Re: Abnormal Pap Smear
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.
I hope that helps.