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Please talk to me about abnormal smear test results...

(6 Posts)
justalittleworried Fri 10-Jul-09 13:13:22

I have namechanged.

I had a smear test in May and the result has come back "borderline changes" requesting me to have another test in November.

I had a baby in November 2008, and am on maternity leave for a year. In fact the date they have given for the next test is the day after my daughter's 1st birthday.

Which means I am going to spend the entire rest of my maternity leave a little worried, instead of enjoying it.

What does the borderline change actually mean, and could I be re-tested sooner, do you think?

sameagain Fri 10-Jul-09 13:21:35

Don't have any technical knowledge, but my sister had an abnormal smear just before she became pregnant. Because she'd been having regular tests they were confident there was no rush for treatment and left it until after baby was born.

She had to have some pre-cancerous cells removed, but there was never any risk of it being cancer (although obviously lots of worry, the medical people always told her there was no need)and she's fine now. Has since had another baby too.

Can you speak to your GP to have the terms explain properly?

CMOTdibbler Fri 10-Jul-09 13:29:41

The reason that they ask you to come back in 6 months is that often your body deals with the cells that have gone a bit odd (not cancerous, just disordered), and there is no problem - so they give them some time to disappear.

If the cells had been more abnormal, they would have asked you in for a coloscopy to look at your cervix in detail - really no need to worry at this point

Lulumama Fri 10-Jul-09 13:32:54

i had this 18 months ago, i had another smear 6 months later and and another one 6 months after that.. both of which were clear, have to have another in 6 months.

it is not even pre cancerous cells, but pre pre cancerous, IFYSWIM

i was told there was no point being re-tested before 6 months as there was more chance of insufficient cells or inaccurate result

pleasae please try not to worry, it really is not as worrying as it sounds smile

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Fri 10-Jul-09 14:00:33

do try not to worry, you will be absolutely fine. Your result could be due to problems with the slide, you might have a cold or something recently, this can cause changes. Lots of little things can cause abnormal smear results. Even if the cells are abnormal, you will be no where near having cancerous cells down there. I had an abnormal smear and was called straight in for a colcoscopy - i had precancerous cells, i was lucky that it was caught just in time before more agressive treatment was required. Even then, the treatment was carried out at the time of the colposcopy and all i had to do was have a further colcposcopy in six months and a smear, then yearly smears for five years after that.

What i am trying to say badly is: Don't worry, the next smear will probably be normal, but even if it isn't, it will be easy to fix.

BellaNoir Fri 10-Jul-09 22:33:55

Hi justalittleworried,
Please try not to be.
What borderline changes means is:
There is a clear difference down the microscope between cells which appear active due to normal reasons (see below) and cells which have changes due to an abnormality.

Sometimes we can see quite active cells which is probably due to things like hormonal changes (esp those in late teens, early twenties, post-natal or post-menopausal) or an infection or IUCD use. Its often just a slight change seen in the cells. It is a grey area - cytology isn't quite the same as blood tests, we don't get a yes/no answer.

When we seen these sorts of cells, we ask for a repeat sample in 6 months to give the body a chance to settle down or sort it out.
Most of the time it goes back to normal.
Usually after the next one, you'd be asked to come back in either another 6 months or a years time (it varies between area, then in another year's time before going back to 3 yearly.
If you have a repeat test earlier you may not be giving the body enough time to sort itself out and you could end up with another 'unnecessary' abnormal result IYSWIW
The screening programme has a website which also has useful info.

If you notice anything different e.g. bleeding, discharge then obviously you should still go and see your GP in the interim.

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