A pap smear, also known as a Pap test, is a diagnostic procedure to detect the presence of abnormal cells in your cervix. It involves collecting the cells from your cervix since early detection with a Pap smear will provide a greater chance for a cure. This test can also detect the precancerous cells which may likely advance to cervical cancer.
Cervical cancers commonly develop due to different strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) which is a sexually transmitted disease. Buckhead, Vinings, Smyrna, Roswell, Alpharetta, Midtown, Sandy S Abnormal pap smears and HPV women health providers facilitate timely evaluation and interventions to deal with the cause. They are a team of renowned gynecologists that master the skill of performing a procedure called colposcopy to check for any pathology related to your cervix.
What is a Pap smear?
A Pap smear or Pap test is a routine screening test for cervical cancer. It is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed in an outpatient facility. If your doctor suspects precancerous changes in your cervix, you will be advised to undergo a Pap test.
It involves the removal of cells from your cervix and analysing in a laboratory to check for signs that indicate cancer.
HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that consists of several strains causing varying symptoms. HPV 6 and 11 usually cause cauliflower-like growths like genital warts, whereas HPV 16, 18, and 45 are responsible for the development of cervical cancer.
A Pap smear can effectively detect cervical changes caused due to malignancy caused by HPV.
What is an abnormal Pap smear?
A positive Pap test result is known as an abnormal test result. Some of the cells in your cervix may look different from the normal cells that differ in their morphology and structure. However, it does not always mean the changes are caused by cancer. Abnormal changes in your cervix are likely caused by HPV.
What to do if a Pap smear is abnormal?
If your Pap smear is abnormal your gynecologist will recommend a procedure called colposcopy to determine the cause and extent of the cell change.
The procedure involves the following steps:
- You will be made to lie down with your legs folded and stretched wide apart.
- Your doctor will insert a speculum inside your vagina to gain access to insert the colposcope.
- A vinegar solution is applied to your cervix that lights up the abnormal cells.
- A colposcope is a telescope-like device that helps in a clear view of the cervix.
If there are any abnormalities present your doctor will order a biopsy to customise a treatment plan for you.
A Pap test is an essential diagnostic test that helps identify abnormal changes in your cervix. This can effectively facilitate your gynecologist to design an appropriate treatment plan.