Visitor Information Hours and Guidelines

Pap Smear Test

What is a Pap Smear Test?

A Pap Smear test is a screening procedure for cervical cancer and to check for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells in your cervix.  It involves collecting cells from your cervix, located at the end of your uterus above the vagina. The cells are examined for abnormalities and for human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection. This screening test helps protect from cervical cancer through early detection and treatment.

What happens before a Pap Smear Test?

You should schedule a Pap Smear test before of after your menstrual period for accuracy. A test should not be done when you are menstruating.

You should avoid having sexual intercourse, douching, or using spermicidal products the day before your test.

What happens during a Pap Smear Test?

You will lie on your back on an examination table with your legs spread and your feet resting in supports called stirrups.

A vaginal speculum will be inserted slowly into your vagina to widen  and keep the vaginal walls open for easy access to the cervix.

A small sample of cells will be scraped from your cervix to detect the presence of cancerous cells. 

What happens after a Pap Smear Test?

You might feel some mild discomfort and might experience slight cramping and light vaginal bleeding immediately after the test. Should you feel unwell after the procedure, or if the discomfort and bleeding continues the day after the procedure, contact your doctor immediately or call our 24-Hour Medical Urgency Clinic.

We are always happy to help.

Related articles and videos

Associated Conditions

Gynecological Cancers

Did you know?

Myth: Cancer is a death sentence

Fact: About one third of all cancers can be cured if they are detected and treated early. This is why you are recommended to go for regular screenings and health check-ups. The five-year survival rates for certain cancers, such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers, is now 90% or better. Advancements in cancer treatments also give patients with advanced cancers the chance to live longer.

Read more about the importance of regular health screening here.