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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Preparation

If possible, arrange to schedule your Pap test for the middle of your menstrual cycle (around days 15 to 20), and avoid douching for at least three days before your test date. If you are using contraceptive foam or jelly, it is preferable for you to switch to a different form of birth control or abstain from sex for a few days before your Pap test, since some women have mild irritation of the cervix after using a spermicide.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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