High risk HPV - what to expect

Hey everyone, I’m new here. I’ve had HPV or three years and now have a colposcopy appointment at the hospital in a couple of weeks.

I’m googling and scaring myself. Anyone have any experience in this area?

I’m worried about my other half reinfecting me if I have treatment to clear it. I can’t get my head around it.

Also concerned about what they will find at colposcopy - is it likely they will treat or keep an eye in your experience?

Thanks in advance xx

Hi @Doodles4919

There is no treatment for the HPV itself the treatments performed are for the potential physical causes the virus might cause, the only thing proven to clear and keep it under control is our own immune systems

Your partner isnt going to reinfect you, its not a pass back and forth kind of virus… once we clear an infection we have immunity against that particular strain, our bodies create antibodies against it so when we do come into contact with it again, either by a partner that hasnt yet immune supressed or future partners that have the same strain, the antibodies kick in and fight it off before it infects us again… if you think of how the vaccines work, they create antibodies against the targeted strains essentially tricking the body into thinking we have already dealt with them so when we do come into contact with them IRL those antibodies protect us

It all depends what is seen on the day on what the next steps will be, as the treatments dont remove the virus itself you will only be offered treatment if on the unlikely chance that theyve missed cells (high grade cells) anything thats identified as inflammation to low grade cell changes are monitored with a follow up within 1 year but if they confirm that the smear is correct and nothing is to be seen, it is determined that we are at low risk of CC within the next 5 year and are put on a 3 year recall xx

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Oh I see. So any procedure/treatment won’t actually get rid of the HPV, just any cells which are caused by it and look dodgy?

Thank you for this you’ve really put my mind at ease!

Thats right yeah, some treatments like a LLETZ procedure, its not known how but in some cases it can give the immune system the kick start it needs to start fighting it as many do test negative 6 month later but as many do still test positive afterwards, its only offered as a treatment for abnormalities rather than the virus

Unfortunately right now, no treatments or surgery can remove the virus itself its generally just a waiting game, but over 90% of infections are observed to test negative within 1-2 years of detection and most of the time it is harmless, its estimated that, compared to the amount of HPV infections out there, less than 1% will recieve a CC diagnosis in their lifetime xx

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Aaah ok. I’ve had it for 3 years and not managed to clear it. The letter said that Cytology was normal. So essentially they are having a closer look at the colposcopy to confirm the cervical screening result?


Some people take longer than others, its really more a matter of when will it clear rather than an if it will clear

Thats basically it, paps are more of an indicative tool than a diagnostic and as great as they are they arnt always 100% so rather than taking what the smear says, as there has now been 3 positives in a row, they want that extra testing as a back up to make sure theyre giving us the right management

At this point its more on the side of caution that your being refered than a cause for concern, making sure nothing has been missed and if abnormalities do happen to be found, they are just as surprised as we are lol although its not a diagnostic, the cytology result gives the colposcopist an idea of what they should expect to see and the colposcopy most often than not does match what the smear indicates xx

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You are marvellous. Thank you so so much for taking the time to answer my questions and put my mind at rest. I can’t tell you how much you’ve helped.

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Hi Doodles4919. Have had hpv myself for 5 years now. Constant smear tests and coloscopys. At cin 1 plus cell changes last time and awaiting recent resultts from smeat test. Its a very slow process this hpv and the coloscopys are just like smear test but a little more intrusive. I was terrified first time ,but tell myself that at least they are monitoring my hpv because to be honest that is all that they can do until things change. Dont be scared, they are lovely kind caring people who will deal with you and i promise that once over they explain everything very carefully. I know just how you feel. It took me years to accept hpv was going nowhere and now i live with it and can handle it by telling myself im in good hands even if they find something in early stage. I do hope all goes well for you. Please update . Were all here for you. Sending love lin


Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate it. We are going on holiday on Saturday (the day after) so will hopefully take my mind off it. X

Yes just enjoy your holiday and deal with after. Iv ruined many a holiday worrying and it didnt change anything when i got back. Just park it at back of mind and enjoy :wink:

You are very wise. Thank you :kissing_heart:

Comes with age so my husband says lol :laughing: x


Then why aren’t I yet?!

Try not to worry yourself about hpv- it’s very common for unvaccinated women to be infected at some stage with it. The virus itself isn’t treated but it’s the causes of it that are treated if needed.

Did it say on your letter if you had cell changes or just hpv infected? Usually if you have cell changes it will say something like ‘boarderline cells changes, mild changes, moderate changes or severe changes’. It’s only if you have moderate or severe changes that you’re usually treated with Lletz procedure which removes the dodgy cells.

Even with severe changes it can take years to turn to cancer. If it’s any reassurance I have severe changes but am pregnant… the doctors seem more than happy to wait until after delivery to treat as cancer would be unlikely even for me.

I’ve had HPV for around five years I think. Earlier this year I was referred to hospital for a different reason and they spotted abnormal skin on my vulva which turned out to be VIN3, undoubtedly caused by HPV. I had surgery six weeks ago and have to be monitored every six months for five years. HPV can often just tootle along with no problem, or it can cause other issues, it’s annoying that it’s not treatable! Try not to worry though.