I’m wondering if others have experienced long term (1 year plus) changes to their periods after having LLETZ treatment. All the leaflets I received and staff I spoke to said to expect a 6-8 week recovery but I’m now nearing 18 months and am nowhere near “back to normal”.
I received smear results showing HPV positive with CIN2/3 in September 2020. I had a colposcopy 5 days later (which really impressed me given the state of the world then). I also had LLETZ treatment at that appointment. Got the results back, confirmed CIN3 but no cancer, book a follow up in 6 months.
I had that appointment in March 2021. My first cause of concern was the nurse who did the smear asked me about my cone biopsy. As far as I’m aware that didn’t happen (maybe I’m confusing jargon and treatments but I’m sure a cone biopsy is more invasive and require general anaesthetic. I know I only had local). She said my records state a cone biopsy. I’m sociably awkward and was already half naked on the table at this point, so I didn’t question more.
The results for that came back negative and I should book another appointment in three years. This was the second thing that worried me, as everything I’d read from the hospital and the staff I’d spoken to said it would be yearly check ups for a while. But I brushed it off because, you know, all clear, that’s a good thing, right?
Only things haven’t changed. In fact they’ve gotten worse. I had a couple of telephone appointments with my gp about the situation before the 6 month check up. He just told me it was normal and all women experience pain during sex sometimes. Obviously no further checks were done, as it was over the phone.
I’ve since moved abroad and am still trying to get my head around the new healthcare system. I have no idea if I can see a gp for a smear here or if I have to go to a gynaecologist. The language barrier and having a boyfriend who likes to bury his head in the sand and just say everything is ok (he’s the one with the language skills. Funnily enough, cervix was never on my vocab list and I know from my one attempt at speaking to an English speaking doctor that they don’t call a smear test a smear test here, and saying cervical screening didn’t help much either. And they’re all still on the phone, so I can’t even do mimes or anything. But now I’m getting off the topic, sorry!) doesn’t help.
Anyway, the main point is that since having the LLETZ in September 2020, my periods have not gone back to normal. They’re still currently around every two weeks, though much shorter than they were before, now one/two days bleeding, when before I was a 6/7 day girl. And the blood isn’t like it was before, I can’t remember the last time I had red blood, it’s now constantly closer to black.
I call this period because it’s when the flow is most constant. But I honestly can’t remember the last day I went by without some sort of discharge in my knickers (honestly, it’s costing me a fortune in pads!). It varies between dark brown and pva glue like, pink and watery and everything in between. I might not be explaining it well, but I call this discharge because it feels different to the times I call period, if that makes any sense…
And sex is still pretty much a no go. Still causes bleeding and it hurts for around 5 days afterwards now. It wasn’t like that before. Before the pain wore off quite quickly.
I’m still with the same partner and I’m as sure as I can be that it’s not an STD causing this. I was clear at my last test, which they gave me at the same time as the smear and he says that he hasn’t slept with anyone else, so I’m pretty sure it’s not that.
So, I guess what I’m wondering is if anyone else has had such long term issues after their treatment? I’m worried that I may have been mixed up with someone else and given the wrong results due to the discrepancy with the treatments but part of me also feels like I’m making a big fuss out of nothing and taking away from people who need attention more than me if I push this. Is this “normal”?
Sorry it’s so long, I guess I just had a lot to get off my chest. Thanks!