HPV and abnormal cells

Hi, this is my first time posting. I received my smear test results today which confirmed HPV present and also abnormal cells. I am almost a year overdue a smear because of covid restrictions. I have been told I will be I invited for a coloscapy within 8 weeks. 

I suffer from health anxiety and this has sent my anxiety through the roof. I tried to call my doctor but as usual, no appointments were available for a chat for further clarification.

Last year I had abnormal vaginal bleeding and pains in my right lower side.   I was given ovarian scans and a biopsy of my uterus - which were all normal. But no smear test because of restrictions.

I have no idea how long HPV has been dormant in my system as I am 45 years old, married with 2 teens. 

I'm so worried and anxious and am now convinced it is cancer because HPV must've been dormant for years and because I am almost a year overdue my smear. 

Hi Jo

i hope I can help relieve some of your anxiety. People were amazing helping me a couple of weeks ago. I have high risk HPV and my smear said moderate changes to my cells. I was so scared and read 100s of internet sites etc. Drive myself mad. Went to the colposcopy and had gas & air, really helped me relax! The nurse was not concerned about my HPV at all! In fact just brushed it off as a part of life. Made me feel so much better. My cells were mild when they looked closely and didn't require treatment, although the biopsy may come back and say I need them taking off but if it's as relaxed as my colposcopy appointment, I will be ok. It's easy for me to sit here and tell you not to worry, but I honestly wish I'd not got so worked up. Happy to explain any part of the process further if it helps you prepare or relax. Best of luck. Janine x

Hi Janine,

This is so lovely to hear. The approach of the medical staff make such a difference. I think you're right, it's just a fact of life!


Hi Janine

Thanks so much for replying to my message. 

I've been in a bit of state since I got my results back and the thought of having HPV is as upsetting to me as the abnormal cells as its been such a shock, and i've made the mistake of googling other cancers that can be caused by HPV. I've been married for years so I've no idea how long I've had HPV but I'm guessing a long time since it's never cleared and I've developed abnormal cells. I think the shock has affected my anxiety a fair bit, ans I feel like I'm having to explain myself to people - especially since all my smear tests have been regular and normal until now.

My doctor is amazing, I called her yesterday and she invited me along to the surgery and said she would have a look at my cervix to see if she could see anything by eye. She told me my cells changes were Borderline and that my cervix looked healthy, which put my mind at rest a bit.

I'm in Scotland, and so I won't receive a letter for my colposcopy for another 6-8 weeks, which is pretty agonising. But your reassurance has settled me down a bit, I'm really grateful for the support and for you sharing your experience. X

Hi I'm just wondering how you got on? I've had a hpv positive and a abnormal result but the letter doesn't say what cin which is making me thinking its something bad I'm going out my mind with worry x

Hi Laura

Apologies for not getting back to me sooner, i've only just noticed your message.

My letter didn't say anything about what grade of cell changes I had (I'm in Scotland and the letter is pretty vague).  I called my Dr who confirmed my cell changes were Borderline, which I understand is the beginning of cell changes.

I managed to get a cancellation appointment from the colposcopy clinic, and had my colposcopy on Tuesday morning - after a sleepless night on Monday!  I worked myself up so much that I started to cry when the Dr basically said "hi, how are you?"  I was a mess!  I explained to her that my results were a big shock, and that I hadn't slept haha.  She was quite understanding - a bit matter of fact - but that's what I needed.  She explained cell changes to me and what the procedure would involve. 

I lay on the bed with my legs in the stirrups.  I had a nurse standing beside me, and she was great, she made me laugh a few times.  I didn't find the colposcopy any more uncomfortable than my smear.  After the solution was applied to my cervix, the Dr said everything looked fine.  She waited a bit longer and then said "I can see very slight changes so we'll take a couple of biopsy's and wait for the results before we decide if any further treatment is needed".  She explained to me that the cell changes may go away themselves but the biopsy will tell us more.  So I'll either be invited back for a loop procedure or things will be left as they are and i'll be invited back for another smear in 12 months.  

I understand how upsetting is receiving that letter in the post - my legs were shaking when i read my letter.  But I feel like I'm being looked after, and that nothing will be left to chance.

Let me know how you get on.


Jo x

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Hi MrsB1976

I’ve read your post and found it very assuring to hear that your colposcopy procedure was ok and not too stressful. I had mine recently and it was a lot better than expected.

Have you had your biopsy results yet? Hope you’re okay and everyone else in this thread is doing well :slight_smile: