Published: 2019-12-25

A study of cervical Papanicolaou smears examination in patients with abnormal vaginal discharge

Komal Patel, R. N. Hathila, Pallavi Chaudhri, Siddhi M. Patel


Background: Reproductive tract infection represents major public health problem in developing countries. Cervical infections are common problems among women of reproductive age and associated with clinical complaints of vaginal discharge. Pap smear is a screening test to diagnose various abnormal pathology of cervix. Aims and objectives of this study was to identify various causes of vaginal discharge and frequency of various pathogenic microorganisms in cervical smear.

Methods: This was hospital based descriptive study carried out on 300 female patients who attended obstetrics and gynecology clinic at tertiary care hospital with compliant of vaginal discharge. Cervical smear samples were collected, conventional smears were prepared by trained technical staff and stained using Papanicolaou (Pap) technique.

Results: The most common age group affected with vaginal discharge was 26 to 35 years with 115 cases. The most common associated symptom was lower abdominal pain seen in 75 cases. Most frequent findings on per speculum examination was thick whitish discharge in 186 cases and the most common pathogenic organism found was Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) in 177 cases.

Conclusions: The study emphasizes the need for educating women of rural community to raise the awareness for cervical Pap screening.


Bacterial vaginosis, Candidiasis, Pap smear, Trichomonas vaginalis, Vaginal discharge

Full Text:



Salih MM, Alhag FT, Khalifa MA, El Nabi AH. Cervical cytopathological changes among women with vaginal discharge attending teaching hospital. J Cytol. 2017 Apr;34(2):90.

Kumar N, Singh P, Rudra S. Papanicolaou smear as a tool for detection of Cervico-vaginal Infections in a Rural Tertiary care centre of Northern India: Retrospective analysis. Ind J Obstet Gynecol Res. 2016;3(4):343-7.

Barouti E, Farzaneh F, Sene AA, Tajik Z, Jafari B. The pathogenic microorganisms in papanicolaou vaginal smears and correlation with inflammation. J Family Repr Health. 2013 Mar;7(1):23.

Patil GL, Patil LS, Patil R, MR A. Significance of an inflammatory smear in the evaluation of cervical smears, at a low resource setting. J Medi Res Pract. 2012;1(1):3-6.

Sivaranjini R, Jaisankar TJ, Thappa DM, Kumari R, Chandrasekhar L, Malathi M, et al. Spectrum of vaginal discharge in a tertiary care setting. Trop Parasitol. 2013 Jul;3(2):135.

Patel V, Pednekar S, Weiss H, Rodrigues M, Barros P, Nayak B, et al. Why do women complain of vaginal discharge? A population survey of infectious and pyschosocial risk factors in a South Asian community. Int J Epidemiol. 2005 Apr 15;34(4):853-62.

Rani S, Qamarunissa, Fakharunissa, Waqarunissa, Frequency of Abnormal Cervical Smear in Women Presenting with Vaginal Discharge; Imperial J Interdisci Res (IJIR). 2016;2(4):722-6.

Sujatha P, Indira V, Kumar KM. Study of PAP smear examination in patients complaining of leucorrhoea-A 2 years prospective study in a teaching hospital. IAIM. 2016;3(5):106-12.

Koteswari MK. Nageswara Rao, Renuka IV, Padmavathidevi C. A Study of Pap smear Examination in Women Complaining of Leucorrhea. IOSR J Dent Medi Sci. 2015;14(1):37-42.

Yasmin S, Mukherjee A. A cyto-epidemiological study on married women in reproductive age group (15-49 years) regarding reproductive tract infection in a rural community of West Bengal. Ind J Pub Health. 2012 Jul 1;56(3):204.

Gaur BS, Khare V, Gupta R. Study of abnormal cervical cytology in papanicolaou smears in a tertiary care center. Int J Adv Medi. 2016 Jul;3(3):569.

Bamanikar SA, Baravkar DS, Chandanwale SS, Dapkekar P. Study of cervical pap smears in a tertiary hospital. Ind Medi Gaz. 2014 Jul;148(7):250-4.