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4 weeks ago I had a routine smear.  I haven't been for nearly 10 years.  My results have come back HPV positive & high-grade (severe) dyskaryosis.  I haven't been sexually active for about 6 years.  Can HPV be dormant for that long?  

Jazza's picture


Yes, it seems that HPV can lie dormant for many years.  I had no new sexual partners beyond my late twenties and have no reason to believe my partner (now husband) was ever unfaithful.  I always had normal smears up until I was 47y after which I (sadly) stopped going for smear tests.  I was diagnosed with stage 2A cancer age 60y following symptoms.  My point is that, in my case, it's very likely I was carrying HPV for decades before it caused problems for me.

Well done for getting round to a routine smear test - it's fortunate you didn't leave it any longer.


  • Feb 04:  (age 47y) Smear test normal
  • Stopped going for smears!
  • Summer 16: persistent watery yellow vaginal discharge
  • Dec 16: PMB
  • Jan 17: Hysteroscopy under GA for ?fibroids - abnormal cervix observed -multiple biopsies taken, 1B1 (1B2 on new FIGO) squamous cell cc diagnosed - confirmed by MRI/PET scans
  • Feb 17: pelvic lymphadenectomy - nodes negative, Da Vinci radical hysterectomy- close anterior margin/LVSI/PNI, restaged to 2A1 (2A1 on new FIGO)
  • Apr/May 17: 6x chemo, 25x external radio, 2x brachy
  • May 20:  NED.  Side effects notably hypotonic bladder since hysterectomy - ongoing ISC, unilateral lymphoedema lower abdo/groin/leg/ankle/foot