Cervical cancer, in women, is the second most common cancer worldwide. The incidence of cervical cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus or HPV can be drastically brought down by a simple non-invasive test called a PAP TEST, which can be done on an outpatient basis.


A pap test also called as ‘Pap Smear’ or ‘Papanicolaou test’, checks for abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus(womb) that opens into the vagina (birth canal). A pap smear can detect an infection, abnormal cells in the cervix (precancerous) or cells indicating cancer of the ccervix. A pap test can detect the earliest signs of cervical cancer even when there are no symptoms. When detected early, the chances of curing the cervical cancer are very high. It can also detect some infections and abnormal changes in the cervix that can potentially develop into cancer. These lesions can effectively be prevented from developing into active cancers. Thus, a Pap test can save your life. 

How often is a pap test done? The first pap test can be done after age of 18 or earlier if you are sexually active. This test is done once every year until you have at least 3 normal results. Thereafter, the test can be done once in 3 years unless your doctor thinks that you need it more often. Pap test should be done even after you have gone through menopause. 

I have had a hysterectomy. Do I still need a pap test? 

It depends on the type of hysterectomy you have had. If the cervix is left behind in a subtotal hysterectomy, a pap test is necessary. If a total hysterectomy is performed for abnormal cells or cancer, a pap smear is still necessary to detect vaginal cancers.

Cervical cancer, In women, is the second most common cancer worldwide.

The incidence of cervical cancer caused by human papilloma virus or HPV can be drastically brought down by a simple non-invasive test called a pap test, which can be done on an outpatient basis.

In Nigeria the incidence rate of cervical cancer is 25/100,000 and there are 32 million women aged 15-64 years old.

To cut cervical cancer incidence, screening for HPV is critical.

Is a pap test painful?

A pap test is a simple, quick, and painless procedure. It can be done in a doctor’s clinic or in the outpatient department. 

How do I prepare for a pap test? 

The test is done when you are not menstruating. You should avoid using vaginal creams, sprays, powder, tampons, and douching, 2 days before the test. Avoid sex for at least 24 hours before the test. 

What happens after the pap test? 

If your results are normal, nothing further needs to be done. If the results are abnormal, the doctor may repeat the pap smear or advice further treatment depending on the abnormality. 

How can I reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer?

You can reduce the risk of getting, cervical cancer by

  • Delaying sexual intercourse till 18 years of age or older.
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners.
  • Testing yourself and your partner against sexually transmitted infections.
  • Using condoms to protect against sexually transmitted infections.
  • Avoid smoking.

Welcome to the Official Website of IMAN Lagos State Chapter

Welcome to the Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter websites. I am delighted that you have chosen to visit our website and hope that you will find much to enjoy and reflect on whilst you browse through and have an opportunity of visiting our heritage sites as altogether we promote culture tourism. Our mission is to promote better understanding and appreciation of health care within the framework of Islam. Our web site provides an additional avenue for our brothers and sisters; Muslim medical practitioners and paramedical researchers to access rich volume records which represent "our common heritage and have insight into the molding of an all rounded ideal Muslim personalities".

As for those who are not, I am sure you may be surprised to learn that, although, the founding fathers of this association were largely from the southern part of the country; more or less. Ironically today, IMAN is far more popular, far more generally embraced in the north so much so that the association now has embark on a deliberate drive of generating membership from the southern part of the country!

Health Tips

Latest Messages from the Information Desk

Resources Download