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Pap test is also known as a Papanicolaou test, Pap smear, Pap test, cervical smear, or smear test. During a physical exam a Pap test is taken to collect cells from the cervix. These cells are examined under a microscope for abnormal cell growth.

When to Have a Pap Test

  • Annually for women starting no later than age 21, or three years after sexual activity begins.
  • Starting at age 30, women who have had three normal Pap test results in a row, may be screened every two to three years.

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