Edit: Apologies that this is so long! I just started typing and… well, word vomit!
I had a cold coagulation procedure to treat cervical ectropy this week and was hoping someone could help answer some questions and share their experiences with having this done.
I went to the gynecologist this week after finally being referred by my GP after years of suffering with severe menorrhagia (14+ day periods that are so heavy, they made me anaemic) and post-coital bleeding. Ultrasounds, smear tests, and blood tests over the years had always been normal so there was never anything to be too concerned about. I also used to live overseas most of the year so finding time to even get this referral was difficult. I’d been on different contraceptive pills in the past but all had too many side effects and I eventually decided to stop taking them about 4 years ago as it seemed to be the lesser of two evils.
The gynecologist found I had very raw skin (cervical ectropy) on the outside of my cervix which was likely the cause of the post-coital bleeding but not the heavy menstruation (I had previously been treated for cervical ectropy about 3 years ago when I lived overseas but they just gave me some vaginal tablets which only mildly helped for a short time). I had a smear test last year and I remember mentioning all of the above to the nurse beforehand as I was experiencing the post-coital bleeding still/again but she said everything was fine despite the fact I bled during the smear test.
Anyway, sorry I went off on a bit of a tangent but thought some history might help! My question is about the cold coagulation. The gynecologist suggested I do that for the ectropy and have the coil fitted for the menorrhagia. I didn’t particularly want the coil as I felt I would just have the same side effects as when I took the minipill. My GP had also mentioned that the gynecologist might agree to a hysterectomy as I am in my thirties, don’t intend to have children, and this is severely affecting my quality of life and mental health. After further discussing it with the gynecologist, she unfortunately ruled out a hysterectomy and said the only treatment she would currently give me for the menorraghia was the coil (Mirena), so I agreed.
Again, tangent, sorry! I wasn’t given much information about the cold coagulation, just that it would burn the raw skin into a tougher outer skin and that it might cause ‘mild’ pain. It was honestly the most painful experience of my life and I usually have a high tolerance for pain. They had to carry it out five times on five different areas of my cervix (my cervix surely isn’t that big!??!) and I later found out through some online research that I should’ve received a local anaesthetic, which I did not. Immediately after the coagulation, they inserted the coil, which again was so painful (probably more so because of the coagulation) and I have also since read that while a coagulation can be carried out if you already have the coil, a coil shouldn’t be fitted for 4 weeks after the coagulation. I could barely walk or stand afterwards and was just left to go home immediately after. They told me the pain was normal so I believed them and left. I called my partner outside the hospital crying my eyes out. I could barely concentrate on driving and had to take the rest of the day off work. I’ve had severe abdominal cramps and back pain for days now and so much watery/bloody vaginal discharge that I’m using more pads than I do on my period.
So my questions to those who have had this done are: did you receive a local anaesthetic? If not, were you given the choice? For how long did you experience pain and/or discharge and/or bleeding? Have any of you had the cold coagulation at the same time as having the coil fitted and what was your experience with that?
I’m just looking to find out what’s normal and whether I should be worried. Apologies this is so long but thank you for taking the time to read it if you made it this far!