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Can a pap smear cause a miscarriage?

By March 30, 2010 - 7:01pm
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I had my period right on time but it was extremely light and only last 3 days, which has never happened before. Then a week and half later I had a pap smear and as soon as the Dr was finished she told me that I had started my period during it. I was surprised by her statement and said that couldn't be because I had already had it. The Dr. proceeded to tell me that maybe it wasn't my period and I was just bleeding from her scraping my cervix. I figured she was right but the bleeding got worse throughout the next 3 days and I also had really bad cramps. I bleed from 7 days straight.

18 days later I got my period again and it was a normal flow and lasted 5 days which was normal. Its been about 3 weeks since then and I think I might be pregnant but I think it is too early to take a test. I have to go back to the obgyn this week to get another pap because I tested positive for HPV. I'm not sure if I should keep my appt not knowing if I'm pregnant or not and not knowing if I was pregnant before and the pap smear caused a miscarriage.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi clm052683-

Pap tests are commonly done during the first trimester of pregnancy to check for inflammation, STDs, or abnormal cervical cells. It is highly unlikely that a Pap would cause you to miscarry. You don't say hold old you are, but age related hormonal changes have an effect on menstrual cycles, as do stress and many other things.

Are you seeing a gynecologist? If you aren't, I suggest you do. Sometimes when you have things going on, it's appropriate to move from the family doc to a gynecologist. If you are already seeing a gyne, you should not cancel that appointment. If you have HPV you need to be treated. Whether or not you are pregnant, a gynecologist/obstetrician is a doctor who will be looking after the health of you and your baby, so you really should keep seeing her.

Since you have concerns, be open about them. Your doctor can do a pregnancy test. Often you can get accurate results 10 days or so after conception thanks to hormonal changes in your body. It sounds like you really need to find out whether you are pregnant or not. Sometimes these tests can also tell you if you have recently miscarried, again due to hormonal changes that will show up in the test.

Communicate your concerns openly with your doctor. Get answers to your questions. Get treatment for the HPV so you don't end up with complications such as cervical cancer. If your doctor does not answer all of your questions to your satisfaction, find another doctor. Your relationship with your doctor should be open, honest, and comfortable. If you don't trust her information, you are not going to have a good relationship and that is so important to your health.

Good luck.

April 1, 2010 - 6:48am
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