Abnormal Pap Smears:

Understanding Your Results and What’s Next

Pap Smears, HPV DNA Tests & Cervical Cancer Screening in Singapore

What is a Pap Smear & HPV DNA Test?

A pap smear or HPV test is a test to screen for cells on the cervix that may have the potential to become cancerous in future. These are called pre-cancerous cells. A pap smear is able to pick up cancerous or non-cancerous related changes. Early detection of these changes is important because they can be effectively treated with early detection.

Understanding Your Pap Smear or HPV DNA Test Results

There are three possible outcomes.

  1. The most probable outcome is that the smear was normal, and no further action is required until the next scheduled examination.
  2. In some cases, the smear may be deemed ‘inadequate.’ This should not be confused with an abnormal smear. It simply means that an insufficient number of suitable cells were collected for testing, necessitating a repeat procedure.
  3. Finally, the result may be abnormal. It is important to note that this very rarely indicates the presence of cancer. More commonly, it suggests that there have been detectable changes that warrant either closer monitoring or treatment at a hospital clinic.

Abnormal Results - What’s Next?

If your Pap smear/HPV DNA results are abnormal, your doctor will discuss it with you and recommend further evaluation. It may include additional testing, such as colposcopy or HPV testing, to assess the extent of abnormalities and guide treatment decisions. It does not mean you have cancer but could indicate that there are pre-cancerous cells present.

Treatment Options If Pre-Cancerous Cells are Detected

There are several ways to treat pre-cancerous cells on the cervix. Not every woman will require the same treatment. The doctor will identify the most suitable treatment and discuss this with you.

1. LEEP (Loop Excision Electrical Procedure)
LEEP is performed using a fine-heated wire loop. An electrical current is passed through the wire loop and this is then used to cut away the abnormal area on the cervix.

2. Cone Biopsy
A cone biopsy is a minor operation where a small piece of the cervix, in the shape of a small cone containing abnormal cells, is removed from the cervix using either a laser, a surgical knife or by electrosurgery.

3. Laser Vaporisation
This procedure involves using a laser beam to destroy the area where the abnormal cells are on the cervix.

4. Cold Coagulation
Cold coagulation is a simple procedure which is usually performed in a colposcopy clinic. The area with the abnormal cells on your cervix is heated away using a hot coagulation probe. The procedure takes about 45 to 60 seconds.

Caring Female Gynaes For Your Intimate Needs

Dr. Ida Ismail, SMG Women's Health

Dr Ida Ismail-Pratt

MBChB (Glasgow), FRCOG (UK), BSCCP(UK)
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

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Dr. Siva, SMG Women's Health Profile

Dr Sivahami Sivananthan

MBChB (Bristol), FRCOG, FAMS
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

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Get in Touch with Our Female Gynaes


    Dr Ida's Places of Practice

    Tel: +65 6262 5490
    WhatsApp: +65 9642 7470

    The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre (Novena)
    38 Irrawaddy Road
    Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
    #05-34/35, Singapore 329563

    Consultation Hours
    Mon, Wed & Fri: 8:30am – 12:30pm, 1:30pm – 5:30pm
    Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun & PH: Closed

    Astra Women’s Specialists (Tampines)
    9 Tampines Grande #01-18
    Singapore 528735

    Consultation Hours
    Tue: 8:30am – 12:30pm, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, 6:00pm – 8:30pm
    Sat: 8:30am – 12:30pm
    Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun & PH: Closed

    Dr Siva's Places of Practice

    Tel: +65 6011 1535
    WhatsApp: +65 9017 6204

    Astra Women’s Specialists (Mount Elizabeth Orchard)
    3 Mount Elizabeth #12-11
    Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
    Singapore 228510

    Consultation Hours
    Mon & Sat: 8:30am – 12:30pm
    Tue, Wed, Fri: 8:30am – 5:00pm

    Astra Women’s Specialists (Katong)
    112 East Coast Road #03-03/04
    i12 Katong (Located in Core Clinic)
    Singapore 428802

    Consultation Hours
    Mon: 2:30pm – 5:00pm
    Thu: 8:30am – 12:30pm