Pap Smear During Pregnancy
A pap smear is a test done to look for changes in the cervix that may indicate cervical cancer or conditions that may develop into cancer. This test does not diagnose cervical cancer. It however detects 95% of cervical cancers at a stage that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
When should I have a pap smear ?
The recommendation is that all women get a pap smear within 3 years of becoming sexually active or by age 21. The test should be done every year for at least 3 years and if everything is normal, your doctor may change it to every 2 to 3 years. It is best to have a pap smear in the middle of your monthly cycle, or about 10-20 days after the last menstrual period began. It is also recommended that at least 2 days before the test, women should avoid anything in the vagina including sexual intercourse, douching, vaginal creams or spermicide. These could interfere with the results of the test, causing it to be abnormal. Tell your health care provider all medications you are taking. Some birth control pills with estrogen or progestin may affect test results.