The PAP test, also known as a PAP smear, is done to provide your GYN with a quick and easy way to assess the condition of the cells in your cervix. Most women between the ages of 21 and 65 should get a PAP smear every three years, which is done in conjunction with a pelvic exam.
The prime purpose of the PAP test is to find any abnormal cells that cause cervical cancer. A sexually transmitted disease, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), can cause cervical cancer if left untreated.
What is Abnormal PAP Smear?
An abnormal pap smear means that some changes are detected in the cells of your cervix. An abnormal smear doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cervical cancer; sometimes, it has different reasons, like Autoimmune Diseases, Diabetes, Hormonal changes, Inflammation, or Yeast infection.
Common Reasons for Abnormal PAP Smear
As stated above, Human Papillomavirus is the most common cause of an abnormal PAP smear. Other sexually transmitted diseases that cause abnormal PAP smears are:
- Genital warts
- Other infections
Moreover, inflammation can cause a bad PAP smear. Infections are the most common cause of abnormal PAP results for most women. For more information click here.
Abnormal PAP Smear: What is the Next Step?
If you receive a bad PAP smear, take the following steps.
Consult Your Doctor
The first step is to get in touch with your doctor, regardless of how you got your results—through your online patient portal or in another way. There are various kinds of abnormal PAP results, and your doctor will go over what they mean for your particular results and the next steps you should take.
Schedule a Visit with Doctor
After getting an abnormal PAP test, schedule a visit with Dr. Farah N. Khan. Your abnormal PAP result type will determine exactly what happens next. In addition to performing a colposcopy, which is comparable to a PAP test, doctor may also order STD testing.
DYSIS is a digital colposcopy frequently used for a better view of the infected area. Doctor will look at your cervix with a magnifying glass for a better view of infected cells during your colposcopy.
After identifying the abnormal cells, doctor will take a sample for testing. Don’t worry about the pain. The testing procedure is painless; you will feel a slight pinch. After sampling, your cells will be sent to the lab for analysis, and after you receive your results, you can visit doctor for further procedures.
Treatment Options After an Abnormal PAP Test
Once your colposcopy results come, doctor will discuss the next steps.
Sometimes cells are less abnormal, and there is no need to worry; you just have to wait and watch. Less infected cells cure themselves. There are fewer chances of cervical cancer when fewer abnormal cells are detected.
Furthermore, if the chances are high, doctor may discuss some procedures for cell removal. Typically, doctors use the Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) for the removal.