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Smear test results explained

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1,850 Posts

JamesH  ·  23 Jan 2014

Edunne, best option is to take the guessing out of and just ring CervicalCheck on their help line.


2 Posts

edunne  ·  21 Jan 2014

Hi everyone,

I've just had a smear test on the 11th of this month, I had the lletz treatment three years ago so am always worried.

I was checking on the cervical check website, entered my details and last week it said that they were awaiting information (I'm assuming they were waiting on my test) I've just checked today and it says I'm not due for a recall or repeat and my next one is not due until November. I'm assuming this means they had looked at my test and it's clear? otherwise it would give a closer date?

I have not yet recieved the results and I'm worried so just wondering if anyone has come across this before?



1,850 Posts

JamesH  ·  16 Sep 2013

JI if you are in teh age group 25 to 60 you can get a free smear from CervicalCheck.


1 Posts

ji  ·  16 Sep 2013

Hi, I had a smear test in another country. I got my result and I was suggested to have colposcopy. I am wondering how much does it cost as I have no insurance and how do I go about it? Do I need to have another smear test done again here?Thank you


12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  20 Jun 2013

Sorry, Cork, my mistake - I had presumed this related to the smear tests which are done every 3 years under the National Screening Porgram. If your GP advised you to have one done routinely, then you should definitely insist on the results asap - 2 months is an unacceptable waiting period. If however, the GP advised a smear becuase they are trying to detect something very specifi, then it is possible that it was sent to a different lab so it may take longer but the delay is something you wuld ned to question the GP on - why the lab in question is taking so long.


2 Posts

cork90  ·  19 Jun 2013

I didn'y get a letter from them, my GP advised me to get the smear test and so I did it with them and they sent it away, should I still ring them and see what the story is?


12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  19 Jun 2013

Hi Cork, 2 months is not an acceptable length of tie to wait, I had my results back in 2 - 3 weeks and I attended a busy city centre clinic. I would say the give the National Cervial Screening Programme (their number will be on the letter you got)  a call to see if the delay is at their side.


2 Posts

cork90  ·  17 Jun 2013

I'm 22 and had a smear test on April 18th but still havent received my results in the post. Had the test at my local GP and rang two weeks ago and they told me I should get my results soon but still ahvent received anything, is there someone else I could call to find out my results?


12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  11 Jun 2013

I'd say give the clinic - or wherever you had it done, a call. There's probably not a lot to worry about tho'. If it had been serious a year and a half ago, they would surely have had you back for a repeat smear within 6 months.


2 Posts

Sj8  ·  10 Jun 2013

Thank you for the reply, it's been 3weeks and 4 days still not back, my last smear was abnormal a year and half ago, due to pregnancy I had to wait for a repeat so I'm stressed waiting on these results. 


12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  07 Jun 2013

Hi, under the National Cervical screening program, I was waiting 2 - 3 weeks, from what I can remember.


2 Posts

Sj8  ·  07 Jun 2013

Hi does anyone know the waiting time for smear results?


1 Posts

Amanda24  ·  14 May 2013

Hi i am 24 years old had my first colpocopy done in November of 2012 i have not gotten my results yet but have an appointment on June 10,2013 one day after my daughters 3rd birthday i have been getting abnormal results ever since she was born... I am freaking out cause i dont understand why i am being referred to another doctor i am thinking the worst cause this is my first colpocopy results and i am confused with the referral! Has this happened to anybody else????


1 Posts

Ac679  ·  20 Nov 2012

Hi...Im 22 and i got a smear test done and it came back abnormal and going back to discuss the results should i be worried ?iv also cystic ovaries ? thanks


3 Posts

xxworriedxx  ·  30 Oct 2012

Hi i first wrote on this forum a year ago id had lettz treatment after a CIN3 smear result. 6 months later I had another CIN3 result and another lettz treatment. I had a 3rd smear done 4 weeks ago and just received results which are CIN3 again however this time instead of been giving an appointment for treatment ive to go see the consultant in the Rotunda. Im just wondering what to exspect at this appointment. If anyone has had the same experiece id be really greatfull. 

Thanks suzanne


1 Posts

bubbles22  ·  14 Sep 2012

hi confusedinclare,

just thought I'd share my experience so far with you. I had my first ever smear in 2009 which came back clear. I was called 3 yrs later for my routine smear in April 12. It came back abnormal so I was referred for a colposcopy in May. I was told at this appointment that my smear results had come back with "abnormal glandular cells" which is apparently less common result. So they took a few biopsys at the colposcopy and i had to wait a further 6wks for the results. The results arrived in the post and came back as cin3. The letter also contained details for an appointment for a lletz treatment for another 6wks down the line in Aug. So I arrived at my appointment the morning of the treatment and was seen by a gyne/onc. She had a look at my cervix and decided that because of the glandular involvment in my cervix a cone biopsy was the best treatment for me instead of the lletz. I then had my bloods taken and was sent home with a date for the cone biopsy 4 wks later. I've just had the procedure done almost a wk ago now which involved 2 nights in hospital. I'm due back in 6 wks time to discuss results and check up so fingers crossed that will be the all clear that day and an end to the journey!!Smile


1 Posts

confusedinclare  ·  31 Aug 2012

hi everyone

hope someone can help me out here. i had an abnormal smear June 2011...the nurse who gave me the results didnt say anything about CIN, just that the changes were very minor but id have to repeat the test in 6 months. my next smear was clear in Dec 11 but i had another in june 12 which showed the same abnormal cells so i was referred for colposcopy. i have to say the procedure was fine, the biopsy didnt hurt and they actually had to do it 3 times cos they kept messing it up. i had to cough and i just heard a click when they took it (i had taken two nurofen though) but the worst bit of the whole thing for me was when they put the iodine on to show up the stung like mad, like really bad cystitis. the doctor wiped some off when she was finished and it started to go away but i didnt think that would happen....did anyone else have that??  i have to wait 6 weeks now and im getting really anxious. reading the stories on here it seems you can go from having minor abnormalities to full blown CIN III :( after colposcopy. id appreciate any advise or personal experiences. Thanks


2 Posts

imkindalost  ·  02 Jul 2012

Hi Joanne,

The coloscopy in the rotunda is pretty grand...! You get called in and they look at you closer with a camera and if they see anything warrenting a biopsy they go ahead and do one.  I went in for a coloscopy on the 3rd may and am still waiting for the results...! When I rang they would not give me results but did inform me that I have to have another coloscopy and biopsy in november! Appears I have skipped the smear stage...! :(

For me the worry is that it has been CIN of some sort for me almost every time for the last 4 years...! Is it never ending and is every smear going to come back with these results forever? 

Good luck with everything...Xxx


10 Posts

joanne  ·  01 Jul 2012

Hi imkindalost (I see you posted in March so not sure if you still on here) I was just looking back on here to 2007 as that is when I had my first cin 3 result. And all have been clear up until this year. Result came back as being abnormal but not at cin 1. And I have the same queston, why the hell is it back. Tomorrow morning I go to the Rotunda for a colposcopy. What will they do - I have no idea, I am preparing myself for a letz but would they do a letz when it is not at CIN 1, will find out tomorrow. I agree it is a worry. I understand now why they have you come back for 10 years. Jo


2 Posts

imkindalost  ·  16 Mar 2012


Im hoping people can help me...! In sept 2008 I had my son and at my 6 week check I had a smear, that came back with CIN III but the secretary forgot to contact me regarding them so I did not get the results until January 2009, I went for a proceedure 2 weeks later.

6 months, July 2009, I had a CIN II result and so again had a proceedure.

6 months, January 2010, I had a clear smear.

1 year later, January 2011, I had a slight abnormality which no proceedure was needed

A year later, February 2012, My results came back abnormal again.  I am having a proceedure in 2 weeks again.

I am 28 years old and this has been going on since I was 25.  It is getting pretty draining emotionally. Not to mention, my periods have not returned to normal either, they are getting better (I was bleeding for 20 days with a 10 day break, now its about 12 days with 3 week break)

Why does it keep coming back? And so quickly? Is there anything I can do to change it? Should I be worried? And is this what it is going to be like for the rest of my life?

Any advice is welcomed...


15 Posts

butterfly53  ·  29 Oct 2011

Hi there , in 1998 i had LLETZ treatment for repeat cin1 smears , and thankfully all have been normal up until 18 months or so ago . Iv just had a letter from my gynae to say that once again my result has shown a very mild abnormality cin1 . He would like a 2nd opinion by another consultant and is sending me to him in the Mater Private . I go every year privately for my smears as i have a very complicated medical history and have had 7 bowel ops for Crohns Disease and its very hard to get access so have to go to the colposcopy suite as they have easier access with the stirrups ( uggh ) Anyway what i would like to know  is if anyone else has has so many repeat smears coming back with cin1 and not been sent for LLETZ treatment ? My mother passed from cervical cancer , so im totally worried now that he may think i have cancer :~( Please reply if you have any advice for me ... Thanks xxx


3 Posts

xxworriedxx  ·  27 Oct 2011

thanks so much for replying to my message, u both made me feel alot better i didnt realise that they would of said something on the day of treatment, i feel so much relieved since reading that, thanks for taking the time to answer me hopefully i will have some news soon ill let you know


44 Posts

Rak  ·  27 Oct 2011

Dear Worried, I know how your feeling. I have had CIN 3 twice, and LLETZ twice. I too was exhausted and in pain after my treatments. I had back ache, tummy ached and felt everything was such an effort.

Being in pain al the time is very draining. I found it hard to move around after my LLETZ. I felt the need to support my tummy with my hand as tighening my tummy muscles was a chore. I would be breathless after climbing the stairs. But rest assured this is normal.

As for your results I know nobody can put your mind at rest but the doctor. But if the doctor had felt your CIN 3 had progressed to cancer you would have been advised and prepare for the chance of more treatment on the day of your LLETZ. You seemed to have a really bad treatment with a lot of tissue removed so take it easy and take care of yourself. I know its hard while your in limbo waiting for results but take some time to do something for you, something you enjoy.

I'll keep you in my thoughts and hope you get the all clear soon Smile


12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  26 Oct 2011

Worried, first let me say that the anxiety you are having is normal under the circumstanes but CIN3 is not cancer. If there is anything wrong, be reassured in knowing you have caught it in time. You have already had tests, LLETZ treatment and a biopsy. On nthe subject of the tiredness, when you nare as worried and anxious ans you are and when you've been in pain following treatment, that can have a profound effect on your physical wellbeing as well.


3 Posts

xxworriedxx  ·  26 Oct 2011

hi all i just joined up to the group taday and im hoping i can find someone that has been through the same, im a 41 yr old mother of 5, about 3 months ago i went to doc because i was having very slight bleeding between my period she did a smear,( id never had one), anyway it came back as cin 3 i went to hosp and had a colospicty( please excuse spelling)  ive been suffering really bad back ache and around my waist i dont know if its connected anyway i had LLETZ treatment that day it took alot longer than id been originall told it took 40 mins also i had stitches , at the moment im waiting on results of biopsy they should be in any day now as this is the 5th week since treatment, i feel so sick and tiredness i cant even explain sometimes im so tired i find it exhausting to even breath, anyway why im here is because i feel i already know the results of the biopsy i feel so scared the thought of my children they are 12, 13, 14 . 15 and 18. can anyone tell me if they had these symptoms and what the outcome was and also if cancer is confirmed what happens then, i havent told anyone only my husband the thought of telling my family makes me feel so ill, please help

extremly worried


5 Posts

Cross roads  ·  15 Mar 2011

Okay my emotions are starting to calm down and I have copped on. It is just a struggle at the moment day to day. I am waiting on a second result now. It won't be back for another 2 weeks. That is what is driving me mad. Although all of this is so urgent the doctor told me that it could take 2-6 wks to get the second smear test result which again angered me because what the HELL are we delaying for if it is so urgent Yell

Your so right though if the next result confirms the original result then I need to bite the bullet. It's like I have moved into the stage of acceptance.

I have lost so much sleep over this. blogging has definitely helped. Wink


12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  15 Mar 2011

You're welcome. Some other questions which you might consider, just for yourself.

Does CIN3 ever usually resolve on it's own - No

Is there a risk that is will be greatly exacerbated during pregnancy - Yes

Could that neccesitate Lletz being required during pregnancy - Yes.

Could this put the pregnancy at risk - Yes Possibly.

If Lletz is delayed by 9 months to a year, could this greatly aggravate the condition, jeopardizing future fertility and even your health - Yes.

Is there a possibility that the cells will spread and turn cancerous if left for nine months of pregnancy  - Yes, there most definiutely is that possibility.

Can you continue to concieve after you have had treatment and recieved the all clear ? Provided you are still a young woman - Yes, definitely.

To be full of fear and comflicting emotion is normal. If it were me, I would have the treatment now, hence avoiding the possibility that it could threaten a pregnancy, my health or my future fertility which delaying and possibly the need for more agresive treatment could. I'd have the treatment as soon as possible and look forwards to having a healthy pregnancy when I got the all clear, rather than needlessly complicating the pregnancy, risking it if treatment became neccessary or trying to cope with recovering from childbirth, more agressive and possibly higher risk treatment and caring form a small baby and your son all at the same time - while worrying about your health all that involves.


5 Posts

Cross roads  ·  14 Mar 2011

Firstly thank you for taking the time to give me your opinion. Your answer is so sensible and you are thinking like a rationale person. I on the other hand am an emotional wreck. Up to two weeks ago I was a newlywed planning to have a baby and excited with anticipation. Now I am looking into the unknown.

Can a doctor guarantee me if they carry out the LEEP procedure on me that it will not lead to any complications further down the road? NO.

Is there risks? YES

Is there a guarantee that the cells won’t return? NO.

Could I need a second treatment? YES.

Is there a guarantee the cells will spread and turn cancerous if left for nine months while I have a baby? NO.

Is there a risk they will? YES.

I want a baby so badly. I am so sad right now. I feel full of fear and the thoughts of not having a baby or not knowing when I can even try is making me sick. The thought of cancer is making me sick. I am so emotional and just two weeks ago, I was so happy. That’s why I put up the post for people to tell me what they would do. I really appreciate your comment. I still don’t know whether to follow my HEART or my HEAD. Either way this is a difficult time.


12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  14 Mar 2011

Hi Crossriads, my advice would be absolutely NOT. Wait until you get the all clear. Even women who have been treated have to wait 6 months before trying for a baby.

If you were pregnant you would be ignornant of the problem. but not 'all be sorted out after the pregnancy'. Given your hsitory, it would have been picked up by a smear during your first pre-natal, possibly neccessitating Lletz to be done during pregnancy which could endanger the pregnancy or worse, it may have been greatly exacerbated by pregnancy possibly requiring more aggressive intervention afterwards, which if treated now would be totally unneccesary.

Certainly Lletz has its own risks but these are tiny compared with delaying treatment. Now sure what you mean by 'if I go down that road there is no coming back'.

Lletz is a highly successful treatment and every woman is required to wait 6 mths to allow the cervix to heal and prevent complications.  No, not everyone with CIN 3 goes on to develop cancer - becuase they are treated, as it does mandate treatment, Yes, it can take years but in some women it can take only months and pregnancy and the high hormone load that results from pregnancy can greatly exacerbate that. What would be crazy is to put your health and maybe life in jeopardy needlessly for the sake that of not having required treatment and waiting 6 months for the all-clear. In a year from now you may not be pregnant but you will be treated and healthy. Being pregnant and ill and all the stress that that bring on does not serve either you or your family.


5 Posts

Cross roads  ·  13 Mar 2011

I need to get your opinion on the topic of smear test resultsLaughing I really want to kjnow what you think...

To cut a long story short I have never ever received normal smear test results bar once, since the age of 18. Hence I go for smear tests every 6-9mths. For the first time ever I received a normal smear test in June 2010. I had just finished breast feeding my son Dara who was 4mths old. I thought maybe breast feeding had a positive influence on my body. It is meant to be great. Laughing

Currently we are trying for our second baby. Always mindful of the fact one day I might have to get treatment we wanted to start sooner than later. I went for my smear only because I hadn’t fallen pregnant Cry. The smear came back CIN 3 Surprised. I was extremely shocked. I went for a Colposcopy. The doctor is not convinced and ordered took another smear. He said there are definitely abnormal cells there but confined to a small area, however he wants a second smear done in a different lab to see what the results are. He was not convinced I required LLETZ treatment.

I am due to ovulate this week. I am asking your opinion. Should I try for a baby?

I only went for the smear because I hadn’t yet become pregnant. If I was pregnant I wouldn’t even be aware of this issue and it all would be sorted out after the pregnancy. Also LLETZ has its own risks and if I go down that road there is no coming back. Once part of the cervix is removed new complications arise about pregnancy and I would have to put it off for 6-8mths. It could then take longer to get pregnant and by then the cells could have returned - considering I have never had normal cells bar that one test I am almost assuming they will return, but who knows.

Not every one with CIN 3 goes on to develop cancer. Not only can that it take years. I think I am crazy to put today’s dreams on hold based on a whole pile of ‘’but’s and maybe’s’’ and that if in a year from now I am still not pregnant I will be kicking myself for not going with my natural cute instinct and just going for it again this month.  


1 Posts

rosewood  ·  11 Mar 2011

Hi, I am not sure if this page is still being read but I was wondering if anyone could offer advice on this?

I had my first smear test when I was 23, I did not get the results back from my GP at the time, they said if there was a problem they would contact me.

In September 2010 (age 27) I went for a smear test as part of the cervical screen check. Got the results and it was mildly abnormal. 6 months later I went back for another smear test in February this year.  Just got the results today and I was told that the results are mildly abnormal again.

She told me that I need to come back in another 6 months again.  If the results are ok the third time, then they will want me to just come back once a year for repeat smears.  If the results from the third smear are abnormal then I will need to get the colposcopy.

I'm just wondering if this sounds normal, in the doctors article he says that after 2 abnormal smears he would refer someone to a gynaecologist.  Should I ask for this, or get this done privately?

Trying not to get too worried but its hard not to.


134 Posts

barbie86  ·  02 Nov 2010

Lainee: what you've described is very common in women under 25; this is why they no longer screen all women under 25 in England. Basically, in almost 100% of cases, any changes revert to normal on their own, without treatment, so good gynaes prefer to monitor closely rather than treat willy-nilly, as while treatments like LLETZ are low risk, they do still carry risks, and treating young women can increase the risk of multiple treatments, or more involved treatments like cone biopsies, which can have implications. So, they are doing absolutely the right thing in monitoring and not treating.

I first had CIN2 at 17; by 20 this was CIN1, and by 21 I had my first clear/normal result. I've since had 2 yearly smears, both with normal results, and need one more before I go back to going every 3 years.



12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  02 Nov 2010

Hi Lainee, if the results are going from CIN3 to mild abnormaility to very mild then you're going in the right direction, tho I cannot see to be honest what your age would have to do with it, if treatment is needed at any age then it is needed and should be done and the earlier the better - I know several women in their 20's who had treatment (LLETZ, LEEP etc. ) tho' in your case it may not be needed from what you say. I would say your GP is absolutely 100% correct and this is what a specialist or gyne would also tell you - most definitely do not try for another baby until you get the all clear. Cell transformation can be rapidly and aggressively exacerbated during pregnancy, sometimes requireing treatment which can be extremely tricky indeed and which would othwerwise have been avoidable had the woman waited for the all clear. Even if treatment were required at the moment, then you would most definiutely have to wait at least 6 months before trying to conceive anyway.


7 Posts

Laineebaby  ·  01 Nov 2010

Hi Everyone!

I dunno if any of ye can shed some light on this for me, I had my first smear back in Feb of 2009 it came back with CIN3 it said, so I was referred for colposcopy which I had in April 09' which showed something & they did a biopsy which came back to say I didnt have CIN3. Anyway was told to come back in 3months which I did & the doc said it didnt look bad that it had changed for the better, back again in 6months which my doc then that saw me said he couldnt see anything at all but smear came back with Mild abnormality again & went back this August 10' and came back last week with very mild abnormality again.... I would rather a treatment was done to remove any dodgy cells but because of my age 24 they wont not yet anyways... Im looking to get a 2nd opinion as we want to have another baby but my GP is saying not to untill I get an all clear smear.. Has anyone any experience with pregnancy & abnormal smears??


4 Posts

magnolialicious  ·  29 Oct 2010

Hi Everyone...  I've had my first smear test in 14 years and its come back as:

Atypical Endocervical Cells, Borderline Nuclear Abnormalities Glandular

I've been referred for Colposcopy.  Can anyone tell me what this result means.


1 Posts

mg123  ·  23 Sep 2010

Hi Everyone, I have read all posts and happy to hear I am not the only one who is a worrier. I had abnormal smear results twice and went in for a biopsy, got results of that start of Sept 2010 saying I have CIN3 and had to go in for LLETZ. I was in an awful state, thought I was the only one, went to my local doc who was great and explained it all in detail. Didn't want to talk to anyone about my goings on down there, but eventually said it to a few girlfriends and people I know, and wow, its such a common thing to happen to people! each person I spoke to knew someone who it happened to. I feel there isn't enough awareness and support for girls and women going through this, I know its just normal procedure stuff, but smears, coloscopys, biopys, LLETZ its not nice! Women in Ireland need to talk about it more and there should be more support (I'm thinking of setting up a website solely for this kind of thing,being an IT head and currently unemployed, what do u think?? - suggestions?) I went in on Monday and had my LLETZ. The doc was good, told me chances of it going back to normal after this is 95-97% (fingers crossed) and that I need to stop smoking, he has seen that this is more common in smokers. I have cut down to 3 a day since I had the LLETZ done on Monday - very proud. I plan to completely give up. The LLETZ itself was ok, little bit painful. went home and was off for about 2 days, depressed, tired etc. The doc did say to me that he wanted me to buy a book - probably because I was so inquisitive and had so many things to say.. Its called Every Woman. He said women in Ireland do not know enough about all this and their bodies. I think I agree. Now I am hoping my CIN3 is gone and next smear will be normal and all will be well from there. Doing the LLETZ took away 1cm of my cervix, I was a bit put off by that, he said it was ok to do. Only thing is if I do get pregnant I may have it earlier. I know a girl who had LLETZ done and was 10 days overdue..!so everyone is different. Let me know your thoughts. I got that book he suggested.Its great. Everything you want to know about your body. M


12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  23 Feb 2010

Hi Kirst, they will check for abnormal cervical cell changes. These can be Level1 (mild) or Level 2 (mild to moderate) or Level3 (moderate or severe). These are not cervical cancer it mist be emphasised. But do highlight changes which could lead to pre-cancersous cells if they are not treated. For the vast majority of women, the smear test results come back clear. But in the event that there are any chnages, it is most important that these are followed up and and advised treatment is attended.

If you are concerned about any other infections, please be sure to discuss this with your smear taker who can arrange for other tests to be taken.


1 Posts

Kirst01  ·  22 Feb 2010

Im going for my first smear test this week and i wondering what they check for, is it just cervical cancer?


44 Posts

Rak  ·  05 Feb 2010

I was told when I was trying to make the appointment for this year that I cannot have smear tests done on the medical card anymore. It is full price If I dont have the letter from cervical check. I assume the GP would say the same thing. And I'm not really comfortable with having my smears done by my GP. I feel it is very underhand too to bring in this new programme and talk it up to be something amazing that will change womens lives for the better, when in reality for people like myself who depend on the medical card will suffer.

I think this flaw needs to be addressed.


12,083 Posts

Anonymous  ·  05 Feb 2010

Hi Rak, I just wanted to say that I have noticed the cervical screening program but had no idea it meant that cervical checks would now be scrapped under the medical card system. I think that is most unfair and frankly underhanded and likely to affect people in your situation who need yearly checkups due to medical history.

I found out about it when I went to book a smear with my clinic (ifpa) and I was told that I shoiuld register under CervicalCheck and I would be entitled to a free smear test every three years - which is fine as I'm lucky enough to always have had normal results.

But if this means that those on a medical card who needs more regular smears cannot get them I feel the scheme is lilely to cause harm as well as good. I wonder seeing as ytou have a medical card could you attned your GPL lilemthe way you would for an ordinary appointment and have the intervening smears done there - that way you;d only have to pay for the actual lab test (between 10 and 30 euro every year) and the appointment would be on your card.

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