Screening for Cervical Cancer: Pap smear

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a common cancer in Singapore. It can be effectively treated if detected early.


Who should go for a pap smear?

  • Women aged 25 and above
  • Women who have engaged in sexual intercourse or are sexually active

If you wish to get tested for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) along with the a pap test, the cells collected during your pap test will be tested for HPV at the laboratory. Please speak to your doctor if you need to go for a HPV test.


How frequent should you get tested?

You should get tested once you are sexually active. You should go for a subsequent test at least once every 3 years, depending on your pap smear result.


How to prepare for your pap smear?

You should not go for a pap smear during and near to your menses period.

If you are going to have a pap test in the next two days,

  • You should not douche (rinse the vagina with water or another fluid)
  • You should not use a tampon
  • You should not have sex
  • You should not use a birth control foam, cream, or jelly
  • You should not use a medicine or cream in your vagina


You may wish to speak to your doctor for further advice on a pap smear.