difference between smear and colp results?

I'm a bit confused having read a few posts. 

When you go for your colp what are they looking for exactly? Is this where they measure your CIN level to decide on treatment or not?

My letter said borderline changes and high risk HPV, so will this just go into further details about the cell changes?


I guess I'm querying because many users signatures say their smears show changes then the colp diagnoses CC. But accordingly to the info on the site, cell changes aren't cancer but can develop into, so can CC develop at any level of abnormality? 


Emma. X

Hi Emma

A colposcopist will examine how much of your cervix is affected by the cell changes, and decide whether or not you need treatment to remove them. They may also take a biopsy - because a smear is only 70% accurate, a biopsy gives a definite picture of what is happening.

Colposcopies can also look for changes further up the cervix. The area where most abnormal cells are found is the transformation zone, which is the first part of your cervix. However, it is sometimes possible that cells closer to the uterus have changed, which would not be picked up by a smear.

Essentially, a smear is a really good starting point as it gives doctors an idea of whether there is a problem. But then a specialist needs to take a closer look to find out what to do next.

Compare it to going to your doctor with a chesty cough. He will listen to your chest, and will be able to say 'there is something wrong' but he might refer you for an xray or further examinations to get to the bottom of what is wrong and how to treat it.

It's very normal to have to go for a colposcopy. As you have borderline changes, they will decide whether these might revert back on their own (or may tell you to come back in 6 months if it is a very small area affected). Or, if a larger area is affected or if your colposcopist decides to err on the side of caution, they may carry out a LLETZ. Some colposcopists do the LLETZ there and then on the day - but remember you always have a choice in your treatment and can ask to have it done another day if you want some time to prepare.

Good luck with it - and try not to worry!!