • Cancer or pre-cancer
  • Lab test error

If result is positive then repeat test after few month

A Pap smear is considered a safe procedure. But it’s possible that the test may miss some abnormal cells or cervical cancers (false negative).

Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of cervical cancer screening.

Consult with our experienced Doctors

JNU is home to some of the most eminent doctors in the world, most of whom are pioneers in their respective arenas and are renowned for developing innovative and revolutionary procedures