How It Is Done
You will need to take off your clothes below the waist and drape a paper or cloth covering around your waist. You will then lie on your back on an examination table with your feet raised and supported by footrests. This allows the doctor to examine your external genital area, vagina, and cervix. You may want to wear socks to keep your feet warm while they are in the footrests.
The doctor will insert a lubricated Reference speculum Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window into your vagina. The speculum gently spreads apart the vaginal walls, allowing the inside of the vagina and the cervix to be examined.
Your doctor will collect several samples of cells from your cervix using a cotton swab, brush (cytobrush or cervix brush), or a small spatula. Cells are collected from the visible part of the cervix as well as from its opening (endocervical canal). In women who do not have a cervix, cells from the vagina are collected if a Pap test is needed. The cells are smeared on a slide or mixed in a liquid fixative and sent to a lab for examination under a microscope.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 4, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology