Borderline with high risk HPV

Hi all,

I have come across this forum after some frantic hours on google and hope someone can offer me some words of wisdom to calm myself down.

I had a smear test on 30th August. After not hearing anything, I mentioned it to my doctor yesterday when I was there for an unrelated matter. I was told the results had come through on 2nd September and that it showed borderline changes and positive for high risk HPV and that I needed further investigation.

I am terrified of what they will find when I go for the colposcopy. I’ve read stories of ladies being told they have borderline changes, only to find CIN 2 or 3 when they are examined. I feel in a constant state of panic and as I still don’t have an appointment, I have no idea how long this will go on for.

My last smear, 3 years ago, was clear. Up until 15 months ago, I had only ever had sex with my ex long term partner and he had only ever been with me, which made me believe that I was low risk for HPV. However, I have since been seeing someone who is considerably more experienced and feel so stupid that I have put myself at risk like this. I feel that I’m somehow to blame for the changes and the virus.

Can anyone help me? How fast do these changes occur? What are they likely to find when I do get my appointment? I do have horrible health anxiety anyway and this result has terrified me.

Thanks for reading.

Hi Caroline 

take a deep breath you will be ok!!!

hpv can stay dorment for many years so to just automatically blame a new partner is not fair. 

90% of sexually active people are carriers or have been infected. Usually our bodies can control the hpv and fix any issues but sometimes it can cause changes in cells. Not just in cervical tissue. Most women who have tested positive for hpv high risk will have some changes to the cervical tissue but it is very rare that it will become invasive and develop into cervical cancer. Changes occur when our immune systems are weak, from to much stress, a bad infection, smoking can also weekend the immune system. So you see you could have had this but recent changes could have possibly caused hpv to come to the surface. 

Many women will have abnormal smears that result in further treatment. First they will detirmine the changes in your cervix, if any and rate it.(colposcopy)

If your cells show significant changes they will take further action and remove the whole area.(Lletz) This usually, 95% of the time resolves the issue. So, even if they find an area of concern it will most likely be nothing to worry about. As long as you stay on top of fallow up appointments you have. Try not to worry about It too much. Hope this helps a bit. 

Good luck

Hi caroline :-)

Yep, totally agree with everything Lolli888 has said and I don't think you have too much to worry about, so try not to at these time! (I know it's easier said than done).

Hpv is like the annoying common cold of sti's. It's so common and as Lolli888 most peole will have been exposed to ATLEAST one strain in their lifetime. 

The fact that you have had a normal smear 3 years is positive. From having abnormal cell changes studies show they usually takes between 10-15 years to turn to invasive CC. 

So please try not to worry. Good luck with your app, fingers crossed for you. R xxx


Thank you both so very much for taking the time to reply to me. I can't tell you how grateful I am! I have calmed down a little. The idea that, at this stage, whatever is wrong is fixable is starting to sink in.

It is the presence of HPV that I think is worrying me the most. I realise just how common it but I'm reading all sorts of conflicting ideas around HPV on the internet. If I do need treatment for the abnormal cells, would my partner be able to reinfect me and cause this to happen again? Or might it make it worse?

I guess I just need to wait for the appointment to come through. I am feeling riduclously grateful right now that we have such a thorough screening process in this country.