Pap smear

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What is the treatment for an irregular pap smear result?

The treatment for an irregular pap smear result is similar to having a pap smear. A specialist gynecologist will look at your cervix using a magnifying instrument called a colposcope. If necessary, a tiny sample of tissue will be taken to be tested in more detail. Depending on the colposcopy result, the gynecologist will discuss the next step with you, which may take the form of further screening and observation, or active treatment. Treatment is usually very successful.

What if my pap smear results are irregular?

If you receive pap smear results with irregularities it is important not to panic or jump to conclusions, as changes to the cells in your cervix usually happen very slowly. In addition, it is important to remember that almost all abnormal pap smear results are not due to cancer. An abnormal pap smear result means that some of the cells of the cervix look different from the normal cells. Your healthcare professional will explain exactly what type of abnormality has been detected or is suspected on your pap smear. If your results show cell changes, it may be recommended that you have another smear test after a period of time or that you make an appointment for a colposcopy.

What is a pap smear like?

A pap smear is a quick and simple test in which a number of cells are collected from your cervix and sent off to a laboratory where they are tested for changes or abnormalities. A doctor or specialist nurse will gently insert an instrument called a speculum into your vagina which allows them to view your cervix. They then use a very small brush and/or a spatula to take a sample from your cervix. This picks up cells from inside the opening of the cervix, which are then tested. The examination itself only takes a few minutes and shouldn’t be painful. Some women find it momentarily uncomfortable, but it is extremely quick. It is important to try to relax as much as possible during the examination as this will make it easier for the doctor or nurse and less uncomfortable for you. If you do feel discomfort, tell the doctor or nurse immediately.

What is a pap smear?

Pap smears are a simple way to collect cells from the cervix and test them for any abnormalities. This test is used to identify any abnormalities before they develop into anything serious such as cervical cancer.  If abnormal changes are found at screening, further tests may be done to see if treatment is required. While having a pap smear might include a slight level of discomfort, it is a pain free test. A pap smear does not test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and having the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination does exempt you from requiring regular pap smears. If you are a woman who is, or has ever been, sexually active it is recommended you have a pap smear every two to three years.