Abnormal findings practical cases in obstetrics and gynecology pdf often followed up by more sensitive diagnostic procedures, and, if warranted, interventions that aim to prevent progression to cervical cancer. The test was invented by, and named for, the prominent Greek doctor Georgios Papanikolaou. The collected cells are examined under a microscope to look for abnormalities. The test remains an effective, widely used method for early detection of pre-cancer and cervical cancer.
While the test may also detect infections and abnormalities in the endocervix and endometrium, it is not designed to do so. In the United States, Pap smear screening is recommended starting around 21 years of age until the age of 65. However, other countries do not recommend pap testing in non-sexually active women.
Guidelines on frequency vary from every three to five years. If results are abnormal, and depending on the nature of the abnormality, the test may need to be repeated in six to twelve months.