Understanding your test results 


Current recommendations suggest a pap by 21 years of age. After 30, an HPV test is automatically added. HPV testing can be added on at earlier ages if the pap comes back abnormal.

Paps can come back showing  anything from inflammation, infection, low grade changes, or high grade changes. If your preliminary test results are of sufficient concern, the doctor may recommend further testing via examination via a colposcope. Biopsies may be indicated. These are usually not very uncomfortable; they are more of an inconvenience.

Your results will likely be graded into mild, moderate, or severe dysplasia, aka CIN I, II, or III. Your doctor should discuss your results and plan with you. You should not rely on a "no news is good news" policy.