Dr. Craig Ranch of McKinney, TX is a women’s health doctor who understands how scary an abnormal pap smear result can be. Pap smears are diagnostic screenings that are done to evaluate the health of the cervix. It is often used to look for signs of cancer or conditions such as HPV. When the pap smear is performed as part of a routine pelvic examination, it is done to check for the early signs of potential problems. The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing to look for possible issues. In some instances, a woman may be told her pap smear came back with an abnormal result.
What causes an abnormal result on a pap smear test?
Just because the pap smear came back with an abnormal result doesn’t mean that a woman has cancer. There are other conditions that can cause irregular results, including:
- Samples taken during menstruation
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Yeast infection
Dr. Craig Ranch may perform other diagnostics to determine the cause of the abnormal result. If the above concerns are not present, then he may recommend undergoing a colposcopy. This is a procedure done using a scope with a camera called a colposcope. The colposcope is inserted into the vagina and the cervix. It allows the doctor to visualize the cervix and look for any signs of potential problems. A biopsy may be taken during a colposcopy to look for cancerous cells. A healthy cervix lining appears pink and smooth, while white patches or lumps in the cervix may be of concern.
How often should I have a pap smear?
The frequency of pap smears will depend greatly on a patient’s age, medical history, and likelihood of any concerns that may be indicative of cancer. Most women of reproductive age in good health will benefit from a pap smear every two to three years during their annual pelvic examination.
Learn more about abnormal pap smear results
Patients who have been contacted by their medical professional regarding an abnormal pap smear result will want to have a further evaluation performed by Dr. Craig Ranch to determine the cause. The office is located at 7900 Henneman way, Suite #100 and can be reached at (214) 544-6600.