How to Prepare for Your Pap Test and Pelvic Exam

Getting your annual Pap smear and Pelvic exams prevents cervical cancer and allows for healthy reproductive/sexual health. This is why it is important to prepare before your annual (or every 3-year) visit and get clearer and more accurate results.

When you should schedule your annual exams?

If you have been getting your annual pelvic exam and Pap smear, you might know that the best time to schedule your annual visit is one to two weeks after your period. This will obtain the most accurate results.

What to avoid?

Vaginal douching is not advisable to do before your annual check-up because it puts you at risk of infections. Avoid douching two to three days before your regular pelvic and Pap smear exams.

Aside from douching, intercourse is also something you should avoid, at least one day (24 hours) before your tests.

What you can do?

Make sure to unload your bladder just before your Pap smear and pelvic exam so you will feel more comfortable.

Prior to your exams, you can use a calendar to keep track of your periods, and any pain or odd feeling or symptom that occurred within the month.

Other routine exams

If you have the same doctor for your annual pelvic exam and Pap smear, like 24 percent of women, your doctor may order routine tests such as blood tests or blood chem, blood sugar levels, urinalysis, cholesterol, etc.


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