An Abnormal Pap Smear, now
referred to as a Pap test, is a straightforward procedure to identify the
presence of abnormal cell growth in the cervix before it progresses into malignancy.
an Abnormal Pap Smear:
This test is vital for
postmenopausal women, aiming to detect abnormal cell development in the cervix
before it turns malignant.
for a Pap Test at Big Apollo Spectra Hospital, Patna:
There's no extensive preparation
required, but certain activities can impact your test results. It's advisable
to avoid these activities for two days before your scheduled test:
Employing vaginal suppositories, creams,
medications, or douches
Applying powders, sprays, or similar products
Engaging in sexual intercourse
While you can undergo a Pap test
during your period, scheduling it between periods is preferable. During the
procedure, you'll lie on a table with your feet in stirrups. The doctor will
use a speculum to gently open your vagina and access your cervix. A swab is
then used to collect a few cells from your cervix, which are placed on a glass
slide and sent to a lab for analysis. The test is generally painless but might
cause minor discomfort.
Who Should Undergo a Pap Test in
Patna? Women aged 25 to 65 should have a Pap test every three years. Some
individuals may require more frequent testing under these circumstances:
High risk of cervical cancer
Previous abnormal test results
Weakened immune system
Presence of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV
Women aged 30 to 65 should get tested every three
Women above 65 without previous
abnormal Pap tests or those who have undergone hysterectomy without a history
of abnormal Pap tests need not undergo frequent testing.
doctor to determine the appropriate schedule.
Your Test Results
Results are typically available
within a week or two. A normal result indicates no evidence of abnormal cervix
cells, allowing you to relax until your next scheduled test.
An abnormal result on your Pap
smear doesn't immediately signify cervical cancer. The outcome doesn't provide
a definite diagnosis but rather falls into the category of atypical squamous
cells of undetermined significance. While different from regular cells, these
cells can't be classified as outright abnormal.
In many instances, inconclusive
results arise due to inadequate sampling, often linked to menstrual products or
recent sexual activity. Other factors leading to abnormal results include:
Inflammation or infection of the reproductive
Presence of sexually transmitted diseases like
herpes or HPV
Abnormal results might exhibit
low-grade or high-grade abnormal cells. Low-grade cells slightly differ from
normal cells, while high-grade cells substantially deviate and could
potentially lead to cancer. This condition is known as cervical dysplasia.
If your Pap test results are
unclear or inconclusive, your doctor may recommend a follow-up test after some
time. Co-testing, combining a Pap test with an HPV test, might be suggested, as
HPV is a major contributor to abnormal cell growth in women.
For confirming cervical cancer,
further tests are necessary. If your Pap test yields inconclusive results, your
doctor might propose a colposcopy. During this procedure, a microscope is used
to examine your cervix. A special solution helps differentiate normal and
abnormal cells, and the doctor can perform a biopsy if needed.
If abnormal cells are identified,
they can be removed through techniques like freezing, cone biopsy, or loop
electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP). The removal of such cells aids in
preventing cervical cancer.
An abnormal Pap smear might
necessitate more frequent testing, dependent on factors such as age, the cause
of abnormal results, and your risk of developing cervical cancer. Regular
screenings and communication with your healthcare provider are key to
maintaining your reproductive health.