Waiting for your smear test results? We have ALL been there.

This can be a scary day, receiving your smear test results may make you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, what will the results say? What if I’m HPV positive? Wait, what even IS HPV?

Here’s what to expect when you get that letter through the door, because this is something that’s not spoken about enough!

What is HPV?

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is the name of a group of viruses. It’s very common and most people will get some time of HPV in their life! You can have it for years without it causing problems, and it clears up on its own over time. But for some, if left untreated, may go on to cause cervical cancer.

Result? You’re HPV negative

You’re negative, which means there’s no signs of HPV. You’ll then go on to attend your routine smear test in 3 to 5 years’ time.

You’re HPV positive with no abnormal cells found

You see positive on your letter, and you may start to worry. You’re HPV positive but have no abnormal cells, which means you’ll need to head back for another smear test in 12 months to check there are no changes and whether the HPV is gone. You may feel alone in this, but did you know that 84% of women will have HPV in their lifetime? You are far from alone.

You’re HPV positive with abnormal cells found

This means you’ll head to the hospital to go for a colposcopy, where they’ll carry out a simple procedure to take a further look at your cells (like your smear test, but in a hospital). But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean they’ll find cancerous cells, this happens in less than 1 in 1,000 colposcopy’s – and remember, this is what smear tests are for, catching any changes as early as possible.

No matter what your results say, there will always be support out there for you, whether that’s friends or family, nurses and doctors or a helping hand at Look Good Feel Better.

Find out more about the incredible work Look Good Feel Better provide here:  https://lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk/

Help support Look Good Feel Better this month by getting waxed to give back, book in for your wax here: https://www.benefitcosmetics.com/en-gb/book-appointment 👏

Illustration by @dozy_rose