colposcopy due to irregular bleeding not abnormal smear


i just wondered if anyone had experience of being referred to have a colposcopy for reasons other than an abnormal smear? I have been having irregular bleeding since September, enough that I have to wear a pad every day, as I am never really sure what will happen from day to day... i've had ultrasounds, blood tests and swabs, all they have revealed is a low iron count (not surprising since I am losing blood all the time). I have always just assumed it was cervical ectropion - (because my friend had the same symptons). But a couple of weeks ago I finally got referred to see a gynocologist, who completely freaked me out, she said it was unlikely to be ectropion, that she wanted me to have an urgent colposcopy, started throwing around the idea of ruling out something sinister etc etc, when I asked her if I could request a female consultant to do the colposcopy, she said that might take 5/6 weeks, and she didnt want me to wait that long, which is fine by me, I want to get this ordeal over with as soon as possible. Also (and this might be to much information) when she pulled the speculum out, her gasp of horror as blood came pouring out didnt really help Embarassed (the amount of blood that came out also really shook me up... has anyone else had this happen to them after an examination)?

So I got my date through, I was expecting it to be within a couple of weeks, judging by the gynocologists reaction, but it is not until 21st March, should I be concerned enough to go and have this done privately, and get it over with? Does anyone have any idea of how much it might cost? or even how to go about looking for somewhere to have it done? and if it is something serious can I be treated on the NHS? I could probably afford a colposcopy, but anything else is just not possible. There is very little information online from people who have been referred to have a colposcopy because of irregular bleeding, and what their outcome is. I feel a bit of a fraud asking this question on this forum, because all the posts I have read have come from an abnormal smear, which is an early indicator of cancer, (i think), but I am just floating around completely in the dark, it could be something really minor, or really serious, and of course once you start googling.... i have driven myself crazy with worry, and its only been a couple of weeks...if anone has any advice it would be much appreciated.

Hi Lou


I understand how worrying all this is and you just want to know whats going on.   It is quite normal to be referred for a colposcopy for irregular bleeding, it can be the next line of investigation after an ultrasound.  As you've already had an ultrasound that didn't reveal anything your GP probably wants to check all avenues.  Sorry I can't help with the cost of going privately but I would say go back to your GP/phone them if you can't bear to wait until the 21st as its still a way off as yet.  Really hope you get it sorted. let us know how you get on x

Hi Loui889, 

I am in a very similar situation to you, and can offer a bit of reassurance I think! I first went to my GP towards the end of last year, because I'd been having irregular bleeding and unusual discharge (and I still am having this). Like you, I then had some swabs taken for infections, chlamydia,etc, followed by blood tests and an ultrasound. All were normal, so the GP's next step was to refer me for a colposcopy. Having had CIN 2 removed through LLETZ in 2005, I was instantly worried about cervical cancer, especially since the ultrasound and blood tests ruled out other causes of bleeding like fibroids and hormonal issues. I took the colposcpy as a sign that the GP thought it was cervical cancer, perhaps due to my history of CIN. However I went for the colposcopy last week, and it was fine and reassuring (although I'm still none the wiser about the cause of my bleeding!). The person doing it was a nurse colposcopist, and she assured me that although the majority of women who go for a colposcopy are there because of an abnormal smear, they do see quite a few women who, like us, have been referred because of abnormal bleeding, even if their last smear was normal (my last smear was July 2012 and was normal). I have had a colposcopy before so I knew what to expect, but basically they use the colposcope to have a detailed look at the neck of the womb- the person doing it will be able to see things that couldn't be seen with the naked eye. They also apply some liquids to the cervix which change colour in the presence of abnormal cells. For me, the colposcopist could see my scarring from my previous LLETZ treatments, as well as a small cyst, and some ectropian (which I think is the same as erosion). She said none of this concerned her, and that although the ectropian could cause a bit of spotting, it's unlikely to be the cause of the heavy bleeding I'm having. I am relieved that she didn't see signs of cancer of course, but none the wiser on the bleeding! My GP thinks it may just be 'one of those things' and to wait and watch. I can understand how frustrating it is to have to wait, but I think a private colposcopy would be about 800 pounds. I looked in to it, but then my appointment arrived really quickly so I didn't need to proceed with it. I must be lucky with the waiting lists in my area. Anyway, I know it's stupid to say 'don't worry,' because the bleeding is such a distressing symptom- impossible to ignore- and waiting is really hard. However take reassurance from the fact that I had the same referral as you, and it turned out ok. All the best xxxxx