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abnormal smear test(19 Posts)
Hi, I've had an abnormal smear test and have my follow up further investigation/biopsy in a couple of weeks and starting to get a bit nervous about it. I know it will more than likely be all fine but would be grateful if anyone could share their experience of the biopsy and results so I have an idea of the various outcomes that might happen? TIA
Hi. What level of abnormal did you get? I had CIN III (The most severe) and was understandably bloody terrified.
I only had to wait a week for my colposcopy (assume thats what you're having?).
The colposcopy was ok really, similar to a smear, but legs up in stirrups. Then she used a microscope thing, then the tv screen to the side of me showed a very magnified version of my cervix. She then inserted a solution to show up the abnormal cells. There were only 2, and I had the option of coming back at a later date, or having them removed there and then. I chose to have them removed right away to get it over with.
First she injected some local anaesthetic into my cervix (not gonna lie, that bit hurt but only for a second). Then she removed the cells using the LLETZ procedure. This is a heated wire that burns the cells away. Didnt feel this at all but the smell was horrific. The nurse advised me not to watch the screen during the procedure, although DH did watch!!
They sent part of it off for biopsy which came back clear, although she had already said at the time that it definitely didnt look like cancer.
I was told that it takes around 10 years for the abnormal cells to progress to cancer. It was my first ever smear and I had been sexually active for about 8/9 years by then, so I was worried as I obviously had no idea how long the cells had been abnormal.
As hard as it sounds, try not to worry. . A site that I found helpful was Jo's Trust (sorry not sure of the www but if you google it it will come up) x
Basically what ots said. I had cin2/3, I was
shitting myself really nervous before I went in but the nurses put me at ease. The biopsy doesn't hurt one bit. They may get you to cough at this point, all I felt was a little tug, no pain.
The solution they put on stings ever so slightly when they put it on and you will see your cervix close up
which is weird . I was also told there and then that it didn't look like anything to worry about
I had the cells removed under a GA as I'm needle phobic and was freaking out a bit lol. It took around 6 weeks for the results to come back from the biopsy and had to have a follow up smear 6 months after the op which came back clear
Thanks very much to you both, that's been really helpful. I haven't actually been told what type of abnormal cells they are but maybe I should have been? Have just been referred for the colposcopy and the biopsy. Hopefully it's just a case of there being a few abnormal cells that they can remove there and then. I had my last smear test four years ago and it came back clear so I think that would be too short a time frame for anything too nasty to have developed? That Jo's Trust website was really informative, thanks for recommending it.
tumbletime It must be a scary time for you. If you haven't been told, you might well just have a borderline abnormality. This is very common. I have had mainly abnormal smears (just one normal one which promptly went back to abnormal). I've always had a colposcopy and a biopsy relatively soon after the abnormal smear. These procedures are okay really, though I won't lie and say they're pleasant. I'd suggest you book the whole day off if you work, because you might feel pretty fragile after a biopsy as it can bleed and cause cramping. Also, they may decide to treat you on the spot.
Re the result suddenly coming up, at my most recent colposcopy the doctor said that often abnormalities are caused by HPV which is sometimes traceable and sometimes not. It depends on how well you are and all sorts of factors. She said that this is why I get abnormal, borderline and normal smears.
Please don't worry. It definitely doesn't mean you have cancer.
Hi TheFilly thanks very much, sorry for the extremely slow reply. Hopefully as you say it is just a borderline abnormality that will just be dealt with next week. I am feeling more and more nervous the closer it gets even though I'm pretty sure it will all be okay, can't seem to stop the nerves! Google can be a nightmare at times like this, I need to stop looking stuff up! xx
I had the colposcopy this morning. When I got there, the consultant was taking me through everything and said that they already knew from the smear alone that I would need to have the LLETZ treatment as I had CGIN which I have to admit threw me a little bit as I was just under the impression that the colposcopy was going to be them taking a more detailed look to see if there was anything there that needed treatment, I didn't realise that they already knew for sure that I needed it. The consultant also advised that it was more than likely that I would get invited back in for another treatment session once my biopsy results come back as she said they often carry out two LLETZ sessions with CGIN as the cells can be harder to get due to their location. I guess my worry is due to my ignorance on the matter. Is having CGIN present worse than CIN? Does it mean there is more chance that there is something worse in there or is the different classification based purely on the difference in the location of the abnormality? Everything I've read since my appointment (eeek sorry I know I should step away from Dr Google) says that abnormalities in the glands are much less common than the abnormalities that cause CIN so it has got me worried that it means it's more serious? Also I am worried because I know that due to their positioning, CGIN is harder to detect and I'm worried that it could mean they have actually been there for quite some time and have been progressing and changing for the worse as they may have just gone undetected up until this point, is that possible? Over the last few years I have had problems with bleeding between periods, bleeding after intercouse and pains in my lower abdomen. My GP carried out a few tests but was never able to get to the bottom of it however she didn't do a smear so I'm worried that all along it has been these abnormalities causing it? Sorry for the extrememly long post. I'm not even sure what I'm hoping to get out of putting all this on here other than perhaps just to get it off my chest. Thanks for reading if you've made it this far! x
I think that the endocervix is more vulnerable to hpv ( have they tested for that?) as there is only one layer of glandular cells as opposed to the ectocervix where you get lots of layers of the cells ( ephitelial or whatever they're called) so any changes there may progress quicker. And they can be missed sometimes in the smear test as they are higher up.
I have to say I'm surprised your gp didn't refer you for colposcopy earlier.
Did the doctor see anything in your cervix during colposcopy?
Hi Winnybella thanks for taking the time to reply. In hindsight I am also surprised/annoyed that I wasn't referred earlier, despite the fact that it had been two years since my last smear, because it was still technically 'valid', i.e. within the 3-4 year timeframe that is usually between smears, they didn't feel the need to do another one. So potentially these cells could have been progressing for four years which unnerves me a bit. I'm not actually sure if they tested for hpv, it wasn't mentioned but I could maybe ask? Dr said there were definitely abnormalities visible and that because it was CGIN it was probable I would need a second LLETZ procedure. x
Hi tumbletime - I know some of how you are feeling: I had a LLETZ a week ago and had the same experience of turning up for the colposcopy with no idea of what to expect only to then be told it was a glandular cell abnormality and that I would be having treatment there and then. My consultant was pretty vague really - all she said was that I might be discharged to the GP for a follow up smear in six months, or I might have to go back to the clinic for follow up there. From what I've gathered since, it seems most likely that I will have to go back to the clinic.
I've been emotionally over the place, and have done lots of ill advised googling. I'm trying to stay calm now until the results come, but it is a very stressful time! I hope you are feeling OK and didn't find the LLETZ too unpleasant - I thought it was very grim personally! Fingers crossed everything goes well for you.
Hi Cinder sorry to hear you have this stress too! Your situation sounds very similar to mine, it is the waiting that is going to be the worst thing isn't it!! How long did they say your results will be? 4-6 weeks I was told which seems ages away and far too much time for my imagination to run riot. I am also very guilty of inadvised googling. Hope your results are all clear too. x
Same - 4-6 weeks. It does seem like forever.
I've been floored by it all really - I've never had any symptoms or problems and I was 100% expecting my smear to be clear. It was two years overdue though, which is adding to my feelings of anxiety and guilt of course!
although in a way I kind of want it to take that long as I have it in my head (rightly or wrongly) that if there was obviously something wrong they would be in touch quicker than that to get any treatment started so I'm going to think that no news is good news if that makes sense!
Sorry cross posted! I can totally understand how you feel with the fact that it is coming out of the blue. Try not to kick yourself too much about the delay, it's just good that you've had the test now and everything that needs to happen is going ahead.
How are you doing tumbletime? Had a call from my consultant today (which scared me to death when the phone rang!). It is definitely CGIN, but there is no sign of cancer or invasion. She said that they probably got it all, but it was a bit unclear at the margin on one side so I will have to go back for another LLETZ to make sure it is all gone, although she said they might have got the edge in the cauterisation anyway. She said that should be all I will need. I don't have kids yet so plan to ask about TTC and effects on pregnancy at the next appointment in a few weeks.
It isn't quite as straightforward as it could be, but I am choosing to be relieved and look at this as good news. Fingers crossed for you and hope you are feeling OK!
Hi Cinder sorry not been on for a few days so just got your message. That definitely sounds like a positive to me! Obviously would have been even better if you didn't need the second treatment but at least you'll know that they will definitely get all the cells that way. Hope you get the appointment soon and then it can all be over and you can relax I'm mostly okay thanks for asking. Still having the odd moment where I get myself worked up and convinced it's not going to be good news but there's not much point in getting carried away I suppose, just need to wait for the results which could be a while away seeing as my colposcopy was only last week. I'm hoping for the same results as you really as I'm already expecting to need the second lletz so will be happy to go ahead with that to make sure they get rid of all the CGIN! hope you're okay!
I had my second lletz yesterday. The consultant was very matter of fact - she said that hopefully it will show that everything is clear. However, she did advise me to think about trying for a baby if I get a clear smear in six months, because if I ever do have a recurrence then it won't be possible to do a 3rd lletz. Apparently my cervix was on the small side to start with, and there now isn't much left. So a recurrence would probably mean a hysterectomy. She said it is more likely to recur than if I'd never had it (iykwim) but it won't necessarily.
So that's a bit worrying, and I am concerned about how my now ravaged cervix might cope with a pregnancy. She told me to make sure I mention it early on so it can be monitored.
I'm trying hard not to think too much about it and keeping my fingers firmly crossed that I get a clear result from this lletz. Have you had any news yet tumbletime?
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