What is the main reason for an abnormal Pap smear?

In most cases, an abnormal Pap test is a result of: A human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. A sexually transmitted infection (STI or STD), such as herpes or trichomoniasis. A bacterial or yeast infection.

Should I be worried about abnormal Pap smear?

Most abnormal Pap smear results are nothing to worry about

Most women will have at least one abnormal Pap smear result in their lifetime, with an overall average of 5% of all Pap tests coming back as “abnormal.” In most cases, the abnormal result is nothing to worry about, but it's important to follow up to make sure.

What do abnormal cells from a Pap smear indicate?

An abnormal result means that cell changes were found on your cervix. This usually does not mean that you have cervical cancer. Abnormal changes on your cervix are likely caused by HPV. The changes may be minor (low-grade) or serious (high-grade).

How common is it for a Pap smear to be abnormal?

About 5% of all Pap tests will be abnormal, meaning that the sample contains atypical cervical cells. However, the majority of these cells are not cancerous or even precancerous. An abnormal Pap test result does not mean cancer, but it does require follow-up to rule out the possibility of cancer.

Why do my Pap smears keep coming back abnormal?

There are actually lots of reasons your Pap smear may come back “abnormal.” You may have an infection or inflammation, growth or cysts, changes in your hormones (usually due to pregnancy or menopause), problems with your immune system related to diabetes, HIV, or autoimmune diseases.

What causes a pap smear to be abnormal?

How do you fix an abnormal Pap smear?

If there are moderate to severe changes in your cervix, your doctor may want to remove the cervical tissue. Typically, your doctor will use the Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP), or perform a cold knife cone biopsy as a minor surgical procedure.

What are the five categories of Pap smear abnormalities?

There are five main categories of abnormal Pap smear results within the Bethesda system:
  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US). ...
  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL). ...
  • Atypical squamous cells that may or may not be HSIL (ASC-H). ...
  • Atypical glandular cells (AGC). ...
  • Cancer.

Will abnormal Pap go away?

Most of the time, the abnormal cell changes are caused by certain types of human papillomavirus, or HPV. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection. Usually these cell changes go away on their own.

What are the next steps after an abnormal Pap smear?

“I Received an Abnormal Pap Test. What's Next?” Your next step is usually a minor procedure called a colposcopy. This procedure is a visual examination of the cervix using a low-powered microscope used to find and then biopsy abnormal areas in your cervix that may lead to cervical cancer.

Can you have an abnormal Pap smear without HPV?

Having HPV increases your risk of cervical cancer, and it's the most common reason women get abnormal Pap results. You may also get abnormal results if precancerous or cancerous cells are already present. But sometimes, a health issue that's unrelated to cancer can also cause abnormal Pap results.

What happens when they find abnormal cells in a smear test?

If your cervical smear test shows abnormal cells, you may have a different test to look closely at your cervix. This is called a colposcopy. Sometimes the doctor or nurse doing the test can see that the cells are abnormal. They may offer you treatment to remove these cells during the colposcopy.

What are the symptoms of abnormal cervical cells?

The most common symptom is abnormal bleeding that starts and stops between regular menstrual periods, or that occurs after sexual intercourse, douching, or a pelvic exam.
  • Heavier menstrual bleeding, which may last longer than usual.
  • Bleeding after menopause.
  • Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Pain during intercourse.

What is the most common abnormal Pap smear?

  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US): This is the most common abnormal Pap test finding. ...
  • Atypical glandular cells (AGC): Some glandular cells were found that do not look normal.

How long does an abnormal Pap last?

These lesions, in women with intact immune systems, often resolve without intervention within 18 to 24 months. Low-grade lesions may also be called mild dysplasia, or CIN1. If it is your first abnormal Pap smear, your doctor will likely recommend a colposcopy.

How long does it take to remove abnormal cells from cervix?

The abnormal tissue is removed using a thin wire loop that is heated electrically. The aim is to remove all the abnormal cells from the surface of the cervix. A LLETZ or LEEP is done under local anaesthetic in your doctor's office or under local or general anaesthetic in hospital. It takes about 10–20 minutes.

Can a UTI cause an abnormal Pap smear?

Possible reasons for abnormal Pap test results besides cancer include: Vaginal infection. Recent sexual activity. Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Should I be worried if I need a colposcopy?

Try not to worry

If you're referred for a colposcopy after an abnormal cervical screening test, you shouldn't assume you have cervical cancer. Less than 1 in 1,000 women referred for a colposcopy are found to have cervical cancer that requires immediate treatment.

What happens if you have two abnormal Pap smears?

If they appear to be abnormal, your doctor will order more tests, including a colposcopy, to find out for sure if it's cancer. Squamous cell cancer or adenocarcinoma cells. This means the cells on your cervix are so abnormal, your doctor is almost certain it's cancer.

What causes abnormal cervical cells besides HPV?

Other things can cause cells to look abnormal, including irritation, some infections (such as a yeast infection), growths (such as polyps in the uterus), and changes in hormones that occur during pregnancy or menopause. Although these things may make cervical cells look abnormal, they are not related to cancer.

Are abnormal smears common?

It is very common to have an abnormal smear (one in twelve smears are not normal), but it is extremely rare for this abnormality to be cancer.

What vitamins help abnormal Pap smear?

Large amounts of folic acid have been shown to improve the abnormal Pap smears of some women who are taking birth control pills. Large amounts of folic acid—10 mg per day—have been shown to improve the abnormal Pap smears of women who are taking birth control pills.

How do you know if you have precancerous cells in cervix?

Precancerous cervical cell changes usually have no symptoms. The only way to know if there are abnormal cells in the cervix that may develop into cancer is to have a cervical screening test. If symptoms occur, they usually include: vaginal bleeding between periods, after menopause, or during or after sexual intercourse.

What is Stage 3 abnormal cervical cells?

Severely abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. CIN 3 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. CIN 3 is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue if not treated.

How serious are precancerous cervical cells?

Precancerous conditions of the cervix are changes to cervical cells that make them more likely to develop into cancer. These conditions are not yet cancer. But if they aren't treated, there is a chance that these abnormal changes may become cervical cancer.

How common are abnormal cells in cervix?

Whilst about 1 in 20 women will have a smear test result which is abnormal, only about 1 in 2000 will have cervical cancer. That means approximately 1% of women with any grade of abnormal smear will have a cancer.
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