Atypical Pap Smear
Pap smears are tests that are used to detect changes in the cervix, which may develop into cancer. A pap smear is referred to as atypical if there are abnormal cells present in the cervix. Often times, these abnormal Pap smear test results indicate that HPV, a common type of STD is present.
Pap smear results may be any of the following:
- Atypical glandular cells (AGC)
- Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance
- Atypical Squamous cells, cannot exclude HSIL
- Squamous intraepithelial lesion
What Does an Atypical Pap Smear Mean?
A pap smear test that indicates the presence of abnormal cells is called atypical or ASCUS. An atypical result does not necessarily mean cervical cancer or something serious. This type of result is benign and changes may be caused by minor irritations that may have been felt by the woman during the test.
A woman with ASCUS pap smear results must not dwell on what does the atypical pap smear mean unless more tests are done. The first step in dealing with ASCUS results are often repetition of the test after irritation are recognized, diagnosed and treated. It is recommended to have tests on the woman’s mid-menstrual cycle to avoid any errors caused by shedding of cells in the uterus.
Causes of Atypical Pap Smear
Instances that may result to ASCUS or an atypical pap smear result may include:
- Minor vaginal infections
Virtually anything unusual or out of the ordinary that has been experienced by the vagina may lead to an ASCUS result. The irritation is often diagnosed and medicated, if it’s a vaginal infection, and the woman is given another test. If the irritating factor is removed, the test is expected to revert to normal results.