Q: How is it done?
A: The doctor or nurse will obtain a sample of cells from your cervix with a small brush or spatula1,2. The procedure might be a little uncomfortable3.
Q: When should you get a Pap smear?
A: Pap smear is best done 5 to 10 days after your menses1,4. Avoid scheduling your pap test while you are having your menses as it will affect the results3.
Q: How can you prepare yourself?
A: To ensure your pap test is as accurate as possible, avoid the following, one to two days before the test3,4:
- Rinsing your vagina with liquid solution (douche)
- Using tampons
- Having sex
- Putting anything into the vagina, such as creams, medications, etc
Q: What if your Pap smear is abnormal?
A: An abnormal result doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer1,3. Your doctor will perform further tests before determining the next course of action.
Q: Where can you get a Pap smear? Is it expensive?
A: Pap smears are available free-of-charge at all government health clinics and hospitals, or for a fee at private hospitals & clinics5.
- Ministry of Health Malaysia MyHealth website, Ujian Saringan Kanser Serviks, http://www.myhealth.gov.my/index. php/organ-pembiakan/ujian-saringan-kanser-servik (accessed 30 October 2014).
- Ministry of Health Malaysia, Academy of Medicine Clinical Practice Guideline – Management of Cervical Cancer, April 2003.
- World Health Organization, Comprehensive Cervical Control: A Guide to Essential Practice, http://www. who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/cancers/9241547006/en/ (accessed on 5 December 2014).
- American Cancer Society, Cervical Cancer Prevention and Early Detection, http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003167-pdf. pdf (accessed on 13 November 2014).
- United States National Library of Medicine, Pap Smear, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003911.htm (accessed on 13 November 2014).