According to WebMD, an abnormal Pap smear means that some of the cells on the cervix do not look normal. The causes for cervical cells looking abnormal can include human papillomavirus, bacterial or yeast infection or cervical cancer.Know More
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, human papillomavirus is the most common cause of an abnormal Pap smear. HPV is often asymptomatic. If left untreated, it can cause cervical cancer, which makes regular Pap smear screenings important. While is it not possible to feel or see these changes on the cervix, a Pap smear easily detects any changes that have led to abnormal cells on the cervix.
If an abnormal Pap smear is a result of an infection or sexually transmitted disease, the patient may experience other symptoms, such as discharge, pain, burning, itching or sores on the genitals. If this is the case, the patient needs to be treated for the infection and subsequent Pap smear results should return to normal.
High-risk sex increases the chances of having an abnormal Pap smear, as WebMD explains. The use of condoms contributes to practicing safe sex. HPV can remain in a woman's body for several years and produce an abnormal Pap smear at any point. Early detection is imperative to prevent the development of cervical cancer.Learn more about Reproductive Anatomy
According to a Cornell University Web page, the Pap smear, or Pap test, is named after Dr. Papanicolaou, known as Dr. Pap, who became a member of the university's Department of Anatomy in 1914. Papanicolaou developed the Pap smear.Full Answer >
It can take up to three weeks for a provider to receive the results of a Pap test back from the lab, according to WebMD. Normal results indicate that there is no need for further testing, while abnormal results require follow-up testing.Full Answer >
Sexually transmitted disease, yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, menopause, low hormone levels and chemical irritation are all potential causes of an itching sensation in the cervix, per MedLine Plus. In rarer cases, the itching can be caused by cervical cancer or a skin condition.Full Answer >
A Pap test that does not include endocervical cells indicates the sample was not taken high enough in the cervical canal, the cytologist did not recognize the cells or the test was done six weeks postpartum, according to Operational Obstetrics & Gynecology. Doctors suggest redoing the Pap test in these circumstances.Full Answer >