Abnormal Pap Smears

If your health care provider reviews your Pap test results and finds evidence of abnormal cells on your cervix, she will ask you to schedule an appointment to discuss your results. She may recommend a colposcopy, depending on your age and the specific Pap results. A colposcopy is a way for your health care provider to get a close-up view of your cervix and look for changes in its cells. Your health care provider uses an instrument called a colposcope to conduct this test. A colposcope looks like binoculars and a bright light mounted on a stand. A urine pregnancy test will be performed prior to colposcopy. During your colposcopy your healthcare provider may take very small samples of your cervical tissues, called biopsies, and send them to the laboratory for examination and diagnosis. After the colposcopy, your provider will recommend a treatment plan. It may include the need to schedule more frequent Pap tests and/or other procedures.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ website includes a pamphlet about colposcopy also. This pamphlet explains the reasons why your healthcare provider may order a colposcopy. A drawing illustrates the procedure and helps you visualize it.

Your health is important to us. If you follow up with the treatment plan recommended to you, you should never have to worry about cervical cancer. To help you, Women’s Health will add you to our Pap Tracking System to ensure you receive your treatment. We ask that you notify us via a secure email or phone message if you receive treatment outside Student Health. If you inform us you are using an outside provider for treatment we will remove you from the Pap Tracking System.