My First Smear Test Results

7 Mar 2020


I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to post about my smear test results - not because I'm ashamed or anything, but because I wasn't certain if anyone was going to find it helpful. Granted, I've had some lovely messages about my An Anxious Girl's Guide To Your First Smear Test series, but while I was writing all of the instalments, I didn't know if I'd have anything too valuable to say about receiving my results. That being said, my results are here now and this is my little space to chat about life and the like, so I thought it was best to update you all!

How long did I wait for my results?

Before I jump right in and tell you what that little piece of paper said, I just wanted to chat about the waiting time. My lovely cervical screening nurse told me that the results would be with me between 2-4 weeks after the test, but she was adamant that it would be around 2 weeks. That was kind of reassuring because let's be honest, no one wants to wait a whole month, especially if the news that you received was not what you were hoping for.

Unfortunately for me, mine weren't posted until a little after 4 weeks, so I was kind of beside myself with worry. I thought, 'if there was nothing wrong, surely the results would have come straight away,' but I tried to talk myself out of that thinking. One of the things that I liked to tell myself was that a lot of women went and had their smear during the same week or shortly after, given that it was Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, so the labs were inundated with samples. I've got no idea if there's any truth to this, but it was certainly a comfort.

What were my results?

In a nutshell, I had abnormal results, but they could have been a lot worse. In fact, I'd say that out of all of the abnormal results that could have come back, mine were probably one of the more positive outcomes. Let me explain...

The thing that I was most worried about was the sample containing abnormal cells, which it didn't. However, it did show that I have the HPV virus. Now, while the word 'virus' is a bit of a scary one (especially in this current climate), HPV is something that almost everyone catches at some point in their lives, according to the NHS. It's something that tends to go away on its own, but when it is combined with abnormal cells, that's when the anxiety about cervical cancer can start to creep in. But like I say, my results came back with no traces of changed cells, so I'm at a low risk for cervical cancer.

How did I feel about my results?

Like I mentioned, before my results had arrived, I was so worried and anxious because of the time they had taken to arrive. Everyone I'd spoken to about it told me that it was nothing to overthink, but it's easier said than done, right? It definitely did help to talk to people about it though, so I recommend starting some conversations if you're nervous for your results.

When they arrived, there was no mistaking that brown envelope that lay on my doormat. I didn't waste any time in ripping it open and having a read. Now, when I first saw the result and the word 'abnormal', my heart sank. I was absolutely terrified and panicky, but luckily, the back of letter was packed full of information about what my result meant and what needed to happen next. It completely put my mind at ease and after processing it all, I actually felt calm and collected, and pretty much like I had nothing to worry about, which kind of is the case.

What happens next?

For my particular result, I don't have to do anything for the time being, which is why I was left feeling so calm after reading all of the information on the back of my letter. Despite having an abnormal result, there isn't anything that can really be done about the HPV virus for the time being. It needs to be left to see if it will go away on its own. After a year, I'll be going back to my GP for another smear test to check for any traces of the virus and whether I've had any changed cells.

I've got my fingers crossed that everything will be completely clear, but of course, you just can't predict these things. If I still have HPV after my next test, I will have to wait another year, have another screening, and if that comes back abnormal again, then I might be advised to have a colposcopy. It wouldn't be the end of the world and if that's what needs to happen, then so be it, but obviously, I'm hoping with all of my might that everything will be all good down there.

Looking back, I can't quite believe that I put my first cervical screening off for over a year. I would have never known that I had the HPV virus, and while it isn't affecting me yet, there is the tiny potential for it to have been something much scarier. I'm definitely not one to preach at people to get their tests done, but I hope that by talking about my results so openly, you'll find a little bit of confidence to book your test in, if you're yet to do so.

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