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A 33-year-old member asked:

do i really need a colposcopy everytime i have an abnormal pap?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paige Gutheil
Family Medicine 19 years experience
Most likely: A pap smear is not good for diagnosing specific problems. It is only good for picking up general abnormalities. So if your pap smear shows abnormal cells, you need a colposcopy to actually give you a diagnosis as to what that abnormality represents. Very important!

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Similar questions

A 36-year-old member asked:

Is it unusual to have an abnormal pap 6 months following a colposcopy?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lester Thompson
Pathology 33 years experience
Very possible: Colposcopy is just the technique of looking at the cervix after applying a solution to help any abnormality stand out through the magnifiers in the eye pieces. Unless the abnormality is biopsied or removed, you could still have an abnormal pap for years afterwards. If it is low grade, it usually resolves; if it is high grade (hgsil), then biopsies or a leep will be done.
Dr. Mark Doherty
Gynecologic Oncology 39 years experience
I agree. A colposcopy does nothing to treat a problem that is already present, or to prevent abnormal pap smears. It is best used to determine what the cause of a currently abnormal pap smear is.
May 20, 2013
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A 37-year-old female asked:

Pap result: mild inflam. background, superficial & intermed. squamous cells w/ benign endocervical cells; history of 2 irreg. paps. Colposcopy needed?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Jurewitz
Specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology
No: If read accurately, your Pap smear indicates an inflammatory or infectious process - not a premalignant one. Colposcopy is not indicated now but you need to be checked to see what is causing the inflammation...clear the inflammation...repeat the pap...and only then have a colposcopy if the Pap smear shows premalignant cells. You could also be tested for high-risk HPV.

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Last updated Dec 18, 2013
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