Cervical screening negative

Hi lovely people.
I’m 27 and I have had high risk HPV for 5 consecutive years.
My most recent screening in May showed high risk HPV but negative for cell changes.
They sent me for a Colposcopy, where they did find cell changes and took a biopsy which has come back as CIN-3. Has anyone gone through this before?
I’m confused how the smear didn’t pick up cell changes?

Hi Beckielea, welcome

The smear test only samples some of your cervix so abnormal cells can be missed. It’s also possible that the lab missed any abnormal cells that were present, especially if they were few in numbers.

Colposcopy enables the clinician to take a closer look at the cervix and select the area which needs further investigation.

HPV screening is more sensitive than cell based screening and your case is an example of why HPV primary screening is better than cell based. Pre 2019, about when HPV primary screening was introduced, you’d have been told your smear test was normal then waiting 3 years until your next smear invitation.



Hi Jazza,

Thank you for your reply, the result has freaked me out completely as my sister had cervical cancer at my age, in very similar circumstances where her smear didn’t pick up any cell changes. She ended up having a hysterectomy at 27.x

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Hi Beckielea,

Do you have any news, how are you now? I am in a kind of a similar situation. I am HPV positive since 2013, had a colposcopy then but they said all good and to wait. My 2016 and 2019 tests came negative. However, my 2022 came again HPV positive, but no changes, asked to repeat in one year. I received my result yesterday and I am so scared and worried… High-grade severe dyskaryosis… From no changes to this, in only one year. The letter said that I should receive an invitation for colposcopy in 5 days time… I am so worried…
I hope you are better now and you know a bit more about your situation. Thinking of you. x

Hi Ellie,
I’m waiting for an appointment to go under general anesthesia for treatment.
I did discuss it with my doctor as I just couldn’t comprehend how it was missed and my doctor had never heard of anything like this happening and wondered if my previous sample had been entered incorrectly.

Hi Beckielea,

Me too, I worry that the previous smear which showed no changes was maybe wrong… I am worried, but I have to stay strong.

I hope you get an appointment soon, thinking of you and sending you lots of hugs .

We have to keep reminding ourselves that everything will be fine. In the end.