Vaginal cytology, also known as Papanicolaou test or PAP test, is a test that is carried out for the study of the cells of the cervix of the woman, it is the most used technique for the early detection of cervical cancer and for precancerous lesions.
To do this, a brush and a spatula are introduced in order to collect the samples from the inside of the neck, from the outside of the neck and from the bottom of the vagina.
When should you begin to perform vaginal cytology?
Specialists recommend starting a Pap smear after 21 years, or earlier if they have already had sex, and repeat it every 3 years until the age of 65 years.
It is not recommended to perform a Pap smear on women who have not yet had sex because some cancers are associated with a previous infection with HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), which is transmitted from the maintenance of these.
What aspects should I take into account before performing a vaginal citology?
Before performing a Pap smear it is important to take into account some instructions:
Avoid having sex 48 hours before.
Not being menstruating, since this could prevent the interpretation of the extracted sample.
Do not perform internal washes.
Do not use topical treatments 5-7 days before as ovules, creams or spermicides.
Our gynecologists in Barcelona recommend an annual cytology, for better control, in the following cases:
Women with a very active sexual life.
Have previous positive cytologies.
Antecedents of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).