Colposcopy showed Cin3 but smear came back negative?

Hi there,

I had my colposcopy just under two weeks ago and a week ago got called in to get my results, which were Cin2/Cin3 and told to have LLETZ procedure. When I had my colposcopy my consaultant also took a smear, which today at my LLETZ told me it came back negative. Which means even if I was old enough to have a smear (i'm 22), it wouldn't have shown up any of my high grade cells in the first place? Even though i'm being treated, it is still slightly concerning to know that the smear wouldn't have shown anything. 

Why does this happen? How can a smear not show anything, but I end up having high grade changes?

Thanks xx

Hi, It does sound very disconcerting, which is why cervical smears will soon be tested differently. Unfortunately for under 25s, there is a high incidence for bengin cell changes, which may lead to unnecessary treatment. However, this is no consultation to those who are not benign!

Smears are not 100% accurate, as it depends upon how good of a sample is taken and how good the analyst is on detecting these cells. So it’s possible to have a false negative. However, because CIN is very slow progressing, if it is missed in one smear, then there’s a good chance it will be detected with the next smear in 3 years time, without it yet turning into cancer. Because of these limitations and the knowledge that HPV is the primary cause, all smears will now be tested for the presence of HPV before looking for abnormal cells. Whereas smears were only tested for HPV if CIN1 was diagnosed, but not tested for HPV if CIN2/3, but was assumed HPV was present and given an automatic colposcopy appointment. 

This inaccuracy has had an effect on some people, like me. Between 2012-2015 I was diagnosed with persistent high risk HPV and CIN1, having several positve smears, but negative colposcopies. However, after one ’negative’ smear, I was discharged to regular 3 year smears in 2015. This year, I was diagnosed with deep CIN3, necessitating a hysterectomy. I very much doubt that my 2015 smear was ‘negative’ and thus they didn’t test if I still had HPV. I’ve since queried this with my doctor and consultant to be told respectively, ‘some women have fallen through the cracks’ and ‘my GP was only following the guidelines’. 

Hopefully, with this new way of testing, inaccuracies such as these will be avoided in the future.


im new on here but could realy use any info anyone can offer.

iam now 39 & over the last 10/12 years I have constantly been having regular checkups through smears...some have been normal but others have been abnormal.  When they have been abnormal I have had appointments with the hospital & have had lazero treatment & now my 3rd loop excursion last week & also a biopsy so Iam waiting on my results. 

Iam concerned that it has been going on for so long & even after treatments it seems to always come back eventually...I was told last week that it now shows that the abnormalities have grown in a different’s now in my birth canal hence why she carries out another loop excursio.

i can’t seem to get any info on what it growing in a different area means & how likely that my results are going to be bad.

can anyone ease offer me any advise on any of this....I’m the type of person that needs to know everything at once but the doctor at the hospital just told me to call next week for my results which will be just under 2 weeks from the procedure & that they will be putting my case to the board at their meeting on Monday.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

i should say I have 3 sons now 22, 14 & 11 I had my 1st son at the age of 16 & this is when things were 1st picked up.

Sam xxx