If your last Pap test was abnormal, you may suffer from cervical dysplasia, a benign condition of the cervix that, if left untreated, can progress to cervical cancer. This condition is caused by a virus named Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is transmitted through sexual contact. In fact, HPV is the most common known sexually transmitted disease. Condom use does not protect against HPV infection, as the virus can live on areas of skin not covered by the condom. There are many types of HPV, some responsible for genital warts and some, for cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. Approximately 2/3 of women in the general population have at one time or another been exposed to HPV. Of these, only a small minority will develop cervical dysplasia. There is now a vaccine protective against HPV. Please talk to your doctor to see if you are eligible; most women are!
More detailed information about HPV and other sexually transmitted infections can be found on the following website: www.sexualityandu.ca.
After finding abnormal cells on your cervix via Pap smear, your doctor will likely refer you for a colposcopy. This test allows more precise diagnosis of the type of abnormality detected. After colposcopy, you may need removal of the area of abnormal cells on your cervix. This can be performed through a Loop Electro Excision Procedure. More detailed information about HPV and other sexually transmitted infections can be found on the following website: www.sexualityandu.ca.