Pap Smear Cartoon

How to prepare for your pap smear.

Congratulations on booking your pap smear! If you are wondering what a pap test is, click here for my article explaining it!

There are a few things to consider when picking a date for your pap smear. The test is most accurate when at least 2 days have passed since any bleeding from your period, sexual intercourse, or douching. If you prefer a female physician, request one when making your appointment to avoid any surprises!

Wear comfortable, easy to remove clothes. If your doctor also performs a breast exam before your pap smear, you may be asked to remove all clothing. Otherwise, you will be asked to remove everything below the waist. There is no special grooming necessary before this test.

The pap test is uncomfortable but never painful. During your exam, you will be asked to lay on the exam table with your feet in the stirrups. The doctor will use a speculum to separate the vaginal walls so the cervix is visible. If you are worried this may hurt, please do not worry – a speculum is smaller in size than an average tampon and lube is used so the speculum can slide easily into place. Again, this process is uncomfortable but never painful. As the speculum is inserted, I recommend taking a few deep breaths. Your doctor will collect the cells from your cervix using a small brush similar to mascara brush.

After the sample is collected and speculum is slowly removed, the exam is complete. It usually takes about 1-2 weeks for results. Your doctor will notify you when the results are in. The next pap test will be in 3 to 5 years!

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