Abnormal Pap Smears

What Is An Abnormal Pap Smear?

Did your Pap smear results come back abnormal? If so, then your gynecologist most likely recommended getting a further evaluation to find out what might be going on. Since abnormal results could mean that there are precancerous or cancerous  cells present within the cervix, your OBGYN will want to perform a more in-depth examination to check the health of the cervix. This is known as a colposcopy.  We are here to discuss the abnormal result as well as to provide treatment options should treatment be necessary.

What happens during a colposcopy?

A colposcopy is done to further evaluate an abnormal pap smear.  Your practitioner gently places an appropriate size speculum into your vagina and identifies your cervix.  A cotton swab is then used to apply vinegar to your cervix.  The vinegar will cause abnormal cells on the cervix to  "ligh up".  When biopsy specimens are taken, it can feel like a menstrual cramp.  A liquid iron solution is placed over the biopsy area to stop any bleeding.  Generally, the cramping resolves in a few minutes.  This solution causes a discharge that looks like coffee grounds for several days.  You should not put anything into your vagina for at least one week after your colposcopy.  We will give you a sanitary pad to wear home after the colposcopy.

Will I need to get a cervical biopsy?

 Your women's health practitioner may recommend taking a biopsy, or tissue sample from the cervix or vagina if there are any abnormalities detected that require further testing. If you need  a cervical biopsy, our women's health specialist will use an instrument to remove a small  piece of tissue and also from your endocervix. It’s normal to feel pressure and cramping during a biopsy. 

After the biopsy, we will send your samples to a lab for testing. It can take up to one week or more to get your results. We will provide you with further instructions including coming back into our office for the results. If there are abnormal  cells present within the cervix further testing or treatment may be required.

Post Colposcopy Instructions:  As your cervix heals from the colposcopy procedure, there may be a few normal things that you may notice.

  • You may have some mild cramping which ibuprofen may behlp.   Light bleeding and brown discharge is also normal.  Severe cramping, fever, or heavy bleeding, are not normal and you should call us if you experience these symptoms.
  • You may notice an unusual vaginal discharge.  Immediately after the procedure this may be be just the medicine we put on your cervix, and later may be yellowish-brown, thinner, and have an odor.
  • You may have a heavier thanusual flow with your next period.

Avoid the following for 1 week after you rcolposcopy:

  • Sexual Intercourse
  • Tampons
  • Heavy lifting
  • Vigorous Exercise
  • Douching

Whether you need to schedule your upcoming Pap smear or you have questions about getting a colposcopy in Atlanta, GA, call Ideal Gynecology at (470) 312-3696.

Contact Us


(470) 312-3696
3200 Downwood Circle Suite 220 Atlanta, GA 30327