Belfast Telegraph

Abnormal smear: Should I be worried?

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

I had a smear test done after my baby was born last month and apparently there were some abnormal cells.

The doctor said I should have another one after six months.

If there is something wrong, why do I have to wait for treatment?

Why don’t they do something now?

I am scared to death and don’t know how I am going to wait for another five months. TL

FIONA SAYS: TRY NOT TO FRET — TALK TO YOUR GP

A smear test doesn't test for cancer — it just checks the health of the cells at the entrance to the womb (the cervix).

About one in 20 women's tests will show some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix, but that doesn't mean they have anything seriously wrong.

In many cases the cells go back to normal on their own, that's why the doctor wants to check you again, to see.

You have just had a baby, so it is perhaps not surprising that the cells at the opening to your womb didn't look quite ‘normal’.

Your doctor wants to see you again just to be sure there is no need for you to have any further treatment.

The point of the test is to detect problems early, so even if there is something wrong on your next test, the chances are it can be treated easily, perhaps as an out-patient.

Please, try not to worry.

You are being carefully monitored, so instead of fretting, talk to your GP.

Next time you have an appointment, take a list of questions and worries with you: that way he/she can answer everything and put your mind at rest.

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