q1. at my annual pelvic exam, the doctor had a hard time finding my cervix. he said i have a high cervix. What does this mean? Also, will a high cervix affect my ability to conceive? Are there any other consequences I should be aware of related to a high cervix?
a high cervix means that the uterus is positioned “high” in the abdominal/pelvic cavity; it is usually suspended just above the vaginal canal. however, this should not affect your ability to get pregnant. sperm can still travel to the area of the cervix and pass through its opening into the uterus to fertilize the egg.
What it may mean, however, is that pelvic exams may be more difficult because the speculum (the instrument a gynecologist inserts to view the cervix) will not extend far enough into the vagina to reach the opening cervical. this is not a health problem, but it can cause discomfort during pelvic exams from time to time.
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q2. I am 17 years old and I just had my first visit with the gynecologist. the nurse called back and said i have atypical type cells. what does that mean? Should I be concerned?
One of the most important reasons for routine visits to the gynecologist is to get a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer. During this simple test, which is done during a pelvic exam, the surface of the cervix is gently scraped and then the cells of the cervix are viewed under a microscope for evidence of any changes that may indicate cancer or precancerous cells. Sometimes something as simple as inflammation from a yeast infection or other vaginal infection can make the cells of the cervix look abnormal (atypical). if that’s the case, the infection can be treated and then the pap smear should be repeated to make sure the atypical cells are gone.
however, atypical cells are sometimes labeled as precancerous cells. The pathologist who reads the Pap smear looks at the cells and determines how abnormal they look and assigns a specific diagnosis. The Pap smear may also be tested to see if the cells from the cervix show evidence of the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV). hpv is a sexually transmitted virus that is the cause of cervical cancer (and other gynecological conditions such as genital warts and vulvar cancer). when an abnormal pap smear shows evidence of hpv, the risk of developing cervical cancer is much higher than if there is no evidence of hpv infection, so recommendations for management and follow-up will be different.
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Depending on exactly what type of atypical cells are seen on your Pap smear and whether or not you have evidence of HPV infection, your doctor may recommend additional testing. This may include a colposcopy (an office procedure that allows a close-up view of the cervix and a biopsy of abnormal-appearing areas).
Young women who have never engaged in sexual activity with genital contact, or who may have begun sexual activity but are not infected with HPV, should consider receiving the vaccine that can prevent HPV infection. You should talk to your doctor about the specifics of your Pap test, find out if you need to be tested for HPV, and ask if vaccination against future HPV infection might be right for you.
q3. I just had a pap smear and was told that I have a tilted cervix. is this good, bad or something to worry about? is rare? I’m trying to figure out if there are any consequences.
A tilted cervix is usually not worrisome and has no major medical consequences. the position of the uterus can be anterior (facing the front of your body) or posterior (facing the back). Posterior position is the most common normal configuration, so the term tilted cervix generally refers to the cervical position of a uterus that is anterior.
The good news is that there is no increased risk of infection, cancer or other diseases due to an anterior cervical position. That said, if you’re trying to get pregnant and can’t get pregnant for a few months, be sure to see your doctor and get a hysterogram (an X-ray that defines the shape and interior of the uterus) to confirm that the inside of the uterus is tilted or tilted is normal.
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