Question: What Can Cause An Abnormal Pap Test?

Should I be worried if I need a colposcopy?

A colposcopy can also be used to find out the cause of problems such as unusual vaginal bleeding (for example, bleeding after sex).

Try not to worry if you’ve been referred for a colposcopy.

It’s very unlikely you have cancer and any abnormal cells will not get worse while you’re waiting for your appointment..

What is the next step after an abnormal pap smear?

“I Received an Abnormal Pap Test. What’s Next?” Your next step is usually a minor procedure called a colposcopy. This procedure is a visual examination of the cervix using a low-powered microscope used to find and then biopsy abnormal areas in your cervix that may lead to cervical cancer.

Can stress cause abnormal Pap smear?

But she noted that many researchers speculate that stress may somehow be involved in cervical cancer because stressful times in women’s lives can often be associated with abnormal Pap smear results.

What can throw off a Pap smear?

HPV: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is an incredibly common sexually transmitted infection—at least one strain of HPV will infect almost every single sexually active person on earth. This is the cause of most abnormal Pap results, and most of these cases are remedied by your body on its own.

What can cause an abnormal Pap smears besides HPV?

What else can cause an abnormal pap smear besides HPV? Other sexually transmitted infections may be to blame, including chlamydia, gonorrhea or, in very rare cases, herpes. Yeast infections can also cause changes in cervical cells. All of these can be treated.

How can I prevent an abnormal Pap smear?

Tips for preventionGet vaccinated. Since cervical cancer is almost always caused by HPV, most women younger than 45 years of age should get vaccinated for HPV.Practice safe sex. Use condoms to prevent HPV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).Schedule an annual checkup. … Get tested.

Does abnormal Pap always mean HPV?

Abnormal Pap Smears are typically caused by strains of the Human Papilloma Virus, HPV. An abnormal pap smear result does not mean you have cervical cancer. High risk strains can cause more serious cellular changes. Typically, both high and low risk strains of HPV go away within 24 months.

What kind of infection can cause an abnormal Pap smear?

Cause. Most abnormal Pap tests are caused by HPV infections. Other types of infection—such as those caused by bacteria, yeast, or protozoa (Trichomonas)—sometimes lead to minor changes on a Pap test called atypical squamous cells.

What happens if you test positive for HPV?

Results from your HPV test will come back as either positive or negative. Positive HPV test. A positive test result means that you have a type of high-risk HPV that’s linked to cervical cancer. It doesn’t mean that you have cervical cancer now, but it’s a warning sign that cervical cancer could develop in the future.


HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV.

Should I worry about abnormal Pap smear?

The good news: Relatively few Pap smear results are abnormal. Probably about 10 to 15 percent of patients in general will have an abnormal Pap smear during their lifetime. Still, getting an abnormal result can be scary. If your test is abnormal, don’t panic: It doesn’t always mean you have cancer.

Can sperm cause abnormal Pap smear?

Sex and sexual misbehavior were frequently mentioned as causes of abnormal results. For example, semen present in the vagina was believed to cause abnormal results or create changes in the vagina. Some women believed having multiple sexual partners could cause an abnormal Pap smear finding.

Do abnormal cells go away?

Most women who have abnormal cervical screening test results do not have cervical cancer. Most have early cell changes that can be monitored (since they often go away on their own) or treated early (to prevent problems later).

What does a slightly abnormal Pap mean?

The squamous cells of your cervix were slightly abnormal on your Pap smear. ASCUS may be caused by a vaginal infection or an infection with a virus called HPV (human papillomavirus, or wart virus).

Are abnormal Pap smears common?

Most of the abnormal cells found during a Pap test are the result of a cervical or vaginal infection and are not cancerous. Abnormal Pap tests are very common. In fact, of the 3 million women with abnormal Pap tests each year, less than 1% (13,240 cases) will be diagnosed with cervical cancer.

What are the symptoms of HPV in females?

Common symptoms of some types of HPV are warts, especially genital warts. Genital warts may appear as a small bump, cluster of bumps, or stem-like protrusions. They commonly affect the vulva in women, or possibly the cervix, and the penis or scrotum in men. They may also appear around the anus and in the groin.