Does the depo shot interfere with smear results?

Hello everyone

ive been reading this forum for a while now and couldn't quite find what I was looking for. So my background is I've been having abnormal smears for the past 2 and a half years (I'm 28) I've had several calposcopys and they have always shown either insufficent result or slight changes. As this kept reappearing I had lletz treatment back in March. The results from this came back negative but was told to have a smear in 6 months. 2 weeks ago I had my smear and the doctor said she thought everything would come back ok. I've had my results and have low frade dykasosis and hpv. I've had hpv before then it cleared and now I have it again! I have been doing lots of research on the net (as you do but not alwAys great!) and I've seen some people complaining that the depo shot can interfere with your results! I've been on the depo for the past 3 years. I am beginning to wonder if this may be affecting my smear? So many of my results have been sent to their multi disciplinary meetings as they could never determine my borderline resulTS. Apart from my smear. I have been happy on the depo and it has stopped my periods completely. Which has got me thinking, as my body thinks I'm constantly pregnant through having no periods, could this be messing up my sMears? U smear results from 2 weeks ago has referred me for yet another calposcopy which I have no date for yet. It would be interesting to hear if anyone else has had trouble with their smeare whilst on the depo. Thanks x


I totally understand how it feels having abnormal results more than once, and the urge to research. As you say, sometimes it's not always helpful but something many of us have done all the same, so I can understand that too.

I had the depo for 10 years, in that time my smears were all normal. My problems started years later after I was infected with HR-HPV. I know the depo thickens the mucus at the neck of the womb (the area where they'd take the smear from) and so it can potentially lead to inadequate smear if there's too much of this in the sample. When I was on the depo it was described as 'sending my system to sleep' rather than the body thinking it was pregnany, because no eggs are being released.

Withought knowing what you've read it's difficult to comment, but abnormal smears and cell changes are caused by HPV and I've never come across anything suggesting that the depo itself increasing the chance of this. Using condoms with new partners even if on the depo can help reduce infection with HPV but condoms don't offer 100% protection.  Also with HPV it's very common and more about whether the body can clear the virus.

Perhaps have a chat with your GP if your worried about the depo and see what they think? I'm not a doctor but I really don't see how the depo can cause cell changes. The important thing though is that you're comfortable with the depo, and if you have doubts then your GP is the best person to speak to.

I hope this is of some help and wish you all the best.

Thanks for your reply. I do have hpv so perhaps you are right. I've been with my long term boyfriend the whole tone this has been going on. Thanks for commenting about your experiences of the depo. The posts I saw just generally said they had made links with their smears and being on the depo. But again you can't always trust everything you read! Especially on the Internet! I Spose I just feel sad as I thought lletz would work. I thought my nightmare was over but it's not. Plus I had an absolute melt down at my last calposcopy and lletz treatment. Crying hysterically abs generally being in a lot of pain throughout! This has got me extremely anxious to go again. But I know I have to. I am going to see my doctor and see what they say. Im also going to see if they can give me something for my nerves when I go again. It's the speculum I don't like! It feels huge!! Once it's in I'm not so bad but with your legs in the air you just feel so uncomfortable! Xx

The fact there's so much emphasis on LLETZ 'curing' most women means it's harder for those of us who find the CIN comes back, in my opinion anyway. I can toitally relate to your feelings about hoping the LLETZ would sort it out. If the colposcopy shows it is low grade then they may monitor you, and sometimes these changes can go back to normal. The fact you had a normal smear after LLETZ is encouraging, as it shows that your body can clear the virus.

I can relate about colposcopies, in fact I burst into tears now when I walk into the room and see the chair. You can't help how you feel. See if you can get someone to go with you, and if you can't usually the nurses are very supportive. It might help to see if your GP can give you something to help you relax, there is also Rescue Remedy which is natural product you can get from any chemist. Maybe ask if they can try using a smaller speculuum too. I think that no mattter how hard you try to relax your body knows it's something foreign and tighthens more which can make it painful. Let them know how youre feeling and then they can take things at a slower pace.

I hope it goes ok for you, take care.

Thank you for your reassurance. I have been to the doctors tonight and she says low grade dykosIs? (Sp) means just irritation not cIn. This has come as a massive relief as there was no mention of this in any of my letters. I've had previous contradictiry letters so it's easy to panic! She's given me diazepam for when I go to hospital. She also said the depo shot does not interfere with sMears. Overall I feel a lot happier but just want it all over with. 


I know what you mean about the chair! I find it nerve wracking as it is, never mind when you've got your legs spread so far apart you tremble! Hopefully it will all be ok xx

I've been for my 6 month check up, colposcopy and smear test today after being diagnosed with 1a1 cancer of the cervix last year. However after much discomfort, the smear test wasn't conducted inside of the cervix due to the opening of the cervix being closed up. The consultant thinks this is because I am on the depo injection. I have now got to do back and be put undEE general anaesthetic just so they can open the cervix and conduct a smear test and colposcopy. Has anybody else had this issue from being on the depo?