Colposcopy

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Hi everyone,

I've recently turned 25 and in January I had my first smear test, unfortunately I was told I have HPV and I was referred for a colposcopy. I had my colposcopy 2 weeks ago and they took some biopsies after seeing some abnormalities. Yesterday I received my results letter and have been told I have high grade pre cancerous changes - cin 3 and I am currently waiting for an appointment for the Lleetz procedure. 

I just wondered if anyone can give me any information regarding this to possibly help put my mind at ease. I can’t help but think of the worst outcome and I’m also very nervous for the procedure 

thank you

  • Hi  and welcome to our group.

    It must have been a shock to receive an abnormal smear test on your very first one, but having hpv is extremely common and is not usually in itself a huge cause for concern. You’ve been unlucky in the fact that it has caused cell changes, and it’s standard practice to have these removed via a LLETZ procedure when they are CIN3.

    i haven’t had a LLETZ done myself as I had a cancer diagnosis from the start, but it is a straightforward procedure which is carried out in clinic and should not cause anything more than possibly some discomfort afterwards. 

    I can understand that you would be nervous, but can I ask what your fear is of “the worst outcome”? The procedure has a very high success rate and would hopefully be all that is needed to get rid of these abnormal cells.

    It will not take long to be carried out and you will have a few restrictions afterwards such as not having a bath, or sex or using tampons for a few weeks.  This is to minimise the risk of infection and give your cervix a chance to heal up. You will be called back 6 months later for what is called a “test of cure” to ensure everything is looking good-this is basically another smear. 

    When the LLETZ itself is done, the cells are analysed by the lab to make sure everything has been removed successfully and that there were only pre cancerous cells there.

    Please try not to worry too much about the procedure itself, it won’t take long and it means that the screening process has been successful in identifying the cell changes caused by hpv before they become more serious. 

    I hope this can put your mind at rest a little and that you don’t  have too long to wait to have this done and put it behind you. If you have any more questions or concerns, please do come back and ask. 


    Sarah xx


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  • Hi Sarah, 

    Thank you so much for the message and for explaining things to me, it really does help calm my nerves.

    Sorry I should have explained what I meant by that, I guess I’m just quite worried incase I go and find out that it’s already developed into cancer, I get quite ahead of myself due to severe anxiety and always fear the worst in every situation as it is. I have really struggled so far with the waiting between appointments for results etc and feel like my whole life is on hold (dramatic I know) 

    hopefully get my appointment through soon and get the procedure done and out of the way.


    Jane x

  • Hi Jane

    Thanks for coming back to me and explaining about your anxiety, I do understand having severe anxiety as I’ve suffered myself in the past from this and I know it can be quite debilitating. It will feel as if your life is on hold at present as you have to wait to know more, so it’s natural to be anxious. 

    The waiting process is very difficult for us all as we want things done quickly, but even with a cancer diagnosis there is a lot of waiting between tests and appointments so it’s just something we need to put up with.

    It is always a possibility that cancer could be found when the tissue is analysed but it’s only a possibility. If there were to be cancerous cells, they would most likely be at a very early stage as no evidence of this has been seen at your colposcopy. 

    For now, you just need to hang in there and try not to get ahead of yourself. Try if you can to focus on the fact that you just have abnormal cells and these are going to be removed.

    I hope that your LLETZ happens soon and that it will be successful in sorting this out for you. Try not to obsess about the “what ifs” as it will make you miserable and ultimately serve no purpose. When the anxiety seemed to be winning, I tried deep breathing and a mindfulness app on my phone which I found helpful in bringing me back to focus on the moment and the facts that I knew, rather than what I was worried about. 

    I hope you’ll let us know how you get on, and you are welcome to post in the group any time with any questions or worries.

    Sarah xx


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    Cervical Cancer Forum

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm