Feelings and fears after smear results and positive HPV

Hi All,

I have been reading through some of the forums and thought I would reach out for advice and some support.

Back in 2011 I went through 6 years of being and forth to the hospital every 6 months having my cervix checked, with abnormal cells being removed in Jan 2013. I finally was released back to my doctors and the period increased between my smear tests…in 2019 being told I was back to 3 yearly checks.

I had my smear last month and received a letter telling me that I had to go back to doctors in 3 months time for another smear as they could not quite identify if I had any abnormal cells showing from that test and that I was HPV positive - this was my first smear with the new HPV test involved.

And it has knocked me for six! I am paranoid, I feel dirty, I feel that I am obsessing and spend hours going through google in the hope to find some reassurance. I have spent the last hour googling a mouth ulcer vs canker sores because one has come up this morning and I gave my husband oral sex yesterday (abit short and sweet)

What has made it worse for me is around 10 years ago I had genital warts and have had them off and on over the years and the HPV positive test has just thrown up all my worries and anxiety over them…to point I am plucking up the courage to go to the GUM clinic to get checked.

I don’t want to have sex with my husband because of my worries and I don’t know how to calm my fears down but I feel like this is never going to go away and will ruin my sex life because of it.

How do people deal with their worries and fears?
I try talking to hubby but he does not quite get it and I feel too dirty to talk to my friends so am feeling quite alone.


Please look at the information pages on the forum about the HPV virus. There are many strains of HPV and it is pretty much endemic in the adult population. The strains that cause cell changes that can lead to cancer are not the same strains that cause warts. Men do not get cancer from the same strains of HPV that can cause cell changes in women because they don’t have the same cells as we do in the cervix - glandular cells or squamous cells. If you have abnormal cells you’re likely to have the HPV virus; it seems that (unlike many women but like all women on this forum) your body has not been able to throw off the virus, and it’s important that you get these regular tests to check for any further changes. The question of why some women’s bodies do not fight off the virus is not one of being dirty or promiscuous - it’s to do with the effectiveness of your immune system. I was treated for abnormal cells 20 years ago and my regular check-ups were obviously not adequate in the years thereafter. When I had a colposcopy at the end of 2020 they found the HPV virus and cancer, along with other abnormal cells. This was the first time I had been tested for HPV. It must have been living in me all those years, and a number before I had the initial cell changes. I have undergone my cancer treatment and been told that I’ve got the all clear for now - but I probably still have HPV, especially as chemotherapy decimated my immune system. So now I have to look at any way I can reinforce and strengthen my immune system, along with my recovery. I don’t want to go down that road again, I can tell you!

A lot of ladies come on here to voice their worries and fears, and this is good because googling will just lead you into deeper channels of panic and possibility. For the moment you just need to know that your immune system needs a boost and your gynae team are on the case to protect you from ever getting cancer, which no-one wants… x