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Women's Health

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Abnormal Pap Test - Cause

Most abnormal Pap tests are caused by HPV infections.

Other types of infection-such as those caused by bacteria, yeast, or protozoa (Trichomonas)-sometimes lead to minor changes on a Pap test called atypical squamous cells.

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Natural cell changes that may happen during and after menopause can also cause an abnormal Pap test.

What increases your risk of having an abnormal test result?

Certain sexual behaviors-such as having sex without condoms and having more than one sex partner-increase your risk of getting an HPV infection. And an HPV infection raises your risk for having abnormal test results.

Other things that may also play a role in increasing your risk include:

If you have had one abnormal Pap test result, you're more likely to have another in the future.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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