Scared I have cervical cancer

Hi ladies,

I wanted to seek out a community like this one full of kindness and support because I'm pretty freaked out right now. I'm 33 years old, never had an abnormal Pap. Let me back up - for the past year and a half or so, I've been having symptoms that none of the several gynecologists I've seen could diagnose: pain during sex, bleeding during and after sex, strange discharge (very light yellow, doesn't smell "foul" but definitely has an odor). I'd been tested for the standard STD's, for BV and yeast. Tested positive for yeast once, but after treatment the problem didn't go away, yet re-test showed no yeast. 

Anyway! I decided the other week that I wanted to switch from oral contraceptives (which I've been on for 16 years) to an IUD, because my doctor and I thought that possibly the estrogen in the pill was causing my symptoms. So I go in to get the IUD, and the doctor comes in and says, "So we were going to do an IUD placement today, but we listerally JUST got your Pap results back..." So the Pap was normal, but I have high risk HPV (16). I was on my period at the time so she couldn't do the colposcopy, but we're doing it this coming Monday. Normally I wouldn't be this freaked out, but now that I've done some research and know the symptoms of cervical really seems to fit what I've been going through that hasn't been able to be diagnosed.

So yeah the colpsocopy/biopsy is on Monday and I'm scared...of the biopsy itself, and then waiting a week for the results, and then the possibility of those results being cancer. I guess more than anything I just wanted to type this all out and hope other people who have been in my situation may read it so I won't feel so alone and scared. Any words about your experiences or anything at all are more than welcome.

Thank you for reading! :)


Hi Kristen

From what I understand, if you have no cell abnormalities on your smear the chances of you having cancer are next to zero. HPV would cause CIN1, then CIN2, then CIN3 before it even progressed to being cancer and you are not even at CIN1 yet.

The colposcopy itself is not so bad. I had an awful doctor and even then it was tolerable. I'll be honest my biopsy wasn't great, but they did four and the first one they did I have no idea what happened as it really hurt - the next three I barely even felt. I bled for about 3 days and am still having some dull cramps about 10 days on but after around 4 days I felt pretty normal.

It is unusual they would do a biopsy when you do not have abnormal cells, even if somebody has CIN1 and in some cases CIN2 they would not do any treatment as the body usually fights off HPV by itself and resolves the issue. You would usually just get a recall for another smear in 6-12 months to make sure your body was clearing up the HPV successfully.

I don't think you need to worry at all, although I completely understand it's almost impossible not to! At least you are getting this all seen to.

There are lots of reasons for bleeding during and after sex, and pain. I have had this problem for years and it turned out to be due to microtears - which are accompanied by a stinging pain and a small amount of blood.

I hope you manage to stop worrying a little


Thanks so much for your response Kay. :) You have managed to make my worries subside a little bit, which I very much appreciate. Was there anything they could do to treat the microtears? 


I'm glad you feel a little better :) if you do need real reassurance don't feel bad calling your doctor. It is their job to make you feel better! I am freaking out a bit at the minute, so I called my work Employee Assistance Program. Lots of companies have these for their employees and most don't even know about it, I was able to speak to a counsellor over the phone who helped me a lot.

There is not much they can do for microtears unfortunately, but I have another health condition that causes my skin and tissues to be very fragile so it is just one of those things for me. For other women, though, there are things they can recommend - if you do find that is your problem you can actually speak to a person who deals usually with helping disabled people in sexual relationships and they can advise around aids and methods that can ease the pain and reduce tearing. In a way, I hope that's all it is for you!

Also thrush can cause pain during sex apparently, they kept telling me for ages I had the pain because I had thrush! x

Hi Kirsten 

Try not to worry, I had symptoms including bleeding after sex for 6 months, have always had up to date and clear smears, but was still teriffied.  After a 6 week wait I finally had my colposcopy last thursday. The exam itself wasn't bad at all, a bit longer than a smear but pretty much the same, the doctor and nurse where very nice to me and explained everything, my friend came with me which I found really helpful and she was able to stay with me. 

Turns out I have no abnormal cells which is fab, but the bleeding was coming from a slight doubling over of skin or something, I think it was more like a graze on the cervix.  I can't remember what it is called but anyway the doctor said it is cause by hormonal changes and it is just pot luck/chance that it happens.  He asked if I would like a treatment called cryotherapy which just freezes the wound and allows a new layer of skin to grow over, took around 5 minutes and gave me a few stomach cramps afterwards for around 30 minutes.   

It was a very simple procedure and not serious at all.  So although I know you always have the 'What if' factor in your head, try and keep calm.

All the best 


Hi I have all the same symptoms like pain during sex irregular bleeding lower pelvic pain my gp diagnosed endemetriosis but I wasn't satisfied my last smear can back abnormal with hpv had my colposcopy Tues just gone had 3 punch biopsies taken which was uncomfortable but not painful just felt stinging sensation just waiting on results which can take up to 3 weeks I myself am 33 my last smear was normal but in between smears been having these problems anyway good luck with yours and try not worry as it makes things so much worse xxxxxx