A pap (smear) test that comes back abnormal means that there were some cells on the cervix that do not appear to look normal.
This does not necessarily mean you have cervical cancer and in fact, the chances of that are usually small. Most often these cell changes disappear on their own , however; certain types of HPV are linked to cervical cancer therefore, it is important to be screened for it every year- usually done at the time of your routine women’s gynecological exam.
The abnormal cell changes may be caused by a type HPV (human papillomavirus) or they could be attributed to infections such as bacterial or yeast which can be treated.
Post Menopausal women may have an abnormal pap smear because of the changes that come with getting older.
Sexual behavior can affect your risk cell changes as well as smoking or an impaired immune system.
Anthony C. Quartell, MD & Associates serves Livingston, N.J., West Orange, N.J., Short Hills, N.J., Caldwell, N.J., Union, N.J., East Hanover, N.J. and surrounding areas.