Post # 1
Hi Bees, I got some rough news this morning and would appreciate any experiences or reassurances.
When I saw my ob-gyn in late January, she removed two polyps and sent them off for biopsy. Apparently, there is a low-grade abnormality in the cells, so she wants to perform a colposcopy. (Which, as far as I understand, is basically viewing the areas with a microscope to see in more detail what might be going on). I made the appt for March 11th (earliest available), but that seems so far out, and I’m a bit stressed and nervous right now. The nurse sounded very nonchalant on the phone, and she had noted the issue in my letter incorrectly, actually. She wrote that it was an abnormal pap, but said on the phone, “Ohhh, I see now, it’s the biopsy with the abnormal results, not the pap. I’ll put you through to appointments.” And then did so right then without giving me a chance to ask questions. That didn’t help.
Any experiences with colposcopies? The number one thing they search for is cancer, apparently, which has me on edge and freaked out.
Post # 2
bouviebee : I’ve had this happen and had the colposcopy, my sister and several of my girlfriends have been through it too. It was uncomfortable, but from what I remember it was relatively quick.
I understand being freaked out because the results could be bad but I would bet you’re fine, try not to stress!
I had a mammogram a couple of weeks ago and have to go back for more images and an ultrasound as well, I can’t get in till the 25th which seems like forever, it sucks waiting to get these types of things figured out!
Post # 3
bouviebee : I’ve had several colposcopies + biopsies after abnormal paps. It’s mildly uncomfortable (the biopsy hurts the worst) but it’s not a long procedure. All of my results came back clear.
Post # 4
Try not to stress. I’ve had an abnormal PAP, followed up with a colposcopy. My results came back clear and a followup PAP at 6mo, and 1 year, were also clear.
Post # 5
futuremrs2020 : The article I read said it takes 5-10 minutes, so hopefully it gets done quickly. I’m glad it’s not just me. The polyps freaked me out in the first place, but my doctor told me they were probably nothing, just skin tags pretty much. That didn’t end up being the case, apparently. And yes, the wait is the worst part! I hope your recheck and ultrasound go well!
wineosaur : The biopsy was definitely a bit unpleasant! I’m hopeful that’s not a process that needs repeated. It makes me feel better to know that this is probably in an abundance of caution.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2019 - City, State
bouviebee : I was in a colposcopy clinic for a few years. I had to go every 6 months and in order to be released from the program, I needed 3 consecutive “normal” paps. I’d get 2 normals and one abnormal, so I had to keep going just to keep an eye on things. My Gyno had it set up so that I could actually see what she was doing using a microscopic camera and a TV on the wall, it was really cool. From what I remember, the proceedure is very similar to a pap but they clip a tiny bit of tissue, then they spray your cervix with vinegar. The vinegar will turn any damaged cells white, so that’s what they’re looking for. In my case, I never had any cells turn and it was always very low-grade abnormals. My gyno always said “I dont see anything to be concerned about”. I was very stressed about it for the first year because to me, extra testing = cancer. But this is a good thing, this means they want to keep an eye on it IN CASE the abnormal cells turn pre-cancerous (Rather than sloughing off, which is what normal cells do). This means if anything bad happens, it will be caught right away. A biopsy is definitely worse than the colposcopy. It’s not comfortable, but it really just feels like a longer, slightly more pinchy pap.
Post # 7
Over the last few years I’ve had several colposcopies, biopsies and abnormal results from those. My last results came back clear though.
It’s not that bad – I’ve had a more uncomfortable smear tests to be honest (when the nurse spent about 15 mins poking around for my cervix!) and the biopsy is definitely the worst bit. I actually don’t mind having colposcopies as anything would be caught early – now I’m back to having smear tests every few years and it makes me a bit uneasy!
Post # 8
I had bleeding and pain so had a colposcopy which initially found a large amount of what looked like “high grade” changes on my cervix. As you can imagine I was thinking all sorts, I had to have LLETZ under GA to have them removed due to the pain, location and amount. The lab tests came back saying they were CIN1 which is low grade, I had to have smear 3 months later which came back all clear and now I’m back to normal having them every 3 years.
I really wouldn’t worry too much at this stage, low grade cell abnormalities are extremely common, especially in young women. In the UK we don’t even do smears until we’re 25 because these changes are so common and cervical cancer is so rare under 25 that young women were having unecessary procedures and scares.
Post # 9
I’ve had a colposcopy and the results came back ok – odds are that you will be fine. It’s a common thing to have done. I know it’s hard not to to worry, but try not to!
Post # 10
I’ve had several. Agree with PP- a slightly more pinchy Pap smear experience. All of mine also came back fine- I was on a twice yearly pap regimen for a while and now just do the usual once/ year.
Post # 11
Thank you all for your reassurance. I had no idea this was such a common thing, but then again, when I think about it, it doesn’t really strike me as dinner table conversation.
The nurse from my ob’s office called this morning to confirm my IUD procedure in a week since the IUD arrived at their office. I asked if I needed the colposcopy done first, and she said since it’s low-grade, they’re still going ahead with the IUD insertion. That made me feel a bit better, as I doubt they’d do any kind of procedure like that if they were overly concerned.
SO knew I was stressed and sent me sunflowers to brighten my day yesterday. He’s been super supportive and reassuring, as well. Between the Bee, the phone call this morning, and that sweet man, I’ve managed to lower my anxiety levels. Phew!
Post # 12
It is pretty common and why some offices are so nonchalant.
I chose to get a new obgyn after my last office didn’t even care when I had abnormal cells. They said just “come back in a year”… then hung up on me before I could even schedule THAT. So… Fired em.
I had the procedure immeadiately with the next doctor and I believe a 6 month follow up. I ended up being in the clear but if you have a doctor office that just acts thoughtless and unconcerned… get a new one. Seriously.
Post # 13
konablend : My doctor is one of the best ever… super attentive, willing to take the time to explain things, tells you what to expect. Her nurse, on the other hand…
If this were anything other than low-grade, I’d insist on a callback from the Dr. I was considering it anyway, but since i know now that I’ll see her on Monday, I’ll just ask any questions then.