Cervical cancer is one of the leading reproductive health issues effectively detected during a pap smear. Every woman should have regular pap smears to understand their condition and pave the way for early cervical cancer treatment. That said, many women often experience an abnormal pap smear, which is sometimes scary. Normally, abnormal pap smear test results indicate unusual cells were found during your test. However, this shouldn’t scare you since with Buckhead, Vinings, Smyrna, Roswell, Alpharetta, Midtown, Sandy S Abnormal pap smears and HPV services, your provider can tell the reason behind your abnormal results. Let’s explore what you should know about abnormal pap smear results and their causes.
Understanding abnormal pap smears
Generally, a pap smear is a screening test that involves taking cells from your cervix for analysis to analyze if they are noncancerous or cancerous. When most pap smear results are successful and indicate normal results, the chances of having abnormal pap smear results are still evident. Since a pap smear helps find precancerous changes usually caused by the HPV virus, you have an abnormal pap smear if your results show different changes. In most cases, you can be recommended to have a colonoscopy to explain the cell changes.
What causes abnormal pap smear results?
Although several factors contribute to abnormal pap smear results, human papillomavirus HPV is the leading cause. HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease usually spread through skin-to-skin contact during oral or vaginal sex. Furthermore, HPV doesn’t have visible signs, making it difficult for many patients to detect it independently. However, a pap smear test can help identify HPV even in its early stages. While HPV can disappear on its own with time, certain strains of HPV can last and cause cervical cancer. Even if HPV is the central reason for abnormal pap smear results, precancerous and cancerous cells in your cervix can also cause abnormal results. In addition, health issues like yeast infections, hormonal changes, inflammation, noncancerous cysts, diabetes, or an autoimmune disorder can cause abnormal pap results.
Should you worry about abnormal pap smear results?
Typically, most women have an abnormal pap smear result at some point in life, but there is nothing to worry about. In most cases, the result of HPV will disappear with time or lifestyle behaviors like smoking or tobacco use. However, following up with your provider is essential to ensure your results aren’t indicating something worse. During your next pap smear test, your provider can notify you if there are any changes in your cervical tissues.
What next after an abnormal pap smear?
After your test results are out, your provider can inform you of your situation and guide you on the way forward. However, depending on your current results, medical history, and risk factors for cervical cancer, you will be recommended to have follow-up pap smears within one year to monitor any changes. Colposcopy testing helps examine your cervix, vulva, and vagina in case of unanswered questions.
An abnormal pap smear results, especially for the first time, can be nervous. However, there is nothing to be sacred since the results don’t mean you have cancer. Furthermore, since you can’t navigate this path alone, it’s important that you have a helping hand down the road.