Just been told I have CIN3 - very scared!

Hi - I had smear test done on 12 December. It had almost been 5 years since the last one (I'm 56 so it's every 5 years now).  I'd not heard anything for 6 weeks so thought it must be good news.  I decided to chase it up the other day and was given the news that I had severe changes CIN3.  I thought it there was an abnormality I would have been contacted earlier?  Anyway, I've always had my tests on time, the last one, 5 years ago was fine. My GP says that abnormalities can take 10 years to show up. I can't understand then why nothing showed up last time and yet now I'm CIN3.  My GP says I may need a cone biopsy. Can anyone help? x

HI Annalou,

I had my first smear back in november and that showed high abnormalities- went for a colposcopy on 12th December and they took two biopsies, got my resulst on new years eve that i also have CIN3. Im booked in for 6th feb for lletz treatment to remove all the abnormalities.

My understanding of it is that there are three gradings 1,2,3 and that the grading depends on how deep into the lining of your cervix they are- the actual space it covers could be so tiny.

Im presuming the next step for you will be to have your colposcopy and treatment all in one go perhaps seeing as they have already been able to grade your abnormality- i had my colposcopy where they just did a biopsy as they hadnt graded it yet which is why i had to wait for results and then go back for treatment.

The whole process is scary- but youll be in safe hands from now and should try not to worry! :) xxx

Hi xhhx - thank you so much for replying.  I've been able to get a fairly fast colposcopy appointment on Thursday 31 Jan (due to a cancellation). I've not received any written notification of my results, just my gynaecologist phoned Thursday evening to tell me about the abnormalities and that a colposcopy would be required. I'd been chasing the reults for about 2 weeks as my smear test was 12 December. 6.5 weeks does seem a long wait for results.

I saw my GP yesterday who said it was severe and CIN3. I've read quite a bit on various websites and it would appear that CIN3 is quite rare to find in women my age (56). 

My GP mentioned the cone biopsy which doesn't sound like a bundle of laughs ... all still very scary stuff!

Good Luck with your appointment on 6 Feb


Hi there,

i have had a similar situation. I am 45 no previous abnormal smears and had a CIN3 - possible invasion result out of no where in Oct 2012. My journey from then on was firstly an appointment with a Gynaecologic Oncologist for a colposcopy - a very scarey wait. At the appointment he did a punch biopsy which didn't hurt ( sounds far worse) and was able to confirm Pap smear CiN3 diagnosis but said he wanted to book me in for cone biopsy as the orignal smear had indicated possible invasion. Three days later I was in for the cone biopsy which was under a general  but only day surgery. i was told that the cone biopsy would provide a clear indication of the degree of changes and whether they were surface only or had started grow deeper. i think sometimes age is a factor, I know that when I read many of these forums not many womErewash been sent for cones and were offered Leetz treatment instead following the colposcopy. I have had my 2 children and treatment options obviously take the whole picture into account.  Then there was more waiting for the results. The waiting is always the worst!

Hope this helps you. 




Hi there - thank you so much for replying.  I think it may well be that I'll have to have a cone biopsy as my GP has already suggested it.  Do they usually opt for a hysterectomy if the woman has already had her family and/or been through the menopause? 

I wonder if older women have to go for a cone biopsy as routine almost?  Does anyone know how long cone biopsy results take to come through?

Thanks to everyone for all your help










Firstly sorry about the odd spelling. I love my iPad but hate that it changes my spelling.

 I can only speak for myself and the advice I was given by my Consultant. I didn't want to frighten you and mention the dreaded word hysterectomy but that was the next step for me, given as I say I already have my family. My cone biopsy results took just over two weeks and unfortunately it showed a very small area of the earliest cancer 1a1 so six weeks after the cone I went in for a laproscopic hysterectomy (4th Dec 2012). I had to wait a minimim of 6 weeks between these two proceedures to allow for healing. My Consultant made it clear that given I didn't want to have any more kids hysterectomy was the safest option - but if I had been 24 and wanting to start a family the advice and journey might be different. The cone enabled him to know the extent of the changes in my cervix conclusively. The treatment that followed (hysterectomy) was based on the biopsy results and I guess if it had that been different ie just CIN3 or dowgraded to CIN2 so might my treatment - and maybe I would not have needed a hysterectomy.

I kept my ovaries because I haven't been through menopausee but tubes and everything else went.  I have recently had my 6 week check up from the hysterectomy and will not need chemo or any further treatment just yearly vagina/ vault  smears. 

The 31st might seem like a lifetime away now but I am sure that you will have a more certain pathway afterwards.

I know how frightening this all is. I have gone through a whole range of emotions and to be honest I think the worst part is all the waiting and the not knowing what pathway you are on. This site has been great for me and the women who share here have been a tremendous help.


Hi there

Thank you so much for sharing your case with me - I'm so pleased that you don't need any further treatment.

My colposcopy is going to be on Thursday 31 Jan and to be honest, I'd like my gynaecologist to perform a hysterectomy whatever the outcome of it is.  I'm 56 and post menopausal so it seems to make sense to me to go that route.  I'm not sure whether I'll be able to request that though. 

I was given the news about my abnormal  results by telephone on Thursday evening and now my gynaecologist and GP are away for the next week so there's no-one to discuss my treatment with.  Before he went away, my GP phoned me and seemed to think I'll need a cone biopsy and it makes me wonder if he has any further information about my results that I don't know about. He just said the results showed severe changes - I asked if that meant CIN 3 and he said yes, he didn't elaborate further.  I've not had a letter or anything.  If fact, I had to chase up the results myself as it was over 6 weeks since I'd had it done and hadn't heard a thing. 

I became concerned about not hearing and spoke to a couple of people who had smears taken at the same time as me and they had both had their (clear) results back within 2 weeks. Has anyone else had to wait over 6 weeks?

Thank you all so much for your help and support.