We have all heard of the saying that prevention is better than cure and the same applies for Pap smears as well. Generally Pap smears or getting Pap smears is connected to when a woman becomes sexually active and though some people, including women might mistake them to be tests, they are actually screening tools which are used to ascertain any abnormality found in the cells of the cervix.
Doctors or healthcare professionals often prescribe women to start with their annual Pap smears from the time they become 21 years of age or within the first three years of them becoming sexually active. When you go for your annual Pap smear and it so happens that some cells appear abnormal in your Pap smear, the most common reaction would be that you would be worried and/or tensed.
But since a Pap smear is only a screening tool, you need to understand exactly, what the appearance of abnormal cells in your Pap smear denotes. It does not mean that you have cancer; it can also denote that the woman has an infection or dysplasia (abnormal cells). The treatment for abnormal cells in Pap smear can include the following:
Colposcopy – To understand why the abnormal cells are still persisting in your Pap smear, a Colposcopy examination may be carried out by your doctor. In this kind of examination, the doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina of the woman and a vinegar solution is used to paint the cervix, so that any abnormality or abnormal areas can be located easily. After the abnormal area is located, the pathologist can take a sample of it and conduct a biopsy for more accurate diagnosis.
Cryosurgery – As the name suggests, cryosurgery deals with using cold to freeze the cells, which appear abnormal in your Pap smear. A cone biopsy procedure can also be conducted in the office of a doctor or as an outpatient procedure. In this procedure the doctor removes a cone or a triangle of the cervical tissue, which includes the abnormal cells as well. Bleeding and water like discharge are common aftermaths of this procedure.
LEEP – Like in cone biopsy, in the LEEP procedure the cells of the cervix, which include the abnormal cells are removed and tested. But in the LEEP procedure, an instrument shaped like a loop is used. Again, bleeding and water like discharge might appear afterwards.
Apart from the procedures and options mentioned here, laser and diathermy can also be performed as treatment for abnormal cells in Pap smear.