In April I wrote a post about doctors appointments and uncomfortable tests that I was having done. Since then I have been to two more appointments and have received some results, so I thought I would write a follow-up post to keep everyone updated as well as letting people know what to expect if they ever need to go for similar tests.
So my previous post was about my very first cervical examination. I went for this due to bleeding after intercourse and once the nurse had completed the check, she felt as though I needed to be referred to the hospital for more thorough checks.
I had my first hospital appointment on the 25th of April, two weeks after my initial doctor’s appointment.
At this appointment, I was greeted by a male doctor. At first, this felt quite intimidating and I was worried about how the appointment would go. The doctor was very friendly and welcoming, he talked me through everything he would be doing and a female nurse would also be present. I agreed to go ahead with the appointment and headed into a private room to be examined. This examination was more or less identical to the one that the nurse had done a couple of weeks earlier. It lasted around 2-3 minutes and it was not painful in any way.
Once the check had been done, the doctor took me back into his office where my mum was waiting for me. He asked if it was okay to speak in front of my mum, to which I replied saying yes. He told me that it looked as though the cells from the inside of my cervical canal were present on the outside of my cervix and that it was the exposed cells that were causing the bleeding. He said that this is a common occurrence, especially in women who are on the contraceptive pill and it was nothing to be concerned over. He referred me to another nurse to have a colposcopy exam (another cervical exam, but with the use of microscopes and higher-end technology). He said they would take a closer look at the exposed cells and may perform a procedure to stop the cells from bleeding in the future. There were two forms of treatment mentioned, Cryotherapy (freezing the cells), and laser treatment (burning the cells).
A new appointment came through for the 22nd of May, however, I had to cancel this due to a job interview. The gave me a new appointment for the 12th of June.
I was a lot more concerned about this appointment as I would be going alone and did not know what to expect.
When I arrived, I was early for my appointment so went to the hospital cafe for a coffee while I waited. Then I went to the Gynaecology unit and gave the receptionist my details before sitting in the waiting area to be called in.
When my name was eventually called, it was a female nurse who greeted me. She took me to a large room where another two female nurses waited for me. I took a seat and answered a series of medical questions. I couldn’t help but notice the large chair with leg stirrups being set up in front of me. It looked quite daunting.
The nurse explained the procedure to me. She said it would be painless, similar to what I have had done previously. She said she would take a couple of swabs and take a little look with the camera before a solution would be sprayed onto my cervix so she could analyse the cells by looking at her screen. I was shown to a small changing room and was told to remove everything from my lower half and use a sheet to wrap around myself before coming back into the main treatment area.
I did as I was asked and made my way back into the room. I was told to take a seat on the chair and place my legs onto the stirrups. The chair was then moved up so that the nurse was able to see. She inserted a plastic piece of equipment inside of me so that it could open me up… this was not as painful as it sounds, in fact, it was painless! It was a little bit uncomfortable, but nothing unbearable. She then gently took some swabs, I barely felt a thing. The nurse then gave me a warning before pressing a button on the machine that sprayed me with some cold chemical. The chemical smelt very vinegary, but it did not sting or burn or make me numb, it was simply just cold.
Once that was done, she removed the equipment and said that analysing the results would only take a couple of minutes and asked me to go and get dressed while she looked at them.
When I came back into the room, the nurse told me that everything was looking fine and she had no concerns. She told me to come back if the bleeding was to happen again, but rather than doing the procedure straight away, she would suggest changing my pill to see if that makes a difference first. But for the time being, I have nothing to worry about and am in need of no further treatment.
This is a huge relief for me as I was worried about having to have a procedure done in such a private area. Although the appointments and tests were a little bit daunting, they were definitely worth having done and I would encourage anyone who is concerned about that area of their body, to go and get checked as it is always better to be safe than sorry.