The presence of endocervical cells can be detected by a Pap smear, according to Everyday Health. Endocervical cells may be found in the lining of the cervix opening that leads to the uterus, also known as the endocervical canal.
When Pap smear results are examined, the pathologist looks for both squamous cells and columnar endocervical cells. When no endocervical cells are present, doctors often attribute it to the occurrence of menopause. It is not uncommon for women who have undergone menopause to lack endocervical cells, explains Everyday Health. This is due to the fact that the cervix is less pliable after menopause and certain sections of it move further up the cervical canal, making the retrieval of endocervical cells much more difficult. Women who are concerned about the lack of endocervical cells may discuss their concerns with their doctor.
Efforts have been made to improve sampling techniques for Pap smears, according to a study conducted by the Southern Alberta Primary Care Research Network. The goal is to find ways to collect samples that improve the chances of capturing endocervical cells. The study concluded that when doctors are faced with a lack of endocervical cells in a sample, patients should be scheduled for regular testing, unless an abnormality is suspected, reports the Canadian Medical Association Journal.