Pap test

Illustration of Pap test

In a Pap test, your doctor uses a vaginal speculum to hold your vaginal walls apart. Next, he or she collects a sample of cells from your cervix using a small cone-shaped brush — or a cotton-tipped swab — and a tiny plastic spatula (1 and 2). Your doctor then smears the cells onto a glass slide (3) or puts them into a bottle containing a solution to preserve the cells for examination under a microscope.

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