What is cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN)?

Cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) is a term that describes changes in the squamous cells of the cervix.

CIN is not cancer, but you may need treatment to stop cervical cancer developing. You may hear doctors call CIN a pre-cancerous condition.

You might not need treatment for CIN. If you do need treatment, it’s usually simple and very successful.

Causes of CIN

We don’t know all the causes of CIN. But they include human papilloma virus (HPV) and smoking.


Women who smoke are almost twice as likely to develop CIN as non-smokers.

Symptoms of CIN and HPV

CIN and HPV on the cervix have no symptoms. It’s essential for women to have regular cervical screening tests to find any early cell changes.

The more people I spoke to about it, the more common I suppose it was. Everybody I spoke to had had abnormalities at some time.

Melanie, affected by cancer

Back to Cervical screening and CIN

The cervix

The cervix is the lower part of the womb (uterus). It’s often called the neck of the womb.

Abnormal test results

If you have an abnormal result, this does not mean you have cancer. You may need some more tests.

Diagnosing and grading CIN

A colposcopy is used to confirm whether you have cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) and how severe it might be.

Treating CIN

If you have been diagnosed with CIN, you may have treatment to remove the abnormal cells. There are different types of treatment.

After treatment for CIN

Most women feel fine after treatment for CIN but some may feel unwell for a few hours. You will be referred for regular screening tests.