How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To ensure that your Pap smear is most effective, follow these tips prior to your test:

  • Avoid intercourse, douching or using any vaginal medicines or spermicidal foams, creams or jellies for two days before having a Pap smear, as these may wash away or obscure abnormal cells.
  • Try not to schedule a Pap smear during your menstrual period. Although the test can be done, it's best to avoid this time of your cycle, if possible.
Oct. 31, 2012