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Lubrication of the vaginal introitus and external speculum had no effect on Papanicolaou smear interpretation
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 QUESTION: In women having Papanicolaou smears, does lubrication of the vaginal introitus and external speculum affect cervical cytology results?

Design

Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (outcome assessors),* controlled trial.

Setting

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Women’s Health Clinic, Colton, California, USA.

Patients

182 women (mean age 35 y) who presented to the clinic for Papanicolaou smears. Patients with known untreated cervical cancer or active bleeding were excluded. All patients were included in the analysis.

Intervention

Patients were allocated to 2–3 cc surgilube (water soluble lubricant) on the gloved fingers before insertion of an externally lubricated speculum (n=93) or no lubricant other than water on the speculum (n=89).

Main outcome measure

The main outcome measure was an unsatisfactory Papanicolaou smear result.

Main results

The groups did not differ for the …

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