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My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

12 Sep 2013 18:20


I felt I should write something here on this forum regarding my first Colposcopy. There never seems to be a follow up when somebody has had a colposcopy and I would like to share my experience with you.

It all started when I had my very first abnormal smear result. My previous 2 smear tests had been normal.

My first reaction was panic! I started to google cervical cancer and was left in a state of anxiety. I was convinced that this was it for me.

It didn't help that my abnormal smear was showing high grade dyskaryosis, the words "high grade" were very upsetting.

After 2 weeks of waiting and worrying my colposcopy appointement had arrived. I was a bag of nerves whilst in the waiting room. All I could think is this is really going to hurt and scared that the Dr was going to tell me I had the big C!

When my name was called I thought "this is it, my fate will be decided now". The Dr sat down with me and the first thing he said was, "you do not have cancer". In my mind I was thinking, you haven't even had a look yet, how do you know?

Basically, an abnormal smear comes about from a change in the cells of your cervix. It does not mean you have cancer. It can take up to 20 years for cancer to develop and that's only IF the cervical cancer is activated.

The Dr explained alot to me and made me feel at ease. Next it was the colposcopy......

My advise is to wear a long lose fitting skirt like I did, otherwise you'll have to walk from the little changing room to the chair with you little tush hanging out!

I had to sit in a big chair that had to bits either side to put my legs on. All you need to think is how many women have colposcopy's everyday and what the Dr is seeing is no more than what he or she sees everyday. That is what they are qualified in.

The nurse then helps you get comfortable and stays right by your side all the way through it.

When you are ready, the Dr puts the same kind of speculum inside you that is used for your smear test, then there is a kind of funny looking set of binoculars thing that sits on the outside of you vagina, they do not go inside. The Dr then opens you up.

THIS DOES NOT HURT - It may feel a bit uncomfortable but it doesn't hurt. It feels no different to the smear.

I didn't need any treatment so I cannot comment on that but I did however need a biopsy - which again didn't hurt. I was told to do a huge cough on the count of 3 and that was it, biopsy done.

I would recommend looking at the screen to the side of you, of your cervix so you can see what the Dr is seeing, he/she can then explain to you the condition of your cervix.

This all took less than 15 minutes.

You should take a sanitary towel with you as afterwards there can be some blood or discharge.

For the rest of that day I had period cramps which is normal. They can last 2 to 3 days - everybody is different. You will also have a brown coloured discharge. This can last 3-4 days - again everybody is different.

So to conclude - The worry comes from not knowing. If this is all new to you then worry is at the top of your list but now I have had it done once, I know what to expect if it happens again in the future and I KNOW it isn't half as bad as you expect it to be.

I hope this has helped a few women out there and if you have any questions please contact me and I'll try to answer them for you.

Thank you.

My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

27 Jun 2017 15:15 in response to starlight

Hi Starlight, Thank you for writing this. I am in the same position right now. I am 33, married, and have 1 daughter. I have had HPV since I had my daughter in 2007, but my pap smears have been normal, until May 2017. My pap smear came back abnormal with cell changes, so I got a referral for a colposcopy, which will be done in July 2017. I try not to worry, especially since I know an abnormal pap smear doesn't mean cancer, but its normal to be anxious and worried about the unknown. Your post helped me. If you don't mind me asking, how are you doing now? Thank you and have a great day.

My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

25 Jun 2019 19:17 in response to starlight



I just want to say i really appreciate you taking time out to write about your experience. It really has put my mind at ease! I had a call from the hopsital yesterday asking me to come in as my results were moderate and ofcourse, I felt exactly the same as you. I was panicking and thinking the absolute worst. Reading your story has really put my mind at ease so thank you very much for sharing it! Happy



My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

30 Jul 2019 15:18 in response to starlight

Thank you so much for posting this. I've just been referred for a colposcopy & my mind has been racing about how long will it take, how painful will it be etc This is a really reasuring account, thank you!

My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

31 Jul 2019 13:02 in response to starlight

Great post to put peoples minds at rest .  Hope all is well 

My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

13 Aug 2019 13:33 in response to starlight

Thank you for this Happy


What were the results of your biopsy?!



My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

13 Aug 2019 13:49 in response to Shay101

Hey all,


I had my biopsy and I have to go back for further treatment (lletz) where they remove the cells by a loop procedure. I am having general anaesthetic  for this due to my high level of anxiety during my previous procedure. This means I will be asleep whilst they do this op. You will be told you need someone with you for 24 hours afterwards just incase you have a fall or anything. 


When I had my biopsy it did hurt but I beleive everyone is different. The nurses will hold your hand and they will ask you questions so that you relax and arent focusing on the procedure. I had mine through private medical insurance, and i can assure you will be looked after well :) 


ladies please dont worry about it- just take deep breaths and take a member of family or a friend for morale support :) 


any more questions feel free to ask. 



My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

13 Aug 2019 14:29 in response to Danyqueen88

Hi there, wow good luck!!!!! 

How are you feeling? 

What CIN do you have? And when are you having your treatment? Was there an option to have local anaesthetic?



My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

14 Aug 2019 20:37 in response to Shay101



aww thanks Happy that is kind.


i have CIN 2 - I am having my treatment at the end of September as i am going on holiday in 2 weeks time. They dont allow you to have this procedure done if you’re flying anywhere 3 weeks after.


The doctor offered me general anaesthetic because my anxiety was very bad during my colposcopy. I get very light headed and am very squeamish, something i have always had since a young girl!! 


What treatment are you having and when?? Good luck hunx

My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

15 Aug 2019 20:56 in response to starlight

Hi there.

My situation is similar to the one you were in. My smear results  letter said that they had found high grade ( moderate) dyskaryosis.... very frightening reading those words. Have worried myself sick over it - been researching on internet which am not sure helps! Also smear indicated hpv present. Did you too have this? Cannot stand the wait for colcoscopy appointment & keeping this to myself. Your post was by far the best help. Bless you x

My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

15 Aug 2019 21:05 in response to Danyqueen88

Omg good luck!!! How do you feel now? I hope it all goes well, which it will anyway!!! Understandable that you're having the general anaesthetic. 


What were your original smear test results exactly? 

My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

15 Aug 2019 21:16 in response to Shay101

Thank you my sweet Happy .


my original results came back as moderate changes- CIN 2. Which meant i am in the middle. But it does not mean you have cancer. So any ladies out there thinking the worst, please dont :). You just need to keep on top of your smears, and make sure that you have the treatment if needed to prevent cancer growing in the future. Xxx

My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

10 Sep 2019 18:29 in response to starlight

Good evening

I had my colposocy today and a biopsy. I was so scared! 

I am in pain at the moment like period cramps. They did say this would happen but I did not realise this painful.

Has anyone else experianced this?


My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

10 Sep 2019 19:34 in response to bkb13

Hi did your went under general intelligence for biopsy because reason asking because my partner cant go under general intelligence because her illness she has HPV called borderline  infection in a cervix since she very worry . Anyway i hope feeling better.

My First Colposcopy after Abnormal Smear - Don't Worry!!

29 Dec 2019 02:02 in response to starlight

I received a phone call yesterday (27th December) from my local hospital (completely out of the blue) asking me when I can book for my colposcopy - I had my smear at the beginning of Dec and not yet had a letter. When I explained this to them, they said I had "abnormal cells" found during my smear and that I had to book an emergency appointment before they two week deadline from when they received the results - the nearest appointment is deadline day on 7th Jan.

Having not received any letter yet and having zero information on what is going on, the past 30 hours have been hell. This is my second smear with the first coming back normal. Although I know I shouldn't, I've searched the internet to try and clue myself up, which has terrified me more. I hardly slept last night and when I did, I was having nightmares about it all. And I've got another 9 days to wait!

I'm not nervous with regards to the colposcopy procedure itself, I'm just looking for clarity with regards to treatments. I can't have injections and pain doesn't bother me in the sightest - is there a treatment that doesn't involve anesthetic? I've seen the loop procedure - does this involve local anesthetic into your actual vagina? How is this administered? Cream or injection? I've also seen about laser procedures - anyone know any further info on this treatment?

Additionally, I've not long started a new job that is a year contract, so as you can imagine I really really don't want to have to take the day off. My appointment is at 9am and I have to be back in work for 10am. I'll pretty much be on my feet until 3pm - is this do-able? I understand everyone is different, but looking for a general idea. I may be completely catastrophising and I may go in and not need treatment, but as I literally have zero info from my doctors/local hospital, I'm wanting to go in prepared.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help dampen my worries a bit.