I live in Scotland and had an abnormal smear test a year ago (borderline changes) This in itself didn’t worry me, but I also had a lot of irregular bleeding including bleeding after sex.

I went to see my Gp about this and she reassured me that it would be down to my implanon (I had irregular bleeding since I got the implant) I am sure this is most likely but just wanted to rule out any more concerning causes. The Gp told me that if there was anything to worry about it would have been picked up on my smear. She said if I was still worried I could take Norethisterone and if this stopped the bleeding I would know that the bleeding wasn’t anything to worry about. So I took it for a short while, it stopped the irregular bleeding and I then stopped worrying about it for a while.

I felt anxious again when I had my next smear, but that also showed borderline changes and I was told I would have another smear again in 6 months. I am due this smear to follow up next week.

But then I saw a post which had been shared on Facebook by a girl who had a normal smear but had cancer and the only way she knew was because of irregular bleeding. Being given incorrect information from my Gp, made me also wonder if her advice about taking Norethisterone to check the source of the bleeding was correct.

This made me worry as my Gp had told me that wasn’t possible, so it reignited all the worries.

I am due to get the implant removed so thought I would discuss my concerns with my new Gp (I have since moved practice) at my appointment for that. But unfortunately I have had to wait a month to see a female Gp.

I have still got a week and a half to go, I know that most likely it will all be fine, but all the waiting is causing me stress. I phoned this morning to try to get an earlier appointment, but it wasn’t possible unless it’s urgent, which I guess it isn’t.

I just feel really upset because if my last Gp had given me better advice, I could have had the implant removed sooner and then I would know for sure if the implant was causing the bleeding and it could have saved me all this worry. Also if I was in England I would have been hpv tested after my first smear and then if the abnormal smear was anything to worry about I would have been referred for a Colposcopy.

I also feel a bit in the dark about the protocols for screening in Scotland. I asked the nurse when I had my last smear if I kept having borderline changes at my smears if and when I would be referred for a colposcopy or will I stay having the six monthly smears indefinitely. But she didn’t seem to know. I am going to ask at my next appointment, but in the meantime if anyone knows what the protocols are in Scotland it would be really helpful.

I am sorry for moaning as I am sure other people have more to worry about. But I haven’t told anyone about my concerns, my partner is away and it’s not something I find easy to talk about with my friends, so having to wait so long to speak to someone about it and meanwhile constantly having to fight with myself to stop stressing about it is tiring. I even tried to phone the Jo Trust helpline earlier but it wasn’t possible to get through.

I guess there is nothing I can do but wait, but if anyone has any strategies for controlling the worries in the meantime let me know?

If you had a borderline smear which they are repeating six monthly then I wouldn't be overly concerned if I were you. They are closely monitoring for any changes. In general cervical cancer is slow growing so abnormal cells take a long time to become cancerous (and are often discovered and removed before this happens) and if there is cancer present it takes a long time for it to grow and spread. For example I waited two months between my diagnosis and my hysterectomy because I wanted to go to Glastonbury and my consultant wasn't at all concerned by this. 

It may have been wise to have taken an appointment with a male GP so that you could be seen and have had your mind out at rest sooner. They are equally well trained and sensitive as female GPs! Alternatively it is usually possible to speak to a GP on the phone to discuss concerns if you dont require a physical examination and are struggling to get an appointment. 

I hope you manage to talk to someone and get some reassurance soon. 


Im in the same boat as you. I live in Scotland and have had 2 minor changes smears (im back in another 6 months). 

I had irregualar bleeding and i was also on the implant. Im quite lucky that my GP is very good and she was able to put my mind at rest about the smear tests. She did however tell me that my bleeding was most likely down to the implant so i had it removed three months ago, i've only bled twice since and the times it happened was typical of a period so i really do thibk your bleeding is down to that. It also helps to add i feel 100000x better now. I dont worry as much and my headhaches etc have gone, The implant is a good form of contraception but it really does play havock with some people. 

I guess its hard not to worry, i spent the first half of this year making myself miserable but minor changes/borderline are so small. My GP said they arent even guaranteed to be abnormal (could be an infection). Maybe once you get the implant out you can speak to your new GP and hopefully she can shed some light for you. At least you're being kept an eye on now. 

Im not 100% sure on the protocols for Scotland i think it varies from region to region maybe? Someone i know had borderline changes from the ages of 20 to 26 and she just had to keep going back every 6 months. Eventually she demanded a closer look and everything looked fine. So she didnt need any treatment and eventually it sorted itself out. 

Sorry this was so long i just feel like our situations are very similar so hopefully i've helped even a teeny bit. 


Holly x :)