Pap smears are a reliable tool to monitor cervix and reproductive health. This test looks at cells collected from the cervix to determine if there are any abnormalities. Women who are 21 or older, or sexually active, should receive routine annual exams and pap smears as a preventive measure to monitor for cervix cancer and other health concerns. FEM Women’s Wellness offers pap tests and gynecological services for abnormal pap smears at our clinic in the Reno, Lake Tahoe and Carson City, NV, area.
What Causes an Abnormal Pap Smear?
Routine pap smears are recommended for any woman who is sexually active or between the ages of 21-65. When a pap test comes back “positive,” this means it is an abnormal pap smear. While this can sound scary, there are many possible reasons a pap smear is abnormal. The test is not a diagnosis, only an indicator that there could possibly be a reproductive health concern. Some possible causes of an abnormal pap smear include:
- Recent sexual intercourse or activity can cause a positive pap test
- Inflammation or infection
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as herpes
- HPV (human papilloma virus)
If you have an abnormal pap smear, it is important to find out what has caused your test result. The first step is usually to take another pap smear – often the second test comes back negative. If you have two abnormal pap smears, our GYN may recommend additional testing to determine the cause of the abnormal results.
An abnormal pap smear can be an indicator of HPV, precancerous or cancerous cells present in the cervix, but it is more commonly caused by an infection or other factors. However, detecting possible cancer risks early is vital for improved treatment options.
Depending on your risk factors, it may be recommended that you have annual pap tests to monitor your reproductive health. To learn more about including pap smears with your annual wellness exam, contact our team at FEM Women’s Wellness. Call our clinic in the Reno and Lake Tahoe, NV, area to schedule your next visit.