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What Is the Pap Smear Test, and What Does It Entail?

In the entire female reproductive part, the cervix is the most important organ since it acts as the ground for the growth of the zygote till the gestation time. And it is the cervix only, which is at the highest risks of cancer in women above twenty-one years. Out of every hundred women, at least seventy to seventy-five of them suffer from cervical cancer- a malignant growth of the endometrium lining of the organ due to the infection from Human Pappilovirus or the HMV.

Now, rather than conducting a biopsy, gynecologists prefer the pap smear test to identify the presence of any cancerous growth. The test is relatively new to the medical world, and that’s why many women haven’t even heard of the examination, let alone being aware of the same. Considering this, we have here tried to shed some light on the general facts regarding the pap test, starting with the importance of the procedures and even the risks.

Pap Smear Test

What is cervical cancer, and what are its causes?

The cervix is the small tube that connects the uterus to the vagina or the external genital in females. The cervix is essential in maintaining the integrity of the uterus and the fallopian tubes. In cervical cancer, the inner lining of the tube gets inflamed where the cells start dividing unnaturally and at an abnormal rate, which proves to be cancerous.

Unlike other kinds of somatic cancers in the humans, the cause of the cervical cancer is now known, which has made it possible for the gynecologists and oncologists perform the pap smear test and start the preparation. Coming to the main discussion, cervical cancer is caused by the virus names as the HMV or the Human Papillomavirus. This particular microbe is conducted sexually and hence very common in women whose sex life is pretty much active.

What is a pap test?

A pap smear test is basically conducted to diagnose the presence of precancerous and cancerous growths and cells inside the cervix, especially on the inner endometrial lining. Here, a little amount of the tissue is scraped out and then collected on the slide by the process of smearing. It is then sent to the pathologist for further examination.

How often should a woman agree to a pap test?

According to the medical studies and surveys, it has been now concluded that women above twenty-one years till sixty-five years should get the pap smear test often and almost regularly.

But, the frequency of the test can be increased if:

  • The female is HIV positive which will escalate the effect of the HPV virus
  • The female has a weekend immunity system which will not be able to withstand chemotherapy
  • The female has a history of smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, and a highly sexual life without the use of protection

How is this examination conducted?

Lastly, this discussion will mainly focus on the procedure of the pap smear test and how it is conducted.

  1. On understanding your symptoms, the doctor will prepare you for the pap test by laying you down on the raided bed. After this, you will have to open up your legs and rest your feet on the two side table rest.
  2. Once done, the gynecologists will insert a speculum in the vaginal tube to spread it open for further diagnosis.
  3. Using a brush tool or a scraper, the doctor will take out a piece of tissue from the inner lining of the cervix and smear it on the slide.
  4. After this, the doctor will send the slide to the pathology lab where it will be tested, and the reports will be given back to the doctor himself.


The pap smear test is one of the most recognized forms of diagnosis that is conducted by the doctors to trace the presence of any cancerous or pre-cancerous cells and tissues. Since cervical cancer is so common, you should not ignore any signs of danger. Similar to your blood sugar test, BP and blood test, pap smear test is a must for women to keep a check on the health of the cervix.

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