Can an Infection Cause an Abnormal Pap?


What Does an Abnormal Pap Test Mean?

Women generally get a pap smear to determine if they have any abnormal results that may indicate a risk for cervical cancer. That could lead to infertility. According to, any kind of urinary tract infection can result in an abnormal Pap smear test. Conventional wisdom is for the woman to be assessed for her risk factors for cervical cancer, HPV (human papilloma virus) or other sexually transmitted diseases. Depending on her risk factors, her doctor might recommend a colposcopy.

Assess Whether You Are High Risk

Determine if you have health risk factors that might behoove you to get a colposcopy. If you have had unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, or had sex with a partner whose sexual health (history of STDs) you did not have complete information about, you might be in a high-risk category. Discuss these factors with your doctor. She will advise you if you should retest in a few months or if you require immediate medical intervention such as a colposcopy. That treatment consists of a microscope attached to a long-stemmed device inserted into the uterus to view the abnormal tissues. Cramping or spotting might occur. Some doctors will not recommend this test unless patients test positive for HPV. They will most likely acknowledge that it is possible to receive a “false negative” reading from a Pap smear. In some cases, even after a positive reading for HPV, a patient might be advised to retest in 6 months. If she takes steps to strengthen her immune system and reduce stress, she may test negative on a follow-up Pap test.

Importance of Regular Pap Tests

Decide to be proactive to protect yourself from future abnormal Pap tests by practicing preventive care. Know the exact details of the sexual history of all of your sexual partners, including whether they have been tested for HIV and other STDs such as HPV (which often does not manifest in physical symptoms).

Use barrier methods such as male or female condoms for safe sex. Also consider sexual behaviors in addition to or in place of sexual intercourse with people who do not provide you with full information regarding their sexual history. By doing so, you reduce your contact with people with HIV, STDs or other health issues.

Get a Pap test at least every 3 years or more frequently, as directed by your doctor, if you have had an abnormal Pap.

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