A Pap test is done to look for changes in the
cells of the
cervix . During a Pap test, a small sample of cells
from the surface of the cervix is collected by your doctor. The
sample is then spread on a slide (Pap smear) or mixed in a liquid fixative
(liquid-based cytology) and sent to a lab for examination under a microscope.
The cells are examined for abnormalities that may point to abnormal cell
changes, such as
The recommended Pap test schedule is based on your age and on things that increase your risk. Talk to your doctor about how often to have this test.
A high-risk type of the
human papillomavirus (HPV) is the cause of most cases
of cervical cancer. In women older than 30, an HPV test may be done at the same
time as a Pap test. If you are age 26 or younger, you can get the HPV shot to prevent infection with
the types of HPV that are most likely to cause cervical cancer.
your Pap test shows an abnormal result, see the topic
Abnormal Pap Test.
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
December 12, 2012
©1995-2012, Healthwise, Incorporated, P.O. Box 1989, Boise, ID 83701.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information,
How this information was developed.