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Dr. C.
Dr. C., Board Certified
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 3064
Experience:  30 yrs experience, awarding winning educator
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There, I had an abnormal smear a few years ago and had the

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Hi there, I had an abnormal smear a few years ago and had the LETZ loop procedure done privately. I then had a CIN 1 result 6 months late, followed by a fully normal result 6 more months later. I then went back into the NHS screening programme to have smears under the normal time frames. My very first smear has now come back abnormal! Is it common to have abnormal smears so frequently? I was led to believe during my private treatment that the abnormal cells are very slow growing so I'm very concerned I've had this as an issue again.
Hi, It's Dr. C. Board-certified Ob-gyne with extensive experience in the management of abnormal pap smears and cervical HPV disease. From the information you provided, it's not possible to tell if this is recurrent HPV or a chronic carrier state. This depends on how long you've been with your current sex partner. Whenever a woman changes partners, there's about a 50% chance of catching HPV again. This can cause a temporary abnormal pap. If a woman has been with her partner for more than 3-4 years, the abnormal with persistent HPV is more likely to be due to a chronic carrier state for HPV. If the woman or her partner are smokers, that increases the chance of being a chronic carrier for the virus. There are other genetic factors that we don't fully understand that can impact a womans ability to clear the virus as well. A healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables may increase clearance. Please reply with more details so I can give you the most helpful information for your situation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So is the HPV virus likely to be just reoccurring and causing repeat abnormal smears? I have the same partner and have done for 7 years. I was just concerned as I was lead to believe that my chances of another abnormal smear in such a short space of time were very, very low.

If you haven't changed sex partners in 7 years, the abnormal could be due to a chronic HPV. It's true that for most women, once they have the loop procedure done and don't change sex partners, they have no further issues with abnormal pap smears. But there is a 5-25% risk of the problem recurring. The recurrence risk depends on the subtype of HPV strain. We can test to see if the hpv is type 16 or 18. Those types tend to have 25% risk of recurrence while the other high risk strains have a lower recurrence closer to 5%. Anything else I can help with?
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