Colposcopy results

If any infections are picked up on swab tests we will write to you with the result and advise you on what medication you may need, if any. Your GP will also be informed of this. Please find more information on sexually transmitted infections (STI’s)

Biopsy results show how abnormal the area on the cervix is. The cervix is made up of 2 different types of cells – Squamous cells and Columnar/Glandular cells. The biopsy results can be HPV, which indicates the specimen shows some of the cells are infected with HPV, but the cells are not actually abnormal. Abnormal cells of the cervix effecting the Squamous cells are called Cervical Intra-epithelial Neoplasia (CIN) and these are graded 1 – 3. This is similar to having an abnormal smear result of Mild (low grade), Moderate or Severe Dyskaryosis (high grade). Columar/ Glandular abnormal cells on the cervix are Cervical glandular Intra-epithelial Neoplasia (CGIN) and smears may report this as glandular neoplasia.

CIN 1 are low grade changes on the cervix which can be monitored, because for a lot of women (60%) these changes will go on their own and the cervix will return to normal. It is important that you attend for follow up appointments if asked. This is so the low grade changes can be monitored to ensure they have gone or if they do become worse they can then be dealt with. It can take up to two years for the cervix to return to normal and for some women longer than this. If CIN 1 persists at two years, we will offer to treat the area but you may wish to continue with regular surveillance.

CIN 2 and CIN 3 are high grade changes on the cervix, which are usually treated. For 43% of young women with CIN 2 the changes may regress and so depending on the size of the affected area on the cervix and one’s personal circumstances, these situations are usually discussed at a regular Multidisciplinary Team Meeting; the plan may be to closely monitor these changes and not necessarily treat the area straight away. If CIN 2 persists then treatment will then be offered. CIN 3 changes will be treated as it is unlikely for this change to resolve on its own and if left untreated this abnormality carries a significant risk of developing into cancer.

CGIN changes will be discussed with you and are treated as high grade changes on the cervix. With this result treatment will be the next step.
If an abnormal area is seen in the vagina the biopsy may be reported as HPV, the same as on the cervix. If there are abnormal cells present these are called Vaginal Intra-epithelial Neoplasia (VAIN) and are also graded 1 -3. These levels of changes are usually monitored or treatment in the same circumstances as the cervix.
These are all abnormal cells NOT cancer cells.
Last updated08 Feb 2024
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