My first smear test result came back as abnormal. I had another one three months later, however, which came back as normal. I was asked to return for a third test, and this time I have been told the results will be delayed as my cervix was inflamed. Should I be worried?
Having an abnormal smear test result can be worrying. As you have discovered, if you do have an abnormal smear test result you will be asked to have three normal smear results at six-monthly intervals before it's deemed safe to go back to normal screening every three years.
Just be aware that an abnormal result does not mean that you have cervical cancer. It simply means that there are some changes to the cells in your cervix. Very often, as in your case, these cells will have returned to normal by the time you have your repeat test.
According to NHS Direct "Inflammation is the body's response to infection, irritation or injury, which causes redness, swelling, pain and sometimes a feeling of heat in the affected area." The inflammation of your cervix could be caused by a number of things, most of which will not be very serious, for example vaginitis. However, sometimes it could be caused by a more serious condition such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or by a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia. If you did have PID you would probably have other symptoms which may have been picked up on during your smear test. If you do have any concerns about having an STI you should visit your local doctor (GP) or your nearest Brook Centre to arrange to have some tests.
It's a worrying time for any woman when she has an abnormal smear test result. However, as the NHS Cancer Screening website states, it is important to remember that "Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities".
Question answered by bss