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Pap smear - Definition


A smear is the deposit on a slide from a biological sample for microscopic analysis. It may involve a liquid, often blood. The Pap smear is a sample of cells from the vagina and the cervix, which is taken using gynecological tools. It is practiced on a regular basis in women to check for cervical abnormalities in the context of screening for cervical cancer. This sampling is done with a small wooden spatula that will be rubbed on the cervix, inside and out, and the cells collected will be spread on a slide and sent to the laboratory. Smears should then be repeated regularly, at least once every three years.