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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11295
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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I am a 52 year old postmenopausal woman, 3 years ago after 4

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I am a 52 year old postmenopausal woman, 3 years ago after 4 attempts of obtaining a cervical smear pap test ( they kept coming back as inadequate - not enough cells ) I had to have a colposcopy to check every thing was ok. I was given a clean bill of health. I found the whole thing extremely stressful as it tock nearly a year of tests. I have just been called back for routine screening after only 3 years. I am fearful that I will have to go through the whole thing again in order to get an adequate sample. Do you think that as ever thing was fine 3 years ago I could wait another 2 years and miss this screening, it will then only be 5 years since the colposcopy and I have had 17 years of clear pap tests - only ever one test 17 years ago that showed borderline changes that were normal 3 months later ... please can you advise, I want to try and keep my stress levels down. Thank you very much
Did you have HPV testing 3 years ago?Have you had any new sex partner in the past 3 years?Do you take any hormones? Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not but I am married and have had no other sexual partners nor has my husband and i am not on any hormone replacements
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In England they only do HPV testing if there are abnormal cells, rather annoyingly .
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what I was planning to do was go for the first test having had a course of vaginal oestrogen pessaries and if that came back as inadequate not go through the whole process again until its been 5 years. I know nothing is ever risk free, but do you think its a calculated risk that is worth taking given the small changes of me developing cervical cancer in that time frame and the stress of testing and the psychological harm I feel it does me. thank you
I'm so sorry. The site did not inform me of your response.I agree with you that your risk is very low, so whatever you do, I wouldn't worry much.I also agree with your plan to use vaginal estrogen before getting tested. If you do that, I think the chance of an inadequate sample is small.In the US, we would recommend a Pap and HPV test, and if both are negative, repeat in 5 years. However, the English system also can work very well.So I would recommend a Pap smear now after using vaginal estrogen. Most likely it will be normal. If it is inadequate, you are probably justified in waiting until it's been 5 years, assuming no new sex partners. Best wishes, and again I apologize that it's taken so long to get back to you.
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