Our first post of 2017 is written by guest blogger Megan. Enjoy!
For those of you out there who grew a cervix, there will be a point in your life (usually 25 in the U.K.) where a doctor will want to look at it to check everything out and make sure you don’t have anything to worry about down there. It is the kind of test that you don’t really think about until you need it and will only worry about if you’ve heard any horror stories, but I promise you its worth it!
As a 21 year old with a cervix I wasn’t really due, but I have been on a myriad of medications this year so when I mentioned to my GP that I had been bleeding (period style) for over 2 weeks, she recommended I book a Gynaecology appointment with her for the following week and in the meantime get tested for all infections under the sun to see if anything would explain it. I got a diagnosis of thrush and a recommendation to get that cleared up, but also was told that the thrush was more than likely was not the cause of the bleeding.
So a week later I lay back and thought of England as my lovely GP looked at parts of me never before seen whilst giving me very bizarre encouragements: “You’re doing a really great job!”, “Just keep doing exactly what you’re doing!” (My entire job by the way was simply to open my legs). Mind you, by this point I had been on my period for at least 3 weeks so I was willing to do anything to get it to stop.
So yes for those who have gathered I was on my period as my GP looked inside my dear vagina, I had told her at the beginning of the appointment and she seemed unfazed so I figured if she’s not bothered I won’t be either!
Anyhow, the test itself didn’t really bother me. I lay on a bed, spread my legs, put a fist behind my lower back to properly angle my vagina and voila, my part was done! All that was left was to stay there while my GP inserted the speculum (the name sounds worse than the tool I promise!), opened me up (which was personally no more uncomfortable than if I had been trying to put a tampon in at the wrong angle, although can differ person to person), had a nice long look around (all the while telling me what a ‘good job!’ I was doing) and took a swab (this is the odd part where they ‘collect cells from your cervix’ – basically scratching it.) Again for me this part wasn’t bad I wouldn’t have even noticed it had it not been for her vivid description of what she was doing. At this point the test is complete and you are left to clean up the lube situation and re-dress.
I have to say, although now every time I look at my GP I will know that she has looked inside me, I am glad it was her. I have had the same GP since my diagnosis of Ulcerative colitis last year and she is the most caring GP I have ever had; having that reassuring person probably helped to keep me calm.
So after all of that it was time to find out what mysteries of my cervix she had learned today. It turns out, I have ‘an aged vagina’. This isn’t what she called it but after a small amount of research I found that both the things she found are mainly common in older cervixes…
The first thing she told me about was my cervical ectropion – where the mucus cells inside your cervix begin to migrate outwards leaving you looking haggard down there but otherwise fairly inconsequential. The second thing she saw was a small polyp – like a skin tag, almost always nothing but worth removing/ biopsy-ing. Both could possibly be the cause of the bleeding, or neither. Regardless I am being sent for an even better check, a so called a ‘Colposcopy’ where someone’s gonna stare at my cervix with help of a microscope this time, #life goals.
As the appointment with my GP came to an end, she asked me one of the only stupid questions she has ever really asked: “Would you like some medication to try and stop the bleeding?” For those of you who don’t know the annoyance of bleeding randomly and staining underwear, I can tell you the only realistic answer to this is ‘Of f—ing course!’ I was prescribed large amounts of progesterone (one of the ingredients in the pill) and sent on my way. Low and behold I was period free within 24 hours! Unsurprisingly mere hours later I was feeling so good I was ripping up the dance floor of my favourite club.
Unfortunately I ran out of my magic pills around 3 days ago and my period is back with a vengeance. Really not conducive to getting any work done, but luckily my colposcopy is booked for 5 days time so hopefully that will bring some answers and hopefully a blood free end to this bloody year!