What does an abnormal Pap smear mean?

Sometimes, your Pap smear may come back as abnormal. While this doesn’t automatically mean that you have a serious condition, it does need to be investigated further. Getting abnormal results is actually quite common and can be the result of an infection rather than cancerous cells. Your provider will examine the results, usually requesting additional testing to determine what caused the abnormality. 

Recommended Tests After an Abnormal Pap Smear

When you get an abnormal Pap smear, your provider will recommend further testing.
Colonoscopies are used to take a more in-depth look at the cervix to find abnormal cells. 
A biopsy is where a small sample of tissue is taken from the cervix to look for cancerous cells.
Surgical Procedures
Your provider might recommend a more invasive procedure like conization or a loop electrosurgical excision procedure to remove cancerous cells. 

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What can cause an abnormal pap smear?
  • 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
  • Pre-cancerous changes (cervical dysplasia) that often go away on their own

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Mile High OBGYN + Midwifery accepts most major insurance providers! If you have any questions about whether we accept your insurance or not, please reach out to us.

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