Your doctor can perform this easy test for you. A speculum is placed in your vagina to allow the cervix to be seen. A small brush is then used to gently collect cells that are normally shed from the lining of the cervix into the surrounding mucus. The collected cells are then brushed into a liquid test medium that is sent to the lab to be examined under a microscope. The technologist examining these cells has been specially trained to identify changes that are associated with pre-cancerous transformation.
A colposcopy allows your healthcare provider to examine the cervix in detail.
Most pre-cancerous lesions or changes of the cervix can be treated easily with simple procedures that are performed right in your healthcare doctor's office or clinic. Your healthcare provider will be able to explain these options to you in greater detail, but we will start to introduce some of the more common treatments right now.
This procedure is sometimes also referred to as a LLETZ (Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone). This simple procedure uses an electrically powered loop to remove abnormal portions of the cervix. An injection to numb the cervix and prevent bleeding is usually given before this simple procedure is performed. Hence, the procedure is usually painless and you can expect some light bleeding or spotting but no more than expected in a normal menstrual period.
Most abnormalities on a Pap smear do not require treatment.