Gynecologists recommend getting a pap test on a routine basis to screen for changes of the cervix that may indicate cancer or pre-cancerous abnormalities. Your doctor will let you know how often you should schedule these wellness appointments. Try to avoid scheduling your pap test for the week of your period.
There is little preparation required, but your gynecologist will need you to avoid sexual intercourse for two days prior to the exam. You should also avoid using any vaginal products for the same time period. These include medications, douches, and creams. Avoid spray, powder, lubrication, and suppository products as well. If you do get your period before your exam, use sanitary pads instead of tampons for 48 hours prior. When you arrive at the clinic, don’t forget to visit the ladies’ room. A full bladder will make the exam more uncomfortable.