The Pap smear is a simple test to collect a small sample of cells from the cervix which helps to diagnose precancerous and cancerous conditions of the cervix. It also aids in diagnosing infections and inflammation of the lower reproductive tract.
Who should get the Pap test done?
As per the International recommendations, the age of screening is 21 years. In our country due to low resources for screening, national recommendations are to start screening at 30 years of age.
Women who are 30 years and above should undergo a Pap test once in every 3 years until the age of 65 years. If this test is combined with HPV test, then the duration of screening can be increased to 5 years.
Women who do not routinely require Pap test
- Women aged below 21 years and above 65 years
- Women who have undergone hysterectomy for benign condition
When should the Pap test be done?
The Pap test, yields optimum results, if scheduled between 10 to 20 days of the menstrual cycle. The woman should not be menstruating at the time of test.