I just wanted to talk to other people who have experienced the same (or similar) as me.
I am 32 years old. I was diagnosed with HPV 16 earlier this year. I was concerned about having picked up STDs from my ex husband or one of his previous partners as I was in a new relationship. I know that I could have got HPV from anyone I had sex or even sexual contact with so no need to blame anyone.
I was a little worried and this obviously affected sex in my new relationship. We were told by the doctor to use condoms, which we found difficult. I also stopped smoking and had the cervical cancer jab. I started having more regular smears. I found that I was bleeding a little during sex and in between periods and had recurring thrush/bv type infections.
In September, one of my smears came back abnormal, so I had a colposcopy which I found very unpleasant. I have no children and I am quite small.
It was found that there were abnormal cells but not cancerous yet. I live in a Muslim country so had lied and told them that my partner was my husband. The doctor told us we needed to have a baby as soon as possible and then have an LLETZ. Throughout this process because of where I live I have faced criticism from doctors about being promiscuous and too old to be childless.
We talked to my (western) doctor and explained the situation (i.e. that we are both still waiting for divorces to be finalised from our previous marriages) and that we actually want to have around 3 children together and was advised to have the LLETZ now beforehand so that I don’t worry. We discussed putting a stitch in the neck of my womb as part of the procedure because this would reduce the risk of early miscarriage that is associated with LLETZ. However, in the event the doctor said this would not be necessary.
I had an LLETZ under general 2 weeks ago now. I was very tired and groggy for the first few days due to the anasthetic, and now 2 weeks later still feel very tired. I suspect this is because I am still bleeding quite heavily. It’s blood like you get from a cut, not like a period, brighter red. I feel like I should maybe try to get some kind of iron replacement tablets…or eat more steak and green veggies?
Because I am in a very passionate, very physical relationship, I am finding not being able to have sex torture, even though the actual thought of it is terrifying. We have been able to do a couple of other things to relieve the frustration, and he has been incredibly kind and supportive throughout the whole thing, but being in bed together not being able to do anything is just so frustrating.
I find talking about it to people quite difficult, particularly because of where I live. I definitely think there is still a bit of stigma. I haven’t really explained to people I work with why I was off for a couple of days. I told my mum (she lives in the UK but is visiting me for 10 days) and she has been very nice but hasn’t told my dad because ‘he wouldn’t understand’.
I haven’t been able to swim, which is a daily part of life here and is very difficult to explain to people. I did go on a lazy river donut ride the other day, but it was very difficult not to get that area of my body wet at all and it was stinging after so I think I need to avoid swimming for a little longer.
I normally do weights and go running but find that I am getting out of breath more easily and haven’t exercised for the last 2 weeks. I’m a little scared to get back into it, tbh. Swimming would be the perfect type of gentle exercise but that’s obviously out. I’m thinking of maybe trying a yoga class next week after my folks leave.
I was told it’s ok to have baths but I don’t have one (I borrowed a friends and it did help, but can’t keep doing it, obviously) and am having a little trouble cleaning properly in the shower, as I don’t want to use any kind of wash or anything like that.
Just have to wait for this all to clear up and hope that my next smear comes out clear.
We both definitely want to have children together as soon as possible after going through this. My worst fear through all of this has been of being left infertile so I just really want that reassurance that I am able to become pregnant.
We have to wait for our divorces to come through first though which could be a few more months. We would then just have to be married before the birth to avoid any legal consequences because of where we live.
I was also told that I would have a scan at week 12 of the pregnancy to assess whether I need a stitch or any other support to help me carry a baby to term.
It’s all really worrying and goes around in my head a lot. What if it hasn’t all been removed? What if something else develops? What if having the LLETZ has affected my ability to have a baby?
Sorry to have written so much, just hoping that there are other people who have had similar experiences, and can reassure me that the continued bleeding is normal, and that I will be able to have children.
Thank you all in advance