Abnormal Pap Smear

Abnormal pap smears are a common occurrence. Up to 70% of women will have one abnormal pap in their lifetime. Regular pap smears beginning at 21 are extremely important to prevent cervical cancer.

Causes of an Abnormal Pap Smear

  • Human Papilloma Virus
  • Immunocompromised state
  • Unprotected sex (without a condom)
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Smoking


Treatment sometimes is only repeating the pap smear in 4 months, if the pop is mildly abnormal. Often, however, treatment includes:

  • Colposcopy: magnifying the cervix and possibly taking biopsies of abnormal areas
  • Leep/ conization: removing a portion of the cervix that is abnormal
  • Hysterectomy: removing the uterus for severely abnormal precancerous lesions or for repeated abnormal pap smears and biopsies.

Dr. Riley will discuss what is best for you if your pap is abnormal.