I just had my yearly Pap Smear done and my doctor called me saying my cells came back as abnormal and they want me to come back for more testing and a colposkopi (spelling?) ... and I still fully do not understand everything thats going on. She said whatever it is .. it's in the initial stages.. and they want me to be checked for cervical cancer .. and she kept talking about HPV..so does that mean I have an STD?.. or I wont know until tests are done. What do I need to be doing more of, and less of? Are there long term effects? I am so freaked out and feel like I don't understand what to expect .. nor what's going on anyways. Please help.
Hi mnStudent. I understand your feelings. That is kind of how I felt back in January when I was told I had HPV after never having a bad pap (26 years straight).
If you haven't read about HPV and its cervical cancer connection, I highly recommend you go to the Center for Disease Control or the National Cancer Institute. Also, read about the colposcopy. It will help you a lot. Whatever you read, though, be sure it is a reliable site, not just some person talking about them. Personally, I look for .gov or .org in the website addresses.
The pap is only a screening device. If/when they come back abnormal the doctor might order the colposcopy to take a closer look at the cervix. The doctor might take a biopsy (and possibly an ECC - endocervical curettage). The results will say what types of cells were found and what level the dysplasia is. From there, the doctor might tell you to come back every 3, 4, or 6 months for rechecks or the doctor will tell you that you need further testing/biopsies.
If it's any consolation, it's an STD that at least 75% of the sexually active population has. Only difference is that you know it. As for the prognosis, most women clear this on their own. The colposcopy should tell you what's up. Good luck.