Feelings of shock and alarm are often common when it comes to an unexpected pregnancy. But, what happens if a pap smear detects something abnormal? While this type of exam is typically not diagnostic, it’s often used as a screening tool to detect cell irregularities or dysplasia in your cervix. You may be worried about what the results of the test mean for your pregnancy decision. And what does seeking treatment look like while you’re pregnant?
Are worried about your unexpected pregnancy after the results of a pap smear came back? Meet with the expert staff at Avenue Women’s Center to receive information regarding your options and your next steps with a pregnancy decision. We understand an unexpected pregnancy can be overwhelming. This can especially be true when facing abnormal pap smear results. So, we’re here to partner with you to help you navigate through this journey.
Contact us today to schedule your free appointment!
What Does It Mean If a Pap Smear Is Abnormal?
Understandably, you may be a little nervous if the results of a pap smear test reveal some not so good news. The results are usually an indication that you may need to seek further testing. Some of the conditions that may cause the test to detect something abnormal may be an infection or inflammation of some sort, herpes, trichomoniasis, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), or dysplasia.
I’m Pregnant: What Treatment Options Are Available?
If you are pregnant and have had abnormal cervical test results, it is important that you are seen by a healthcare professional.
The results of your Pap test may need to be evaluated further through a colposcopy. If irregular tissue is confirmed through this exam, you may need to undergo a cervical biopsy. While there is a risk of bleeding if you have a cervical biopsy after your first trimester, additional problems generally do not appear. It’s probably a good idea to continue communicating with your doctor throughout the pregnancy and after delivery, so minor cell changes can continue to be monitored.
Follow-up tests may be needed for the rest of your pregnancy to keep a close eye on your health. Though rare, a cone biopsy may be needed to rule out cancer. If invasive cervical cancer is diagnosed, then you may need access to treatment as soon as possible. Since this type of pregnancy would likely be classified as high-risk, you may need to receive care from a doctor who specializes in treating this kind of pregnancy.
Coping With an Abnormal Pap Smear While Pregnant
After coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, discouraging results from a pap smear might have thrown you off track a bit. The circumstances can seem overwhelming, and it’s okay to acknowledge there may be a little bit of fear. You may be scared about your health, what this means for the pregnancy, and what steps you should take after receiving this startling information.
Try to remember that not everything has to be decided at once and that the burden of your situation does not rest on your shoulders alone. Do you have a network of support behind you? Are there people who can talk with you about what you may be feeling?
You may be going through a lot of complex emotions and stress at this time. But locating positive forms of reassurance to surround yourself with can offer some needed encouragement.
Do you need help navigating through an unexpected pregnancy after an abnormal pap smear? Avenue Women’s Center can partner with you during what may be a trying time. Our caring staff will meet with you privately for a consultation about your options, supplying you with reliable information and resources. We’re here to offer you nonjudgmental support at each of our six locations in DuPage County.
Reach out today to beigin working with one of our expert pregnancy consultants!
- American Pregnancy Association. (2015, August). Abnormal Pap Smear. Retrieved from: https://americanpregnancy.org/womens-health/abnormal-pap-smear/
- Michigan Medicine. (2018, December). Abnormal Pap Test While Pregnant. Retrieved from: https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/aa67777
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.