As a woman of child-bearing age, you have likely had your fair share of Pap smears. While most Pap smear tests come back normal, on occasion, women who received abnormal pap smear results require additional medical testing and perhaps even treatment. If you receive an abnormal pap smear result while pregnant, don’t panic. While your result could be the sign of something serious, it could also be no cause for concern at all. Abnormal Pap smear results during pregnancy are not unheard of, and many of the tests and treatments associated with these results can be administered to moms-to-be.
Pap Smears During Pregnancy
It is completely safe to have a Pap smear during pregnancy. In many cases, doctors will perform Pap smears if their patients are due for them, regardless of the woman’s pregnancy status. The only difference you may notice when you receive a Pap smear during pregnancy is some increased bleeding. Because your cervix is more engorged with blood during this period, it is common for slight bleeding to accompany a standard Pap smear test.
Meaning of Abnormal Pap Smear
An abnormal Pap smear is enough to set any woman’s nerves on edge; however, an abnormal result on this test may not always be cause for concern. While an abnormal Pap smear can indicate the presence of cancer cells, it can also indicate infection. All an abnormal Pap smear result tells your doctor is that further testing is necessary.
During Pregnancy Treatment
If you receive an abnormal Pap smear result while pregnant, your doctor will likely perform a colposcopy, reports American Pregnancy. During this test, your doctor will view your cervix under magnification. By doing this, your doctor can more effectively determine what lead to the abnormal result and decide if and how they should proceed with treatment.
If your doctor determines that your abnormal Pap smear result did stem from the presence of cancerous cells, you will need to wait until after your pregnancy to receive treatment. If you are early in your pregnancy, your doctor may recommend that you end the pregnancy to seek the treatment you require. If the presence of these cells is discovered late in your pregnancy, your doctor may induce labor early as to treat the condition is quickly as possible.
Risks to the Baby
The presence of abnormal cells in your cervix poses no risk to your baby. As American Pregnancy reports, in many cases, these cells are washed away during labor and delivery. If your doctor suspects that anything about your Pap smear result may pose a risk to your baby, he may suggest a C-section delivery; however, this recommendation is quite rare.