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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Women's Health Papsmear


It is also called as Pap test, cervical smear. It is done for the early detection of cervical cancer. This test is done to detect the Human papilloma virus infection in the female.

Pap smear is a test to look at the sample of cells taken from the cervix. It is screening test used in gynecology to detect premalignant and malignant cancer. It involves collecting cells from cervix, the lower, narrow end of your uterus. It is microscopic examination of cells taken from cervix, the narrowest part of the uterus.


How Pap smear is done

A pap smear is done during pelvic examination. A doctor uses a device called speculum to widen the opening of the vagina so that cervix can be examined. A plastic spatula and small brush are used to collect cells from cervix. After the cells are taken, they are placed in a solution. The solution is sent to a lab for testing.


When and how often you need to undergo Pap smear. Pap smear guidelines from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American college of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).





From 21 to 29



Every two years with a liquid based test or annually with a conventional test


Annual pap



Pap tests at least every three years

Over 30 years


Every 2-3 years if you have had 3 negative tests in a row


Every 2-3 years if you have had three negative tests in s row

Pap tests at least every 3 years

If you have certain risk factors you need to undergo pap smear annually, regardless of your age

These risk factors include

False negative results can occur in case of

  • An inadequate collection of cells.
  • A small number of abnormal cells.
  • An inaccessible location of lesion.
  • A small lesion.
  • Abnormal cells mimicking benign cells.
  • Blood or inflammatory cells obscuring the abnormal cells.

Tell your doctor if you have:

  • Taking any medications or birth control pills.
  • Have had any abnormal pap smear in the past.
  • Might be pregnant.

Avoid these within 24 hours of test:

  • Douching.
  • Having intercourse.
  • Taking a tub bath.
  • Avoid scheduling the Pap smear during menstrual periods.

Pap smears may be discontinued after a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix), unless the surgery was performed for cervical pre-invasive or invasive cancer or other uterine cancers.


If the pap smear shows abnormal cells, the other confirmatory tests such as Colposcopy or biopsy is recommended.