Can an abnormal Pap smear be nothing?

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 can cause an abnormal Pap smears besides HPV?

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.
  • Inflammation in the pelvic area.
  • Normal cellular changes that occur with age.

How common is abnormal Pap smear?

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.

Can an abnormal Pap smear become normal?

Abnormal changes on your cervix are likely caused by HPV. The changes may be minor (low-grade) or serious (high-grade). Most of the time, minor changes go back to normal on their own. But more serious changes can turn into cancer if they are not removed.

How often are abnormal Pap smears wrong?

There is only two to five percent of the women who have a pap smear that has results come back abnormal. If you happen to fall into that group, you may be a bit nervous. This information will help you understand what it means to get an 'abnormal' test result on your pap smear.

Abnormal Pap Smear: What Does It Mean?

Should I be scared of an abnormal Pap?

There's no need to panic

When you hear that your Pap smear results were abnormal, you might feel some anxiety. Although worry is a common and normal reaction, it's important to know that your test results merely showed that you have an infection or unusual cells known as dysplasia. None of this means you have cancer.

Should I be worried about abnormal smear test?

It's worrying to receive abnormal or borderline smear test results. However, it is not unusual to have an abnormal result and it doesn't mean you have cancer. The smear test is designed to pick up minor changes in the cells of the cervix before any serious problems develop.

What can cause a slightly abnormal Pap smear?

Cause. Most abnormal Pap tests are caused by HPV infections. Other types of infection—such as those caused by bacteria, yeast, or protozoa (Trichomonas)—sometimes lead to minor changes on a Pap test called atypical squamous cells.

What is the cause of most abnormal Pap test results?

Most often, the abnormal test result means there have been cell changes caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). That's the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), and can be linked to cervical cancer. Changes to your cervical cells caused by HPV can be mild, moderate, or severe.

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)

What is the most common age for abnormal Pap?

The HPV test can be used alone (primary HPV test) or at the same time as the Pap test (called a co-test). Cervical cancer is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44 with the average age at diagnosis being 50 . It rarely develops in women younger than 20.

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.

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.

What is the most common abnormal Pap smear?

ASC-US is the most common abnormal Pap test result. ASC-US stands for atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance. “Squamous” refers to the type of cells that make up the tissue that covers the cervix. LSIL—This means that the cervical cells show changes that are mildly abnormal.

Can you have an abnormal smear without HPV?

Some abnormal smears with mild changes may not be due to HPV but most abnormal smears are due to the effects of HPV on the cervix.

What is treatment for 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 symptoms of abnormal Pap smear?

One of the most common abnormal Pap smear causes is the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV).
As NLM explains, trichomoniasis can cause many symptoms, such as the following:
  • Vaginal itching.
  • Vaginal odor.
  • Vaginal discharge.

Can a doctor see abnormal cells on cervix?

Abnormalities tend to occur at the opening of the cervix to the birth canal, where it enters the womb. A colposcopy allows a doctor or trained nurse to find these abnormalities. In some women, the presence of 'abnormal cells' carries the risk of developing cervical cancer.

How can I stop worrying about smear results?

speak to the health professional beforehand to discuss your concerns if you think the test may be uncomfortable as they can offer support. ask someone you trust to go with you, such as a friend, relative or mental health worker, who can also be with you after your appointment.

Can a yeast infection cause an abnormal Pap?

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) , yeast infections can lead to an abnormal Pap smear finding called atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US). ASC-US is the most common abnormal Pap smear result.

How often a female patient should have a Pap smear test done if abnormality is found?

How often should a Pap smear be repeated? Doctors generally recommend repeating Pap testing every three years for women ages 21 to 65. Women age 30 and older can consider Pap testing every five years if the procedure is combined with testing for HPV. Or they might consider HPV testing instead of the Pap test.

Do you get results immediately after Pap smear?

Pap Smear Results

Your doctor will get them within a few days. They'll come back either negative (normal) or positive (abnormal).

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.

What percentage of abnormal cervical cells are cancerous?

The risk that atypical glandular cell (AGC) abnormalities reflect precancerous changes is as high as 35 percent, the risk of cervical cancer is as high as 1 percent, and the risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer is as high as 3 percent [2,4-6]. For most people with AGC, colposcopy is done as a next step.

What is a high risk Pap smear?

High Grade Abnormal Pap Test Results

High grade cervical cells identified by Pap test results can indicate the presence of precancerous cervical dysplasia—which can be caused by strains of HPV that are associated with a high risk of developing cancer—or, sometimes, cervical cancer itself.
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