Right, peeps, this post isn’t going to be a pretty one. You’re not going to want to read it and it’ll probably make you squirm if you do. I’m going to tell you my story of what happened once I was diagnosed with High-Grade Dyskaryosis, before then having a colposcopy, and requiring a procedure called LLETZ — Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone. Also known as LOOP, it is invasive and pretty painful even though they say it won’t be. You can read more about the actual procedure here:
After LLETZ or LOOP treatment for those abnormal cells, life doesn’t go back to normal for a while. In fact, it can take up to four to six weeks for life to go back to complete normality. You can’t use tampons for four weeks, partake in any heavy lifting, have sex, go swimming, etc. You are likely to have some mild bleeding and it might make your next period/periods heavier. It might also put you at an increased risk of miscarriage and will also increase the chances of you not being able to carry a pregnancy full term. It’s funny how those things weren’t explained to me before I had the procedure done. It wouldn’t have affected my answer anyway; of course I would need to have LLETZ done. They have found precancerous cells on my cervix. Those bad boys have gotta go. It would have been nice if they had told me all of the risks beforehand though, you know?
The sanitary towels were the worst. If, like me, you’ve never used a sanitary towel in your life, not only will you not have a clue which ones to buy, but you won’t really know how to use them. I don’t know how much blood and stuff there’s meant to be in the pad before you change it. I also don’t know how come it doesn’t matter how big the towels are, blood and stuff always manages to end up on my underwear somewhere. Not being able to use tampons is killing me. I’m not a big pant kinda gal, nor am I a sanitary towel one either. There’s no way you can’t see the outline of the towel if you take a closer look at my ass, I’m sure of it.
For the first few days after having the LLETZ treatment, I had no bleeding at all. I had some clear, slippery discharge tinged with a bit of brown (*sorry for the TMI – girls SHOULD talk about this stuff more!), but no blood. The next day, I had a vomiting fit (caused by my other bowel/digestive problems) dislodged something inside me with all the heaving, a small scab fell out into the toilet and I had the tiniest bit of blood. I panicked, of course, but it soon stopped. At that point, because nothing else was happening (no discharge), I figured I could go without sanitary towels as they are very uncomfortable to wear and seem to agitate my chuff. A LOT!
Then, four days after the treatment, I figured I would test the waters with a cheeky little bit of solo play. Don’t do this. I’m not sure if it was the contracting of my orgasm or whatever, but something happened up there and within ten minutes, I started bleeding. Now, I’m not sure if it was the orgasm that caused it, or my period (which would have arrived four days early, had it been that), but I haven’t stopped bleeding and so far it’s been over 48 hours. Fresh, bright red blood. It doesn’t look like time of the month stuff, you know? It’s redder and fresher than that.
See, no one told me about any of this. No one told me how long I would need to wait before I could masturbate or have an orgasm. I didn’t use a vaginal toy because I’m not allowed to insert stuff into my vagina for at least four weeks, but I thought it might be OK to ‘double click the mouse’, so to speak.
I would advise against this, ladies. Maybe leave it a bit longer than I did before you test the waters. For fuck’s sake.
See, I know what you’re asking: why is she telling us all this stuff? I’m telling you this stuff because it’s all stuff I didn’t know. I thought I knew what was going to happen, but in reality, I had no clue what was about to unfold in front of me or the magnitude of it. Surely the fact that you can’t touch your nether regions for four weeks would tell you how serious the operation was, despite them calling it things like “simple”, “low-risk”, etc.? This is an actual operation to remove precancerous cells from the parts of you that are meant to give life, not take it. I won’t apologise for talking about the crap coming out of my nether regions because I wouldn’t mean it if I did. I wish someone would have told me these things before I went in and had that awful LLETZ procedure done. My chuff is ruined. Bits have been taken out of it. It was fine before. I always liked my chuff. I’m sad for my chuff right now.
(It’s not ruined, it just feels that way right now.)
The thing that annoys me the most is that this whole scenario has been caused by the HPV virus. It’s a sexually transmitted infection. They don’t talk about how you’re going to feel once you find out you had that godawful virus in your body. From what I can work out, because medical professionals seem to be very reluctant to talk about it with me, all precancerous cells are caused by a strain of the HPV virus which many of us have without any symptoms. Some strains cause genital warts and herpes and some cause cancer. I think those are strains 16 and 18 but, again, I’m not 100% sure about that.
I don’t know if I have tested positive for HPV and that’s the scariest thing. I don’t know if it is something I can pass on to the man I sleep with. How long have I had HPV for, if I have tested positive for it? How many of the men in my past would I need to contact? Do I even need to contact them at all? When I asked the female doctor over the phone whether or not I had tested positive for it, she said if I had been tested, it would be noted on the letter that told me about the high-grade dyskaryosis. It didn’t, so she was sure whether I did or didn’t have it. She couldn’t answer the question.
When I went in for the colposcopy and LLETZ treatment I asked the gynaecologist whether or not I would be HPV positive and he couldn’t answer the question either. I would be tested for it at my next smear and colposcopy examination in six months, apparently. So what does that mean for me now? I’m in a new relationship with my Someone New – is HPV something I can pass on to him? If I can, is it really worth me embarking on a new relationship all the time I’m going through this? It’s hardly fair on him, is it? Or myself for that matter. But that aside, why can’t anyone answer my questions? What does this all mean for my sex life? Why is everyone being so vague? What’s going on here that I don’t know about? Am I being paranoid?
It’s now been 6 days after the LLETZ procedure and I’ve been bleeding heavily and solidly for over 48 hours, although that could be down to an early period. I feel very under the weather, exhausted in fact. I have period pain-like cramps that are so much worse than period pain cramps, and only strong, prescribed painkillers are getting rid of the pain. Even then, only briefly.
Only three more weeks to go (hopefully) and life will be back to normal – no more bleeding, no more sex ban, no more weird pains. Maybe I’ll be lucky and it’ll mostly be over well before then? Let’s hope no bad biopsy results come back.