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Pap Smears During Pregnancy

Updated: Oct 2, 2022


When presenting to your obstetrician for prenatal examinations, your provider may recommend a Pap smear. Pregnant women often have concerns regarding the risk of this evaluation. We will be reviewing what will be performed and potential risks.



What Is a Pap Smear?


A Papanicolaou test, or Pap smear, is a test which is used to screen a woman for cervical cancer. A Pap smear detects potentially precancerous and cancerous cells in the cervix.


For this examination, a speculum is used to visualize the cervix. The physician will then perform the Pap smear to acquire cells. These cells are then placed in a specimen container and sent to the pathologist for evaluation.


Will It Hurt?


Although there are differences amongst individuals, a Pap smear should not be painful. However, the experience is described by some as uncomfortable.


Is It Safe to Perform While Pregnant?


Pap smears are safe during pregnancy and are a routine part of prenatal care. Women may experience slight spotting after a Pap smear due to increased blood flow during pregnancy. A Pap smear does not harm a pregnancy.


Closing Message:


A Pap smear is a method of checking cervical cells for any abnormalities. Rest assured! A Pap smear is a safe examination that is part of routine prenatal care.


Did you have concerns regarding obtaining a Pap smear during pregnancy? Please feel free to share in the comments below.

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