What Could an Abnormal Pap Test Mean?

Located in East Brunswick and Hillsborough, New Jersey, Brunswick Hills OBGYN specializes in the health of women’s reproductive systems. Every year, Brunswick Hills OBGYN patients are advised to undergo a gynecological examination, which includes a Pap smear.

A Pap test involves taking some cells from the cervix and examining them under a microscope to screen for cervical cancer. When results show dysplasia or abnormal cells, it is not necessarily an indication of cancer. In fact, an abnormal result is usually not a sign of cancer but rather points to an infection or inflammatory response in the body.

Something as simple as recently having intercourse could cause an abnormal Pap smear. Changes in cervical cells can also occur if the patient has a yeast infection, trichomoniasis, or herpes. Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) can additionally lead to cell changes, and those with certain types of HPV are at a higher risk of cervical cancer than others.

After an abnormal Pap smear, the physician may recommend a colposcopy, which involves looking at the cervix with a magnifying tool. If abnormal areas are spotted, a biopsy may be performed to make a diagnosis. An HPV test may also be obtained. After appropriate treatments are administered to remove all of the abnormal cells, the patient will likely need a follow-up Pap test in six months.

For more information about Pap tests, visit BHillsOBGYN.com.