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Pap smear problems

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is responsible for the vast majority of pre-cancerous changes in the female cervix (the neck of the womb) causing abnormalities detected by a regular pap smear. These changes are classified as Low-grade or High grade depending on the cellular changes seen by the lab, and at that stage referral to a specialist is often warranted to confirm the diagnosis and plan further treatment if appropriate.

Initially this involves a colposcopy (looking at the cervix under a special microscope) and if a higher grade change is suspected, treatment via LLETZ (Large loop excision of the transformation zone). This removes the smallest possible area of affected cervix to eradicate the disease and make a full pathological diagnosis. Follow-up is required to be certain the changes to do not return.