What to Do When You Have an Abnormal Pap Smear?
By Capital Women's Care
March 28, 2016
Category: OBGYN

Gynecological health is a top concern for women ages 21-65. One of the most common appointments recommended is a pap smear. abnormal pap smearThis is a test that allows your gynecologist to check the health of your vagina and cervix. When the results show an abnormal pap smear, it’s important to take further steps with your Montgomery County gynecologist. Learn what to do if your pap smear comes back as abnormal.

What Is an Abnormal Pap Smear?
When a pap smear reading is abnormal, it’s an indication that some of the cells on your cervix are not normal. This can be caused by a number of issues, but in many cases it’s due to HPV (Human Papillomavirus), a sexually transmitted infection. Some forms of HPV can become precancerous if they aren’t monitored and treated properly, which is why regular checkups are highly recommended for women over 21.

Schedule a Biopsy and Colposcopy
The next appointment your Montgomery County gynecologist may want to schedule after an abnormal pap smear is a biopsy or colposcopy test. Both tests will give your doctor a closer look at the cells to determine if they could become precancerous.

Eliminating the Abnormal Cells
When the cells are evaluated and determined to be non-cancerous, a procedure called cryotherapy may be performed to remove the abnormal cells. It is a relatively quick treatment that freezes the cells with liquid CO2 to eliminate them. It is most commonly done if the abnormal cells are at the opening of the cervix. Your doctor will likely schedule a follow-up pap smear about six months later.

Discuss the HPV Vaccine
If you are sexually active, you might want to discuss the HPV vaccine with your gynecologist to reduce the chance of having an abnormal pap smear due to HPV in the future. This vaccine may help prevent future complications related to this very common STI that affects as many as 50 percent of sexually active people.

See a Gynecologist Today
If you’ve been diagnosed with an abnormal pap smear recently or in the past, it’s important that you keep up with regular appointments with your Montgomery County gynecologist. Call the office of Capital Women's Health today at (301) 569-6301 to schedule your next appointment.