On Your Wellness Journey?
Gynecological Services for Women at All Stages of Life
Our specialists are proud to offer a wide range of gynecological services to help you manage your health.
We specialize in diagnosing and treating women with pelvic floor conditions, such as urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, and more. Our treatment options span from behavioral therapy and medication to reconstructive surgery.
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Abnormal Pap Smears and HPV
Pap smears, also known as Pap tests, are an essential part of maintaining your reproductive health. During this test, your doctor will gently remove cells from the cervix to screen for cervical cancer or HPV. Having abnormal cells is not always a sign of cervical cancer. If your Pap smear shows that abnormal cells are present, you and your doctor will discuss additional testing to confirm your diagnosis.
At The Women’s Health Group in metro Denver, Colorado, we’re here to walk you through every step of the process. Our kind and compassionate providers are here to answer any questions to help put your mind at ease during the Pap smear process.
When should I get a Pap smear?
How often you need a Pap smear test depends on several factors, such as age and risk. If you are under 21 years old, you do not need to receive a Pap smear. Once you turn 21, many doctors recommend that you receive a Pap smear every three years. If you are HIV positive or have a weakened immune system, your doctor may recommend that you receive a Pap smear more frequently.
Sometimes, you may receive abnormal pap smear results. The WHG professionals can help you decide the best treatment plan for your symptoms.
Learning that your recent pap smear came back abnormal can create feelings of anxiety and concern. Rest assured, the gynecologists at Women's Health Group in Denver will help you understand your results and work with you to create the best treatment plan. Treatment options include:
Why Do I Need a Pap Smear?
Regardless of your sexual activity, you should get a Pap smear based on your age recommendation. A Pap smear is a great way to detect cervical cancer early and gives you a better chance for effective treatment and recovery. Regularly having Pap smears lets your doctor detect abnormal cells before cervical cancer forms.
Pap smears are also an excellent way to detect sexually transmitted infections such as HPV, which can be inactive for years before you begin to experience symptoms.
Most people with HPV, male or female, don't have any symptoms. Sometimes HPV can cause warts on your penis or vulva and around your anus. Genital warts can cause irritation and discomfort, and you can pass the HPV that caused them to other people.
Leaving HPV untreated can lead to cervical cancer.
What happens if I get abnormal results?
If your Pap smear shows that abnormal cells are present, you and your doctor will discuss additional testing to confirm your diagnosis. However, having abnormal cells is not always a sign of cervical cancer.
Women over the age of 30 with negative Pap smear results can request human papillomavirus (HPV) screening along with their Pap smear. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that leads to genital warts and an increased risk of cervical cancer. Most cases of HPV clear up on their own without the need for HPV treatment by your doctor.
It is important to consultant your gynecologist for routine checkups since HPV doesn’t usually cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, the most common sign of the virus is warts in your genital area. They may appear weeks, months or even years after you’ve been infected with HPV. Genital warts are contagious (like all forms of HPV), but they’re harmless.
High-risk forms of HPV often don’t cause any symptoms until they’ve progressed to cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common type of HPV-related cancer.