Pap Test

ExitCare ImageA Pap test checks the cells on the surface of your cervix. Your doctor will look for cell changes that are not normal, an infection, or cancer. If the cells no longer look normal, it is called dysplasia. Dysplasia can turn into cancer. Regular Pap tests are important to stop cancer from developing.


  • Ask your doctor when to schedule your Pap test. Timing the test around your period may be important.

  • Do not douche or have sex (intercourse) for 24 hours before the test.

  • Do not put creams on your vagina or use tampons for 24 hours before the test.

  • Go pee (urinate) just before the test.


  • You will lie on an exam table with your feet in stirrups.

  • A warm metal or plastic tool (speculum) will be put in your vagina to open it up.

  • Your doctor will use a small, plastic brush or wooden spatula to take cells from your cervix.

  • The cells will be put in a lab container.

  • The cells will be checked under a microscope to see if they are normal or not.


Get your test results. If they are abnormal, you may need more tests.