What is a Pap Test?

A Pap test (also known as a Pap smear) is a routine screening test that is used to detect abnormal changes in cervical cells. Cell changes can develop on the cervix that, if not found and treated, can lead to cervical cancer. Pap tests can find abnormal cervical cells before they turn into cancer. Cervical cancer can almost always be prevented, and getting regular Pap tests is one of the best things you can do to prevent it.

Abnormal Pap smear results can be caused by a number of things:

  • Vaginal/Yeast infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • HPV virus

It can be scary to hear that your Pap test results are “abnormal".  Abnormal Pap test results usually do not mean you have cancer. If you have abnormal results, the doctor will suggest additional testing. Results of these tests will help your doctor decide on the best treatment.