Hi, I'm new to this website and I'm hoping that it was silly of me to even join. I don't know if I'm just looking to vent or wanting emotional support or wanting answers.
I am 30 years old and have an IUD. I was having really frequent periods and spotting for a few months, and the periods were very watery. I thought maybe the IUD was the culprit and I went to check the strings and felt a raised bump/lump on my cervix. I've also had some intense cramps off and on just above my pelvic bone, and stabbing pains in my ovary area if I straighten out in bed to fast or stand up too quickly. I was overdue for a pap anyway so I made an appointment. The pap results came bace abnormal. She said it's "ASCUS, HPV 16 positive with cell inflammation." I had a pap 2 years ago which came back normal, but this is the first time I've been tested for HPV and it is a high risk kind. She scheduled me for a colposcopy, which I go for on Thursday morning. After doing loads of research I'm even more scared than I was before. HPV 16 is really scary sounding, and combining that with all my strange symptoms and the thing I can feel on my cervix, it's just go tme all in knots. (As a side note, when I was trying to concieve before I had my daughter, I tried tracking the location and feeling of my cervix to predict ovulation, so I'm familiar with the way it normal feels and this is not normal. When my Dr did the pap she said she could not see anything there but I can definitely feel it.) If anybody has a similar experience or words of advice I would really appreciate it. I can't concentrate on anything including homework and work and my kids because I'm so preoccupied. I hate not know and even after my colposcopy I'll have to wait for my results!! Ugh!
Hi Abby, it's horrible waiting for those results and next steps isn't it. Wanted to reach out as I'm new to the forum too but have found reading other people's posts really helpful.
Obviously I can't give any medical advice, but you might have a more solid opinion sooner than you think because the colposcopist on Thursday will be really experienced in this - they seemed in my hospital to almost use the formal biopsies to confirm what they see with their eye, they're that good, so when my results came they weren't a surprise. The colposcopy isn't lovely but its not that much worse than a smear really.
Try to be reassured that you're in the right place at the right time which is a good thing. My understanding is that HPV16 is yes the kind that can cause abnormal cells, but that 4/5 women who have ever had sex (!) have got it, and it only sometimes leads to abnormal cells, and they only sometimes are bad enough to need removing, and even if they were left alone they only sometimes lead to cancerous cells. I have an oncologist in the family who says that there is if anything a bit of a tendency to overdaignose and overtreat HPV/CIN cells at the moment - with the best of intentions, but it does cause this kind of often unecessary stress. Obviously I can't say for sure, but statistically, if nothing could be seen by your doctor on your cervix, chances are you're in that category.
Try to find some ways of taking your mind off things and to have some 'you' time though - this is a stressful thing to go through, so I hope you've got someone in your life you can talk to about it. If you ask around female friends I bet many of them have gone through the same thing.
All the best and feel better soon. xxx
PS realise that 'tendency to overtreat' isn't particularly helpul - always follow the health professional's advice as they will be going off the very best and latest evidence and I know literally zero!!
This is almost me too!
I had Mirena coil inserted 3 years ago. Had smear in Jan and came back with severe high grade dyskaryosis.
I just dismissed symptoms which now I know I should have been aware of being..not good!
-Lower back cramping, excuse: exercise- I just thought my back hurt after running (more painful when I go to bed).
-Spotting and random periods, one really heavy recently. I felt I was mis sold the coil! As I thought your periods would disappear altogether, when instead I'd be using sanitary products for almost 3 weeks sometimes.
-Other symptoms that are gross.
I also felt a lump on my cervix a few months ago when checking strings. I had a doc prod down there as I was covinced my coil was coming out. (Was told to feel for something that feels like a nib of a pen). I was dismissed and told i was actually just feeling my cervix (uhhhh hello! I know what my cervix feels like!!!). So I was made to feel stupid by my female doc and walked away thinking things were hunky dory.
I also have had a few check ups on various things and have ALWAYS been told that my cervix looked bloody (sorry I know it's gross).
What sucks is I swear we aren't educated on basic signs and symptoms of cervical cancer as women! And I feel like if you have the coil, they should test you for CC, as I swear telling you that you may spot isn't good enough...
I don't know...I'm not a doc. But I have the same questions in my head right now!!!
Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. And you're right; the odds are in my favor. It's the HPV that scares me the most and that has me doing all this reading up. I hope you're right and that the colposcopist will be able to tell me something during the biopsy. And don't worry I know what you meant about "overtreating". I read the same thing as a reason why women are not tested for HPV before 30, since many will have it at some point and they do not want to be going overboard on unnecessary prevention steps. But on the other hand, this is the first time I have been tested for HPV and I honestly wonder how long I've had it. I also read a LOT of stories about women under 30 with pre-cancer or cancer, which is really scary!
I have the Mirena as well. I've had it for just under 3 years now and have gone to the doctor 3 times now for strange periods and symptoms. Every time it's dismissed as the Mirena's hormone shift and that if I really "can't deal", I should just have it removed and seek other birth control. I've begun to wonder how many women's cancer has been overlooked due to an IUD being blamed as the culprit of strange symptoms.
I also know what you mean about "gross" symptoms. One that was a huge red flag for me is that my periods have been very watery. I use a menstrual cup so I've become very familiar with the consistancy of my menstrual blood, which has always been thick and dark. For the past few months, though, it has been very light red and literally the consistancy of water. Everything I read about this says it's a sign of cervical cancer. My biopsy is tomorrow so we will see what they say.
Well my doctor's receptionist called on the day of the colpo to reschedule because the dr had the flu. They were going to make me wait for another TWO WEEKS to have the test. So I ended up hunting down another doctor who would do it for me soon (and actually ended up liking her quite a bit more). Anyway I had the biopsy done, not fun but at least that part is over. Just keeping my fingers crossed and waiting for the results!