Abnormal Pap Smears Specialist

Providers JoEllen Embry WHNP and Barbara Lockwood WHNP offer patients the best care and treatment for abnormal pap smear results. When issues with a woman’s reproductive health occur, Mesa, AZ area patients can trust providers at Embry Women’s Health, to address all of their concerns.


Abnormal Pap Smears Q & A

What does it mean when my pap smear is abnormal?

When pap smear results come back as abnormal, it typically means that the cells harvested have exhibited some unusual changes. These unusual changes could be the result of a disease, a medical condition, or cancer.

What is a colposcopy exam?

If you have abnormal Pap smear results or HPV test, the doctor may recommend a colposcopy exam to identify abnormal cells on your cervix. Identifying these abnormal cells early on is essential since they may be a sign of inflammation or pre-cancerous changes that could develop into cervical cancer if left untreated. The colposcopy exam puts many women at ease after having an abnormal pap smear since they’re able to watch the exam as it’s happening and discuss the results immediately with their physician.

What causes cells to appear abnormal?

Cells obtained from the cervix can be affected by some conditions and illnesses. Abnormal results will usually fall into three groupings: irritated or irregular, precancerous, and cancerous. Irritated or irregular cells can be caused by swelling associated with an infection or hyperkeratosis, a condition where dried skin cells are present at the cervix. This is typical because the woman has used a cervical cap or diaphragm. Precancerous cells are those that appear to be in the preliminary stages just prior to malignancy, meaning they may become cancerous. These cells, as well as those which are irritated, will require further testing. When cancerous cells are found, treatment or procedure to assess and/or remove, the cells will need to be performed. This is usually done shortly after the results have been evaluated.

What treatments are used for abnormal cells?

Treatments used by the doctor will be tailored to fit the needs of each patient. If an infection or aggravation is causing the problem, the doctor will usually write a prescription for antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or another form of prescription medication such as an antifungal. If the cells are precancerous, the doctor will want to evaluate the cells and in some instances perform a biopsy. If a biopsy reveals cancerous cells or if cancerous cells were found during the initial exam, the gynecologist will typically recommend that the tissue is removed. Removing the tissue can be achieved through a surgical operation. If the cancerous tissue is vast, more invasive surgeries could be required. The gynecologist will discuss all of the options, alternative treatments available, risks, and benefits with the patient to make sure that the best solution is chosen.



Patient Image Ashley F

The ladies here at Embry Women’s Health really know how to treat people! I’ve been coming here since I moved to the area four years ago, and I am never disappointed. Nurse Lockwood and Dr. Embry always make time for their patients and make sure to get to the root of any problem you may have. They also have a gorgeous office with everything you could possibly need. The atmosphere is very cozy and calming and does not feel like a doctors office at all. My only suggestion to visitors is to book your appointments ASAP as they go quickly, and I get why! Sometimes when I have come here, I end up waiting a bit as they do tend to give that full attention and care to each patient, so it’s worth the wait. I just wish they could be my nurse/doctor for EVERYTHING 🙁

5 Stars – Yelp – 06/03/2018

Patient Image Jennifer W

I have never had such a positive experience at a healthcare facility, not that I’ve had particularly negative ones, but I was pleasantly surprised the time Barbara Lockwood, NP took with me. She is very easy to talk to and made me feel comfortable during my visit. I’m so glad I found this practice!

5 Stars – Yelp – 12/29/2017


This was my first visit at this office and it was so much better then a visit I’ve had at a different gynecologist. The ladies were genuinely friendly and helpful and all very knowledgeable. They make you feel comfortable and safe. It’s so hard to find a gynecologist that fits your needs and I’m very happy to say I found mine.

5 Stars – Yelp – 4/10/2018



Embry Women’s Health is committed to providing quality, affordable health care. We’re in-network with all major insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare. No insurance? No problem. We offer a simple fee schedule for those who wish to pay out-of-pocket. Click the button below for our complete list and more information:

Full List of Accepted Insurance


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Words from our patients

JoEllen is AMAZING! Not only is she professional- she makes your whole experience comfortable. If you’re looking for a professional that never judges your situation and treats you very well- I would definitely recommend this office!

5 Stars – Yelp

Patient Image Yelp Layna HLayna H., Yelp

It is refreshing to meet a practitioner who sees the whole patient and not just a series of symptoms. JoEllen is willing to spend the time to ask questions and really listen to the responses. I have seen JoEllen several times and I have always appreciated how much time she spends with each appointment and her pragmatic approach with solutions.  I feel like my health drives the appointment and not the schedule. Finding JoEllen’s practice was like finding a needle in a haystack, a caring practitioner who encourages patients to listen to their bodies and to be their own best advocate.

5 Stars – 10/11/2018

Patient Image Kathy NKathy N., Yelp

Friendly staff. JoEllen is incredibly kind, patient and answers all of my questions whenever I see her. I don’t feel like I am being rushed when I am there, it is very nice.

5 Stars – 10/4/2018

Patient Image Ashley DAshley D., Yelp

I went in as a new patient just for an annual exam and Dr. Barbara Lockwood was so professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. She made sure to answer any and every question I had and she made sure I understood everything I needed to know. I have been to some offices in the past where you feel judged but she was so kind and made me feel so comfortable talking to her! I will be moving away soon but I might just have to make the drive back to see her next year!

5 Stars – 10/4/2018

Patient Image Shana EShana E., Yelp

“I started seeing Joellen earlier this year and I have had nothing but good experiences every time I have gone back. She is very down to earth and listens to any concerns. I would highly recommend Embry Womens Health.”

5 stars – 09/28/2018

Patient Image Jeannie DJeannie D., Yelp