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Video Library

Basic Pap Smear Technique

Mike Hughey, MD

The uterine cervix lies at the end of the vagina. To obtain a Pap smear, start by visualizing the cervix with a vaginal speculum.

One technique is to use a plastic broom to sample the exocervix, followed by an endocervical brush.

It is important to sample the squamocolumnar junction where abnormalities are most likely to be found.

Another technique is to use an Ayer Spatula for the exocervix, with an endocervical brush.

For liquid media Pap smears, the broom and brush are gently agitated in the collection bottle. Some systems require the brush and broom handles be broken off and the tips left inside the media.

For glass slide preparation, a thin smear is made and the slide immediately sprayed with fixative.