don't know what to do (

Hi everybody,

first off let me apologise for this post may sound like I'm being really paranoid. However I really really need some advice. I am worried about high risk HPV. I do not have any symptoms but I don't know if I should get a smear test done or not. I understand that in England you need to be 25 but I'm 22. I'm scared that I could have picked up this virus and I really want children when I'm older so I don't know what to do. I understand that smear tests in under 25s can cause false positive results. I dont know whether to wait til I'm 25 and risk it. As I say, I want children and I am scared that I could potentially have HPV and I may need treatment that would jeopardise this. Please help me I don't know who to speak to or what to do.


You can have a smear test + HR HPV test from Marie Stopes for £185 I think.  I personally had a smear under 25 and got mild abnormalities.  I had other reasons to suspect I had HPV though but I have no idea whether its high risk HPV.  Since my first smear and colposcopy (no treatment) I have had normal smears - so I assumed the abnormal cells went back to normal and it was to do with being under 25.  Recently though I found something on my cervix and have had post coital bleeding (which I mention every time I have a smear) and have had a total of a meltdown.  I think what makes my madness worse is that I just started trying for a baby and now I'm scared I wont be able to - so I know how you feel I really do.

I really wish I knew whether I had high risk HPV and something to worry about or not.  With my current worry mind - if I was you and could afford the test I definitely would take it.  I've got an appointment next week with gynae and if the doctor says I have nothing to worry about etc. I 'm going to ask for my next smear to be tested for HPV.  If they dont agree I will pay.  Because otherwise I will go mad not knowing!

With my sensible mind, since you have no symptons try not to dwell on it.  You may have it you may not - even if you do your body might take care of it itself even if it is high risk like the majority of women.  It does take a few years before you will really know for sure how your body is going to react to it so getting a smear now may well cause extra stress you could do without. 

I hope you feel better soon and stop worrying (easy for me to say - somehow cant seem to do it though....)

Hi JanieMs, thank you for your reply.

I can afford a private smear but I am in two minds as to whether to go ahead or not. I fear my results will not be accurate. My question is; why are abnormal results (that lead to treatment) more common in under 25s? Is it solely because of their age and their hormones? Or is it to do with the fact that the majority have HPV that will clear on it's own? I don't know if I should wait it out and just return to my GP if I ever get symptoms... But by then isn't it too late?

JanieMS I hope you get the answers you need asap. I heard it's rare to be given a false negative result but apparently HPV can lay dormant in the body. I'm sure whatever it is, if it's anything serious that could affect your fertility it would've been picked up by now. Please let me know how you get on.

In a nutshell: I dont want a smear test done now if it will lead to "unnecessary treatment for abnormal cells which will resolve on their own" but I don't want to wait til 25 to be told I've developed something nasty - the main issue for me is fertility and ability to carry children. I understand "unnecessary treatment" can cause low birth weight and other problems.

Hi Yorkshiregirl,

I Understand where you are coming from but i honestly dont think you have anything to worry about. As you know your Immune system normally clears HPV out of your system within 2 years so if you have been unlucky enough to contract the virus it is more than likely that you do not have it anymore. You are obviously worrying a lot about this so if i were you i would have a smear just to rule it out and then you can stop worrying.

You will not be given treatment unless the cells are highly abnormal. if you just have slight changes to your cells they will leave them and you will have another smear 6 months later to see if the cells have gone back to normal. There are 3 stages of abnormalty of the cervical cells, if the cells are in the first stage of abnormality treatment will not be given because at this stage the cells normally go back to normal on there own but if the cells are highly abnormal this means that they are not very likely to go back to normal and may turn into cancer so if these cells are detected you will be given treatment to remove them.

Treatment for abnormal cells is a 10 minute procedure that happens in a clinic while you are awake. Having just 1 treatment very rarely causes problems with pregnancy, if you have more than one trteatment there is a risk of not being able to carry a baby to term because more of your cervix will have been removed and it will be more strain on your cervix but there are things that can be done during pregnancy to help. I have heard of a number of women who have had more than 1 treatment and have got on to have 2 or 3 babies with no problems.

You have nothing to lose by having a smear now privately it will put your mind at rest and you can still have your smear when you turn 25 on the NHS, you actually get the letter inviting your for your first smear 6 months before you turn 25.  

I hope this helps Xxx

Thank you Simone you really have helped a lot. I think I will get one done but I may struggle to find a private clinic so I might try and find a "well woman" or family planning clinic instead. I just keep changing my mind every time I read "screening for under 25s causes more harm than good" :( I just wish they would explain why! There again, the fact that women have been diagnosed with cervical cancer at their first smear (aged 25!!) is scary (I read the real life stories on this website and had a heart attack) so I definitely want one sooner... I think?! Thanks xxx