My Pap Smear Results Were Abnormal — Now What?

You had your routine Pap smear (good for you), and the results showed abnormalities. So, now what? First of all, there’s no need to panic. Chances are, you’ll be just fine, as long as you follow through with your doctor’s recommendations. Depending on the specifics of your Pap test results, your doctor may recommend one of several options, from simple monitoring to additional tests. 

Here at Grassroots Healthcare in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dr. Melita Tate offers full-service women’s health examinations, which include Pap smears. Read on to learn more about what to expect after you receive an abnormal Pap smear result.

It doesn’t mean you have cancer

It can feel scary to get abnormal results from the test used to screen for cervical cancer. However, that doesn’t actually mean you have cancer. An abnormal Pap smear just means that some of your cervical cells are not typical. Most likely, any abnormalities were caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) — the most common sexually transmitted disease, which most adults acquire at some point. 

You might need additional tests

Depending on the type of abnormal cells shown in your Pap smear results, your provider may recommend additional tests. If the cells appear to be related to HPV, you might need a colposcopy, which is a test that provides a magnified view of your cervix, vulva, and vagina for closer inspection. A colposcopy can detect precancerous lesions, meaning it can help stop cancer before it starts. A repeat Pap test might be in order if you had an infection at the time of your first Pap smear or if too few cells were collected then.

You may end up watching and waiting

If your colposcopy came back showing only low-grade changes in your cervical cells, your provider will likely recommend the “watch and wait” approach. In other words, you’ll simply have more frequent Pap smears, such as one per year, versus one every three years. In many cases, the abnormalities correct themselves over time. 

A biopsy might follow

If your colposcopy results showed moderate to severe cervical cell abnormalities, or if your doctor has other reasons to suspect cancer, they’ll likely order a biopsy. During this process, cervical tissue will be removed using Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure or a cold knife cone biopsy. Both of these procedures are minor surgeries. From there, your doctor can assess whether you have cancerous cells and recommend any necessary treatment. With early detection, cervical cancer is highly treatable

To learn more about your cervical cancer risks or schedule a Pap smear, call Grassroots Healthcare or book an appointment with Dr. Melita Tate online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Could That Painful Sore Throat Be Strep?

Some sore throats are simply a minor inconvenience, but others are a sign of a more serious infection, like Streptococcus pyogenes (strep throat). Keep reading to learn when it’s time to seek medical help for your sore throat.

4 Benefits of A Corporate Health Program

If you’re a corporate executive or business owner, keeping your employees healthy isn’t just good for their wellness—it’s also good for the health of your bottom line. Here’s a look at this and other benefits of a corporate health program.

Tips for Keeping Your Blood Sugar Stable

When you have diabetes, uncontrolled blood sugar can cause serious health complications, including stroke and chronic kidney disease. Keep reading for our top tips on keeping your blood glucose stable.

How Your Weight Plays a Role in Diabetes

If you’re overweight, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is six times higher than it is for people at a healthy body weight. But how are the two linked? Keep reading to find out!

Which Weight Management Option is Right for Me?

With so much information on weight loss circulating, choosing the right weight management option isn’t always easy. We’ve done your homework for you! Keep reading to learn which option might be right for you.