Newbie here! I was hoping you guys might be to help me with understanding what happens next..
I went to the doctor originally as I was having some bleeding between periods which really isn't like me. I had already had one smear a couple of years ago (I'm 28) which came back as normal but my doctor recommended that I have another one. I got the results back and they said I had some mild cell changes which needed investigating and a colposcopy.
I went for the colposcopy where they did two punch biopsies and I've just got the results back after waiting 5 weeks (felt like a lifetime!) and they say that I've got CIN 2 and need treatment. I have an appointment in two weeks but I'm not sure what they are going to do as it doesn't say in the letter.
I've had a look online (dangerous to be googling but I need hate not knowing) and it sounds like LLETZ is the most common procedure - does that sound right? Do they actually look at the tissue they've removed and if so, is it possible it could be more advanced than CIN 2?
Trying not to worry too much but I don't know if this is quite common to have and routine or whether it's quite serious and could potentially get worse. It also worries me a bit that it's progressed that quickly - could it have got worse in the last 5 weeks (and the next two) too?
Feel a bit clueless at the moment so if anyone could share their knowledge/experiences I would appreciate it :)
Thanks ladies!! :)
You've landed in the right place - you will find everything you need to know on here and I have found it brilliant so far.
Your situation is similar to mine (except I am probably a lot older than you :-) ). After normal smears from age 25 to 44 I had one come back with 'borderline changes and high risk HPV' so got sent off for a colposcopy. My GP told me that borderline was as mild as mild can be, not to worry and that they would just have a look to be safe.
The consultant who did the colposcopy took 3 biopsies from the affected area and I asked what she thought, based on her visual inspection. She said CIN1 or CIN2, but we'll know for sure when we get the biopsy results back. Interestingly she also said that 'borderline' can mean "we can't really tell based on the smear sample". The smear gets a pretty small number of cells, and biopsies a rather more useful sample size, hence the CIN level can go up from smear to biopsy.
Mine came back as CIN2, so I am booked in for treatment, although I have delayed it until after my holiday. I will be having LLETZ and most likely you will too. They do send the bit that they lop out during the LLETZ off for analysis too, so there are some stories on here of people being told yet another CIN level when the results of the LLETZ analysis come back (and also a few who have had minute CC detected like this - trying not to dwell on that though!)
It probably hasnt progressed in 5 weeks, it's just that you've had tests that can give a clearer result. My doctor wasnt at all concerned about me postponing treatment for a month and said that nothing is likely to change in such a short space of time.
It seems that the whole colposcopy/CIN/treatment thing is quite common. I read somewhere (can't remember where) that something like a 5th of smear tests come back abnormal, so presumably that means quite a lot of the female population will be in our situation at some point.
Also worth mentioning in case you are very nervous, my consultant did offer me the option of LLETZ under general anaesthetic if I wanted it. I said no, because I am self-employed and never had a GA in my life, so unsure how badly it'll affect me. You might want to ask though if you'd prefer to wake up and it to all be over!
Best of luck with the treatment, hopefully that will be an end to it
Elise x x
I can't really add anything that Elise hasn't added, but I had precisely the same situation - first smear was clear, second showed high grade (moderate) dyskaryosis, or CIN 2. Colposcopy and biopsies were taken at the end of April and confirmed CIN2, but no LLETZ was done there and then because a) it wasn't obvious there was moderate abnormality, and they only do LLETZ if they need to (think exceptions are made for women with CIN1 who are super stressed by it) and b) I was travelling. So treatment was done about 6 weeks after the initial Colposcopy.
I can't for the life of me find it, but I found online in my Googling phase - when I'd decided I had some serious cancer going on - a diagram showing that abnormal cells tend to progress from normal to abnormal, so CIN1/2/3 in about 24 months. And then in some women abnormality of CIN2/3 will progress to cervical cancer over 10 to 30 years if left untreated. So, abnormality presents quite quickly, cancer does not and having abnormal cells doesn't mean there's anything sinister going on. Basically, try not to worry, and nothing dodgy will happen over the course of 5 weeks :)
Thank you so much for replying - I can't tell you how reassuring this message is! I didn't realise it was quite as common as that.
Did they tell you that you were having LLETZ in your letter then? I'm just suprised there's nothing in my letter to say, though googling implies that will be the case.
When is your treatment?
Thank god for this forum!!! I've been panicking but feel better now, thank you.
That's a pretty good point - I need to get it out of my head that it'll turn into cancer overnight! To be fair, I did have a smear a couple of years ago anyway and that was normal, so there's only much growing it could do in that time.
Did you have LLETZ? What was it like if so? I'm a bit worried about the bleeding etc, I've never got on well with sanitary towels and even the two weeks after the coposcopy were horrible!!!
To be honest I think pretty much most of us had that kind of thought process, so don't be too harsh on yourself :)
Yes, I had LLETZ on the 10th and it was fine. Bit weird but not at all painful. I had one killer cramp in the evening when the local anaesthetic wore off but that was basically it pain-wise. I have had quite a lot of bleeding since last Friday (kind of like a light period that's got a bit heavier) but this seems to be fairly run of the mill stuff I'm afraid! Having said that we are all different. I've read about some women having an ash-like discharge which I haven't had. I was hoping my period had just been brought on early but knowing my luck that'll be bang on time next week. I'm no fan of sanitary towels either but it's just a few weeks I suppose, could be worse!
There was a leaflet in with my letter, which was about colposcopy and LLETZ, and said that if the consultant can see at the colposcopy that there is probably CIN2 or CIN3, they will treat it on the day.
Because mine was not sure whether it was CIN1 or CIN2, she didn't want to risk treating unnecessarily so we waited for biopsy results.
My letter for my second appointment does specifically say that it's for LLETZ, and has some more info (like don't plan on going back to work that day)
I will be going for treatment on the 24th July, after I come back from holidays. I didn't want to risk still having the after-effects of the treatment while I was on holiday, so chose to put it off until afterwards. I can't say that I am looking forward to it much, but most of the ladies who have had it say it's not too bad, and in many cases that they found the colposcopy and biopsies worse than the LLETZ.
Stay in touch and let us know how you get on