220. What You Should Know About Pap Tests

A Pap test examines cells scraped from the cervix for abnormal changes that could indicate cancer. Regular testing is especially important if you are at higher than average risk for cervical cancer. You are at higher risk if you have a history of the sexually transmitted humanpapilloma virus (HPV), have had a sex partner with HPV, had frequent sexual intercourse before age 18, have multiple sex partners, have ever had an abnormal Pap test, have a history of precancerous changes of the cervix, if your mother took diethylstilbestrol (DES) when she was pregnant with you, or if you smoke.

To help ensure accurate results, don’t douche, tub-bathe; or use vaginal creams for 48 to 72 hours before the test. Avoid sex for 24 hours before the test.

Chapter 9
  1. Women’s Health Problems