Post # 1
In May my doctor told me I had HPV and said we’d do a follow up exam in 6 months. I did that exam last week and today they called and said my pap smear was abnormal again. They said they will have to do a colposcopy. What does this mean? They didn’t tell me much information about it so I am totally lost right now. Does this mean I could have cervical cancer? Can this make me infertile? Please tell me if you have 1st hand experience with something like this.
Post # 3
@karmalkween: You’re cool sweetie, and you do not have cancer. All that’s going to happen is you’re going to hop in those stirrups, they’ll put a dye on your cervix that highlights the abnormal cells, remove them, which is a little pinchy, but not bad and that’s all. Follow up with a pap in a few months and you’re done!
Post # 4
I had this procedure done in March and it was no more uncomfortable then a regular pap. I just recently had to go back in for a pap again and was in the all-clear!
Post # 5
@karmalkween: I found this for you:
Try to not be scared. I was TERRIFIED the first time that I had an abnormal pap smear, I had no idea what it could be!!!! I had this test done about 6 weeks after my abnormal pap (I had two abnormal paps in a row, they sent my test off to get tested and didn’t come back for HPV but they were worried it could have been)…and it was negative for cancer after I had the colposopy.
I have to go back in 2 weeks for a follow up and I’m right here with you–It’s scary. But most women will get an abnormal pap smear at least once in their life and it could be a number of things. AND if it is something like cancerous cells, wouldn’t you rather know so they can take care of it?!? YES you would!!
Stay strong and hang in there!!
Post # 6
You don’t have cancer!
I think they just remove some changed cervical cells to determine what is wrong with a colposcopy. Sometimes, untreated cervical cell changes could lead to precancerous or cancerous changes. They biopsy those cells that they removed that are abnormal. Depending on what they find you might just have a repeat pap smear in 6 months to make sure everything is normal or they would do something to remove the abnormal area (like cryotherapy). Sometimes these things clear on their own too but it’s best to treat it when you catch it early.
I wouldn’t worry! The important thing is to have those yearly paps to catch anything early. It won’t make you infertile. Ignoring it or not getting those yearly exams could though.
I had one done years ago (6 or 7?) and I have had normal results ever since. It will be fine!
Post # 7
I’ve had two colpo’s done for abnormal paps over the past 5-6 years. It’s basically just a small biopsy of some areas that show irregularity. It’s a little more invasive than a pap but it doesn’t hurt or anything.
It has nothing to do with infertilty either. I just had my first baby in September and I got pregnant my first month of TTC
Post # 8
It’s nothing to worry about! Like sugar_biscuit said it’s no more uncomfortable than a normal pap, you may have some light cramping during/after, but you may not.
I’ve had 2 colposcopys (I have 2 cervices), and a LEEP procedure (after the 1 colposcopy), and I have had normal paps ever since!
Don’t sweat it, if you have any questions before it – ask your GYN! They understand that people get scared with things like this, and they’ve dealt with others in your situation before!
Post # 9
I had abnormal cells once and they removed them with the colposcopy. I had to do two followup paps 6 months apart, and after they were all normal I could go back to my yearly pap exam. I also do not have HPV or cancer.
Post # 10
Wow that makes me feel much better. My doctors nurse is who I talked to, and she wasn’t very welcome to all my frantic questions and just told me she would mail me a pamphlet! Also, I’m guessing since my 1st papsmear was abnormal then that means I could POSSIBLY have HPV and not definitely have it??! Well that’s comforting. I suppose the colposcopy will tell me for sure? Ok that’s good to know. Thanks ladies. I go back dec 30 so hopefully I won’t worry myself to death by then
Post # 11
@karmalkween: I had my first abnormal pap back in the spring and went for a colposcopy which is just like a pap test. They didn’t have any concerns after that one and booked me to go back in 6 months.
It’s all very precautionary as it’s best to be safe and keep an eye on things but the chances of developing cancer are very, very small.
Post # 12
A lot of people on this thread are saying it’s “just like” a normal pap smear, and I wanted to give my 2 cents and say that it’s not a normal pap smear.
I was in the same boat as you a couple years ago – I went in for my normal pap, they called me a few weeks later and said it was abnormal so I needed to come in for a colposcopy.
It is not a pap smear. The doctor will use a tool to snip off a very small piece of your cervix in order to perform a biopsy. Is it scary? Obviously, yes. Does it hurt? I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I describe the pain as a really, really bad period cramp that lasted for about 3 minutes. They gave me pain reliever and a heating pad before the procedure even started, which helped a little bit.
Turns out it wasn’t cancer, but I continued to have abnormal paps for a few years after that. They made me go in and get a pap every 3-4 months to keep an eye on things, and finally after I got 3 normal paps in a row I could go back to the normal annual visits, and I haven’t had a problem since.
Just remember that abnormal paps could be for a variety of reasons, and this procedure is really just precautionary. I know it’s easier said than done, but you really shouldn’t be worrying!
Post # 13
I have had a colpo and it hurt a bit. Made me jump off the table actually. But I have a very low pain tolerance.
Mine unfortunately showed worse cells, so I had to come back in for a procedure called cryotherapy, where they freeze off a bit of your cervix. As a pp said, the colpo itself has nothing to do with infertility. The treatments they do afterward if they find bad stuff can sometimes affect fertility. But even then, often times not. Since my procedure, I get normal paps now.
Ask your doctor if you can take a day’s worth of Motrin ahead of time! it really helps.
Post # 14
Other great advice and links already given so I won’t bother with that info :).
Try not to stress, I know easier said that done… I know from personal experience.
I had a couple abnormal pap smears when I was young (teenage, early twenties)… but no one ever told me not to masturbate, insert anything, or have sex for at least 24 hours before the pap. :/ Back then they were just like “have another pap in 6 months”. And it’d be fine. Then I read somewhere that part was off limits for at least 24 hours prior a pap… and was fine for a long time.
In my early thirties I had an abnormal pap and they wanted to do a colposcopy. Honestly I was pretty freaked out about it.. do as I say not as I do lol… and my best friend offered to take the day off work to go with me (drove, sat in the waiting room only)… but it sure helped make it not so stressful. I was also super stressed because I was laid off and lost insurance (couldn’t pay $700 a month for Cobra!) and the same friend conviced me to go to a local well regarded sliding scale clinic. I highly recommend a friend/SO/family member you really trust to just go with you if you can, just having someone loving before/after can help a great deal.
For fun: This clinic I went to is known for their med skills not their bedside manner! It was a pretty creepy experience all around, but they said I was fine after the test results (yay!). I did have a Nabothian cyst (which I knew already and said so) but the lady doctor asked how I knew I said “I can feel it and asked a previous doctor about it and they told me that’s what it was.”… She goes “You feel it?” (bug eyed disgusted face)… do you, do you put your fingers in there?. I looked at her dead pan and said “Yes, sometimes I do, it’s my body isn’t it? My fingers are freshly washed when I do. Is there something wrong with that?”. She said no, but looked at me like I just smeared poop on my face. :/
(((hugs))) Hope it’s nothing or something easy to take care of! I know a few ladies who have had cyrotherapy or laser if it was bad cells and they had some icky discharge after but were fine and no reproductive issues. Good luck and keep us posted.
Post # 15
Thanks again ladies. I’ll keep you posted.
Post # 16
what @Nona99 said —
i had to have it done also after they saw “abnormal” cells– they did a few samples of them— which if you have a good doctor, its just a light pinch. and then they sent ’em off for a closer look. results came back a-ok and i’ve had normal paps ever since (abnormal one was spring of 2009)