This is another interesting and important health issue among women of reproductive age that should not be overlooked or ignored. A pap smear, also called a pap test, is an examination done by a health care provider to check for cervix cancer in women. This test can also detect some cancerous cells that can lead to cancer in future.

Importance Of Pap Smear:

A pap smear or pap test is a very important test to be carried out because it is done to detect any changes in the cervical cells before they manifest into cancer. If the individual carries out the test and there is a cancerous cell, it will be treated early, and if there is no cancerous cell, then checking if there are changes in the cells will prevent the individual from having cancer. People between 20 and 65 should undergo pap smear tests as often as possible.


When To Go For a Pap Smear Test:

Women between the ages of 20 and 65 years should go for this test every three years to be on the safer side and to detect cancer early if there is any. But in the process of having a pap smear and the health care provider notices that the person has other health issues like low immunity, HIV or precancerous cells detected, the individual will be advised to go for the pap smear regularly.

Best Time To Go For Pap Smear Test:

Before going for a pap smear test, there are some things not to be done to get an accurate result after the test and those things we will list below as a guideline

  • Do not go for a pap smear test when you are menstruating
  • Do not have sex or make use of lubricant within the period of the test
  • No insert into the vagina within this period, including cream, medication or suppositories
  • Keep spray and powder away  from your vagina
  • Do not rinse your vagina with water or any fluid for effective results

Also see:

Steps In Carrying Out Pap Smear:

The steps or procedure can be uncomfortable for the individual but not painful, and it does not take much time to go through the process. It is done in just a few minutes.

  • The patient will have to lie on their back on an examination bed with their legs positioned in a stirrup in other to give access to the vagina region.
  • The health care provider, with his surgical gloved hand, will insert a speculum into the vagina to hold it open and have access to the cervix.
  • Then, a spatula will be used to collect a cell from the cervical walls
  • The cells collected will be transferred to a slide or other sample container for further analysis.
  • In the final step, the sample will be sent to the laboratory. For examination under a microscope to check for any precancerous cells or abnormalities in the cervix.

Cervical Screening: How It Works and Why You Need It - GoodRx

Pap Smear Result:

The test can give different results, and these are based on what the test says. Below are the possible results the healthcare giver can provide the patient.

  • Normal or Negative Result: This result says that there are no precancerous cells or abnormalities detected in the vaginal.
  • Atypical cells of undetermined significance: The resulting state is that there are abnormal cells, but it is unclear whether there are precancerous cells.
  • Atypical squamous cells: This result means that abnormal squamous cells are present and can be precancerous.
  • Carcinoma in situ Result: This result states that cancerous cells have been detected in the cervix but have not spread beyond the cervical region.
  • Invasive carcinoma result: In this result, the cancer has gone beyond the surface of the cervix and into the surrounding tissue.


Pap smear: when it is done and a cancerous cell is detected, it can be treated immediately. That is why it is of the essence that every woman between the ages of 20 and 65 years should go for a cervical cancer test, known as a pap smear, every three years.

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