A Pap smear involves collecting cells from your cervix — the lower, narrow end of your uterus that’s at the top of your vagina. If the results of your Pap test come back positive, that means that your doctor found abnormal or unusual cells on your cervix.
It doesn’t mean that you have cervical cancer. Most often, the abnormal test result means there have been cell changes caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
How Should I Prepare For a Pap Smear?
Here is what you should to make sure that your pap smear results are accurate and to minimize any false positive findings:
- Let your doctor know if you’re menstruating because it may affect your results. He might ask you to reschedule.
- Don’t douche, have sex or use birth control foams two to three days before your appointment.
- As a general rule, try to schedule your test five days after the last day of your period.
- Don’t use tampons two to three days before your test.
- If you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor first about the best time to get the test.
- Tell your doctor if you have any type of infection.
- If you’re on any medication for an infection, wait at least two weeks for the medication to clear your system completely before you have a Pap smear.
What Does Getting an Abnormal Pap Mean?
Abnormal Pap smear results don’t automatically mean you have cancer.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus), which is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Trichomoniasis (a sexually transmitted disease)
- Cervical dysplasia (an abnormal change to the cells on the surface of the cervix, which, if left untreated, can lead to cervical cancer.
- Precancerous lesions
- Cervical Cancer
- Harmless reasons for an abnormal Pap smear, including a lab error.
Your Treatment Will Depend on the Cause for Your Abnormal Pap Smear
Rest assured that your Viva Eve gynecologist can help you understand your results and treatment options. You will be given facts every step away and will be involved in choosing the right course of treatment.