A Pap smear is a routine test that involves swabbing your cervix to detect any abnormal cells. The test is usually performed during your annual gynecological exam and involves taking a small swab and gently scraping the surface of the cervix to collect a sample of the cells. Pap smears allow Dr. Siudmak to detect abnormal cell growth before it becomes a major health issue.
When a test comes back with abnormal results, it means that the doctor found cells on your cervix that are abnormal and require additional testing to determine if the cells are potentially cancerous.
The most common reason for an abnormal pap test is the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that’s normally passed through intimate contact. There are more than 100 types of HPV and most sexually active women will have some form of the disease during their lives, often without even knowing it. HPV causes genital warts and can cause cervical cancer or changes in the cervix that can lead to cervical cancer. The Pap test detects these changes.
Other factors may also contribute to an abnormal result, Including:
If your pap test comes back with abnormal results, Dr. Siudmak will determine a course of action based on your medical history and your risk factors, which could include:
If you already know you have HPV, and you have a history of abnormal pap tests, the doctor may simply retest in a year or sooner. If you don’t know whether you have HPV, a follow-up HPV test can detect the presence of the virus.
Dr. Siudmak may decide to conduct a colposcopy, which will allow him to take a closer look at your cervix under magnification using a small lighted scope. After examining the area, he may take tissue samples for further testing. The colposcopy is done in-office at either of the two Total Women’s Healthcare locations in Pembroke Pines and Hollywood.