Update from me (as I know how upsetting it can be when you're searching through posts to find the original poster didn't update, so I hope this helps).
Had my colposcopy three hours ago. My appointment lasted about 70 minutes.
I arrived at the socially distanced set up waiting room. My appointment was 45 minutes late, which was fine.
When I was taken through there was the consultant and a nurse. I sat down and the consultant asked me a few questions like do I have children (mine are both older teens), and whether I take the pill and which pill.
Then she asked if I had any questions and I went through the list I had written down beforehand.
- If they see cancer would they tell me there and then? She seemed surprised by the question but said yes.
- Will I have my treatment today? She said IF she can visibly see high grades cells through the microscope then they may do treatment there and then with my permission.
- Will I find out the type of HPV found? She said a cervical smear in England only tests for HPV 16 & 18, so by testing positive it is for one of those.
- I'm due to have a pill break next week, is it best to skip the break? She said we'll discuss that depending on what happens today - but then we forgot, so I'm not going to have a pill break.
- When and how will I receive my results? It's usually 2-4 weeks by letter but covid has delayed by 2 weeks.
Then I was asked to undress from the waist down behind a curtain. I got onto the chair/bed and sat my bum to the back and covered myself with the paper towel they provided.
After I said I was ready, the nurse asked me to move bum forwards closer to the edge of the seat and to lie back and prop my legs up in the stirrups. I expected the stirrups to be straps that looped around my feet, but they were just sized right to rest my calves on with my feet hanging off the end. No straps.
The consultant brought her chair over and the nurse raised the chair/bed higher.
Then the consultant came in to view and the TV screen I hadn't even noticed turned on.
I actually really found it interesting seeing everything happen. I knew from my research that the cells were very visible. They were visibly red around my cervix opening.
I could feel slight discomfort at the speculum they put in to open you up, but I had no feeling when she poured the clear liquid on, even though they said it may sting for just a moment.
She said they were definitely high grade cells and showed me re the colour changes that had occurred on screen. I couldn't understand the colour changes myself and was happy not to ask them to explain further.
After that they asked me about five times if I was definitely happy to have the treatment there and then. I confirmed.
So the nurse got a big square thing, like a giant plaster and stuck it to my left thigh (it was, pretty cold but fine). This she explained, was part of the LLETZ treatment and they connect the machine to you because of the electrical current. I didn't feel anything electrical at any point, just to reassure anyone that may be worried.
I was given four injections of local anaesthetic.
Then they faffed around for quite a bit because the consultant wanted a bigger speculum to open me up so she could get to all of the cells with the LLETZ, but there was only one that was too big for my vagina size in the room!
In the end there wasn't another option so they lubricated it and put it in slowly. It was uncomfortable and cold but it was okay.
Then came the LLETZ. It was really fast, just like slicing a piece of soft fruit. The lump of flesh was then put into a tub that had liquid inside it. It looked massive on screen so I asked how big it actually was and the nurse showed it me. It was about the length of a 2p and the width was varying. The consultant said that when it is assessed they will measure it exactly but that the depth was 10mm.
And then she did the same again. The nurse asked if it should be put in the same tub but the consultant said no, two separate tubs. A left and a right.
The second was about the same size as the first.
After that they also did Diathermy Ablation which they said would work to treat anything that was left and to cauterize the open wound.
On the screen the redness had turned to fresh white underneath the removed flesh and after this treatment it went to almost black and shrivelled.
After that it was all done.
The whole time the nurse chatted away to me. Biggest tip she gave that I highly recommend was nice slow deep breaths, relax your shoulders, your bum and soften your legs. She said it several times and it immediately eased any discomfort I was feeling. She explained that as soon as you tense, you cause yourself pain in the vagina, so as long as you relax, you will barely feel anything, and that was true.
Afterwards I did feel like I'd just given birth, possibly because they'd had to use the speculum that was too big really for my vagina. EDIT: By the following morning, this feeling had subsided, so I do think it was due to the speculum stretching me so much.
They asked if I had any more questions and said if I remembered any afterwards I was welcome to call on the number they gave me on an after care sheet of paper.
The consultant explained that I wasn't to have sex for 6 weeks or swim or use a tampon. Bleeding may last for around 4 weeks.
The discharge over the next day or so will likely be some very odd colours because of the liquids they've used and that's fine.
If I notice my discharge starts to smell then that is an infection which can happen and I should call my GP in the first instance for antibiotics. Any problems with the GP, then just to ring them instead.
I was then taken to a private seating area with armchairs and another nurse offered me a coffee and chatted to me for 10 minutes until they were sure I felt fine at which point I could leave.
Two hours later and I have taken Paracetamol and Ibuprofen and I feel like I have bad period pains in my lower abdomen and also in the bones at the bottom of my back and muscles in my buttocks, so I have a hot water bottle.
My walking is very slow and gentle too. I was pleased I had someone to pick me up and it turned into a take away night as I was definitely in no position to make dinner. EDIT: I felt like I could walk fine by the following morning, but it does feel like I have a really dry tampon inside me so is a little uncomfortable when I walk. The morning after I woke with period pain in my stomach and slight back ache.
Really hope this helps to ease anyone's concerns. I really struggled beforehand with the not knowing what happens.