Abnormal Pap Smears

Andrea Reiche, MD

OB-GYN located in Van Nuys, CA

An abnormal Pap smear can make you worry that you have cervical cancer or other gynecological problem. Turn to the expert team of providers at Andrea Reiche, MD, Inc. in Van Nuys, California, for a Pap smear or further testing if your results are abnormal. Call the office or use the online scheduling option to book a comprehensive exam today.

Abnormal Pap Smears Q & A

What is a Pap smear?

To screen for cervical cancer, Dr. Reiche performs a Pap smear during your routine pelvic exam. You recline on your back and put your feet up in stirrups while she carefully places a speculum into your vagina and quickly collects a small sample of cells from your cervix. 

That’s it. You sit back up, and Dr. Reiche packages your swab for the lab. In a few days, you’ll learn from your provider if your test is normal or if abnormal cells are present.

What does it mean if my Pap smear is abnormal?

If your test reveals that some of your cells are abnormal, it doesn’t automatically mean that you have cancer.  A positive Pap smear means that abnormalities were detected and could be due to:

  • Inflammation
  • Dysplasia
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Atypical glandular cells
  • Pre-cancerous cells
  • Squamous or adenoma cancerous cells

Depending on the results, Dr. Reiche may recommend another Pap smear or suggest further testing to determine the cause of the abnormal cells. In all cases, she and her team closely monitor changes in your cervix and guide you through the next steps.

What is a colposcopy?

Just like you would for a Pap smear, you place your feet in stirrups so your gynecologist can get a closer look at your cervix. Using a special tool called a colposcope, your provider looks for abnormal cells and swabs them with a special solution. 

A quick biopsy of the area helps get more information about what’s causing the abnormalities. It typically takes about a week to get the results of your colposcopy.

What happens if my Pap smear or colposcopy shows cancer cells?

If follow-up testing after you get an abnormal Pap smear unveils that cancer cells are present, the team at Andrea Reiche, MD, Inc. helps you partner with a gynecological oncologist who specializes in the treatment of cervical cancer. 

The doctor may choose to do a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or take other measures to remove the cancerous cells. 

If you’re concerned about an abnormal Pap smear, don’t worry. The thorough and compassionate team at Andrea Reiche, MD, Inc. helps you get the answers and treatment you need to optimize your health. Call the office or book online to schedule an appointment today.