My Pap Smear Results Were Abnormal—What Now?

Are you feeling anxious, afraid, or panicked because of an abnormal Pap smear test? Dr. Kevin Hooker and our compassionate team at Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care want to ease your discomfort. 

We understand the fear and confusion abnormal Pap smear results can bring. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Read on to learn more about Pap smears and the steps to take if you receive abnormal results.

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear is a simple procedure that looks for abnormal changes in the cells of your cervix, like cervical cancer. You typically get one every three to five years depending on your age and other factors. 

This important preventative measure for women 65 and younger should never be skipped. Pap smears can detect precancerous cells and allow your doctor to diagnose and remove before they turn into life-threatening cancer.  

Don’t panic! 

When you hear the words, “abnormal results,” it’s natural to feel panicked. Instead, take a few deep breaths and relax. “Abnormal” doesn't necessarily mean you have cancer.

Abnormal Pap smear results are very common. In fact, six to 10 million women will receive an abnormal result at some point in their lives. But out of those, less than one percent are actually diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Understand what it means

While it’s true an abnormal Pap smear might indicate cervical cancer, for the vast majority of women that’s not the case. There are many reasons your results might be abnormal. These include:

Schedule a follow-up appointment

There are many different reasons why you might have an abnormal Pap smear. That's why it’s important to schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr. Hooker to go over results. In case you need more testing or treatment, be sure to come in as soon as possible.

During your follow-up appointment, Dr. Hooker will review your results and discuss any abnormalities. It’s important to let him know if you’ve had any additional symptoms, like pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal discharge, or bleeding between periods. 

Once Dr. Hooker has reviewed your results and discussed any additional symptoms, he may suggest scheduling a follow-up Pap smear or recommend further testing or treatment.

Complete further testing and exams

In most cases, Dr. Hooker will complete additional tests to get to the root cause of your abnormal cells. Most commonly, he’ll suggest something called a colposcopy.

A colposcopy isn’t cause for worry and is similar in many ways to a regular Pap smear. The test is fairly quick and only a little uncomfortable. During a colposcopy, Dr. Hooker looks at the cervix and surrounding tissue using a microscope called a colposcope. 

He then applies a special solution to the tissue to look for any abnormal cells. If he notices any abnormal areas during the colposcopy, he’ll take a biopsy for further analysis. 

If the results from your colposcopy or other tests don’t indicate any cause for concern, Dr. Hooker will likely recommend continued monitoring during your regular Pap smears. If anything further arises, he’ll discuss it with you to determine the next best step.

Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care is here for you!

Regular Pap smears can be life-saving! If you’re due for a Pap test or you’ve recently received abnormal results and need a follow-up appointment, our caring team at Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care is here for you. 

We’ll help you schedule an appointment to review your results and provide continued care for your cervical health. At Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care, Dr. Hooker provides routine care in addition to specialty services.  

Don’t wait! Take charge of your health today. To schedule an appointment, call our friendly office at (928) 683-1668 or visit our website.

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