Abnormal Pap Smears

Pap smears are designed as a screening test for cervical pre-cancerous conditions. They do not detect uterine or ovarian cancers. As the Pap smear is a screening test, it indicates that there may be an abnormality, but a colposcopy is often required to confirm the site and nature of the abnormality.


A colposcopy is similar to having a Pap smear performed, but it requires additional time as the cervix is examined using a colposcope / microscope. During this examination, acetic acid (vinegar) and / or Iodine solution is used to stain the cervix to indicate the areas of abnormality. If an abnormality is detected, a biopsy may be required. A biopsy does cause a slight discomfort, but it is well tolerated by most patients. Less than 2% of the time, a biopsy of the cervix may cause a vaso-vagal reaction (feeling faint, nausea and light headedness).

Our Services / Gynaecologic Oncology