Every year, almost 400,000 Canadian women receive a call that their Pap test result is abnormal (http://www.paptestinfo.ca/index_e.html).

Following a diagnosis of cervical abnormalities (and you have been offered treatment) women can feel a range of different emotions and this is perfectly normal. It is quite common for women to question why this has happened to them and whether or not it could have been prevented. Some women feel angry that the abnormal cells weren't detected earlier or find it difficult to digest a diagnosis of HPV alongside this.

Whilst many women feel absolutely fine and aren't unduly concerned, some might feel anxious, scared and overwhelmed, and some worry about what will happen [1 and 2]. It is common for emotions to rollercoaster – with you feeling calm and untroubled one day, but scared or angry the next.

Women in Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust's community tell us that their feelings often change over time, as they gradually learn more about what having cervical abnormalities actually means for them. As you will see in the Your feelings may change over time section, understanding your situation and the treatment options that are available to you often helps relieve the anxiety and fear that often accompany diagnosis.

Our community tells us that when they were told they had cervical abnormalities they wanted information and support to help them understand what cervical abnormalities are, cope with the diagnosis and make decisions about any subsequent treatment.

You might find that you want to know more about cervical abnormalities, cervical cancer and its prevention, HPV testing, and the different treatment options available to you (including what to expect if you need to have treatment). We have a wealth of information on these topics on this website, you can find more here. You can also submit questions online to a medical professional through our Ask the Expert service.

Being able to speak with someone who understands what you're going through can be invaluable. This could be one of the medical professionals responsible for your care, such as your colposcopist or practice nurse, or your GP. We provide the following service which enables you to speak to someone safely and confidentially:

  • You can use our online forums to connect with women who are going through, or have been through, similar experiences.


"How it Feels to Have Cervical Abnormalties." Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.