Smear Fear (Positive Story)

Hi ladies.

My name is Rachael and I’m 32 next month.

I’m hoping that what I have to say might instill some hope in some women or ease their minds a little. I used these forums a lot in the past year, which helped me greatly, but understandably the negative posts outweigh the positive. It is entirely relatable however that people would post here and ask for help when they are worried - That’s what the forum is here for afterall!

Whilst my story might not be all roses and sunshine, the end result which we all panic about has been a good one, and the reason we decide to go through it in the first place.

This post includes my full journey from first abnormal smear to the rest for cure post-LLETZ.

I have always had my smears on time. In the past 3 I have had over 3 years however, high risk HPV was present. It was on this 3rd occasion however that my results went from no abnormal cells straight to being diagnosed with severe dyskaryosis, with both CIN2 and CIN3. In the same diagnostic letter, I was referred to colposcopy. The nurses and doctors couldn’t explain to me how I was clear and then suddenly had jumped to this (August 2022).

I felt dirty. I felt awash with worry. I was convinced I had cancer. The mind went down twisty, ugly paths as I tried to navigate my way through. I stopped brushing my hair, doing my makeup, paying attention to my partner…

So needless to say, I was in a panic. I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and high anxiety too, which didn’t make matters better. I also intend to start a family in the near future. With reassurance from between five and ten friends and family members who had gone through it and had a fairly stress-free experience, I psyched myself up.

Anyway, I turned up at my appointment (September 2022). It was declared straight away upon my arrival at the hospital that I was to have the LLETZ (loop) procedure. I didn’t have the best experience at my appointment. In fact, it was a terrible day for me. My blood pressure was through the roof due to anxiety, I was bleeding too much, and the anaesthetic wasn’t working very well for me. This resulted in the biopsy being taken in two pieces, silver nitrate insert and me having to endure a short hospital stay due to blood loss.

Either way, I came out that night and returned home. My results arrived a couple of weeks later, saying that they had successfully got the entire affected area. A follow up smear and test for cure of high risk HPV would be required six months later.

During this time, I panicked to extremes. I read so many posts and horror stories, and with that I convinced myself I hadn’t heard the end of it and would have to go back, despite the statistics that over 90% would be cured.

The bleeding continued for several weeks. My cycle was shortened. My sex life was non-existent due to discomfort and small bleeds. I also heavily suspect that it was something to do with the worry and mental stress.

But please, please please listen: IT DOES GET BETTER.

I returned for my six month smear (April 2023), terrified and anxious. The nurses were brilliant. Much to my dismay, there was a 12 week wait for the results that would hopefully put an end to my suffering.

Well, ladies. Today I got my results.

“There was no high risk HPV present. I am therefore happy to discharge you back to your GP. You require a further smear with your GP in three years time.”

Please attend your smears. Please go through with it. Please don’t delay.

But most of all… Please love yourself.

Peace out.

<3

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Hi @Tootz

Thank you for sharing your experience. One thing I love about this forum it is not all doom and gloom like some other groups/forums/insta. Ladies here share good news stories so thanks for contributing

I am so happy you got a positive outcome xx

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