As part of your well-being care as a woman, pap smears are part of your annual exams. Starting in your twenties or when you become sexually active, it should be part of your health routine to receive a pap smear as part of your gynecological exam to scan for early signs of cervix cancer. This test is used to detect changes in the cervix cells and to check for the Human Papillomaviruses that can cause these changes. A normal pap smear shows no changes in the cells or detection of HPV. An abnormal test result is a reason for concern, but not a reason to panic. Here is what to do if you receive an abnormal pap smear result.
The first step to finding out what the issue is with an abnormal pap smear is usually to perform a second test or do further testing. It is common to have an abnormal result in a pap smear, yet be healthy. An abnormal pap smear could mean one of several things. If you test positive for HPV, that could be the reason for your abnormal pap test. Bacteria and yeast infections can also cause abnormal test results as well. What you will want to find out is why abnormal cells are in your cervix and address the cause.
If you receive an abnormal pap smear result, schedule an exam with your local OB/GYN to undergo additional testing. This could include a colposcopy or other tests to look at the severity of abnormal cells and the cause. Only a small percentage of those with an abnormal pap smear have cervix cancer but it can be a predictor of future issues, so it is best to treat the results seriously.
Posted on behalf of
North Point OB/GYN Associates
1505 Northside Boulevard #3500
Cumming, GA 30041