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Pap Smear

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Pap Smear Treatment & Diagnostics in Sadashiv Peth, Pune

Pap Smear

The Papanicolaou test also referred to as the pap test, is an evaluation or screening procedure used for testing the precancerous and cancerous stage in the cervix or colon. The cervix is referred to as the opening of the uterus. The procedure of pap smear involves collecting cells from the cervix area and testing for any abnormal growth as early detection can help find a cure at a much better possibility rate. A pap smear test is also used to evaluate the growth of cancerous cells that may develop in the future. The test is performed at the doctor’s office and although it may be a little uncomfortable to undergo, it does not involve any long-term pain.


Women between the age of 21 and 65 are recommended to undergo a Pap smear regularly. How often one does depend on their overall health and if they’ve had an abnormal Pap smear in the past. The test should be taken once every three years. The pap smear can be combined with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), and it’s linked to cervical cancer, starting at age 30.

It may be recommended to take the test if there are certain conditions, medical or otherwise, are involved. Such as:

  • HIV infection
  • Cervical cancer or precancerous cells
  • Weak immune system due to any medical condition
  • Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) before birth

The pap smear is recommended only to women who have a cervix. Women who have undergone a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix and no history of cervical cancer do not require screening.

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There may be certain risks involved with undergoing a pap smear, including:

- False-negative return that may come out because of a small number of abnormal cells, blood cells obstructing the abnormal cells, or inadequate accumulation of the cervix cells.

It is also possible that a test might show no presence of abnormal cells once but may be different the next time because cervix cancer can take a long time to develop.


For the screening to be the most effective, certain measures should be taken before the pap smear.

- Avoid using any vaginal medications or creams for two days before the test

- Avoid intercourse

- Schedule the pap smear days apart from the menstrual period

- Don’t rinse the vagina with water, vinegar, or other fluid (douche)


The test takes place in the doctor’s office itself. It can take from 10 to 20 minutes. The doctor usually uses a metallic or plastic tool like a speculum and inserts it into the vagina which allows them to see the cervix. The doctor will then use a swab to collect the sample of cells from the cervix for the test. The sample is then placed into a liquid substance in a small container and sent to the lab for testing. The pap smear doesn’t hurt or cause pain but it may be a little uncomfortable. It may take a few days for the result to come back.


The pap smear can result in two situations, normal pap smear and abnormal pap smear.

A normal pap smear is a situation wherein the results come out to be normal, referred to as negative, and there is usually nothing to worry about for the next three years.

An abnormal pap smear is a situation wherein the results for the pap test come out to be a positive indication of the presence of some abnormality which may or may not be cancer.

Depending on the result, the doctor may give further recommendations.

Is it important to take a pap smear?

Yes, women under the age of 65 and over 21 need to take the pap test as it helps detect precancerous cells on your cervix and, in turn, helps you prevent cervical cancer.

Is a pap smear the same as a pelvic exam?

Pap smear is different from the pelvic exam. Although, a pap smear is often performed during the pelvic exam as it involves viewing and examining the reproductive organs — including the vagina, vulva, cervix, ovaries, and uterus.


  • Pap smear
  • Pap test
  • Cervical cancer
  • Pelvic exam
  • HIV infection

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