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Abnormal Pap Test

Women's Dysplasia Program

Having regular Pap tests is the best way to monitor cervical health. Many women will experience an “abnormal” Pap test during their lifetime, which can be caused by infection with HPV (human papilloma virus). This infection can lead to cervical dysplasia, a potentially precancerous condition in which abnormal cells grow on the cervix. These women may need an additional Pap test, a test for HPV, or a more detailed test called a colposcopy. The prognosis is excellent for women with cervical dysplasia who receive appropriate follow-up and treatment. But women who go undiagnosed or who do not receive appropriate care are at higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
Contact Information

Women's Dysplasia Program
Obstetrics and Gynecology Care Center
2 Dudley Street
5th Floor
Providence, RI 02905
P: (401) 274-1122, ext. 42726

Please be advised that this location is a provider-based clinic and both a physician and facility fee will be assessed, which may result in a higher out-of-pocket expense.

Follow Up Exams

Colposcopy is usually done as a follow-up exam to help find the cause of an abnormal Pap test. Colposcopy is a procedure that gives a magnified view of the cervix and/or vagina using a lighted microscope called a colposcope and identifies areas that may need to be biopsied. Similar to a Pap test, it is a very safe procedure. It usually takes less than 10 minutes, and most women have only minor discomfort.  

LEEP – or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure – is a way to remove abnormal cells from the cervix by using a thin wire loop that acts like a scalpel. An electric current is passed through the loop, which cuts away a thin layer of the cervix. LEEP takes approximately 10 minutes and may cause some discomfort – local anesthesia is used to prevent pain.

About the Women's Dysplasia Program

Women & Infants Hospital’s Program in Women’s Oncology and the Obstetrics and Gynecology Care Center (OGCC) partner together to provide efficient and specialized care of women with genital dysplasia through the Women’s Dysplasia Program.  

The physicians in the Women’s Dysplasia Program:

  • Provide timely, efficient care for all women with abnormal Pap tests
  • Evaluate, treat and manage cervical, vaginal and vulvar dysplasia
  • Provide HPV and dysplasia counseling, as well as HPV vaccination for any eligible patient not previously vaccinated
  • Provide smoking cessation counseling, as smoking increases a woman’s risk of cervical cancer