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‘Abnormal’ Papanicolaou smears and colposcopy in pregnancy: ante- and post-partum findings
  1. W. A. Nahhas,
  2. M. A. Clark and
  3. M. Brown
  1. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio, USA
  1. Address for correspondence: William A. Nahhas, MD, FACOG, FACS, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wright State University School of Medicine, One Wyoming Street, Dayton, Ohio 45409, USA.


Abnormal Papanicolaou smears and colposcopic findings suggesting human Papilloma virus (HPV) infection and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) may occur during pregnancy. Condylomata acuminata often grow rapidly during pregnancy and may regress spontaneously following delivery. However, the post-partum outcome of the untreated ante-partum abnormal cytologic smear and colposcopy has not been defined clearly. Seventy-three pregnant patients were examined by colposcopy because of genital warts and/or abnormal Papanicolaou smears. Cytologic, colposcopic and histologic re-evaluation was conducted after delivery. Only one of the patients had a normal ante-partum colposcopic examination. This number increased to 15 after delivery. Forty-one patients had normal post-partum cytologic smears, but only 13 had normal histology. Abnormal post-partum cytology was highly predictive of abnormal colposcopy and histology. In contrast, normal post-partum cytology was not very accurate in predicting normal colposcopy and histology. It is concluded that a few pregnant patients may have partial regression of clinical HPV infection and abnormal cytology and colposcopy after delivery. However, the majority will continue to have abnormal findings 4 months following delivery in spite of normal post-partum cytology and even colposcopy.

  • abnormal cytology in pregnancy.

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