The pelvic exam and Pap test allow the doctor to detect abnormal changes in the cervix.

If these exams show that an infection is present, the doctor treats the infection and then repeats the Pap test at a later time.

If the Pap test or exam suggests something other than an infection, the doctor may repeat the Pap test and do other tests to find out what the problem is.

The Pap smear is only a screening test and does not give a final diagnosis.

A diagnosis and subsequent treatment is based on biopsy results, which are usually obtained after an abnormal Pap smear is discovered.

Colposcopy is a widely used method to check the cervix for abnormal areas.

This procedure is most commonly performed after an abnormal Pap smear.

The doctor applies a vinegar-like solution to the cervix and then uses an instrument much like a microscope (called a colposcope) to look closely at the cervix.

In a Schiller Test, the doctor may coat the cervix with an iodine solution.

Healthy cells turn brown; abnormal cells turn white or yellow.



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