These are two photos taken during a Papanicolau test (pap smear) done on a 25 year old woman 6 weeks postpartum. A pap smear can detect potentially pre-cancerous changes (called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) or cervical dysplasia), which are usually caused by sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HPVs). The test may also detect infections and abnormalities in the endocervix and endometrium.
In the top photo, you can see the metal speculum used to open this woman’s vagina and the wooden Aylesbury spatula used to collect a sample of the cells from the endocervix. The spatula gently scrapes the area around the os in a circular motion to gather cells.
The bottom photo is of an endocervical brush being swiped in the os of the cervix. The cells gathered on the brush and spatula will be wiped/smeared on a glass slide and examined in a laboratory or under a microscope to look for abnormalities.