Abnormal smear results - colposcopy experience

I (25f) received the results of my smear test today.
I was positive for high-risk HPV and also had cell changes.

I’ve been referred to get a colposcopy.

Could anyone share their experience of having high risk HPV and also cell changes? Both good and bad experiences. Just so I have a realistic idea of possible outcomes.


Hi Char, welcome!

My first smear came back with those results. I had a colposcopy and lletz treatment to remove the cells the same day.

I was very anxious but the staff were great. They went at my speed and respected my nerves. The procedure itself didn’t hurt, it was undignified though haha.

Personally, I would recommend using headphones to listen to music or a podcast if they do treatment, I found the noise of the machine the most disturbing aspect. Holding the nurses hand really helped too!

You’re going to do great xx

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I had a positive first smear and CIN3 after my biopsy. I am having a repeat in November to see if the cells regress. I found the colposcopy a bit uncomfortable but not overly painful, although wish they’d let me take someone in with me as I was extremely anxious and my boyfriend had to wait in the hosp carpark! I think I will push for someone coming in if I do end up having to have treatment. I am reluctant to jump straight into treatment due to potential risks to fertility etc. I’m 25 btw. I am now going down the private route as found NHS we’re difficult to get details from, just a blunt piece of paper, unable to contact consultant for further info, wasn’t good for anxiety.

The worst bit for me was the pain in my tummy after, I didn’t realise it would be right where period pains hit, and that’s what it felt like, bad cramps. Make sure you have a hot water bottle and painkillers to hand after and id take the afternoon off to rest if I was to do it again. Some people have said they didn’t have any pain tho. Bleeding was minimal after and lasted a few days then was back to normal.

Best of luck. X

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Hi Char,

Did your screening results say whether your cell changes were also known as … borderline/mild/moderate/high dyskaryosis?

One possible outcome is that you go for your colposcopy and all looks fine, with no need to biopsy. In which case you’re likely just just be monitored yearly (ie have more frequent smears) until the HPV clears.

My cervical screening (smear) usually comes back as (high risk) HPV + and abnormal cells (ive had bordeline changes, low grade dyskaryosis - its goes back to borderline then back again so my body is clearly trying to clear those cells by itself!).
Ive had s number of colposcopies and so far there has been no asceto-white, all looked completely normal so no biopsy was taken.

In that situation, the colposcopy is way less imvasive than a smear. The speculum is the same obviously, you cant feel the acetic or iodine solution being squirted on (do they squirt it, ha ha?!) and the microscope remains away ftom your body. So its really quick and painless.
Id mucb rather have these than a smear!

Im sure ladies who’ve had biopsies have a different view (minor discomfort, i hear), but i just wanted to share because my experience has not been unpleasant in the least.

After abnormal results at screening followed by normal results at colposcopy, im recalled a year later for my next smear (and so far always sent for another colposcopy). (I think the first time, it may have just been “get a smear in 3 years as per usual”, but because its persisting its now more frequent observation.

Theres really good info on this website about cervical screening care pathway, and also on the gov.uk website which has some diagrams showing the process flow.

Im currently waiting for my colposcopy appointment after this years cervical smear (at the end of June) was again HPV+ with low grade dyskaryosis. Maybe they’ll decide to biopsy this year, just to see whats going on, who knows.

Hope you get your appointment soon!

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