Had my first colposcopy

I have particularly bad health anxiety and, while I know the experience is worrying for any woman, I've been really upset and anxious for the last month. I stumbled across this forum when looking for information about colposcopy and thought I'd share my experience to try and reassure or give a bit more information to anyone who might in the same boat as me.

I had my first ever smear last month and it scared the life out of me. Obviously I wasn't looking forward to it but I'd been reassured by family that, once it was over, I wouldn't have to worry about it for another three years. I wish that had been the case!

I found the smear itself quite painful and I bled more than normal. Due to this and the fact that the nurse saw "something suspicious" on my cervix, she told me she was referring me for a colposcopy. I immediately panicked, burst into tears and asked her if she thought I had cancer. She said no, but thought something might show up in my test results and it was standard procedure to refer me to the hospital for further investigation.

Thanks to a great receptionist, I was able to get an appointment two weeks after my smear. Just before my appointment the results of my smear arrived. Letter said a) everything looked normal and b) I'd be invited back in six months). The doctor said the reason I was invited for a follow-up so soon was because my nurse had tried to fast-track my results due to my anxiety (I appreciated her trying to help - I was in quite a state after the test) which had put me in the system as "one to watch".

The colposcopy itself was better than my smear, probably because I'd done a bit of research beforehand and had come armed with my other half. We had a sit down chat with the doctor first, who talked me through my smear results, explained why I had been referred and asked, if she felt she needed to, if it would be okay to take any biospies at the appointment.

Both the nurse and the doctor were both great, they put me at ease and kept inviting me to ask any questions I had. They explained what they were doing, the kind of sensations I might feel and generally stopped me from worrying too much. They took swabs and the doctor eventually decided to take two biospies, which she explained was "just to be thorough". It was really uncomfortable but not particularly sore.

She said that she wanted biospy results before deciding to remove anything as my smear had been clear and she didn't want to overtreat at my age. She explained that she wasn't worried and said that, following my results, they'd either do nothing or I would be invited back in to have the affected area removed. Knowing I'm due to go away on holiday, and worried about leaving with pending results, she promised to call as soon as she could to talk me through the results.

I'm quite squeamish and been known to feel faint after blood tests etc so, once it was all over, I started to feel sick and shaky. The nurse helped me get my legs out of the stirrups, got me some water and joked around with me and my other half until I got some colour back in my cheeks. She then explained that sex, swimming and using tampons is off the cards for the next few days until the bleeding stops - that's the fun sucked out of my week, haha - and to expect some odd discharge (caused by gauze dressing and iodine).

I'm curled up in bed feeling crampy and a little sorry for myself, but I'm okay. I'm worried incase the biopsy reveals something totally unexpected but my doctor was reassuring today. I'm grateful that everyone I've seen have been happy to talk everything through as, having read some posts here, a lack of communication really worried me.


Thanks for sharing your story. It's reassuring to know as I'm going for my colposcopy on Tues and just wondered what to expect. Good luck with the results of the biopsy. Try to relax and enjoy your holiday now! :) I'm going away soon after the colposcopy too so hopefully no treatment will be needed before then so I can go swimming! All the best! xxxx