Abnormal Pap test results can be worrisome, but they're not always serious. Dr. Buck-Haskin provides advanced testing and evaluation for patients in Great Neck, NY, and Rego Park, NY, so they can understand the causes of their abnormal Pap tests and get the most appropriate care.
They can be sometimes, but most abnormal Pap smear results are due to other factors, including hormonal changes, yeast infections or the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a large family of viruses, a few of which are associated with cervical cancer or genital warts. Most HPV virus infections are cleared by the body, but sometimes, they remain and cause warts or cancer.
If you have an abnormal Pap test, you'll probably need to have a simple diagnostic exam called a colposcopy. A colposcopy uses a magnifying instrument called a colposcope to look inside your vaginal canal so the tissues can be evaluated for abnormal areas. The procedure is performed in the office and takes about 20 minutes or less to perform in most cases.
A colposcopy begins in the same general way as a regular pelvic exam. You'll lie on your back on the exam table with your feet in the stirrups and a lubricated speculum will be used to gently widen the vaginal canal. A special solution will be applied to the walls of the canal to highlight any abnormal areas that might be present. The colposcope will be used to visualize the tissues lining the vaginal canal and the cervix, and photos may be taken for further evaluation and for record-keeping. If an abnormal area is identified, a small sample of tissue (biopsy) can be taken for evaluation in a lab.
No, a colposcopy feels pretty much the same as a normal pelvic exam. If a biopsy is taken, you may have some minor spotting for a couple of days while the area heals.
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