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Sexual Health

THE PAP TEST

The Pap Test is used to check the health of your vagina and cervix. As you lie down on the examining table with your feet resting in stirrups, your doctor will insert a speculum, a metal or plastic instrument, into your vagina. A speculum is not large or sharp in any way and once inside the vagina it expands slightly so your doctor can properly inspect the walls of the vagina and your cervix. Then it's time for the Pap smear. The doctor will swipe a few cells from your cervix with either a tongue-depressor-type device, a special brush or a long cotton swab. You may feel a slight tickling or pinch for a second. Then they'll gently remove the speculum. The swab or brush is immediately smeared onto a slide, which is sent to a lab for study. If the test shows anything abnormal, your doctor will contact you to discuss the best way to manage the problem.