pap smear test for what

Pap and HPV tests

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a screening procedure for cervical cancer. It tests for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on your cervix. The cervix is the opening of the. Oct 30, A Pap test is needed to find early cervical cancer or pre-cancers so ask your doctor if you had a Pap test with your pelvic exam. How Pap test results are reported. The most widely used system for describing Pap test results is the Bethesda System (TBS). There are 3 main categories, some of which have sub-categories: Negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy; Epithelial cell .

All A-Z health topics. View all pages in this section. Pap test click to expand. About this tool Host this tool. The javascript used in this widget is not supported by your browser. Please enable JavaScript for full functionality. Pap tests or Pap smears look for cancers and precancers in the cervix. Precancers are cell changes that can be caused by the human papillomavirus HPV. If not treated, these abnormal cells could lead to cervical cancer.

Not all women need to be tested every year. A Pap test is a test your doctor or nurse does to check your cervix for any cells that are not normal. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus wombwhich opens into the vagina.

Abnormal cervical cells, if not found and treated, can lead to cervical cancer. During a Pap test your doctor or nurse puts a speculum a tool that helps your doctor or nurse see your cervix into your vagina and uses a special stick or soft brush to collect cells from the outside of your cervix. The cells are sent to a laboratory for testing. Certain types of HPV are more likely to cause cervical cancer. During an HPV testyour doctor or nurse puts a speculum a tool that helps your doctor or nurse see your cervix into your vagina and uses a soft brush to collect cells from the outside of your cervix.

The cells are tested in a laboratory. A Pap test can save your life. It can find cervical cancer cells early. The chance of successful treatment of cervical cancer is very high if the disease is caught early.

Pap tests can also find abnormal cervical cells before they become cancer precancers. An HPV test can give your doctor more information about the cells from your cervix. For example, if the Pap test shows abnormal cervical cells, the HPV test can show whether you have a type of HPV that causes cervical cancer. Most women 21 to 65 years old should get Pap tests as part of routine health care. Even what color shirts go with a grey suit you are not currently sexually active, got the HPV vaccine, or have gone through menopauseyou still need regular Pap tests.

Experts recommend: 4. Women older than 65 need a Pap test if they have never been tested, or if they have not been tested after age HPV tests are recommended for women 30 and older. Although HPV is common in women younger than 30, it usually goes away on its own in these women. The only women who may not need regular Pap or HPV tests are: 4. Even if you have had a hysterectomyyou may need a Pap and HPV test. It depends on the type of hysterectomy you had and your health history. Talk to your doctor or nurse about whether you need Pap and HPV tests.

It depends on your age and health history. Talk with your doctor or nurse to find out how often you need to get a Pap test or Pap and HPV tests together. Most women can follow these current recommendations from the U. Preventive Services Task Force: 4. Your doctor or nurse may recommend getting Pap and HPV tests more often if: 4. Some women find Pap and HPV tests uncomfortable, but the tests should not be painful. You will feel pressure as your doctor or nurse puts the speculum a tool that helps your doctor or nurse see your cervix into your vagina.

If you have never had sexual intercourse or if you have had pain when something is put into your vagina, you can ask your doctor or nurse to use a smaller speculum.

You can also help lessen or prevent pain by urinating before the test to empty your bladder or by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or how to create custom ipsw, about an hour before your Pap or HPV test.

If you were sexually assaulted or abused in the past, and this experience makes medical exams difficult how to access email archive on iphone you, talk to your doctor or nurse first.

It may be difficult to lie on an exam table with your legs in footrests cradles for your feet that help keep your legs bent and open or to have a doctor or nurse put a speculum a tool that helps your doctor or nurse see your cervix into your vagina. Your doctor or nurse will talk with you about ways to make the Pap or HPV test easier.

You do not have to do anything special to prepare for a Pap or HPV test. Also, you should not douche before a Pap or HPV test. Most doctors do not recommend douching for any reason. You also should not put anything in or around your vagina to clean it, other than soap and water on the outside of your vagina. Yes, you can get a Pap or HPV test during your period. Depending on how heavy your flow is, your period may affect the results of the Pap or HPV test.

You will lie down on your back on an exam table. You will place your feet on either side of the table in footrests cradles for your feet that help keep your legs bent and open. Your doctor or nurse will put a tool called a speculum into your vagina you may feel pressure and will open it to see your cervix. Your doctor or nurse will use a special stick or soft brush to take a few cells from the surface of and inside your cervix and vagina.

Your doctor or nurse will put the cells on a glass slide or in a small container and send them to a lab for testing. Pap and HPV tests usually last about 5 minutes. You may have some spotting light bleeding from the vagina afterward. Usually, it takes 1 to 3 weeks to get Pap and HPV test results. Most of the time, test results are normal. If the doctor or nurse tells you to schedule another appointment to follow up on abnormal results, be sure to go to the appointment.

During a colposcopy, your doctor or nurse takes a closer look at abnormal areas on your cervix and uses an instrument with a light and magnifier called a colposcope to make the abnormal areas easier to see. Your doctor or nurse might use a small amount of vinegar on pap smear test for what cervix to make any abnormal areas stand out. If there is an abnormal area on the cervix, your doctor or nurse will perform a biopsy remove a sample of tissue from your cervix to check for cancer cells.

Results of these tests will help your doctor or nurse decide on the best treatment to recommend. Most often, abnormal cell changes are caused by HPV. Researchers know of about a dozen types of HPV, out of more thanthat can cause cervical cancer. HPV test results are usually given with Pap test results. Having the two tests together called co-testing can help your doctor figure pap smear test for what if you need to be tested more often or need different tests.

If you do not have HPV and your Pap test results are normal, you can probably how to short a stock ameritrade to be tested again for 5 years. A Pap test is not used to find STIs. A Pap test is used to find abnormal cells that may cause cervical cancer. If you tell your doctor you would like to be tested for other STIs, your doctor can collect samples of fluid from your cervix to test for common STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

You will need blood tests to test for other STIs. Dolly Penn, M. Abbey B. Berenson, M. Department of Health and Human Services. Citation of the source is appreciated. Some women may need Pap or HPV testing more often. This content is provided by the Office on Women's Health. Language Assistance Available.

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Such as "Washington, DC" or "". Subscribe To receive Publications email updates. Pap and HPV tests. Expand all. What is a Pap test? What is an HPV test? Pap tests and HPV tests can be done at the same time called co-testing. Who should get regular Pap or HPV tests? Experts recommend: 4 Women 2129 get a Pap test every 3 years Women 3065 how to setup a free telephone conference A Pap test every 3 years, or An HPV test every 5 years, or A Pap and HPV test together called co-testing every 5 years Women older than 65 need a Pap test if they have never been tested, or if they have not been tested after age Who does not need to get regular Pap or HPV tests?

I had a hysterectomy. If you had a hysterectomy because of abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer, you should continue to get Pap and HPV tests.

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A Pap smear (also called a Pap test) screens for cervical cancer. The test checks for abnormal cells in the cervix that are cancerous or have the potential to become cancerous. During a Pap smear, your healthcare provider takes cells from the cervix to examine under a microscope for signs of cancer. Jan 31, Pap tests (or Pap smears) look for cancers and precancers in the cervix. Precancers are cell changes that can be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). If not treated, these abnormal cells could lead to cervical cancer. An HPV test looks for HPV in cervical cells. Feb 18, A Pap smear is a screening tool that can help doctors detect abnormal cells and datingyougirl.com works by sampling cells from the cervix. Cervical cancer screening is vital for getting an early diagnosis.

A Pap smear also called a Pap test screens for cervical cancer. The test checks for abnormal cells in the cervix that are cancerous or have the potential to become cancerous. During a Pap smear, your healthcare provider takes cells from the cervix to examine under a microscope for signs of cancer. The test is named for an American physician, Dr. George Papanicolaou, who developed the Pap smear. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vaginal canal.

Sperm travels through the vaginal canal and cervix to the uterus to fertilize eggs. During pregnancy, the cervix closes to keep the baby in the womb uterus. The cervix opens during childbirth. Healthcare providers perform Pap smears as part of a pelvic exam. The test checks for:.

During a pelvic exam, your healthcare provider examines and feels palpates the uterus, ovaries and other parts of the female reproductive system.

This examination helps your provider identify infections, problems and certain types of cancer but not cervical cancer.

Your provider may also perform STD tests during a pelvic exam. A HPV test checks for certain types of the virus that increase your cervical cancer risk. There are many different types of HPV.

Not all cause cancer. Providers can do HPV tests and Pap tests at the same time, using the same steps a gentle scrape of the cervix for cell samples. When sending these samples to a lab, your provider specifies whether the lab specialist pathologist should check for precancerous or cancerous cells Pap smear , HPV or both a co-test.

To test for diseases like chlamydia or gonorrhea , your healthcare provider takes a sample of fluid from the cervix. Blood tests can also identify certain STDs. Women and anyone assigned female at birth should start getting Pap smears starting at age 21 and HPV tests at age A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus.

A partial hysterectomy removes the uterus but not the cervix. Some people have a complete hysterectomy removal of the uterus and cervix due to a cancer diagnosis. Some things that you do in the days before a Pap smear can affect test results. For the most accurate results, you should:. The test takes a few minutes. During the procedure, your healthcare provider:.

Your healthcare provider sends the samples to a lab. A specialist called a pathologist examines the samples under a microscope to look for abnormal cells that may indicate cancer or HPV. Pap smears are very safe. An abnormal finding means that some cells in your cervix look unusual. Many things besides cancer can cause an abnormal result, including:. If you have an abnormal Pap smear result, your healthcare provider may perform another Pap smear immediately or in a few months. A second Pap smear can be helpful if your healthcare provider thinks an infection or other problems affected the test results.

To get more information to help diagnose or rule out cervical cancer, your provider does a colposcopy. During this procedure, your provider:. Pap smears are a lifesaving screening tool.

The test identifies abnormal cervical cells before they have a chance to become cancerous. Your provider can discuss test findings and next steps with you. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.

Pap Smear Pap smears are a lifesaving screening tool for cervical cancer. The test can detect abnormal cells in the cervix before they become cancerous. Healthcare providers often perform HPV tests during Pap tests to check for a virus that raises the risk of cervical cancer. An unclear or abnormal Pap smear result may be a sign of infection, another problem or cancer.

Appointments What is the cervix? Why do healthcare providers perform Pap smears? The test checks for: Cervical cancer. Potentially precancerous cells in the cervix cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.

Can a Pap smear detect STDs? How often do I need a Pap smear? Generally, Pap smears occur: Every three years from ages 21 to Every three years from ages 30 to 65 without an HPV test. Every five years from ages 30 to 65 with an HPV test. Every year for those who have human immunodeficiency virus HIV or are immunocompromised. Every year for those whose mothers took a medicine called diethylstilbestrol DES during pregnancy.

Exposure to DES while in the womb increases cervical cancer risk. Test Details How should I prepare for a Pap smear? For the most accurate results, you should: Not have vaginal sex for two days before your exam. Not use tampons, vaginal creams or medicines, birth control foams or jellies, lubricants or douches for at least two days before the test.

Schedule the appointment at least five days after your period ends. What should I expect during a Pap smear? During the procedure, your healthcare provider: Inserts a speculum into the vagina. You may feel a bit of pressure. This metal or plastic device holds the vagina open so your provider can see the cervix.

Uses a small brush or spatula to gently scrape cells from the cervix a biopsy. What should I expect after a Pap smear? Are there any risks to getting a Pap smear? Results and Follow-Up When should I get my test results? It can take up to three weeks for your healthcare provider to receive the lab results.

What do Pap smear results mean? When you receive your results, they may be: Normal: No sign of disease. Your healthcare provider may have you come back immediately or in six months for another Pap smear. Abnormal: The cells look different than they should. Does an abnormal Pap smear result mean that I have cervical cancer? Many things besides cancer can cause an abnormal result, including: HPV. Urinary tract infections UTIs. Yeast infections. What follow-up tests might I need after an abnormal Pap smear result?

During this procedure, your provider: Uses a microscope device colposcope to view the lining of the cervix and vagina. Removes tissue samples from areas that look abnormal. Sends the samples to a lab for testing. Show More.