Are you due for a PAP TEST?

Q. What is a PAP SMEAR?

The Papanicolaou test (abbreviated as Pap test, also known as PAP SMEAR), is a diagnostic method of cervical screening used to detect potentially precancerous and cancerous processes in the cervix (opening of the uterus or womb).1,2

Q. Why is a PAP SMEAR Done?
Why Should I Have a PAP SMEAR?

A PAP SMEAR is done to look for changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer.
If you have a family history of cancer, finding it early will give you the best chance of fighting it. If you don’t, finding cell changes early can help prevent you from getting cancer.1,2

Below mentioned are a few health concerns, your physician may recommend having a Pap more often:

  • Past PAP test that revealed precancerous cells
  • HIV infection
  • A weakened immune system due to an organ transplant, chemotherapy, or chronic corticosteroid use

Q. What should you not do before a PAP SMEAR?
Are you prepared to have a PAP SMEAR?
What can I do to get an accurate PAP SMEAR result?

Below mentioned are a few points you should keep in your mind before booking a test: -

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 the month, call us at 999-999-2022 you are free to reschedule.

For the most accurate PAP SMEAR, you should avoid the following for at least two days/ 48 hours before your appointment:

  • Tampons
  • Vaginal Suppositories,
  • Creams,
  • Medicines
  • Lubricants
  • Sexual Activity
  • Sprays or powders near the vagina.
  • Rinse the vagina with water or other fluid (douche).3

Q. How painful is a PAP SMEAR?

  • PAP SMEARs shouldn’t hurt.
  • If you’re getting your first Pap, it may feel a little uncomfortable as it’s a new sensation that your body isn’t yet used to. People often say it feels like a small pinch, but again each one of us has a different threshold for pain. There can be other underlying factors that may make one person’s experience more uncomfortable than another’s.3,4
  • Don’t worry. You can trust Dr. Dangs Lab. Visit now us at 999-999-2020.

Q. Do I need a PAP SMEAR if I am not sexually active?

Whether you’re sexually active or not, you still need a PAP SMEAR. Most cervical cancers are caused by an infection from the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is sexually transmitted. But not all cervical cancers are caused by HPV, which suggests that PAP SMEARs are necessary to screen for cervical cancer, regardless of whether you are sexually active or not.4

Q. Does PAP SMEAR check for STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)?

A PAP SMEAR can’t detect STDs. To test for diseases like chlamydia or gonorrhea, we need to take a sample by scraping of exfoliated cells from the cervix. Blood tests can also identify certain STDs.4 We at Dr. Dangs Lab cater to all your needs- from PAP SMEAR to Blood tests.
For more details, please visit call us at 999-999-2020.

Q. Is there anything that would make me more likely to experience discomfort during the PAP test?

Several underlying health conditions can make your PAP SMEAR more uncomfortable. Following are a few conditions that may make you more likely to experience discomfort during the procedure: -

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginismus (The involuntary tightening of your vaginal muscles)
  • Vulvodynia (Persistent vulvar pain)
  • Endometriosis (this condition occurs when uterine tissue begins to grow outside of your uterus)

Before booking an appointment, kindly let us know if you’re experiencing/ or have received a previous diagnosis for any of the above-mentioned conditions.3
For more details, visit

Q. Is it normal to bleed after a PAP SMEAR?

Yes or no! Bleeding after PAP SMEAR doesn’t happen to everyone. However, it isn’t uncommon. Moreover, it’s caused by a small scratch or scrapes on your cervix or in your vagina. The bleeding is usually light and usually goes away within a day, following the test.3 If the bleeding gets heavier or lasts longer, Kindly contact us immediately via email- call – 999-999-2020.

Q. When will I get my results?

PAP SMEAR results often take about a week. We at Dr. Dangs Lab offer you the best quality reports. Kindly contact us at 999-999-2020 to know the status of the report.

Q. How do I read my results?

At Dr. Dangs Lab results of your test will either read “normal,” “abnormal,” or “inconclusive.” You may get an inconclusive result if the sample was poor. If the report state inconclusive, kindly contact us at 999-999-2020. If you have “abnormal” lab results, try not to be alarmed, but do discuss the results with your physicians. For more details, please visit

Q. Does an abnormal PAP test mean I have cancer/ precancerous conditions?

Although with abnormal PAP test results, it’s possible that you have precancerous or cancerous cells. But this isn’t always the case. Abnormal cells can also be caused by:

  • Inflammation
  • Yeast infection
  • Genital herpes
  • Trichomoniasis
  • HPV

Your need to discuss with your physician, he/she will discuss the specifics of your results with you. In addition, cervical cancer can’t be diagnosed from a PAP SMEAR alone.3,4

Q. What happens during a PAP SMEAR?

A PAP SMEAR is often taken during a pelvic examination. You will be asked to lie on an examination table while your health care provider examines your vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, and pelvis to check for any abnormalities.
For the PAP SMEAR, your provider will use a plastic or metal instrument called a speculum to open the vagina, so the cervix can be seen. Your provider will then use a soft brush or plastic spatula to collect cells from the cervix.5

Q. What’s the difference between an HPV test, a Pap test, and an HPV/Pap test?

A Pap test, commonly called a PAP SMEAR, looks for abnormal cells that can lead to cancer in the cervix. An HPV test looks for the human papillomavirus, a virus that can cause cervical cancer. For an HPV/Pap test, an HPV test and a Pap test are done together.
At the laboratory, an HPV test and a Pap test are done the same way—by collecting a sample of cervical cells with a scraper or brush.6
The Pap test has been the mainstay of cervical cancer screening for decades. But recent guidelines recommend HPV testing over PAP test.

Q. Why does the new guideline recommend an HPV test over a Pap test or HPV/Pap test?

The Pap test has led to huge drops in rates of cervical cancer and death from the disease, but it has some limitations. Pap tests have lower sensitivity compared with HPV tests, so they may miss some precancers and must be repeated frequently. They also detect a range of abnormal cell changes, including some minor changes that are completely unrelated to HPV. So, many people who get an abnormal Pap test result have a very low chance of developing cervical cancer.

The HPV test is a newer method of cervical cancer screening and has a higher sensitivity and specificity than PAP test. HPV/Pap testing is only slightly more sensitive than HPV testing, but it is less efficient because it requires two tests. HPV/Pap test detects a lot of minor changes that have a very low risk of turning into cancer. For an entire population, that’s a lot of added effort and cost.6

Q. When Should I have a PAP SMEAR?

American Cancer Society Guidelines 2020

Age 21‒24 yrs

  • No screening

Age 25‒29 yrs

  • HPV test every 5 years (preferred)
  • HPV/PAP Cotest every 5 years
  • PAP test every 3 years

Age 30‒65 yrs

  • HPV test every 5 years (preferred)
  • HPV/PAP Cotest every 5 years
  • PAP test every 3 years

Age 65 and older

  • No screening if a series of prior tests were normal

A Papanicolaou Smear/ Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear involves collecting cells from your cervix — the lower, narrow end of your uterus that's at the top of your vagina. Detecting cervical cancer early with a Pap smear gives a higher probability of cure.
Publisher’s name- Dr. Dangs Lab

References :
  1. Pap test, accessed on 17/1/2022. Available at
  2. Pap Smear. Available at
  3. Do Pap Smears Hurt? And 12 Other FAQs, accessed on 17/1/2022. Available at
  4. Pap Smear, accessed on 17/1/2022. Available at
  5. Pap Smear, accessed on 17/1/2022. Available at
  6. ACS’s Updated Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Explained, accessed on 17/1/2022. Available at

>Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion.

Related Articles
  1. Kitchen FL, Cox CM. Papanicolaou Smear. [Updated 2021 Oct 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.
  2. Mayer C, Mahdy H. Abnormal Papanicolaou Smear. [Updated 2022 Jan 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.
  3. Nogueira-Rodrigues A, HPV Vaccination in Latin America: Global Challenges and Feasible Solutions. American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting. 2019 Jan; [PubMed PMID: 31099692]
  4. Ge Y,Mody RR,Olsen RJ,Zhou H,Luna E,Armylagos D,Puntachart N,Hendrickson H,Schwartz MR,Mody DR, HPV status in women with high-grade dysplasia on cervical biopsy and preceding negative HPV tests. Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology. 2019 May - Jun; [PubMed PMID: 31097291]
  5. Niu S,Molberg K,Thibodeaux J,Rivera-Colon G,Hinson S,Zheng W,Lucas E, Challenges in the Pap diagnosis of endocervical adenocarcinoma in situ. Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology. 2019 May - Jun; [PubMed PMID: 31097290]