Awaiting Colposcopy & Feeling Emotional

Hello to anyone who reads this. I am on a bit of an emotional roller coaster at the moment, as I await a colposcopy appointment in a few days.

I went to my GP a couple of weeks ago because I wanted to have some bloods taken to check my hormone levels. Nothing urgent as such, but I was concerned that I might be entering perimenopause early (my mother and grandmother both did), as I was experiencing night sweats and thrush amongst other things. Last month my period was incredibly heavy. My periods have always been heavy, but this was really bad - I would have thought I was miscarrying because the size of the clots were so big (I was not – I am a gay woman just FYI). So off I trotted to the GP to see if I could be referred for bloods.

Although my thrush had actually gotten better, the GP asked if I wanted her to take a look and do a swab, so I agreed. What followed on from that was the equivalent of 3 cervical examinations which I was not at all expecting. My cervical smears have always been incredibly painful as I have a tilted cervix and really struggle with the pain of the examination. The GP eventually managed to get a look at my cervix and then said, ‘do you know you have a polyp?’. Obviously no, I did not know that. Then she proceeded to say, ‘It’s not necessarily cancer…’ and my heart just dropped.

My father was diagnosed with testicular cancer last month and my entire family has been in disarray. He has just had surgery and we are all adapting to dealing with that situation. The thought of me now being diagnosed…now of all times…I just can’t bear it.

The GP referred me as an ‘urgent referral for suspected gynaecological cancer’. From the eventual paperwork I received, she has described the polyp as a ‘fleshy growth’.

She did not do a smear test which I found strange. She said they only do them for ‘routine appointments’, but I would have thought she would have taken a smear or am I clueless to the process here?!

She also said that there was a creamy white discharge around my cervix. A few days later, one of the swabs confirmed that I had an internal fungal thrush infection, so I have been given some medication in the hopes this helps clear it up. Since the GP did the cervical examinations, I have had lots of cramping, stomach ache, lower back ache…the works. I expected this for a day or two, but it’s already been a week and still there on and off. This is obviously freaking me out even more.

Sorry, I appreciate this is a very long post…

I am 36 years old. Only ever had 1 sexual partner. I have 1 child (I was the birth mother). Went through 4 rounds of IVF and had 4 miscarriages, including my daughter’s twin. I had a traumatic birth. Just lying on a hospital bed with my underwear off takes me back to all that. So much prodding and poking. I guess I have some PTSD from it, as so many of us women do, so the thought of going back into hospital again really makes me feel on edge.

The thing I’m most scared of (beyond the obvious thought of a cancer diagnosis) is the pain, I just cannot withstand it well at all. I know I will be in immense pain, and doctors/nurses never seems to care. You are always told it might be ‘uncomfortable’. Er no, I’m experiencing immense fucking pain.

I rang the hospital yesterday because I am concerned that the colposcopy date falls on day 1 of my period (which is usually on time). I wanted to know if I could be put on a cancellation list in the unlikely event that any appointment frees up earlier. The receptionist sneered at me and said ‘do you really think anyone here cancels their appointment?’. Obviously it’s unlikely but not impossible – someone could wake up with a stomach bug and not be able to come in. I just didn’t like the vibe/attitude and it made me even more anxious about attending the appointment.

I’ve been in tears on and off; depending on the day and time. I have been through a traumatic journey to get my daughter who just turned 2. I can’t bear the thought of a cancer diagnosis now. I keep looking at her with tears in my eyes.

Sorry for the essay. It has helped to write this all out. If anyone has any words of encouragement, I would appreciate it.

I’m really sorry you are going through this. I was referred to colposcopy in Nov due to the appearance of my cervix at my smear. My gp messed up the referral and it took 4 weeks to get there and during that time my anxiety was sky high so I can completely relate to how you are feeling right now. I was worried about the procedure and what news I would get. Once I got there they were really lovely and the colposcopy itself was fine, not uncomfortable at all, I think due to the position you are in and because they do this all day every day. I was told straight away the changes to my cervix were normal, I had ectropian and nabothian cysts, I had two biopsies to confirm the ectropian and it was treated with silver nitrate.
The waiting is the worst bit but just remind yourself that they are taking care of you and if there is anything untoward they are trying to catch things early. I know it’s easier said than done. Let us know how you get on.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond @sarlo, it really is much appreciated. Reading your story has calmed my nerves somewhat. The GP also said in her notes that I had ectropian. Still learning all the jargon and what it means, and desperately hoping that whatever I have is treatable. I will update on here after my colposcopy in case it is of help to any future readers. Thank you so much again. xx

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Hello sorry to hear about your experience.

So regarding the pain, i get this to and actually have my smears done at the colposcopy unit because of this. Because they have the proper gynae chair to get you into the right position, and because they do it day in day out it’s so much better. I do still get some pain but nothing like it used to be at the GP.

Ectropian. Often doesn’t need any treatment. It can go away on its own. It’s where cells that are usually in the neck of the cervix are instead on the front of the cervix. Nothing to worry about, it can happen for a variety of reasons including changes in hormone levels. It often isn’t treated if it’s not causing any issues. I’ve had it before and no treatment needed and it’s cleared up itself.

I’ve not had polyps so I’ll be honest I’m not clear on those. But this website is super helpful with clear information definitely worth a read.

Hello @Letsdothis, thank you very much for taking the time to reply. Sharing your experience has been so reassuring for me. I had read some horror stories, so it is helpful to hear that you have had a more positive experience in terms of the pain, thank you.

It is also reassuring to hear your feedback regarding ectropian. I really hope that mine is deemed non-threatening.

I think the waiting is always the hardest part. Mental torture! I will update on here once I find out what my diagnosis is.

Thank you so much again. xx

Hi i have been in same position as you and my colposcopy is tomorrow morning now. I was also due to have my period and because i didnt want to cancel (was advised by hospital could be turned away if was on) my doctor prescribed me norethisterone to delay it. I was actually due my appointment on 5th feb on the urgent referral and received a call 2 days later with many different dates that they had had cancellations for so it does happen.
The pain like yourself i struggle with,i have inverted uterus also and they always struggle to find it. I was referred as my cervix started to bleed as soon as it was touched during my routine smear. I have too been having severe pain since the smear, which my doctor has advised me to mention to the doctor tomorrow.
I hope that all goes well and i will update after my visit.

Hello @Ldiy1984, I am so sorry to hear that you are also going through this. It is such a stressful time. I wish you all the very best for your colposcopy tomorrow. I hope you have reassuring news and all goes as well as possible.

I think it is the suddenness of it all that has shaken me. I have had a better day today and kept busy with work, but know I will be anxious over the weekend about the possibility of starting my period. Interesting that they gave you norethisterone, at least they have been reasonable. The receptionist I spoke with was pretty unhelpful and made me feel stupid - how do these people work in these clinics?!

Will be thinking of you tomorrow. Please let me know how it all goes if and when you can. xx

I fully agree, i was expecting it to be perfectly normal like all my previous smears, and to be there and back to work in an hour, this wasnt the case but luckily my boss was very understanding although a very diffocult conversation being the only female in the team. I think i was very lucky with my doctors surgery too, i just called up and my prescription was at chemist the next day, may be worth trying your gp surgery as only need to start taking 3 days before due to delay it if it is a concern. I agree some people should not work with people especially when there are people already feeling vulnerable.
I will update as soon as get home from appointment with what info i have and hope for the best.
Will be thinking of you until you find out too x

I am so sorry you had to deal with that on your lunchbreak! Must have been a terrible shock. Wish I had asked my GP about norethisterone but they are closed for the weekend now. Just hoping my period doesn’t come early, or else I may lose my mind.

Have been thinking of you today and really hope all went as well as possible. xx

So am back home from appointment. Consultant took biopsy and stated that there were growths located around my cervix. He was not concerned with cancer however, but advised that the biopsy was then erring on the side of caution. He told me to make an appointment to see my doctor as he believes my symptoms and what he saw today match with endometriosis. So my next step is to make that appointment.
The consultant and the nurses im the room were lovely and did all they could to put me at ease, i have some more discomfort now but feel better re him not being overly concerned with cancer. Xxx

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I am so pleased all went well - that sounds very promising. Sorry to hear that it may be endometriosis but better that than fears around cancer. I believe there are many different treatment routes with endometriosis and hope that they can help yours in the best possible way.

Thank you for telling me that your consultant and nurses were lovely. I really hope mine are too. I will update you tomorrow and let you know how I get on. Don’t think I will sleep very well tonight…xx

Thank you x
I was exactly the same, what i did was put the tv on to watch with the intention of occupying my mind and i dozed off naturally as managed to not overthink that way. I did struggle to get back to sleep once i woke up and moved to bed but at least i managed some. I will be thinking of you and when you are ready to do so please do let me know.

Hello, I made it through the appointment. It took them a while to find my cervix (why do I have the most complicated located cervix in the world?!) but the colposcopist was nice and there were two nurses with her who were lovely and kept talking to me the entire time to ensure I was distracted. The colposcopist said there was no polyp :roll_eyes: and that what the GP had seen was simply how my cervix had repaired itself after the birth of my daughter. She did show me on the screen but I couldn’t see all too well due to sun glare. She sounded pretty confident in her analysis which reassured me. She did confirm I have ectropion but wasn’t concerned about it and said it is normal after childbirth. She took two punch biopsies just to be safe but said it didn’t look like there was anything to worry about. I assume no abnormalities were immediately present as she applied liquid and didn’t say that anything abnormal was visible. So I am feeling extremely relieved and lucky. Obviously don’t have the ‘all clear’ yet until the biopsy results come back, but the feedback sounded promising. In some discomfort now but I think a lot of it is the anxiety and stress too. How are you feeling now? Hope you are recovering okay xx

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Oh im so glad to hear that after everything it was a better experience for you. Yeah no all clear until back but sounds like yours was confident in their analysis like mine was.
Like yourself i am still experiencing some discomfort but am finding that paracetamol is easing it to being manageable. Ill keep my fingers crossed for both of us that the biopsies come back all clear too xx

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Hello @Ldiy1984 - any news your end? I just heard from my GP who says my results have come back clear which is obviously a huge relief. Can’t quite believe it. I haven’t received the official letter as yet but hopefully she’s got it right!! I panicked earlier again today as I have had some spotting which has never happened. Wondering whether it’s from the colposcopy but that was 3 weeks ago now…so not sure what has caused it. I really hope that you also receive good news and are doing okay xx

Awww that is such good news. I am so happy that you got the results that were wanted.
I have not yet had my results back but am keeping optimistic after what the specialist said on the day. I will update as soon as i have any news xx

Thank you :white_heart: I hope you hear back very soon. If I hadn’t spoken to my GP, I may have been waiting for a while longer. They like to keep us waiting don’t they?! Yes please do update me when you hear. Sending hugs xx