Pap Testing



A Pap test is a way to look for changes in cells of the cervix. It is often done as part of a pelvic exam.

The Cervix
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Possible Complications

There are no major problems caused by this test.



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Pap Smear; Pap Screening; Papanicolaou Test; Cervical Cancer Screening)


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 

Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services 


The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada 

Women's Health Matters 


American Cancer Society (ACS) review of guidelines and issues on cancer screening can be found in CA Cancer J Clin 2019 May;69(3):184

Cervical cancer screening. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated January 29, 2019. Accessed September 27, 2020.

United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations for cervical cancer screening can be found in JAMA 2018 Aug 21;320(7):674