Infection during Pap testing

Last Modified: January 9, 2005

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I had a pap smear done about 2 weeks ago and they then treated me for a bacterial infection. When my test results came back they showed that I had mild dysplasia. Could this be due to the infection that I had during my pap smear?



Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

While infections may cause some abnormalities on Pap testing, it is very unlikely that a diagnosis of mild dysplasia on Pap is caused by infection. Remember that a Pap test is just a screening test, not a definite diagnosis. The important next step is that you undergo colposcopy and biopsy to establish a true diagnosis.

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