Just can’t stop worrying...

This may be long, please bare with me.

Maybe in the summer of last year I noticed a small amount of bleeding after sex, pink streaks when wiping. Then I didn’t notice it for a long time. Earlier this year it happened often, not always every time but for the most part. And it was always a very slight pink amount when wiping after sex.

In August I needed a new pap to get a new script for birth control because I switched doctors. I had been noticing more discharge than normal and pelvic cramping almost non stop (mild, not severe) so I needed a checkup anyhow. My next smear wasn’t due until December so it was a few months early. When getting to the doctor she said I had cervicitis. She did the pap. The pap came back normal within a few days. I also had bv and some other bacteria show. So I was given antibiotics. A week or more later I started having symptoms of uti so went to an urgent care and got antibiotics for that. I was still having symptoms of bv and pelvic cramping persistently so I made an appointment with an OBGYN. She did an exam and said my cervix was “looking normal” and gave me a stronger antibiotic to take. They also did a pelvic ultrasound for the pain which came back fine. (Second pelvic ultrasound to come back normal) So weeks passed and I noticed some discharge pretty much everyday. I’m not sure if it was my normal or not because I’m not aware of paying much attention to it. So I called my GYN and she said the discharge was normal especially for someone on birth control. Over the last few months I’ve also noticed that my periods are shorter and I notice more clear stuff mixed with blood. My doctor said this is fine, and my body is not a robot. I have really bad health anxiety. And a couple of times since then I have noticed the very small amount of pink discharge after intercourse. Almost like a streak. And I got so paranoid I checked my own cervix and can feel a small bump on the right edge of my cervix. Should I be so upset over this? Should I go back again? Does a pelvic ultrasound detect cervical cancer that has spread? I’m so worried. I have rough health anxiety so I’m just not sure if it’s just me or if I should go back. I just really need some advice. Is it normal to cramp a little after sex/cervical stimulation? I’m so scared they’re just missing something. But then because of my anxiety, I doubt it. For those that read all of this, I appreciate you so much.

Dear lmkh94,

I am so sorry you are going through this.

Pap smears are pretty good at detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. I am not a doctor, but it's sort of common knowledge now that cervical cancer is linked to HPV. I would suggest taking a HPV self-test if it's available in your area or asking your doctor to perform this test for you. If you don't have high risk HPV strains present and your paps are normal, it's very unlikely to have cervical cancer.

Also you could visit a colposcopist. At colposcopy they check your cervix with a special microscope, using a vinegar solution to color all the potentially abnormal cells. It's pretty much like pap sampling, there is a speculum inserted, the doctor looks 'inside'. If they find abnormal looking cells, they might take a biopsy, some people find that part painful, I did not feel mine at all, but had cramping for two days afterwards.