I Just Received an Abnormal Pap Smear. Now What?

I Just Received an Abnormal Pap Smear. Now What?

A Pap smear is a preventive screening that can identify early warning signs of cervical cancer. If you’ve had a Pap smear and have been told that your results are abnormal, stay calm. There are many factors that can contribute to abnormal test results.

Our skilled providers at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group specialize in the management of abnormal Pap smears. In this blog, they explain what can cause negative test results and what you can expect next.

What a Pap smear can tell you

A Pap smear is a minimally invasive procedure that involves collecting a sample of cells from your cervix with a small swab or brush. The cell sample then goes to a medical lab where it’s checked under a microscope for precancerous changes or other abnormalities.

Our providers typically complete Pap smears during pelvic exams as part of routine wellness visits. Collecting the cells isn’t painful and only takes a few moments.

The goal of a Pap smear is to protect your long-term health by diagnosing cancer before it worsens. By identifying cervical cancer in the earliest stages, you can get the treatment you need to prevent the cancer from spreading elsewhere.

If your Pap smear results are negative, there’s typically nothing else you need to do. If you have abnormal test results, our experienced physicians continue working with you to find out why.

Moving forward after an abnormal Pap smear

After your initial abnormal Pap smear, your doctor may recommend having a second test to confirm your results. This is because sexual activity or douching before a Pap smear can affect the accuracy of your results.

Other tests you may need could include:

Blood or urine testing

We may also request blood work or urine testing to confirm or rule out a urinary tract infection (UTI), which could cause negative test results.

Colposcopy

If there are concerns about potentially cancerous cells in your cervix, you may need a colposcopy. This procedure involves the use of a colposcope, which is an instrument that provides a magnified view of your cervix, so the physicians can check for abnormal tissue. 

During this procedure, they may also swab your cervical tissues with a special solution that makes abnormal cells more noticeable.

Biopsy

If you have suspicious spots on your cervix, you might also need a biopsy. During this procedure, the physicians remove a tissue sample from your cervix for further evaluation under a microscope.

If precancerous or cancerous cells are present, our providers can discuss your options for treatment.

Treatment for abnormal cervical cells

At The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group, we may recommend a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) in-office to remove abnormal cervical cells. With this procedure, we use a tool with a heated wire loop to remove suspicious tissue. This procedure allows us to perform the task quickly and without the need for invasive surgery.

We can also discuss any additional treatments you may need if you have signs of cervical cancer or other reproductive health concerns.

To get a Pap smear or to discuss abnormal Pap smear results, book an appointment online or over the phone with The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group today.

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