Pap test is performed at your annual
well-woman gynecological exam as part of the pelvic exam. It
is performed to detect any changes in the cervix, any abnormal
cell growth, any cancer cells or any STDs or infections. Human
papilloma virus (HPV) testing is being used to evaluate and follow
patients with early abnormalities in a Pap test.
The Pap test is performed by inserting a speculum into the vagina,
collecting cells from the cervix, placing those cells on a glass
side and sending them off to a lab for examination under the microscope
or by placing the collected cells in a special solution. Most women
should have a Pap test once a year, and this may lessen if they
have had three normal Pap results in a row. After the age of 70
or after a hysterectomy, the Pap may be unnecessary.