What Are Pap Smears?
Pap smears are certainly not the most enjoyable procedures, but they do play a critical role in keeping your reproductive systems healthy. That’s why an abnormal Pap smear result can feel so awful. Gynecologist Loraine Diego, MD, is here to help you understand this test result, what it means for your body, and your treatment options. Our Los Angeles center was established on the principle of helping women maintain their health and happiness through ongoing assistance and a holistic approach to health care. We invite you to visit us today and learn more about the women’s health services we offer.
Why Are Pap Smears Important?
A Pap smear, also known as a Pap test, is a screening tool that gynecologists such as Dr. Diego use 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. Pap smears are important because certain abnormalities can serve as early indicators of serious disease. Early detection of cervical cancer or human papillomavirus (HPV), for example, can allow us to take a proactive approach in treating these conditions before they escalate.
What Happens if a Pap Smear Is Positive?
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. If your result indicates HPV or any other condition, Loraine Diego, MD will happily provide you with the treatment and support you need.
What Do I Do if I Have HPV?
HPV is an extremely common condition and often doesn’t result in 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.
Pap Smear Tests in Los Angeles, California
If you want to learn more about Pap smears or would like to test for an underlying condition, we welcome you to get in touch with us. As a gynecologist, Dr. Diego has a breadth of experience in addressing women’s concerns and providing treatments. To schedule an appointment at our Los Angeles, California center, please call (213) 388-2229 or fill out the form below. We also offer telemedicine services via Zoom!