Women’s health is a complicated and important facet of medicine. Receiving an abnormal pap smear result can seem scary. However, it is important to know and understand what these results mean. Find out about pap smears, abnormal results, and keeping up with your gynecological health with Dr. Eric Ashkin, Dr. Aliya Poshni, and Dr. Leslie Masiky at Capital Women’s Care in Rockville, MD.
Why is a well woman examination important?
The most important aspect of a well woman examination is the prevention of future issues. A pap smear, performed during a well woman examination, takes a sample of cells from the cervix and is the leading cervical cancer prevention available. Your doctor tests the cells for abnormalities. An abnormal pap smear means that the results of the testing have found cells which are not normal, healthy cells. An abnormal pap smear does not mean that you have cervical cancer.
What does an abnormal pap smear mean?
Often, abnormal cells are a result of the human papilloma virus, or HPV. These cells are linked to cervical cancer, allowing doctors to catch and treat this condition early at its most curable stages. Abnormal pap smear results can also occur due to infections caused by yeast or bacteria, treatable conditions which are usually nothing to worry about. Abnormal pap smear results in women going through menopause could be simply because their cells have changed due to age.
Pap Smear in Rockville, MD
According to the United States Office on Women’s Health, women from the ages of 21-29 should have a pap smear every three years. Women between 30-64 should have a pap smear and HPV test every five years. Additionally, women with immune system problems coinciding with chemotherapy, steroid use, or other issues, those who have had cervical cancer, or women who are HIV-positive should have more frequent pap smears. Consult with your doctor to determine how often you should have a pap smear.
For more information on abnormal pap smears or to schedule your well woman examination, please contact Dr. Ashkin, Dr. Poshni, and Dr. Masiky at Capital Women’s Care in Rockville, MD. Call (301) 569-6301 to schedule your appointment with your gynecologist today!