> Reason for abnormal Pap smear
Reason for abnormal Pap smear
Different factors may be the reason for abnormal Pap smear. Abnormalities that are usually detected during Pap smear are caused by genital infections, precancerous and cancerous diseases, vaginal medications, sexual contacts, and menopause-related natural cell changes. Moreover, it should not be excluded that the results of Pap smear are false. That is why health care providers often prescribe additional tests for women with abnormal Pap smear.
If a woman has just one abnormal Pap smear, it is hard to say exactly whether she has a serious problem. The reason for abnormal Pap smear can be defined by different diagnostic procedures which may include visual inspection, blood and culture tests, DNA testing, histological analysis and others. Based on the Pap smear report the doctor decides which of these tests should be used in each case. Women having an abnormal Pap smear must respect all the doctor’s prescriptions.
In some cases the reason for abnormal Pap smear cannot be clearly defined. It signifies that some cellular changes are present in the smear, but it is impossible to identify any disease. Such a result of Pap smear is labeled as ASCUS - Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance. ASCUS may be indicative of an early stage of the disease. At the same time, the presence of ASCUS may be linked to the use of tampons and vaginal preparations, or sexual intercourse less than 48 hours before Pap smear.
A frequent reason for abnormal Pap smear is the presence of sexually transmitted diseases. These diseases generally affect the genital area and may be asymptomatic or show themselves as unusual vaginal discharges, itching, discomfort or pain in the genital organs. Severe conditions may develop even if there are no symptoms. For instance, some strains of human papillomavirus may initiate the development of cervical cancer, but the course of the disease may not be accompanied by visible signs.
The management of patients is determined depending on the reason for abnormal Pap smear. Cervical abnormalities frequently disappear without intervention within several months. Therefore, most women with abnormal Pap smear result require only regular Pap smear tests in order to monitor the state of the cervix. If a serious condition is detected and confirmed by colposcopy and biopsy, the lesions can be treated by pharmacotherapy or surgery. There are always more chances to cure the problem, if the reason for abnormal Pap smear is revealed at an early stage.