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Understanding Cervical Changes: A Health Guide for Women

  • Posted: 01/21/2010

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Questions To Ask Your Health Care Provider

If you have cervical cell changes, your health care provider may want to do a series of tests or treatments, or may refer you to another provider.

  • Tests help your health care provider learn more about the changes in your cervix (see Table 2).
  • Treatments remove or destroy cells with changes so that healthy cells can grow back (see Table 4).

You should always feel at ease asking your health care provider about the reason for a test or treatment and what you should expect during and after it.

"When I learned that my Pap test results were abnormal, I wondered just what the doctormeant by 'abnormal.'"
NANCY, AGE 42

Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • What does my test result mean?
  • What care is best for me?
  • Is this a test designed to help learn more about the changes in my cervix? Or is it a treatment to cure the changes?
  • What are the possible results? Will I need more care afterward?
  • Are there any risks or side effects? How can I manage them?
  • Do I need to do anything special to prepare for this test or treatment?
  • Do I need to do anything special to care for myself afterward?
  • Will this condition affect my ability to get or stay pregnant?
  • Will my health insurance pay for the treatment you suggested?