Abnormal bleeding - help and advice needed

Hi everyone, 

Two weeks ago I noticed some brown discharge in my underwear, which I put down to some pre-period spotting (I was a week away from coming on). It was quite light and wasn't apparant all the time. 

My period was due to start last Sunday and it has yet to arrive. The bleeding has got progressively heavier and started to include some darker brown/black clumps and tissue. It's still not heavy - one pantyliner is more than sufficient - but I have noticed more brown discharge and clumps/tissue on the toilet paper when I wipe (apologies for the TMI!) I have also had some heavier brown discharge immediately after sex although, after a few wipes (sorry!), it calmed fairly quickly (although it is still there, if that makes sense, it just wasn't as heavy as it was immediately after sex). I haven't had any pain (apart from the odd abdominal twinge and some minor back pain that radiates down into my leg - not sure this connected) but I currently am experiencing a feeling of pressure at the top of my right leg where it joins my groin. 

I had a colposcopy in April after my smear test showed abnormal cells - this was labelled as borderline/mild. The doctor didn't seem particularly concerned and just told me to come back in a year for another test - she only did a visual exam and didn't take a biopsy because she said that sometimes biopsy will aggravate the area whereas it could resolve on its own.  

I'm now incredibly worried that the cells have progressed to cancer in the nine months since my colposcopy. I've been to my GP and she didn't seem particularly concerned. She has referred me for a pelvic ultrasound but just on a normal referral. My mother died from breast cancer in April and I'm constantly petrified that something similar will happen to me. I seem to spend most of my time in tears and I also have to go for a breast ultrasound on Tuesday because I've found some lumps that need to be checked out. 

Does anyone have any advice or help to stop me going out of my mind? I'm so strung out and worried about it that I am finding it hard to concentate on much else and I'm making myself ill. I've just turned 30 and I've just got engaged - this is supposed to be the best time of my life and I can't enjoy it at all. I'm so petrified that this means something horrible because every time I google the symptoms (which is almost becoming compulsive) all I get is results for cervical cancer. 

I really appreciate any advice or help you have and I hope that you are all doing well. 

Vicky xx



Hi Vicky,

Sorry to hear about your Mum. What a horrible time you've had recently. I hope all your scans go okay, it sounds like you're in very good hands,

i'm no expert on the symptoms you describe, sorry. However, in my experience neither is Google. If you want to talk to someone I've always found Macmillan to be very knowledgable and sympathetic. I think their number is 080 8808 0000

I think you and the doctors are keeping a very close eye on everything. If possible try not to worry too much & enjoy your engagement. Congratulations!


Hi Vicky,

I'm sorry you lost your mum, particularly to such a nasty disease. It wouldn't come as a huge surprise to me if your symptoms were in some way connected with the stress of losing your mum. And please be reassured that cervical cancer has no known genetic links to any cancers at all, anywhere. Most of your symptoms sound to me like a pretty normal but particularly icky period, and the older you get the more likely you are to experience one. If you are lined up for both breast and pelvic ultrasounds that's grand, you will find out everything you need to know at those appointments. Chat away with the staff while you are there and ask as many questions as come into your head. And please, keep away from Google, it's mostly written by gnomes and trolls ;-)

Be lucky


Hi both,

Thank you very much for your responses and your advice. 

The bleeding was lighter last night but has been heavier today - saturating a tampon this morning before tailing off this afternoon. The pressure in my abdomen on my right side flares up intermittently and doesn't seem to respond to Neurofen Plus, which usually kicks most things into touch!

It's just so worrying. I know I should try and cross bridges when I come to them but I'm finding it very difficult to cope and I've convinced myself already that I must have the worst possible scenario. The waiting for appointments is the worst bit and the fear of something being uncontrollable by the time it's found and treated. 

If you don't mind my asking, how did you cope with this?

Vicky xx



Hi Vicky

I haven’t had any symptoms- I don’t think- although I’ve convinced myself a few times that I have and that I’ve missed them! But they found severe cells after my smear in dec and I had a LLETZ procedure last Monday. The colposcopist mentioned they may be moderate not severe but we’ll see. Fingers crossed!

I’m waiting for the biopsy results now. The uncertainty is unbearable and something that is shared by the author of every post on this website! And I think that everyone has the same fears about things developing quicker than the health profs catch it.

I chased my docs, referral service and hospital everyday. This made me feel as though I had a little bit of control, and in fact, they ended up giving me a cancellation over the phone a week after receiving the result of my smear. I think they got so sick of me ringing! Don’t be scared to do the same.

I’ve been dying to pick up the phone and ring about my biopsies- but I’m trying to resist!!!

Sounds like you’ve had an awful year and this is bound to make you highly anxious. I’m so sorry about your mum. Keeping busy is the main thing- this puts things into perspective so do some nice stuff and enjoy yourself, you deserve it. Plan lots into your weekend. Go to the pics, out for food or go away somewhere!

Everyone on here is sooooo helpful, reassuring and knowledgeable. Keep talking to us- someone will always be on the other side of an iPad screen!

Lots of love xx

Hi Vicky,

You might try asking your doctor about painkillers that contain mefenemic acid, this seems to work loads better on bad period pains than Neurofen.

Be lucky ;-)


Thank you both for your advice and support. 

I have my pelvic ultrasound tomorrow so am starting to get a bit nervous now. My GP put me on Provera yesterday because I was still bleeding but I've just noticed some more brown discharge so I feel a bit as if I can't catch a break at the moment! The pressure in my groin is still concerning so I'm looking forward to getting some answers - even if I do feel a bit like I'm standing at the top of a huge cliff with nothing to catch me. 

I hope you're both ok - and thank you for all the tips. 


Vicky xx


Hi all,

I had a transvaginal and pelvic ultrasound done yesterday and the doctor who did the scans said that she didn't see anything suspicious. I'm still having heavier than normal discharge - some of which is a sludgy brown colour. Can these ultrasounds detect cervical cancer? If not, should I be pushing my GP to re-refer me to the colposcopy clinic for another check? 

Thanks again for for your help. 

Vicky xx

Hi Vicky,

I'm not sure how small a cancer can be picked up on an ultrasound, certainly it can pick up one that's a bit bigger. But there again, I can't see why you would be sent off for an examination that can't show what they're looking for. It's still sounding quite like a big icky period to me. Does your GP have a nice, kind, friendly, understanding manner? (like they all should but some do not) If so, can you not simply book an appointment to discuss the whole thing in detail?

Be lucky


Hi Tivoli,

Not especially - of the two GPs I've seen, the male was slightly more understanding but even he seemed like he just wanted to be rid of me. He also kept saying 'good luck', which I didn't think was particularly helpful!

I've booked an appointment with a private gynaecologist tomorrow evening so I'm trying to hold out for that. The discharge got a bit better over the past couple of days but it's become a watery discharge again since yesterday so I'm now freaking out again. I've also noticed some on the toilet paper at both ends (apologies) so I'm getting very nervous that as I have HPV according to my abnormal smear, it's something that has spread. 

My GP referred me back to the colposcopy clinic on Thursday but they rang on Friday to say they didn't want to see me and that they would refer me on to a gynaecologist. They also told me that I would likely see them before I saw a gynaecologist - and I'm seeing them at the end of February. Is it just me or is that not really acceptable? I'm really concerned that they're not taking this seriously. 

I went to A&E today because the discharge came back and got a bit heavier and the doctor I saw there told me that cervical cancer starts with a lump?! I thought the first symptom was bleeding. Am I going mad or do these people seriously not know what they're talking about? 

Super scared and panicked here - god knows what I'm going to be like if they give me bad news tomorrow. :(

Hope you're all ok.

Vicky xx