Difference between results and colposcopy examination

I have been back and forth over the years with Cinn1 and I have had high risk HPV. My mother had cervical cancer.
But I am worried about my daughter,27.
She has HPV and was graded cinn2. She has been attending colposcopy for the past two years every six months for biopsies. Last time she went they said as its over two years they will treat as the cells are persistent, and high grade cinn11-111.
However, we received a letter saying she actually has cinn1 and see you in a year. I suggested she called up. It then transpires that the colposcopy results were cin11-111 but the biopsy was cinn1 and the smear boderline changes!
My daughter and I don’t know if we should be celebrating she is only cinn1 or if someone has just got the results mixed up. Please advise anyone

Hi @Clara

Im sorry I’m not really sure what you mean by cinn11-111 or do you mean cin2-3? Sorry im just a little confused by that with you refereing to one result being cin2 before lol but a biopsy is alot more accurate than a smear result, was it a LLETZ biopsy she had or was it a punch biopsy? Im assuming a punch biopsy with there not being a 6 month follow up, by eye the grade of cells can look worse than what they are so a biopsy is taken to confirm, so if a biopsy has confirmed CIN1 that is the result you should take on board, CIN1 can be left for years to be monitored as its not a true precancer

Hope everything goes well with you and your daughters journey x


It’s possible to have different grades of CIN at the same time in different areas. The biopsy is taking a tiny sample from a particular area if it’s a punch biopsy and the smear is taking a general “sweep”. I would have expected with such a variation of results that these would have gone to an MDT (multi disciplinary meeting) to decide if any further action were required. Do you know if this happened?

Yes Cinn 2 and 3.
Thank you for your response :blush:

Each time she attends colposcopy they have a team meeting. We’ve been told they will have a meeting over the conflicting results yes.
When It was me and I was worried, the gynaecologist told me that the biopsy result was the golden test. Exactly what the other lady just said.
Having said they , he also took two biopsies when it was me. They only take one when my daughter has hers.
I just think they should repeat the biopsy and get the best person there to do it!! Unfortunately my gynaecologist has retired. He was amazing and loved by everyone

I can appreciate why you are concerned, but your daughter is young, and there is still the possibility that the cells could regress without treatment. I am not aware of any genetic link in cervical cancer but believe there can be a link in our ability to suppress the hpv virus.

My own daughter is in the same position-regular monitoring but no treatment as yet.


I’ve read that so many ladies seem to have a lettzs straight away.
It’s now the third year my daughter has had the same results as mentioned before. With virulent hpv.
I’m so worried that they may be missing something by leaving it.

I had a colposcopy in December after a high grade severe smear result. I believe 3 biopsies were taken and they all came back clear. These were FALSE. they were all taken from the wrong area and completely missed my CIN3. I kicked up a fuss and got a second colposcopy in January which identified the cells and I’ve just found out today it is indeed CIN3. This has been ongoing since early December for me and my lletz isn’t booked until feb. All because of mistakes that were made/things that were missed. They were meant to review my case at their January mdt but bumped me to the February mdt because of my negative biopsies which were false, and this has caused a huge delay to me getting treatment.

If you feel something isn’t right please please push for another appointment. My second one was done with the lead doctor and she got it right. Best of luck to you and your daughter xx

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So the latest is, we suggested they take several biopsies to get a clearer picture.
The results came back as cinn 1. We were delighted as she had presented as cinn2 for three years.
We now have a letter stating the biopsy was indeed cinn 1 but colposcopy shows 2/3. In view of this they are booking her into the day surgery under general.
I’m now petrified!

When I was under the radar myself my gynae told me that the biopsy was the golden result.
It seems to have become very serious suddenly

I dont understand how they can say the biopsy is CN1 thats usually the gold result but then send a letter to ask u to attend as the colposcopy is a CN3.
Makes me scared when my friend has to attend as i wont know what to believe and how do i know if the colposcopy is right or the biopsy.
Anybody got any idea why this i so x

Hi Patty

I agree. My daughter has been cinn2/3 for three years . It’s been a case of wait a see though there has been some discrepancies between the biopsies, smear and colposcopy view.
When we got the letter a few weeks ago saying cinn 1 we assumed the cells were retracting. They say the view in colposcopy is cinn2/3.
When I was under the radar years ago my then brilliant gynae said the biopsy was the golden result. So I too am suprised they want to operate under a general now.

Yes thats strange to want to operate under a general
and for what reasons to do what x

They say the cells are very close to vaginal wall. That’s all I know

Maybe the want to have a closer look and do any procedures while your daughter is under a general
I dont know but maybe the want to laser the walls under a general aswell.
Hope all goes well

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So last June , my daughter had the letts procedure under a general anaesthetic. They said she only had cinn 1 a that it’s now clear.
Fast forward to January 2024. Post procedure smear now shows cinn 1 again with hpv present. Only six months later!!
I’m so worried and scared as to why this has happened in six months. I was always told it takes years for changes to occur and it’s a slow process.

This was not the letter we expected. My 29 year daughter is super anxious and stressed as am I.

Hi Clara,

I’ve just been reading your thread.
I don’t think it’s too unusual to have further abnormalities from an all-clear smear result.
It will just mean more regular smears/colposcopies which I actually think is better than going back to 3-5yrly so soon.
Maybe they didn’t get as clear margins as they thought and that can happen too. It’s more recovery for your daughter but it will resolve im sure…

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