Detecting cervical cancer at an early stage can make a significant difference how successful treatment will be.

What is a pap smear?

This is a screening test for cervical cancer, where cells are scraped from the opening of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus) and examined under a microscope. It can also detect changes in the cervical cells, which can indicate whether or not cancer can develop at a later stage.

The test is usually done alongside a pelvic exam, and should be repeated every year for women between the ages of 21-65. In women over 30, it is also possible to combine the Pap smear with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to cervical cancer in some women. Certain risk factors, such as a diagnosis of cervical cancer or the detection of precancerous cells in an earlier pap smear, may make you candidate for more frequent pap smears. These can be discussed with your doctor.

What happens if my pap smear comes back as abnormal?

The discovery of abnormal cells in your Pap smear, is referred to as a positive result. While this does not necessarily mean that you have cervical cancer, it does mean that more steps may be required by your doctor.

What are the next steps?

These steps are usually determined by the types of cells discovered in your test. For example, your doctor may perform a colposcopy to examine the tissues of the cervix, vagina and vulva, or a biopsy (tissue sample) from any areas that appear abnormal. Results will then be evaluated for a more definitive diagnosis.

Check out our specialist doctor’s profile

Dr. Tahira Sadigova
Specialist in Obstetric Gynaecology

With her gentle manner and expert knowledge on all aspects of Obstetrics and Gynecology, it is little wonder that Dr Tahira is in great demand among the UAE’s female population. Dr Tahira has worked in many countries including Uzbekistan, Russia and Germany before she relocated to the UAE. Dr.Tahira speaks several languages English, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Uzbekistani, Kazakhstani, Kirgizstan and Turkestan.

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