HPV positive - back here again - 2020 UPDATE

Hi All,

I was previously a frequent user of the Forum back in 2010/11 and have always kept an eye on things since but now find myself posting again.

A quick history - in 2009 i had a routine smear (not my first - and all previous smears had been fine) which showed 'mild dyskaryosis'. I was told to return for a further smear in six minths as many cases of this improve by themselves without treatment. Unfortunately this wasn't the case for me and i was told at my 6 month follow up that the changes were now severe and sent to colposcopy. Colposcopy found CIN3 for which i was given Lletz treatment and told to return again for a 6 month follow up after this treatment. The doctor at colposcopy expressed concern that my cell changes had seemingly 'progressed so quickly' in those 6 months.

Thankfully, I recovered quite quickly/well from my Lletz treatment, the 6 month follow up and two subsequent annual smears thereafter were all clear of any abnormalities too - happy days.

I fell pregnant with my first baby in 2013 and had some cervical issues/bleeding towards the end of that pregnancy which led to me being administered with steroid shots to help mature the baby's lungs in the event thta it arrived prematurely (that never actually transpired but the shots were given anyway as a precaution). Whether or not this was related to my Lletz treatment noone seemed able to say.

I had my first 'regular' three year spaced smear in Summer 2016 and all was clear once more. In late 2016 i fell pregnant with my second baby - no cervix related issues this time around, all good.

Since the birth of my second child in September 2017 i came off the pill and have never been back on it. My periods were delayed in returning as i breastfed for 6 months but when they did return they seem to be alot heavier and alot more painful than ever before - i regularly pass clots and bleed through a good 2-3 layers at time (so sorry if TMI).

In June 2019 i was called for another regular 3 yearly smear. I received a letter from that recently to say that whilst no cell abnormalities were found i was HPV positive and should be recalled for smear again next year as a result. I have so many questions/concerns around this.

1) does the fact i've tested HPV positive mean this is for the 'high risk strain' - ive seen those stating what strain of the virus they have but how do you know this information - is it only from further testing or does the fact its been picked up via a swab of your cervix mean that its automatically the high risk type?

2) given the comments around how quickly my case progressed last time (from the medical professionals) i'm terrified now about beign left for another year - 6 months would seem more bearable given that's the time period i was checked over in before

3) How likely is it given my history and ongoing period problems that this will clear up or is that impossible to say?

4) Given i've already had what i believe to have been a fairly large area of cells removed under Lletz previously are my options going to be limited if this progresses again?

Sorry for the long post and if anything seems like a stupid question but these are the things that have been floating around my mind for many a night now. I've told only my husband of this so far and he is very upbeat about it all saying that many people have the virus and all will be fine but i can't help thinking of all the worse case scenarios at the moment.

Hi GemmaG

I am in the same situation as yourself. Back in 201) I had my second smear and showed CIN2/3 and CGIN so I have lletz to remove the cells. Had a follow up a year lately and then had to have a biopsy and all clear. June 2019 and my smear came back no cell changes by HPV positive.

It has really explained anything to me about HPV and I feel really uneasy about it. My hospital have called me back for another colposcopy on 6th August to have another look at my cervix...little worried as my husband and I would like to try for a family early next year.

Could I also ask if you had to have a stitich put in your cervix when you were pregnant following the lletz and having part of your cervix removed...they explained that I may have to.

Shireen x

Hi Shireen,

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. It’s a very worrying time when you’ve had past complications isnt it? I mean great to have feedback in no cell changes at the moment but the HPV positive element is def a concern and you’re right in saying that there was no information given around that (not in my results letter at least).

its also interesting that you’ve been invited for colposcopy next month which I hope can give you more clarity and the opportunity to ask questions. Assuming you are in the UK it seems that these types of cases are being managed really differently. I’ve just been told I’ll be invited back for another smear next year?

In terms of pregnancy I wasn’t offered a stich as a) they didn’t seem to know about my history I had to explain it to every midwife! And b) my complications in my first pregnancy didn’t begin until around 30 weeks which was too late for a stitch so bed rest and steroid shots were given to help the baby instead. Having said that I do have a friend who, for the same reasons, and a previous premature pregnancy did have the stitch and managed to carry to pretty much full term so it did do the trick.

I hope your colp appt goes well and provides you with greater clarity as I say. 

So, a year on and at the beginning of the month I went for a repeat smear after all of my previous history and being found to be HPV positive. Two weeks to the day after my test and the secretary from my GP surgery calls to say the results of a recent test you had have shown something and the doctor has asked me to enquire as to if you have had any treatment. I told her that it was a smear test I had had recently and that i'd had treatment to remove pre cancerous cells once before about ten years ago now.I'm unsure why the GP couldn't find this information for themselves on my file and I'm now very worried and ask the secretary what will happen next. She says I'm sorry, not sure, you'll hear from the doctor. I'm obviously thinking the very worst at this stage! 24 hours later and a letter drops onto my doormat saying your smear still shows HPV infection but we would like to collect more cells with regard to judging cell changes as this sample was inadequate?! I now therefore have to return for yet another smear in three months time at the beginning of October. I just wanted to know if anyone had experienced anything similar before? I really don't know what to think and I'm trying to put it to the back of my mind for the next few months now but I really am spooked to be honest.