Pap smear test is done to detect cancer in the cervix (opening of the uterus or womb). Papanicolaou test is abbreviated as Pap test which is also known as cervical smear, Pap smear or smear test. This is most effective method to detect and prevent cancer in the cervical area. If the results are abnormal in Pap smear test, colposcopy, endocervical curettage and biopsy will be done. It is advisable to do Pap smear test from the age of 21 years in the interval of 3 years to prevent cancer. The test finds the precancerous stage and cervical dysplasia.
The ideal time to perform Pap smear test is more than 12 days after the menstrual cycle and 24 hours after sexual intercourse. Since this is a slide evaluation method, procedure should be followed properly to avoid wrong reporting. Label the slide with patient’s first name, last name and date of birth using pencil. Put the slide in the individual slide holder. Do not allow the smear to dry before applying fixative provided during smear collection. Also provide the details of last menstrual period (LMP), last Pap smear test, exogenous hormones, drug therapy, and if any clinical information are there.
Cervical cancer is most common cancer in women which can be prevented by doing this Pap smear test regularly. When compared to colposcopy, accuracy, sensitivity, specificity and negative predictions were very much less in conventional Pap smear test.
Pap smear should not be done during menstruation.
Name the slide with patient details.
Place the patient in lithotomy position.
Visualise cervix using an unlubricated vaginal speculum.
If the cervix is coated with excess mucus, inflammatory debris, blood or other contaminants, remove it using a swab to prevent unwanted results.
Insert the cytobrush into the endocervical canal and rotate it half a turn.
Remove cytobrush and apply the smear immediately before drying into the half of the slide opposite the frosted end.
Using the extended-tip spatula, scrape material with the spatula from the whole circumference of the cervix (in a 360° turning motion).
Remove spatula, and apply immediately into the slide adjacent to the frosted end.
Fix the specimen immediately by dropping the slide into fixative or spraying it with fixative, holding the spray bottle approximately 8 to 12 inches from the slide.
This is the conventional method of doing Pap smear test.
All age groups