Pap test

screening test used to detect potentially pre-cancerous and cancerous processes in the endocervical canal
(Redirected from Pap smear)

The Papanicolaou test (also Pap test, Pap smear (AE), cervical smear (BE), cervical screening (BE), or smear test (BE)) is a test that doctors do for women. The test tells whether the woman has cancer cells on her cervix, which is an organ inside the vagina.[1][2]

A doctor collects cells from the cervix using a speculum, brush, and spatula. The doctor puts the cells in a liquid or on a glass slide. Then the liquid or slide goes to a laboratory for testing. The technician in the laboratory looks at the cells under a microscope to see if they are cancer or could become cancer. Woman do pap tests because, if she finds out she has cervical cancer early, she can start treatment, and she is more likely to live.[1]

Pap smear ProcedureEdit

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

You will lie down on a table with your feet firmly in the stirrups. You will spread your legs, and your doctor will insert a metal or plastic instrument (speculum) into your vagina. They will open it so that it widens the walls of the vagina. This allows them to see your cervix. Your doctor will use a swab to take a sample of cells from your cervix. They will place them in a liquid in a small jar, and send them to a lab for review. The Pap test doesn't hurt, but you may feel a slight pinch or slight pressure.[3]


During the early stages of cervical cancer, a woman may not notice any signs or symptoms. However, some of the symptoms of more advanced cervical cancer are:[4]

  • Periodic vaginal bleeding occurs after a sexual encounter, between cycles, or after menopause.
  • Watery, bloody discharge from the vagina that may become thick and foul-smelling is caused by a yeast infection.
  • Vaginal discharge tinged with blood


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Pap smear". Mayo Clinic. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  2. "What Should I Know About Screening?". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  3. Pap Test (Pap Smear): Purpose, Procedure, Results, Frequency
  4. PAP SMEAR/Liquid Based Cytology - Gunjan IVF World