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Can a Pap Smear Induce a Miscarriage or Spontaneous Abortion?

Q: Can a Pap smear induce a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion?

A Pap smear cannot induce a miscarriage or abortion.

Almost all miscarriages are caused by so called "chromosomal anomalies," defects in the fetus' chromosomes. These are usually determined at the moment of conception, and miscarriage is inevitable. Pap smears do not cause miscarriages.

Most professional organizations recommend a Pap smear every 2 years and more frequently if you previously had an abnormal smear, or if you have had an HPV infection.

A Pap smear is usually done differently in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women. Instead of using a brush to take cells from the cervix, the doctor uses a smooth swab to prevent any injury to the cervix.

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