Abnormal Pap Smear

Abnormal Pap Smear

WomanCare Clinic

Meriter WomanCare Clinic
20 S. Park Street, Suite 450
Madison, WI 53715
Telephone: (608) 417-5433 or 1-888-409-3852

UW Health - OB/GYN
20 S. Park Street, Suite 307
Madison, WI 53715
Telephone: (608) 287-2830

WomanCare Clinic offers follow up screening and testing for women with abnormal Pap smears. A Pap smear screens for cervical cancer, and when results are abnormal it can mean that pre-cancerous cells are present. Abnormal Pap smears can also mean that simple inflammation is present. Because the Pap smear is a screening test, depending on a woman’s age and the specific results of the pap smear, other tests may need to be done after an abnormal Pap smear.

Abnormal Pap Smear Results

Abnormal Pap smear results have unusual names. The most common abnormal pap result is Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance (ASC-US), and this can represent inflammation or very early pre-cancerous changes. Another Abnormal Pap smear result is Low Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion (LGSIL), and can represent pre-cancerous changes. High Grade Intraepithelial Lesion (HGSIL) is most concerning for pre-cancerous changes.


The test done most commonly after an abnormal Pap is called a colposcopy. A colposcopy can be performed in our clinic, and is very similar to a Pap smear. The purpose of the colposcopy is to take a small sample of tissue, or biopsy, from the cervix to determine exactly what kind of cellular changes are present on the cervix.

Women 20 years old and younger may only need to have their Pap smear repeated in one year if their Pap results are ASC-US or LGSIL, or may need a colposcopy if the results of the Pap smear are HGSIL. Women ages 21 to 25 may need to have their Pap smear repeated in 6 months if their Pap results are ASC-US, or will have a colposcopy if the Pap results are LGSIL or HGSIL. Women over the age of 26 with abnormal Pap smears will have testing for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is associated with cervical cancer and abnormal Pap smears. If the testing is positive for high risk HPV infection or the Pap smear results are LGSIL or HGSIL, a colposcopy will be done, and the Pap smear will be repeated in 6 months.

WomanCare Clinic can counsel you regarding the results of your Pap smear, the results of your colposcopy, and the most appropriate plan for follow up care.