View Printer Friendly PDF Printer Friendly PDF

Facts About...


What is a Pap test?

A pap test is a simple test that is done by your health care provider. The purpose of the test is to look at the health of the cervix and screen for signs of cervical cancer. The cervix is located in the vagina and is the opening to the uterus. During a pap test, a speculum is placed in the vagina to see the cervix. While the speculum is inside the vagina, cells are gently collected from the surface of the cervix. The cells are then sent to a lab to test for cell changes. Most early cell changes can be treated before they become cancerous. Cervical cancer is 90% preventable with regular pap testing.

Do I need a Pap test?

How to prepare for your pap test?

What is a swab?

A pap test is not a test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other vaginal infections. However, it is common that when a woman is having a pap test she will also be tested for other infections using a vaginal swab. Your health care provider uses a cotton swab to collect a sample of the fluid that moistens the lining of the vagina. A swab can test for infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, yeast, bacterial vaginosis, or trichomonas. Women who have vaginal symptoms (odour, itching, or an increase or change in discharge) should have a swab done to test for these infections.

March 17, 2017