I’ve turned to drink through fear!!!!!

Hi ladies!!
There’s no other way to say it, I’m just in an absolute mess right now!!! I’m 47 with 2 kids (23 and 10) and I’m struggling massively!!!
I haven’t had a smear test in 11 years! And to be honest, there is absolutely no reason for it whatsoever! They don’t bother me at all so I can’t give a valid excuse for why I haven’t had one. My last I had was in 2011 when I had not long been pregnant with my boy who is now 10. I got the texts and letters in 2014 asking me to book one and I’m thinking oh yeah I’ll book one at some point but I never did because I’m an absolute idiot!!!
Fast forward to now, and three weeks ago I had just got back from a wonderful cruise with my family when I had some bleeding on day 12 of my cycle… It was around ovulation time so I wasn’t concerned as it’s happened before. It was just once when I’d gone to the toilet and saw it there. After that it was fine and had gone. The next day it happened again. It was just once again and stopped. The next day (Monday 8th august, day 14 of my cycle) me and my partner had sex and when I went to the toilet after, I saw bright red blood with a couple of small clots!! I almost hyperventilated there and then! But as quick as it came, it had gone and there has been nothing since. I’m now on day 34 of my cycle and I haven’t had my period yet. I usually come on between day 23-28 of my cycle. I have had no other bleeding since I bled after sex and me and my partner haven’t had sex in over three weeks because I’m scared incase it happens again.
So, In Absolute fear I finally booked a smear test. The first available appointment they had was for 9th september but I thought that worked because I was due on anyway so it would give me enough time to get through my period beforehand. I’m still waiting for that period though! The first thing I did after the post sex bleed was come on here and read so many stories similar to mine, that turned out to be cancer. The more I read the more I became afraid. It was all I thought about and felt sick to my stomach!

Hi Donna,

I totally understand your anxieties. There are many different possible reasons for bleeding in this way but the best thing is to see your GP if you have any unexplained bleeding at all

The GP will examine you and the refer you to the hospital gynae, for investigation, usually under the 2 week wait process, which is great because you wont have to wait long to get to the bottom of the cause.

I know its easier said than done, but please try not to worry about the maybes and could-bes until the doctor has had a chance to look.

As smears are for screening not diagnosing things they might just send you for colposcopy, ultrasounds, etc rather than doing a smear at this time.
I had similar a few years ago, was referred under 2 week wait (standard practise for unexplained bleeding), had scans etc but all was fine and they put it down to hormones in the end.

Please do book a GP appointment straight away so you can get the right advice.


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Hi autumn,
Thanks so much for your reply. The post I put on, i wrote a week or so ago. I didn’t post it and started typing another one last night but somehow it’s posted the old one instead! Goodness knows how that happened.

Anyway since I typed the old one out, more has been happening. I’ve started spotting every day. It’s not all day long, it’s like random times throughout the day, sometimes it’s watery pink and other times there is some red blood in it. It’s not a period. Sometimes I’ll have a wee and wipe and it’s clear, but if I put my finger inside I’ll have watery blood on my finger. :sob:
My period never came so the rational side of me thinks maybe it’s my hormones messing everything up. The other half thinks its perimneopause starting :woman_shrugging:t2:

Now the last two days I’ve been suffering badly with back pain. The pain is there all day. Being at work and being on my feet walking around helps keep my mind off of it but it’s always there. Once I’m still though, it’s horrendous!!! Last night in bed I put sone deep freeze on my back and my partner made me a hot water bottle which I placed there. I had such an awful sleep. The pain is horrible!!! I’m a massive worrier when it comes to health and I know me focussing on the pain is making it worse but I can’t help thinking this is all related :sob::sob::joy::sob:

My smear test is in the morning. I’m trying to tell myself I’ll walk in there with confidence and talk calmly but I know I’ll walk through the door and cry my eyes out. I’m so scared! Scared of what she will say, what she might see, scared of the results, scared of any tests I might need to have, scared of those results! And scared this back pain won’t ever stop :sob::sob::sob::sob::sob::sob::sob:

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Hi Donna,

its good that youve got a smear booked in, but honestly i would urge you to book a GP slot too.

My experience was that the GP can refer that same day just based on you describing those symptoms - and you will definitely be seen by the hospital within 2 weeks.

If you just do the smear, it will get sent off and go through the usual lab analysis which could take 6 around weeks for results. So if the nurse thinks everything looks normal, youll still be waiting for weeks to see if the smear picked anything up.
If the nurse thinks it doesnt look normal then maybe she can get the doctor to take a look and refer you. But if it looks ok, then i dont think she’d call a doctor in. Obviously, we hope there isnt anything to see, but on the downside i know that wont allay your fears!

Please do consider calling the GP and see if they can see you too. I found the 2 week referral thing was brilliant - and all was fine and reassuring, because they were so thorough.

Youre a similar age to me and its known that progesterone and estrogen are surging and waning at this stage, wreaking all kinds of havoc, so I hope you find thats the cause of your issues too.

If you think of it this way, cholesterol levels might be a great way to screen people and see if theyre at risk of heart problems, but if you had chest pains right now, you would not go and get your cholesterol checked. You’d get the GP to examine you so they could tell you its indigestion (hopefully) and its the same with cervical screening. Theyre great when you have no symptoms, but with symptoms you just want that fast assessment so you can get on with your life.


Hello autumn,
Well I went for my smear just now. I had a little blub at the beginning and told her everything that’s been going on. She was lovely. She took the smear and said visually my cervix looks fine. She also took a vaginal swab to check for infection. She told me to book a GP appointment to talk over my concerns. The smear will take 2-4 weeks to come back and the swab will be back within a week. She did say there are a lot of reasons other than cancer for the symptoms I’m having and one of them could be Hormonal.

So now I wait :scream:
I will post back when I know any more for anyone going through the same thing!

Thankyou for listening autum, you’ve been a star when I’ve needed it :kissing_heart::kissing_heart::kissing_heart:


Hi Donna,

You’ve done the right thing to have your smear test today…there are many reasons of your bleeding and it can be mixed of infection and hormones change. Is not the best thing when you bleeding and of course you thinking the worse scenario.

Back pain and bleeding it can be an infection and i had it 3 years ago, so enjoy your days and think positive :slight_smile:

Let us know when you get your results

I will cross my fingers for you

Take care :slightly_smiling_face: x


Hi Sofia,
Thanks for your reply :blush:
I’m still bleeding. It’s been every day since Saturday 3rd September. But it’s not like period bleeding. I’m wearing a sanitary towel every day and nothing is ever on there. But when I’ve been to the toilet and wipe, the tissue will be red/pink and if I gently stick my finger inside, there will be red blood! :woman_shrugging:t2: This is now every time i go to the toilet.

My back pain eased off yesterday but I’ve just woke up and it’s hurting again!!

I know there are lots of things that can cause these symptoms but it’s horrible how your mind goes into overdrive and you suddenly feel like every single thing on your body also hurts and it must be for some horrendous reason.

I’m going to try and get on with my weekend, take sone painkillers and try to keep busy. I’m helping my other half with a function he has on today. He’s been so amazing really looking after me. :heart:

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Also, the nurse did a vaginal swab yesterday to check for any infection What infections do they look for on a vaginal swab? Is it STI’s or something else?

Donna x

Hi Donna,

Im glad you have the support that you need,it’s
really important.

I think yes is for STI and some other infections like bacteria vagenosis. When i had the bleeding it was only for 3 days as i went straight to my GP and i was so lucky to have an appointment the next day. I thought i had definitely cancer and i was surprised from the results. It was bacteria vagenosis with dryness. The dryness it was getting worse those 2 weeks waiting for my results because obviously i was over thinking and had such a breakdown. I had to take some cream and since then i didn’t have any bleeding.

I hope you will have the results soon x

Enjoy your weekend :kissing_heart:

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Does bacterial vaginosis cause bleeding??? I didn’t know that!! :scream: the nurse said it could be my hormones as I’m 47 now but when you’re in the depths of health anxiety, nothing anyone says is true! As far as you’re concerned it’s cancer and nothing else!!

I’m glad yours only turned out to be just that. I say ‘glad’, it must have been horrible for you at the time though.

It is lovely to have people around me supporting me but I don’t want to listen when they tell me “oh it won’t be anything bad, it’s just your hormones, it’s because you’re worrying, you’re feeling your back pain more because you’re focussing on it, etc. I know they mean well and of course they don’t want anything to be wrong with me like that, but I get so annoyed and say things like “YOU DONT KNOW THAT” !!! Then they say “WELL NEITHER DO YOU”!!! And then I have to shut up because I have absolutely nowhere to go with the argument lol :joy:

I don’t know if you’ve ever suffered with health anxiety before but I have since I was 16, I went to the doctors for the first time ever on my own without needing my mum to be there and I had to provide a water sample to be sent off. I remember asking the doctor what it could be and one of the things he mentioned was cancer. I almost died there and then and spent the next three days crying to my mum that he thinks it’s cancer (it came back clear in the end) but from that day on, anything health related other than simple things like throat infections etc, was cancer!!!

So I suppose this is why I cannot grasp it could ever be anything else!!

I’m anxiously waiting for a call next week from the doctors or hospital to say I need to attend for more tests, but I will though, try and remain positive and not let it get to me too much :scream::scream::scream:

Thankyou for listening I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it :heart::heart::heart:

Hi Donna,

I was just reading your posts & wanted to say how much I admire you for plucking up the courage to push through & seek medical help despite having health anxiety (I know how it feels). How are things going just now? Hoping all is well :heartpulse:

Thankyou for your message!
Well I’ve just been staying off here and trying to chill out and put it to the back of my mind. Ive been away from home over the weekend and got back this afternoon to find my results. I have HPV but no abnormal cells were found. :scream: they want me to repeat in one year. Why have they not told me what strain of HPV I have? The letter doesn’t say.
I don’t know how I feel about my results. The bleeding I was having has stopped and I’m just waiting for my next period, if it comes.

I’m just worried because I don’t know how long I have had this HPV because it had been 11 years since my last smear. And are the symptoms I was having caused by HPV?

Gosh I’ve got a lot of reading up to do in bed tonight! :sob::sob::sob::sob:

Hi Donna

Im so happy you results are clear…i know you feel so confuse but hpv positive doesn’t mean you will have cancer. No the bleeding is not from hpv as you don’t have any cell changes. So you will need to speak with your GP and try to investigate what was the bleeding.

Nhs doesn’t say the strain of the virus and tbh there is not any reason to know as nothing is gonna change. They only looking for the high risk types so you have one of them. You can get a home test form superdrug or zava and you can find what type you have but again it won’t change anything. You now know you have that infection and you need to be healthy and having your yearly smear test.

Nobody can say how long you have it and i will give you again the same answer that there is not reason to know.
You are in a good position as all the symptoms that you have is not cancer and even better your smear test is clear from cell changes.

I hope that makes you feel better :two_hearts: