Scared and panicking about LLETZ

Hi everyone,

I’m one of those people who put off cervical screening for years (until I was 34 - stupid, I know). At my first screening I was diagnosed with abnormal cells (CIN2) and HPV. I was referred for a colposcopy a few weeks later and it was a really upsetting experience. They had to use a smaller speculum, numbing lubricant and anaesthetic injections because I just couldn’t tolerate it but they managed to get the biopsies which suggested it was bordering on CIN3. However, at the follow-up the consultant advised against LLETZ due to it being a small area, her belief that the cells might return to normal on their own and because I don’t have children yet (fears of it weakening the cervix).

I have my call-back/second colposcopy on Monday and the consultant has said that they will remove any abnormal cells there and then this time and I’m really panicking. That sick-to-your-stomach kind of panicking after reading about so many women having bad experiences of LLETZ (fainting, heavy bleeding, hemorrhage etc). I was wondering if these are the horror stories or if they are the norm for LLETZ? Just so I can prepare myself better. I’m going on my own and I’m dreading it.


Poor you! 

Sometimes the internet is not our friend and we can terrify ourselves.

Every woman is different but i didn't find it too bad at all. You already know what the colposcopy part is like but if i tell you how I found the lletz it might lend some perspective to the horror stories.

Injecting the anaesthetic feels scratchy (but no worse than one at the dentist) and they put adrenaline in it to make it work faster. This can make your heart race and make you feel panicky but if you are prepared for it, you know it's just a physiological reaction . I didn't feel the lletz at all. Afterwards, i sat in their recovery room for about 20 mins and was given a cup of tea. I was told to visit the loo to make sure I wasn't bleeding heavily and that I could go when i was ready. I drove home and went to bed as i was knackered but couldn't sleep due to still being wired.

I was expecting pain as the anaesthetic wore off. I took 2 ibroprofen before bed as i had a bit of cramping but i honestly think i might not have noticed if i hadn't been looking for it. I took the next day off work as i felt exhausted but i think that was from stress rather than the actual lletz.

I had a weird watery (and slightly stinky) discharge for 6 days followed by bleeding about as heavy as a period for a week followed by a week of "last day of a period" discharge. No pain during recovery at all.

I know everyone reacts differently and I have no idea if my experience is typical but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as i was expecting. 

Hope this helps a bit.

Hi Emma sorry to hear you have had a bad experience. I agree with Julia; everyone is different but just to reassure you once I had the local anaesthetic it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated and I'm glad I had the treatment as I know it has probably prevented my abnormal cells turning into something worse. Now I have physically recovered and feel fine. I just hope they don't find any more abnormal cells in my check up.  To help with your anxiety; try writing notes about your concerns to discuss with your colposcopist before you have the procedure; they are the experts and know the facts. It may also help to chat with someone on Jo's helpline. Could you take a friend with you to your appointment for moral support? MacMillan also have a helpline staffed by nurses who may be able to give you more information. Treat yourself to a cuppa after your treatment. Hope this helps


Hi Emma

Wanted to log in to reassure you. I had Lletz on Monday and was really nervous. I asked the nurses to chat to me during so I could concentrate on something else. Eventually I couldn't stand the wait any longer and asked the nurse when I was going to have the anaesthetic injection only to be told I'd a few in that time. I couldn't believe it. Not one tiny bit of pain at all!