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Elliot Ruff
Elliot Ruff, GP
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 3919
Experience:  GP at Whitstable Medical Practice
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I had a smear test 3 years ago and wondering whether it

Customer Question

hello, I had a smear test 3 years ago and wondering whether it would have tested for hpv
JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking?
Customer: no none
JA: Is there anything else the Doctor should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

Good afternoon, I am Dr Ruff, thank you for contacting us today

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Hi Dr Ruff, thanks for responding
Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

All smears in the UK are now tested for HPV, this was introduced a while ago, but officially was from 2019 for England/UK.

If you ask for your result, it would be clear on there if it was.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I had a normal smear in march 18 so due now for another. my friend said they recently stated testing for hpv and that if you have that you go yearly. It’s made me a little nervous as ai don’t know whether I had a hpv test and am now late for my screening? I called the doctor and the receptionist said the results just say normal and to come in 3 years
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
i’m a little confused!
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
but my smear was pre 2019 - that’s kind of my point
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
hello?
Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

Okay thanks, ***** ***** years is normal to repeat it, due to national recall you cannot get this done sooner unless you pay privately.

Regarding HPV, yes, if positive you are then invited back to repeat this after 1 year and this continues until it is negative.

The reason for this is that HPV increases the risk of abnormal cells on the cervix which can increase the risk of cervical cancer. Therefore this process takes many years to cause a problem.

Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

So unless you are now getting irregular bleeding then there would be no indication to repeat your smear sooner than your normal recall date.

Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

A smear looks for pre cancerous changes which your normal smear excludes. HPV is just an earlier indicator that you may develop pre cancerous changes, so there is no urgency to this.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
thanks, ***** ***** have 2018 test have had hpv test on it for sure? if yu say it didn’t become necessary until 2019?
Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

If your results do not say HPV negative, then you would not have been tested as it was only later 2019 that all were tested.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
ok thanks, ***** ***** don’t. Is that a problem? Should I be concerned about my coming smear. worried that if i was tested hpv it and it was positive they would have told me to come in a year and as it is it’s been three years
Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

No problem, no I wouldn't be concerned, lets say you were positive for HPV, the risk is over a long time, a few years would therefore make no difference.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
ok thank you, that’s really helpful.
Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

That is my pleasure, take care and try not to worry

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
sorry - one last question for my peace of mind! Otherwise i’ll worry about this for weeks. So my friend who tested HPV POSITVE why does she have to go yearly if it takes years to become an issue?
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
thank you
Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

This is because it often only lasts 1-2 years before resolving. The annual repeat is to check for something called CIN which is what HPV can cause. If CIN is then found, a further procedure is done to remove the CIN cells, sometimes with a topical treatment, sometimes with a surgical treatment.

It is done annually due to the capacity being available. The timing of yours just meant you won't know this until your next smear.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
ok thank you.
Expert:  Elliot Ruff replied 17 days ago.

That is my pleasure, take care.