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Help - Surprise colposcopy appointment?!

I received a letter from my local hospital yesterday saying they have made me a colposcopy appointment. This is news to me as I certainly didn't request one and don't really know what this is about and I'm freaking out!

I visited my gp a month ago about bleeding after sex probably caused by the HSG test a few days before - he looked at my cervix, said it looked fine and that it almost certainly was caused by the hsg and would stop in a few days, told me to contact him again if it continued. It did stop and hasn't happened again but now I'm worrying he did see something suspicious or asked for a second opinion and referred me for a colposcopy.

Neither my GP or anyone else wrote to me about this or copied me into a referral letter so I don't know what's going on!

My husband thinks it's just a mistake, an administrative error. Either way I'm fuming that a lack of communication somewhere has made me so anxious - if the gp had explained he was going to do this just to be on the safe side I wouldn't be as worried.

I will of course phone the hospital and surgery when they open but after a night of tossing and turning over this I wanted to ask if anyone has any thoughts about this or can share their experience of a colposcopy if I do need to go.

Appointment is a months time so at least I'm telling myself that it's nothing serious or I'd be seen sooner, though I'm surprised they do a colposcopy after easily explained bleeding - Google suggests it's usually prolonged /unexplained bleeding or three abnormal smears - mine was 18 months ago and all clear.

Any suggestions gratefully received!

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Hi there, sounds like a communication breakdown!

Please try not to worry (easier said than done). I’ve had 4 of them now due to some dodgy (technical term😁) cells that I have. Got my next one in July. Although they are uncomfortable, they are over and done with in a matter of minutes.

Although they aren’t my favourite thing to do in the world, I think that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Hope you get to the bottom of it 💕 xx

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Thank you. So easier said than done but I will try haha. What exactly do they do during one? I heard they sometimes take biopsies - this sounds horrific! Even if they give you some sort of anaesthetic the thought of an injection up there makes me want to puke /faint /run away!

Wish it was at least the consultant I'd seen for my pcos as I know he does them but this bloke is a specialist - but doesn't say consultant even though they use the Mr title rather than Dr - what does this mean? I only want the best hands /eyes on my lady parts thank you very much 😂

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What did your gp surgery say? Is it a mistake or are they just playing it safe?

I have had a colposcopy and yes I also had a biopsy and treatment to remove part of my affected cervix at the same time, so unfortunately I can’t advise what a colposcopy is like on its own. At the time I thought it was horrible but having been through all that I have with ivf treatments; scratches, egg collection (which I was awake for) transfers, miscarriages, D and C and medical management, I’m thinking in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t that bad. Back then I was the world’s biggest wimp! Now I’m much tougher and I wouldn’t get myself half as worked up as I did all those years ago! Looking back on it now (2013) I can honestly say it wasn’t that bad really! Uncomfortable but doable! You’ll be ok 👍🏻 xx

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Colposcopy on its own is like having a smear test but just having your feet in stirrups and they use a magnifying camera to look at the cervix. Normally then they paint on some vinegar to double check that they are happy nothing looks suspicious. They only take biopsies if they think it is needed so you might not have one. Have a chat to your GP to see if they triggered the referral.

The gynaecology consultants often have Mr or Ms rather than Dr because their title changes when they complete their surgical exams although some colposcopy clinics are run by a nurse specialist.

Good luck xx

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Spoke to the secretary at both my gp and hospital and the Dr did refer me to colposcopy, just didn't tell me he was going to 🙄 he made a mistake on the letter saying I had the bleeding twice but it was only once so have left him a note asking to clarify this with the consultant in case this changes things! Now realised it said in Mr Hs clinic and may be seen by another member of the team but I assume only gynaecologists do colposcopy? Thanks everyone for your replies 😊 just seemed so out of the blue!

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Hi,

Did your GP do a smear when they examined you? If they did then the national cervical screening programme may have sent you the appointment - this happens automatically if there are any changes on the smear. Were there any results with the appointment ? Most of the time they just want to have a closer look just to make sure no treatment is needed so don’t panic.

Definitely give your surgery a call and they will be able to get someone to explain for you.

Best wishes

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No he didn't do a smear as I was up to date plus had sti swabs done few weeks before for fertility clinic. Not sure he could have done a smear when I was bleeding? Can't get a telephone appointment with him until next Thursday let alone a real one so have a decided to do it the old fashioned way - a hand written letter I dropped off this morning!

Now I've got over the shock I'm thinking because he's a registrar no doubt he has to review his cases with a supervising doctor, maybe they said refer me just to be on safe side and he hadn't thought of it during our consultation, and the clinic don't like to turn people away because you never know! I do get so worked up but they say the simplest explanation is usually the right one! Xx

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If you’ve had a recent smear they would not have tested any repeat so the referral would have come from the GP. If the Dr is a registrar then I think your theory is right - they discussed with their trainer ( I am a GP and a trainer and we go through our registrar’s patients after each surgery) who advised referral- however they should have got back in touch with you to discuss first - so when you do speak to him you need to let him know the distress this has caused you. If you are not happy with his explanation or not happy to wait then I would call back and ask to speak to his trainer.... hopefully your letter will get a sooner response.

In any case I think your own assessment of the case is correct and as the bleeding has gone this is a super cautious approach. I hope you get it resolved soon x

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Thank you so much for your reply! Only occurred to me this afternoon about his trainer, I mentioned my surprise in the letter so will say so again to him when we speak. If he'd said something like 'your cervix looks fine and I'm sure the bleeding isn't cause for concern, but just to be on the safe side I'd like to refer you to the colposcopy clinic...' it would have been a whole different ball game! Guess it's all part of the training though, and he's been the best one I've seen so far apart from this slip up xxx

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