scared and confused

I had an abnormal pap in November. It showed LSIL or mild dysplasia. I have read that this often clears on its own. I have put off getting the colposcopy. I am confused. If this normally clears on its own why do I need a colposcopy? I have always had normal paps in the past. I am 40 years old and in otherwise great health. How concerned should I be about this LSIL?

Hi there

I am very similar to you - 45 years old and up til last year I had only had normal smear results. The thing to bear in mind is that the pap test gets a pretty small sample of cells, and all that the results tell them is the state of those cells. My test came back 'borderline' but when  I went to the colposcopy, the doctor told me that there was a fair little area of affected cells and she would estimate mild or moderate changes. She took a few biopsies, and told me that if it came back mild, they would wait and see if it sorted itself, but if it was moderate, they would treat it.

Long story short, it came back mostly mild but with some moderate areas, so I did need treatment. The colposcopy will show them more than the smear results, so it's a good idea to go along and be sure of what the results are. 9 times out of 10 they will be the same as the smear and they will simply ask youj to come back for a check in a year, but in some cases the colpo will show up something else and at least then you can be treated while it's still a small area and not too severe.

Hope that helps