What is the Smear Test and How Is It Done?

The smear test is a test used to screen for cervical cancer precursor lesions and cervical cancer.

It is started 3 years after the first intercourse or after the age of 21. If the test performed 3 years in a row is negative, the interval between the tests is increased to 3 years. If the virus that causes cervical cancer called HPV is negative, the interval between tests is increased to 5 years. At the age of 65, screening is terminated if 3 consecutive tests are negative.

It is a simple test to do and is painless. An instrument called speculum, which is used to see the cervix clearly, is placed in the vagina and the cells are collected by brushing the cervix. These cells are sent to pathology and examined.

Smear test should not be done during menstruation and when there is vaginal infection. It is recommended not to have intercourse for 3 days before the smear test, besides, vaginal douching should not be done, creams and drugs should not be applied.

In case of an abnormal result, your doctor may request a repeat of the smear according to your HPV DNA test or may refer you to the procedure used to examine the cervix called colposcopy.

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