The Pap smear is done as part of a gynecological
exam. You will lie on a table and place your feet in stirrups to
position your pelvis for examination. The health care provider will
insert an instrument (speculum) into your vagina and open it
slightly to see inside the vaginal canal.
The health care provider will take a sample of cells from the
outside and the canal of the cervix by gently scraping the outside
of the cervix with a wooden or plastic spatula, then inserting a
small brush that looks like a pipe cleaner into the canal.
The cells are placed on a glass slide, or put in a bottle containing
a preservative, and then sent to the lab for examination.