3 doctors weighed in:

My pap test was "abnormal, " what happens now?

3 doctors weighed in
Marianne DiNapoli
Obstetrics & Gynecology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depends - "abnormal"

There is a wide range of abnormal pap smear results.
Some tests come back showing you have a virus called hpv which is extremely common in sexually active women. Pap smears can also show that the cells of the cervix themselves are abnormal, showing pre-cancerous/cancerous cells. Since "abnormal" can mean many things, ask your doctor specifically what it showed and when you should have it repeated.

In brief: Depends - "abnormal"

There is a wide range of abnormal pap smear results.
Some tests come back showing you have a virus called hpv which is extremely common in sexually active women. Pap smears can also show that the cells of the cervix themselves are abnormal, showing pre-cancerous/cancerous cells. Since "abnormal" can mean many things, ask your doctor specifically what it showed and when you should have it repeated.
Marianne DiNapoli
Marianne DiNapoli
Answer assisted by Marianne Di Napoli, Medical Student
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Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
Family Medicine

In brief: Colposcopy

It depends on the type of abnormality.
Sometimes the course is to wait and repeat the pap in 3 or 6 months. If the abnormality is serious, you may have a colposcopy- which involves the doctor looking at the cervix with a magnifier and taking biopsies of any abnormal areas.

In brief: Colposcopy

It depends on the type of abnormality.
Sometimes the course is to wait and repeat the pap in 3 or 6 months. If the abnormality is serious, you may have a colposcopy- which involves the doctor looking at the cervix with a magnifier and taking biopsies of any abnormal areas.
Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
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