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The CDC note that women aged between 21 and 30 should get the Pap test done once every 3 years if no points of concern are raised, and women between 30 and 65 could get tested once every 5 years.

In terms of discomfort, I don't think it's as uncomfortable as some women perceive it to be, and it's over so quickly." Another colleague — while admitting that she "can't say that [she] look[s] forward to having a Pap test" — certainly thought that the benefits "outweigh the short period of discomfort that they cause," as the test can identify a problem even when you don't experience any symptoms.

"On one occasion," she explained, "my ob-gyn found a small patch of infection on my cervix, even though I hadn't felt any discomfort.

She nipped it in the bud, it was really worth it." Her main advice to ladies undergoing a Pap test for the first time was to try their best to relax, so as to minimize any potential discomfort.

"Having had [Pap tests] in several different countries it all boils down to staying as relaxed as possible, getting in a comfortable position, and taking a few deep breaths," she said.

After the cell sample is collected, it is sent over to the laboratory for analysis. S., the conventional way of transferring the tissue sample directly onto a glass slide has largely been replaced by liquid-based cytology testing.

If you're a woman, you may view the Pap test as somewhat of an inconvenience, or even a few minutes of terror.

This might put you off from getting tested, but here's why you should stop avoiding it and book an appointment now.

Through the Pap smear, cells are collected from a woman's cervix for analysis.