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Pap smear

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable of all cancers and having a Pap smear every two years offers the best chance of early detection. A Pap smear is a screening tool, which can check for early changes in the cells of your cervix; if any changes are found they can be monitored and treated if necessary.

Can I have a Pap smear if I am pregnant?

The National Cervical Screening Program recommends that all pregnant women should be offered a Pap smear if they have not had one within the past two years.

Pap smears can generally be undertaken during pregnancy. You may have some spotting and minor bleeding following the Pap smear. This is usually normal; however, please talk to your doctor if you have any further questions or concerns about having a Pap smear during pregnancy.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advise that pregnant women can be reassured that a Pap smear does not cause any problems for their pregnancy.

Further information

For more comprehensive information about Pap smears please read the National Cervical Screening Program brochure: When did you last have a Pap smear? http://www.health.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/cv-pap-en/$File/pap.pdf

This publication is also available in other languages including the following:

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-430128
Last modified 09/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 13/11/2013
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