Pap Smears

A Pap smear tests for abnormal cells in the cervix to prevent cancer

Pap Smears

Cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer-related death for women. But those numbers are down thanks to the Pap smear test, according to the American Cancer Society. A 2018 study shows that routine Pap smears detect 92% of cervical cancer cases.

How Often Should You Get a Pap Smear?

People ages 21-29 should have a Pap test every three years. People ages 30-65 should have a Pap test with HPV testing every 5 years.

Your health care provider may recommend that you get tested more frequently if you have a history of:

  • HIV
  • Cervical cancer
  • Pap smears that indicate precancerous cells
  • A weakened immune system due to an organ transplant or chemotherapy
  • Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) before birth

What Happens During a Pap Smear?

A Pap test procedure involves lying on an examination table with your feet in stirrups. Your gynecologist will open the vagina with a speculum and gently swab the cervix to collect cells and mucus. Pap smears are quick and should not be painful but may cause mild discomfort.

How To Prepare for a Pap Smear

For accurate test results, you should refrain from inserting anything into the vagina for 48 hours before the exam. This includes abstaining from:

  • Sex
  • Using tampons
  • Douching
  • Vaginal lubricants or medication
  • Vaginal sprays or powder

Find Pap Smears services at:

Tapestry – Albany Park

3737 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625


Tapestry – Devon

1300 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60660


Tapestry – Gale Elementary School

1631 W Jonquil Terr
Chicago, IL 60626


Tapestry – Hibbard Elementary School

4930 N Sawyer Ave
Chicago, IL 60625


Tapestry – Lakeview

3154 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657


Tapestry – Lincoln Square

2645 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625


Tapestry – Roosevelt High School

3436 W Wilson Ave
Chicago, IL 60625


Tapestry – Senn High School

5900 N Glenwood Ave
Chicago, IL 60660


Tapestry – Skokie

8320 Skokie Blvd
Skokie, IL 60077
(enter from parking lot)


Tapestry – Touhy

2200 W Touhy Ave
Chicago, IL 60645


Tapestry – Wilson

845 W Wilson Ave
Chicago, IL 60640


Pap Smears Forms