Those following the forum may recall seeing more than one post from me about infection following a colposcopy and punch biopsies. Since I had a lot of back and forth with the doctors on this, I thought I'd post this summary so people know what to look out for.
TL;DR: You can have more than one infection at a time, even after having punch biopsies, and may not have the traditional symptoms like a fever/foul-smelling discharge. You should *not* feel pain for longer than a week after punch biopsies and if you do, even without other symptoms, you may have an infection that can be effectively treated with antibiotics if caught early. Don't delay seeing your GP. Any abnormal bleeding will be taken seriously and should be reported to your GP asap.
After the procedure, I had the following symptoms:
- Bad cramping and sharp, burning pains starting in my pelvic area and spreading to my back, sides and groin after one week
- A general feeling of being a bit bruised down there
- Bleeding and spotting for two weeks
I saw a GP for the first time two weeks after the initial procedure and was diagnosed with a UTI. I then took a one-week course of antibiotics. In the interim, I became very sick (almost flu-like) for a day, with nausea, chills, dizziness and shaking, and then my symptoms improved. I stopped bleeding but still had a vaguely yellow discharge (no smell) and the odd sharp pain, which I was advised to medicate with co-codamol.
Four days later, I started cramping and had abnormal bleeding similar to my period, but on day 16 of my cycle. After umming and ahhing, I called NHS 111 and was instructed to see the GP that day. The GP said it sounded like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) caused by infection of the biopsy sites. Here's what happened next:
- No physical examination because the treatment would be the same either way
- Treatment: two-week course of antibiotics (2 x metronidazole and 2 x doxycycline per day)
- Report back if not improving in a week (will then be referred back to Colposcopy)
The diagnosis sounds scary, but despite what a lot of websites say, PID apparently only causes long-term problems (e.g. with ectopic pregancies and infertility) after going untreated for several months.
One caveat: immunocompromised individuals like me are likely to get a similar infection every time they have a colposcopy. The GP advised me to tell the colposcopist about this and get on a course of antibiotics immediately following future procedures just to be sure.
Obviously, everyone is different, but I hope this helps someone. Have a good day!