What is a PAP smear?

Getting a Pap smear test may not be the most fun part of your day. Some women dread getting a Pap smear test because it can feel awkward and uncomfortable. Yet, this lifesaving exam is certainly worth the brief discomfort.

The test is named after Greek Doctor Papanikolaou. He proved that most forms of cervical cancer begin with an infection that can be caught and treated early.

Pap test examines cells that are taken from the cervix (the lower, narrow end of your uterus) using a speculum and examined under a microscope. This test also detects precancerous cells, so the proper treatment can start before cancer even has a chance to form.

Viva Eve doctors perform NYC Pap smear tests in conjunction with a pelvic exam during routine Well-Woman annual Ob/Gyn exam. In women older than 30, the Pap test may be combined with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) — a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer. In some cases, the HPV test may be done instead of a Pap smear.

Another important step you can take to prevent cervical cancer is getting vaccinated.

Abnormal Pap Smear Results

When your NYC pap smear results are abnormal, your Viva Eve doctor might recommend some additional testing or procedures.

Viva Eve doctors are renowned for their expertise in diagnosing and treating all the conditions related to abnormal pap smears. We will listen to all your concerns and together we will come up with the treatment plan that works for you and your unique circumstances.

The HPV vaccine is not a substitute for the Pap test.


The vast majority (93%) of American women report having had at least one Pap smear in their lifetime.


The Pap test is largely responsible for a 70% decrease in cervical cancer deaths in the United States in the past 50 years.

When should I start getting a Pap smear test?

< 21 years old, not sexually active, no known risk factorsNone needed
< 21 years old, sexually activeEvery 3 years
21 – 29 years oldEvery 3 years
30 – 65 years oldEvery 3-5 years if your Pap smear and HPV tests are negative
65 years and olderYou may no longer need NYC pap smear tests; talk to your Viva Eve doctor to determine your needs
Any age and you had a full hysterectomyNone needed


Pap smears shouldn’t hurt, it just may feel a little uncomfortable, like a tiny pinch.

Getting a Pap smear during your period can affect the accuracy of your results, so your doctor will most likely ask you to schedule it accordingly.

The NYC pap smear test usually takes less than a minute to insert the speculum and take a cell sample from your cervix.

Here are a few things you should do to make sure that your pap smear results are accurate: -Don’t douche, have sex, or use birth control foams two to three days before your appointment. -As a general rule, try to schedule your test three to five days after the last day of your period. -Don’t use tampons two to three days before your NYC pap smear test. -If you’re on any medication for an infection, wait at least two weeks for the medication to clear your system completely before you have a Pap smear.

Talk to a specialist to learn more about scheduling a Pap Smear.

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