Pap test is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear involves collecting cells from your cervix — the lower, narrow end of your uterus that's at the top of your vagina.
In women older than age 30, the Pap smear may be combined with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) — a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer in some women.
To ensure that your Pap smear is most effective, follow these tips prior to your test: Avoid intercourse, douching or using any vaginal medicines or spermicidal foams, creams or jellies for two days before having a Pap smear, as these may wash away or obscure abnormal cells. Try not to schedule a Pap smear during your menstrual period. Although the test can be done, it's best to avoid this time of your cycle, if possible.