I had a colposcopy done nearly a month ago now and have recently spoken with my ob/gyn about the results. I thought I had a grasp on what she told me, but now that I've had a little while to sit and think, I just don't know what to think.
On the phone, my doctor told me that it appears that I have dysplasia in the moderate stage, though it could be in another stage and she couldn't exactly tell. She told me she was actually confused by my pathology report because it came back from the lab with extra side notes and such written all over it. She recommended that I come back in 3 months for another pap smear to see what the results are, wait a few months for a second colposcopy after that, and then graduate on to a LEEP. I just listened to what she said and scheduled my next pap for august. After doing some research and thinking things through, I am a little concerned now.
I just recently turned 20 and I go to college 4 hours from home, where my ob/gyn and my family are. I don't get to go home very often, usually just for winter and summer breaks and a few random weekends. Based on this schedule, it will be hard for me to start the whole process over again from the beginning. It's been stressful already, and i am dreading re-starting this process of going home, getting a test done, going back to school, waiting 5 months, going home again, getting the next test done, going back to school... It seems like it could be a year before I even have the LEEP, which from what I've read is a necessary step to take with moderate dysplasia, though I don't exactly know.
I am going home for the summer soon and my doctor has told me to come back in august for a re-pap. However, this is two weeks before I head back to school again for the fall. Would it make more sense to ask her if I could schedule a LEEP for the summer while I'm at home, or is it too soon/not severe enough to do this? Will the LEEP be a better method of determining what's actually going on? How long is it safe to wait before having any kind of treatment for moderate dysplasia? Are the chances of it getting worse over a year very high? I'm just so puzzled as to what my options are for getting healthy again soon!
I suggest you ask for a copy of that pathology report. Then after you've read it and had a little time to research (or ask here) what it means, then call the doctor back and ask some precise questions. The questions I'm thinking off the top of my head are:
An atypical pap can come back atypical for many reasons besides atypical glandular or squamous cells. Having had intercourse soon prior to a pap, having an infection of some sort, etc can cause the cells to come back atypical on a pap.
From what you said, though, it sounds like it wasn't the pap that showed the dysplasia, but a colposcopy.
What type of dysplasia? glandular or squamous or something else
Most women who have dysplasia (something like 80%) have atypical squamous cells. They are on the exocervix (outer cervix) are slower growing and grow in a consistent manner (from one cell to the neighboring cell). About 20% of the women who have dysplasia have atypical glandular cells. Glandular cells are further in the endocervical canal (think the tiny hole of a donut) and are closer to the uterus. These cells are faster growing and skip (they do not grow to their neighbor, the way I think of it is they ricochet around).
You are also young. It is quite possible that your body will be able to fight the virus (HPV) that causes the dysplasia. This could be what your doctor is looking for; is your body fighting the virus. If it doesn't clear after x amount of time, then she might decide to do a more invasive biopsy/procedure. Ask your doctor if that is what he/she is waiting for - selfhealing.
I don't know if you have insurance or not, but you also have the option of getting a second opinion. You could get a doctor where you go to college to be treating you for the dysplasia. All you would need to do is get a doctor and have your current doctor send his/her notes and pathology reports.
Whatever you choose to do, I wish you luck. You are young. I hope your body is able to fight this off without further procedures! Let us know if you have any further questions!