WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A Pap smear, or Pap test, is a procedure to check for abnormal cells, inflammation, or cervical cancer. The cervix is the narrow opening at the bottom of your uterus. The cervix meets the top part of the vagina.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
You may have mild discomfort during the Pap smear. You may not know you have abnormal cells if you do not have a Pap smear. Abnormal cells may grow into cervical cancer.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
Before your procedure:
- Vital signs: Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature.
During your procedure:
- You will lie on your back on the exam table. You will place your feet on footrests called stirrups. Your caregiver will gently insert a device called a speculum into your vagina. The speculum is used to spread open the walls of your vagina so he can see your cervix. He will use a thin brush or cotton swab to collect cells from your the inside of your cervix.
- He will also collect a sample from the surface of your cervix with a special tool called a spatula. The spatula is a long plastic or wood tool shaped to fit the outside of your cervix. He may also scrape the upper part of your vagina for a sample. The samples are placed in a container with liquid or on a glass slide. They are sent to a lab and examined for abnormal cells.
After your procedure:
You can go home after your procedure. Your caregiver will tell you when you can expect your Pap smear results.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Learn more about Pap Smear (Inpatient Care)
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