A Pap smear is not most women’s favorite procedure, but it plays a critical role in keeping your reproductive systems healthy. That’s why an abnormal Pap smear result can feel devastating. Gynecologist Loraine Diego, MD, is here to help you understand this test result, what it means for your body, and your options. Let her help you take the right steps to keep your body healthy. To learn more, call the office of Loraine Diego, MD, in Silver Lake of Los Angeles, California, or schedule your appointment online.
A Pap smear, also known as a Pap test, is a screening tool Dr. Diego uses to check the health of your cervix. During this quick, easy procedure, she swabs your cervix to gather a small sample of cells. Those cells are then tested to detect for any abnormalities, which may be indicative of cervical cancer or human papillomavirus (HPV).
Getting a Pap smear on a regular basis (Dr. Diego usually recommends every one to three years) is an excellent way to catch changes in your cervix early when they’re easiest to treat.
A positive Pap smear result indicates that the screening found something abnormal in your cervical cells. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a serious medical issue present. Abnormal cells can indicate something as simple as an infection or inflammation that can be easily treated with antibiotics. In fact, about one in 10 Pap smears come back positive.
The abnormality in your cells may have also been caused by HPV. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. While HPV is the main risk factor for cervical cancer, most cases of HPV don’t develop into cervical cancer. Dr. Diego offers HPV counseling and treatment to help you stay healthy.
First, know that you’re not alone. HPV is extremely common and often doesn’t come with any symptoms at all. While there is no cure for HPV, there are a number of treatment options that can help minimize any symptoms you may experience.
Knowing you have HPV helps you and Dr. Diego monitor your body so you can detect any changes in your cervix as soon as they appear, when she can most effectively treat them. An abnormal Pap smear result can feel scary. But it’s also a sign that the preventive screening is doing its job.
Dr. Diego has years of experience helping patients navigate abnormal Pap smear results. She’ll help you lead your healthiest life whatever your positive result means for you.
If you want to learn more about Pap smears, what their results mean, or schedule an appointment for a Pap smear, call Loraine Diego, MD, or book an appointment online.