AIS diagnosed after Pap Test Only

Hello ladies.
I want to start off by saying what an amazing forum this is. In my state of major health anxiety I have been incessantly googling information but have recently decided to try to go only to this website for information as Google is a rabbit hole that cannot be escaped unscathed.

I know many people are in the same boat but I guess my biggest concern is that I’m going to just continue to get worse news as this process goes along and I’m looking for reassurance (as pretty much all of us are).
Just a bit of a background before I ask my questions.
In mid 2016 I was informed that my Pap tests came back abnormal. By late 2016 I had a colposcopy/biopsy and then eventually a LEEP. Was not contacted after that or after my follow up Pap so I assumed everything was good. Was also never offered the HPV vaccine (at 23 years old and very sexually active!). I’m now being told at almost 30 that DEFINITELY should have been done. Don’t even get me started on that. To say the least, my doctor that I had all throughout my life was incompetent as I became an adult.

Then I had a pap with a different doctor approx 4 years ago but was never followed up. I assumed it was fine.

Fast forward to this year, 2023. Now happily married for 3 and a half years. Husband and have been TTC. Got a LONG overdue routine Pap test last month (I will admit this is my fault as we got married, moved to the country AND Covid happened) and it got put on the wayside. I have many regrets about that now but it is what it is and I now have a doctor that I adore and truly trust.
She called me a few days ago VERY CONCERNED with my pap results. She told me straight up on the phone that all fertility efforts needed to be put on hold until this was dealt with. Made an in person appointment for this morning (4days later) I went into an absolute panic, I barely slept or ate this weekend. I was obsessively researching everything I possibly could and eventually was convinced I have cervical cancer.
I saw her this morning and she said even though when she did the pap everything looked fine visually (!!) she always makes sure to get a deeper tissue sample to ensure she gets that endocervical zone just to be sure (one of a million reasons I love her) and that is where the abnormal cells are. They are graded CIN3/AIS from just the Pap smear alone!

This is where I’m concerned because most AIS diagnoses are only graded as such during the colpo/biopsy?! Is this a good thing or Is it more likely that my diagnosis is actually going to be worse once I have the colpo and that the pap only got the healthiest of the abnormal cells?! I’m already being referred for the colpo, a second LEEP, and once treatment is done -the HPV vaccine.

I have to hope that since my cervix is not riddled with visible abnormal tissue AND the fact that all other tests involving my reproductive system (TVU, bloodwork, pelvic exams, etc) have all come back very good and that I have a chance at a very good outcome. But I don’t want to get my hopes up too high because it’s just been such an emotional rollercoaster for me. Literally, I will go one week with great news, with so much hope and then everything seems to come crashing down.

I’m sorry for the long post. To whoever reads this, I appreciate you. No one can truly understand the stress of this unless they are also going through it.


Hi @SophieBronx

This process is awful for any of us especially when changes could be so severe, even more so when you the healthcare system fails you virtual hugs now i dont know exactly what they will find when you have your colposcopy but there is no way you can get a CIN/AIS diagnosis off a pap smear alone your doctor can not say this without a colposcopy/biopsy

paps dont diagnose our cells they are just an indicator and describe the difference in normality, the changes picked up on paps are not always precancerous this is why the colposcopy is needed to determine if the pap actually showed precancer or something harmless as if paps could diagnose our cell changes they wouldnt have colposcopies/biopsies it would just be pap smear then treatment the procedure would be skipped all together…

alot of the times people have had a pap like yours and when theyve gone for their further investigations there is nothing there… all i mean is it may not be as doom and gloom as you may think, but paps wont diagnose you they are just a tool to indicate you could have abnormal cells present xx