Buffalo Women Services
Obstetrics Gynecology & Abortion located in Buffalo, NY
If you have been told that you have an abnormal Pap smear, this is a gynecologic problem requiring attention. At Buffalo Women Services in Buffalo, New York, board-certified OB/GYN Katharine Morrison, MD, will evaluate your Pap smear results, and suggest further appropriate diagnostic testing and treatment. Schedule an appointment by phone or online today.
Abnormal Pap Smear Q&A
What is an abnormal Pap smear?
A Pap smear, or Pap test, is a diagnostic procedure in which your provider takes a sample of cells from your cervix and sends it to a lab for analysis.
An abnormal Pap smear occurs when cells within that sample are unusual, which can indicate infection, precancerous cells, cervical cancer, or other gynecological problems.
What are the risk factors for an abnormal Pap smear?
While anybody can develop suspicious-looking cervical cells associated with an abnormal Pap smear, certain factors can increase your risk of experiencing them. Some examples include:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Bacterial or yeast infections
- Having unprotected intercourse
- A weak immune system
- A history of abnormal Pap tests
Your OB/GYN specialist lets you know how often to get a Pap test based on your health history, age, and Cervical Cancer risk factors.
Some actions you can take to help prevent Cervical Cancer include:
- Getting the HPV vaccine
- Having regular Pap smears
- Treating Pap smear abnormalities
Will I experience any symptoms with an abnormal Pap test?
If you have changes in cervical cells associated with an abnormal Pap smear, you might not experience any symptoms at all. However, if you have an STD associated with cervical cell changes, you may notice genital pain, burning, itching, sores, lumps, warts, unusual vaginal discharge, or pain with intercourse.
What happens after an abnormal Pap smear?
If your Pap smear comes back abnormal, your provider will let you know the best next steps to rule out or detect complications. Your provider might recommend you undergo:
- Another Pap test in 6-12 months
- A colposcopy to get a better look at your cervix
- An HPV test
- A biopsy
- Treatment to remove abnormal cells
Detecting abnormal cervical cells early is the best way to treat your condition before any serious complications develop, including advanced stages of cervical cancer. See the Buffalo Women Services team every one to three years for a cervical health exam.
To schedule your next pelvic exam and determine if you have an abnormal Pap smear requiring treatment, call Buffalo Women Services or book online today.