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16 Oct 2022

Pap Smear

A Pap smear is a screening test that tests for precancerous or cancerous cells in the cervix. It is also known as a pap test. The test is usually performed in conjunction with a pelvic exam. During the test, cells are scraped from the cervix using a soft brush or spatula and the sample is sent to a lab. The procedure causes little discomfort, if any. It might cause cramps similar to what is seen during menstruation. The results of the test are usually available within a month. A normal pap smear does not show any abnormal cells. Abnormal cells may have mild abnormalities or severe abnormalities. The abnormal results may be grouped as dysplasia, carcinoma in situ, atypical squamous cells, atypical glandular cells etc. If abnormal cells are present, further tests such as colposcopy or biopsy are performed.

To prepare for the test, it is recommended to not have intercourse, douche, or use tampons for 2 days before the test. It is also advisable to avoid getting a pap test while menstruating as it affects the results. If pregnant, it is safe to have a test within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. It is advisable to wait for 12 weeks after giving birth.

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