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Colposcopy after abnormal smear

(29 Posts)
DanceDanceDance80 Thu 10-Oct-19 14:11:44

Hi, I'm not really sure why I'm posting. I think just for reassurance. A year ago I had a routine smear where I found out I had HPV but no abnormal cells. Fast forward to this year for another smear and I still have HPV but with abnormal cells now. I'm being referred to hospital for a colopscopy and I'm shit scared. Can anyone give me any advice or if you was in the same situation.
Thankyou

Posted in health but no replies.

spiderlight Thu 10-Oct-19 14:46:47

Hi. I had an abnormal smear 11 years ago - it was classed as widespread, severe CIN III, which is the final precancerous stage, so I was absolutely terrified. The first thing I'll say to you is the first thing the colposcopy nurse said to me when I walked into the clinic: 'You're in the system now. Whatever this is, we can sort it - it's the people who don't go for their smears who have the real problems'.

Anyway, from the beginning - I got my dodgy smear results while I was at the GP's for something else entirely, and my GP got straight on the phone and sorted me out with an appointment at the colposcopy clinic within a couple of days. They did a colposcopy (which basically feels much like a smear but lasts a bit longer, with the option of seeing your own cervix on a screen), plus a couple of biopsies, which pinched a bit but didn't really hurt. The doctor told me that even the advanced stage of my abnormal cells would take ten years to turn properly cancerous, if they were going to turn at all, so that was reassuring. I had a loop excision about three weeks later, and was in the 1% of people who had to have a second loop excision, because at my six-month follow-up there were still some abnormal cells left. They took a wider margin the second time to be absolutely sure it had all gone. I've had clear smears ever since then. They were six-monthly at first, then annually, but for the past few years I've been back on the normal three-yearly cycle.

As far as the actual procedures are concerned, the first thing to say is that everyone at the colposcopy clinic was so, so kind and gentle and respectful, and they got me through it with as much reassurance and dignity as possible. There was a bit of discomfort during the loop excision, but only when the local anaesthetic was going in. The rest of it was just a bit of pushing and prodding. Bit of bleeding afterwards for a few days. I'm 11 years down the road now and have had no further problems.

If there's anything else you'd like to ask me privately, feel free to PM me. I'm holding your hand flowers

DanceDanceDance80 Thu 10-Oct-19 14:50:30

Thankyou so much. That's so helpful.
Do you find out anything at the colposcopy appointment or do you have to wait for the results?

redhotketchup999 Thu 10-Oct-19 14:53:39

I had CIN3, which as stated previously is the final stage before they turn cancerous.
I also had other symptoms such as irregular bleeding (the reason I went for a smear) which REALLY made me worry that I had cervical cancer. Also I had left it 8 years between smears, stupidly.
Anyway I went to the colposcopy clinic. They were all lovely.
They did a LLETZ procedure and then sent the result off.
The results showed CIN3 but with a clear margin meaning they got it all.
I had a clear smear test 6 months later and then I was put back on 3 yearly smear tests.
My last one perhaps 10 months ago also came back as HPV negative so in my area they don’t send the smears off if you are HPV negative which worries me slightly, but hey ho.

redhotketchup999 Thu 10-Oct-19 14:55:27

They pointed out the dodgy cells to me on the screen at the appointment. I believe they put dye on them and the dodgy ones show up.
In the appointment she said she was confident they had got them all, but to just wait for a letter confirming this.
If there were still cells remaining then I would have been asked to go back for another LLETZ procedure.

FrangipaniBlue Thu 10-Oct-19 14:55:44

I was in your boat a year ago OP, also shitting my pants.

During the colposcopy examination the nurse said she could see the abnormal patches of cells, she took three biopsies which hurt like hell and wouldn't stop bleeding. I was beside myself for 4 weeks but the results came back all fine.

I had to go back for another colposcopy 18 months later as a precaution - just been yesterday.

It was the same nurse and she said the patch of abnormal cells was visibly smaller this time round so it looks like my immune system is doing it's things and fighting them off.

I've still got to wait for the results of the smear and colposcopy they took but I'm feeling a little better than I did 18 months ago!

redhotketchup999 Thu 10-Oct-19 14:56:55

Also I didn’t have any biopsies taken.
They just looked at the cells with the camera and took them straight off. They then took what they had removed and sent it off for testing.

TheQueens Thu 10-Oct-19 14:57:37

Everyone's story is different but I hope you have a similar experience to me, I went for colposcopy and there wasn't anything of concern at all, I was discharged back to having normal 3 yearly smears smile the funny thing was the nurse kept talking about a substance covering my cervix that was getting the way and wouldn't move. Got home and googled it, google returned a verdict of me being pregnant and that the start of my 'plug' forming, I thought it must be something different.... Found out exactly 2 weeks later that I was pregnant!

shadesofgreytoo Thu 10-Oct-19 14:59:59

It isn't very pleasant. I had one. Recently had a check up which was again uncomfortable.

I wish they would give you a general anaesthetic for the loop procedure

It will be ok though

SoundofSilence Thu 10-Oct-19 15:06:40

I have a positive tale too. Stage 3 pre-cancerous cells found about 20 years ago. I had a biopsy and loop excision and found the picture of my cervix highly interesting. I was rather disappointed when they turned the screen before the actual procedure, although I might be alone on that one. The staff were fantastic, really warm and reassuring and made me feel as secure as possible.

It was all resolved in one treatment. Afterwards I had what presented as a very long period. No cramps or heavy flows, but needed to use a sanitary towel for a while. I had annual smears for a few years afterwards, then dropped to the standard 3 years, and now 5 years as I enter menopause.

I was scared as hell in the lead up to the treatment and pretty much ate my own weight in chocolate digestives, but in the end it was fine. Except for the size increase with came with eating my own weight in chocolate digestives, that is. That took a while to shift.

BravoStrong Thu 10-Oct-19 15:29:58

I had the same donkeys years ago - probably 15 years ago?

I had a colposcopy and follow up smears and no issues since. The actual colposcopy did sting, I bled a bit after but nothing a sanitary towel couldn’t cope with.

I can’t actually remember any other specific treatment but my smears have been normal since.

moreismore Thu 10-Oct-19 15:37:20

I was in an identical situation about 8 yrs ago and haven’t had an abnormal smear since. HPV also clear since then.

MissBridgetJones Thu 10-Oct-19 15:40:08

Exactly what @spiderlight said. *
*
I had the exact same procedures up to the second LLETS.

High grade, level three etc. Absolutely petrified! This was in June and July this year.

They got the pesky cells on the second go, I'll be back In January for a check.

I didn't find the Excision painful at all, but the nurse assured me she had given me plenty of a anaesthetic (which stung a bit).

You can have sex for a month while it heals...

I found the info on Jo's Cervical cancer trust website brilliant x

spiderlight Thu 10-Oct-19 15:45:26

@DanceDanceDance80 - the doctor who did the colposcopy said to me straight away as he was looking at the screen 'That's not cancer, and it's not going to turn into cancer for at least ten years'. He gave me as much info as he possibly could from what he could see visually - he was absolutely brilliant.

shadesofgreytoo Thu 10-Oct-19 17:04:11

Yes Jo's is so helpful.

Talktome101 Thu 10-Oct-19 18:15:13

Another positive from me. Also had CIN3 and a loop which got everything. I had annual smears for five years afterwards which all came back normal and am now back on every three years. Best of luck to you. I remember how scared I was but the team at the hospital I went to were fantastic and really made me feel like it was no big deal.

DanceDanceDance80 Fri 11-Oct-19 12:10:31

Just re read the letter again and it says borderline changes to the cells.

I'm getting very anxious now as I still haven't received a letter for my appt and I can't get through to my doctors.

CharlieB93 Fri 11-Oct-19 13:27:59

Hello OP, I had borderline changes last July (first ever smear).
Went to have colposcopy after a couple of days, same as smear test except legs in stirrups instead of just on table. Lovely nurse explained everything in detail before anything was done. TV screen next to my head so i could see what was going on. She put a cotton bud with some liquid onto my cervix that made the bad cells 'light' up and showed where to take a biopsy from. Was over in around 5 minutes, spent the whole procedures discussing our pets (dogs).
Results came in the post approx 2 weeks after. Its really nothing to worry about but I know how you feel, i'm very squeamish and a bit of a prude so I was dreading it.
It'll be over before you know it, good on your for going for smear tests though, they're so important x

HoldMyLobster Fri 11-Oct-19 15:14:24

I had CIN3, colposcopy and LLETZ procedure back in 1996.

All my smears since then have been clear, my HPV tests are negative, I've had three babies. I'm now back to smears every 5 years.

It does make me wonder if I'd be alive now if I hadn't gone for those smears back in my 20s. I'm now 50 and very glad I did.

raisinseverywhere Fri 11-Oct-19 15:24:30

I’ve got a colcoscopy soon. How will I feel afterwards? Will I be ok getting the train home or should I get a taxi? Should I take the next day off work? My recent smear test was extremely painful and I felt very tender for about a week after, so I’m really worried about this colposcopy.

raisinseverywhere Fri 11-Oct-19 15:25:53

I have high risk HPV but the smear was normal, so I’m not sure why I’m having a colcoscopy - probably to double check the cells?

fromcitytocountry Fri 11-Oct-19 15:31:53

Earlier this year my smear test came back with severe abnormalities. Within two weeks I was in for a colposcopy.
They couldn't see anything on the screen but took biopsies. These don't hurt...just ask to cough when they snip them so you don't feel it.

They said they wanted to see me for a smear in November. However I was then sent a letter for colposcopy at the end of October.
This was due for the 21st but has now been moved forward by a week as they've said they need to see me sooner 😬. Hopefully it will all be ok 🤞

OP now is the best time to find something because it can be dealt with, whatever the severity.
Good luck and I hope everything is ok for you too. 🤞🤞

CharlieB93 Fri 11-Oct-19 15:45:07

@raisinseverywhere I went straight to work after mine, just make sure you take someone you trust as when you’re sat waiting I can remember wishing I had someone with me! I felt a bit emotional after but I think it’s because I worked myself up x

spiderlight Fri 11-Oct-19 16:00:50

I'd get a taxi home if I were you, @raisinseverywhere - I felt physically OK after mine but my legs were a bit shaky and I was a bit emotional. A duvet day afterwards might be in order but I don't remember feeling particularly tender. Hope it goes OK.

HoldMyLobster Fri 11-Oct-19 16:03:29

I’ve got a colcoscopy soon. How will I feel afterwards? Will I be ok getting the train home or should I get a taxi? Should I take the next day off work? My recent smear test was extremely painful and I felt very tender for about a week after, so I’m really worried about this colposcopy.

When I had mine done they gave me very effective pain relief for the procedure itself. It was when it wore off that everything got sore - I think I took a taxi home. I'd consider taking the next day off work. Also bear in mind you'll bleed for a few weeks, and won't be able to use tampons.

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