Cytology is a diagnostic procedure used by gynaecologists to guarantee prevention and diagnosis of precancerous changes and invasive cervical cancer. It serves to examine female genital organs by introducing a speculum (tube) into the vagina and collecting a sample of the exfoliated cervix. This procedure helps to detect changes in the cervix, even at their early stage. Performed on a gynaecological seat, it is practically painless and lasts only a few minutes, including the preparation.
How to prepare for the examination
- The sample for cytological examination is collected before the gynaecological examination, transvaginal ultrasound or other vaginal and/or cervical examinations, e.g. cultures.
- Cytological examinations cannot be performed earlier than 2 days after menstruation and later than 4 days before the next menstrual bleeding – best time for it is in the first half of your cycle.
- Four days before your examination, do not use any vaginal medicines/preparations, tampons or vaginal irrigation products.
- Refrain from a sexual intercourse at least 24 hours before your examination.
- Do not undergo any gynaecological examinations, transvaginal ultrasounds, cervical culture sampling or smears for at least 24 hours before your cytological examination.
- If your genital organ is inflamed (which might be manifested by, for example, vaginal discharge), it is necessary to cure the inflammation before having your cytology performed.
Important details that you will be asked about by the gynaecologist
Before your medical appointment, it is advisable to recall the date of your last menstruation, calculate the length of your cycle and prepare information about any medications or contraceptive measures (preferably with names), past and chronic diseases, pregnancies and childbirths.
Remember! The first day of your menstrual cycle is the first day of menstrual bleeding.