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If you have had sex a day before a pap smear will it matter?


If you have had sex a day before a pap smear will it matter?


Hi there. Thanks for getting in contact with us.

You might have read somewhere that you shouldn't do a Pap smear the day after sex, or at other times during the month. In reality, the only time a Pap test provider shouldn't do a Pap smear is when a woman is on her period, because the blood interferes with the ability to see the cervical cells clearly on the microscopy slide. However most doctors and nurses in Australia have access to a different sample type for cervical screening called 'Thin Prep' for cases where blood is present, which means that even when there is some blood present, they can still do a Pap test.

Most doctors and nurses would seize the opportunity to do a Pap smear on a woman, as we know that some women don't like having them. (For a doctor or nurse, that means it's always best to do one when you have the woman in front of you because there's no guarantee they will come back for one later!)

In Australia, it's recommended women have a Pap test every 2 years. (Sometimes they have to be more often than that if there have been abnormal cells found on previous Pap tests.) Have a look at the NSW Cervical Screening Program website for more info on Pap tests and to find your local test provider.

Good luck and take care.

Last modified: 31st January 2014
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