Gynecology / Women's Health Expert Forum
Borderline changes and HPV
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Borderline changes and HPV

Hi,

I had HPV/genital warts at the beginning of this year (I am in a long term monogamous realtionship) which were successfully treated, aside from the odd little bump here and there which causes no problem.

I had a Pap Smear in March and got the results today which say:

'The result from the laboratory shows borderline changes in some of the cells on your cervix. The laboratroy also found evidence of HPV infection. This means that you may be at greater risk of developing cervical abnormalities in the future. You will now be sent a colposcopy outpatient appointment for further investigation and possible treatment.'

I am terrified.

I have been looking online, and it seems that 'borderline changes' are very slight changes that often clear themselves, but everywhere I've read that it also says 'you will be referred for a repeat test in 6 months' not that I'd be sent for a colposcopy?! Or is that because I they have also identified HPV?

What I'm concerned about is that - my understanding is that the HPV which causes genital warts is no the same high-risk strains that cause concerns over cancer, so I'm terrified that it's a high-risk strain they've found.

Would there be any link between the HPV they have found inside me and the HPV strain causing the genital warts (I obviously haven't cleared the latter fully as very small warts occassionally appearing)?

All previous smears have been normal. I am 28 years old.

All advice is greatly welcomed.

Abby xx
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603463_tn?1220630455
HI!
You are correct that the MOST COMMON strains of HPV that cause genital warts are NOT usually associated with cervical cancer. It probably is the same strain that is causing the warts that is causing the changes on your pap.  There is about a 90% likelihood that you will clear your pap, or at least that it will never get any worse.
The colposcopy is a bit of a hold over from the days before we knew that HPV causes cervical cancer, and before we knew which type did what.  We used to always do colposcopy and treatment for everyone.  
A colposcopy is a good test to have, though, as it is a very thorough evaluation of your cervix with a microscope looking for any evidence of anything worse and a biopsy of anything that looks suspicious.  If you were my patient, I would do colposcopy one time, then if everything looked ok I would only repeat pap smears unless they got worse.
Hope this makes sense.  
Good luck!
Dr B
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