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Preparing for Your Annual Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam

How to Prepare for Your Pap Test and Pelvic Exam


Updated June 19, 2014

The best time to schedule your annual pelvic exam and to obtain the most accurate results from your gynecological examination and annual Pap smear is one or two weeks after your period.

Vaginal Douching is never a good idea, because of the risk of infection it presents. It is particularly important not to douche for at least two or three days before you see your gynecologist. You also should refrain from sexual intercourse for at least 24 hours prior to your examination.

Make sure to empty your bladder just before your exam for a more comfortable examination. You may also want to keep a health diary that you can go over with your doctor during your appointment. You can use a calendar to keep track of your periods, any pain experienced, discharges, or other symptoms that occur during the month.

If you're annual pelvic exam is the only doctor you see on a regular basis, as it is for 24 percent of women, your gynecologist may order routine tests, such as urinalysis, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, as well as others.

Next: What Happens During an Annual Pap Test and Pelvic Exam?

Related Video
What to Expect From a Gynecological Exam
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