Pap test

The pap test is a screening test for cervix cancer. Read how it is made and what the results say!

Pap test

Of the Pap test is a screening test for cervix cancer. For a smear done at the gynecologist. Subsequently, individual cells taken are examined, which is why the Pap test is also called cytological smear. Read all about the Pap smear, how it is done and what results it delivers.

Product Overview

Pap test

  • How does the Pap test work?

  • What do the findings mean in the Pap test?

  • What are the risks of the Pap test?

How does the Pap test work?

As part of the gynecological examination, the doctor carefully opens the vagina with a speculum so that he gets access to the cervix. Using a small brush, he now scrapes cells from the cervical canal. The patient feels no pain, but the removal is sometimes a bit uncomfortable.

The doctor then transfers the extracted cells to a microscope slide, fixes them and sends them to a laboratory. There, the cells with a special coloring, the Papanicolaou staining, made visible and can now be assessed.

What do the findings mean in the Pap test?

The laboratory-stained cells are judged by their appearance. The findings decide on the further procedure. The following table lists the possible Pap values ​​and their meaning.

Pap value


proceed further

Pap 1 (I)

normal results

next check-up after one year

Pap 2 (II)

Signs of inflammation or other benign changes

like Pap 1, since there is no evidence of a malignant disease

Pap 3 (III)

stronger inflammatory or suspicious change; a malignant change can not be ruled out for sure

Check by re-smear, if necessary further clarification (colposcopy, biopsy and others)

Pap 3D (IIID)

mild to moderate cell alteration (dysplasia), further development to precancerous lesions possible

Pap test every three months, biopsy biopsy and HP virus test if present

Pap 4a (IV)

severe cell alteration or precursor of cervical cancer

tissue sample as soon as possible or cutting out the suspicious area with a scalpel, laser knife or an electric sling

Pap 4 (IV)

immediate pre-stage of cervical cancer or already cancer

further tissue sample or cutting out the cooker

Pap 5 (V)

Cervical cancer, where the malignant tumor cells already penetrate into other tissues

like Pap 4, as well as further clarification of the spread of the tumor

The Pap test should be repeated promptly in all Pap test stages, even if the doctor is unable to assess the smear reliably by contamination or if too few cells are present.

For these diseases, the examination is important

  • cervical cancer

What are the risks of the Pap test?

A slight bleeding after smear collection is common but harmless. It usually disappears by itself within a day. To larger injuries it comes with the Pap test not. The biggest risk that comes with the early detection measure is that the doctor may overlook cancer cells. By regularly repeating the test as part of the annual provision, however, the chance increases, even smaller malignant areas by the Pap test to discover.

More about the symptoms

  • discharge
  • Breakthrough pain
  • Irregular cycle

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