Infection info: what to look out for (pelvic inflammatory disease caused by bad biopsies!)

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 nauseachills, 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!

Thank you so much for posting this! I'm exactly a week out from my colp./biopsies and have been a bit concerned since yesterday. Like clockwork, on the 5th day, I completely stopped bleeding and cramping, and felt quite energetic. I went out for a long walk that day, and still felt fine afterward. Then yesterday, for whatever reason, I just started feeling down, uncomfortable and tired. I'm not in outright pain, but do have a little bloating and slight feeling of discomfort when my bladder gets full. It's as though a UTI wants to come on, but...not. It's so different from what I normally expect from the beginning of a UTI, it just makes me wonder if the colp. just pushed against my ureter or something, and made it a bit uncomfortable. Otherwise, a bit of white discharge has started, but it doesn't smell bad and it's just itty bits here and there, like before the procedure.

I think I might emotionally be more of a wreck, to be honest. My results are not until the 19th, and I'm just sweating bullets over it because I have a long history of girl part problems, and keep imagining the chickens have somehow come home to roost now. It's just a bit alarming, because in the days after the colp./biopsies, I was focusing on resting up, and was steadily feeling better. Hard to say what this is, or if it will get worse before the 19th. 

Hi I'm in a similar boat.  Will have been waiting 8 weeks for punch biopsy results on cervix. Have had not really much bleeding or discharge. 

However the pain in my pelvic area and lower back has been horrible. Doc said I had nitrates in urine to suggest infection but hosputal said inconclusive . Two lots of antibiotics but the pain has moved to my left side. Can't bear to touch my lady parts as I don't feel like they are mine. 

Doc hasn't examined me.. just keeps doing phone appt. Feel like I'm overreacting. 

Love to all you ladies and men out there. Stacey xxx