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.
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.