So what exactly was wrong with me?

Hi there,

New to the forums (lurker).

My story goes, im 28, been with my husband since i was 21 (not my first partner or vice versa), we have two children together (ones 3 and the others 1) and in Sept 2012, 8 months after the birth of my daughter i had my first ever smear and it came back CIN3. I mention the fact id recently had a baby because my delivery wasnt exactly normal- i gave birth in 20min, never had regular contractions and i also needed a manual placenta removal afterwards which was quite physically traumatic. 

So i have my colposcopy and i/they can see the white damaged cells, this was removed and my pathology reports say they removed all the cells cleanly and it was actually CIN2. Fine.

Then i go back 6 months later (March 2013) and have my follow up colposcopy and smear. First of all, much to the consultants surprise, nothing visible has grown back. I ask him 'could my delivery have caused this?' and he says 'No, its caused by the HPV virus'. My smear results come back that i had no further dyskarious and there was also no high risk HPV.

Im therefore not entirely sure what the hell has happened to my body.

Could a low grade HPV virus (which i havent been tested for) reared its ugly head during pregnancy/delivery and caused a CIN2/3?

Could i have fought off and made a high risk HPV virus dormant?

Could the CIN have been caused by something else ie recent delivery?

I am so very confused.

Hi there - I don’t think any of us Forum members can aswer all your questions, but Jo’s Trust does have an ‘Ask the Expert’ service and I understand they are very helpful. However, I think you may have to get used to the idea that you may never know all the whys and wherefores exactly as there are still a lot of unknowns.

By the way, I think HPV is a bit of a red herring in all this. I have read posts from women on here worrying themselves silly about HPV when really it isn’t something we can do much about. Nearly everybody has it at some point, it can lay dormant for a long time and nobody really knows why sometimes our immune systems don’t deal with it very well, although lower grade abnormalities can correct themselves, particularly in younger women.

I know it’s tough and you’ve had a scare, but do try not to worry too much. They will be monitoring you going forward and you probably have lots of other things to worry about with a young child to look after.

All the best x


It's unlikely that the HPV 'activated' during pregnancy if what they found in September was CIN2 - it would have had to have been there for longer to get to CIN2, rather than CIN1 or borderline. Typically, HPV has been in our bodies for years and years before it causes any abnormalities in cells - to be honest, it's pretty likely that you contracted HPV the first or second time you ever had sex - it's incredibly common and as Rosehip said, is not really the issue, even though I know it can feel like it is. You probably had CIN before you got pregnant, it's just that it was picked up afterwards. 

It sounds like what's happened is they've successfully treated the CIN, which is great news, and that this has triggered the appropriate immune response for your body to get rid of the HPV. This is backed up by no recurrence of CIN at your second smear and a negative result on the high grade HPV test. If this is what's happened (and you can always consult 'Ask the Expert' if you want to) then you will now be immune to that strain of HPV. This is great news, congratulations! 

I hope this helps. 

Annabel. x