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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2009
    Posts
    98

    Default How important is a colposcopy?

    And by important, I mean...is it necessary every year?

    I am in my mid 20s, have gotten bi-yearly paps since I was about 18. It seems like EVERY TIME the pap comes back irregular, and they schedule me for a colposcopy. So far (and I am very thankful for this...) they come back with no abnormalities.

    I was told that standard procedure is two irregular paps = colposcopy; however, for the last 2 years, if I have one irregular pap, they automatically send me for a colposcopy. And let me tell you, those things are NOT pleasant.

    Each time I get a colposcopy, I ask my gyno, "if everything comes back normal, do I have to get another one?" and she always responds, two irregular paps = colposcopy. But then why does she schedule me for them each time? (so I end up having one a year?)

    Ugggh. Anyone else have this problem?

    I do like my gyno, but she is difficult to get a hold of to ask questions (a nurse always calls me with results)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Location
    Evansville, Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,081

    Default

    I had abnormal paps for years (not serious, ASCUS). Had one colposcopy, which I agree was miserable, a few more abnormal paps, and then my doctor suggested doing the cryotherapy. Cryotherapy was actually significantly less uncomfortable than the colposcopy for me, and since then all my pap smears have been normal. Maybe that might be worth asking your gyno about?
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
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    Default

    I dunno...but I've only had one of them, and just thinking about another one gives me the willies and makes me feel sick to my stomach. Bleck!

    I would try another OBGYN...I only have had one, and it was at planned parenthood. I think they only do them after an irregular pap. I don't think they do them UNLESS you have an irregular pap. They did tell me not to have sex for a day or two before my pap because that could affect the "normalcy" of the cells.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7,814

    Default

    OMG, the colposcopy - arrrrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!

    I had one back in 1998 and then had a cone biopsy.

    Last year had to have another colposcopy and it was like it was being done by a butcher who gave me NO local numbing stuff like lidocane or anything - just some iodine on my sensitive tissue and pinch/cut away. It was horrible and I was crying from the pain. The guy was a major asshole.

    Anyway, I don't have an answer to your question, just wanted to share your frustration!
    My Mustang Adventures - my blog!
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    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
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    6,901

    Default

    you can look up the recommended procedures your doctor is supposed to be following in a guideline. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/ph..._screening.pdf



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2010
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia
    Posts
    3,222

    Default

    I have had a few colposcopies and they have saved my life. When i was 20, I had an irregular pap, had the colposcopy and it came back with pre cancer. I had surgery to remove part of my cervix (cold knife cone?). I will willingly have colposcopies done in case of pre cancer or cancer again.

    My aunt and mother had cervical cancer, my dad just had squamous cell, along with many other family members. I will go through uncomfortable tests all day long to avoid cancer. And I love overly cautiOus doctors!!
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2009
    Location
    Near the cupcake shop
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    1,992

    Default

    I was told to get one, but I have been too wimpy to go.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2007
    Posts
    753

    Default

    Please don't miss vageena appointments. My 37 year old friend and mother of two young girls was recently diagnosed with a rare form of small cell cervical cancer. She was given months to live as it has metastasized to her liver. She too had irregular paps every time. You can read about her story here:

    http://www.facebook.com/prayersandsu...estika?fref=ts

    PS don't worry about the donation stuff, that's not why I am posting her page. I'm posting because I want to raise awareness about cervical cancer.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2008
    Posts
    2,945

    Default

    AliCat--Where are you? I'm sure someone will gladly go with you. It's not fun, but it's necessary.

    I've had one colposcopy, one cone biopsy, and a LEEP. Not fun. Hope that all is said and done. But if there's even a chance of it coming back, I'd have more without hesitation. It hurts, but it's short-lived. I heartily recommend a happy pill beforehand. And then medicate like hell afterwards. But absolutely do not delay or postpone treatment.
    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    11,183

    Default

    Been there, done that.
    When I would have an irregular pap they would schedule me for a second pap six months later and if it came back irregular I would then have a colposcopy. Two paps and one colposcopy per year for a good long time.
    Better to suffer thru them than to not find a problem when there is one.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,204

    Default

    Anyone know why they can't offer you a happy pill beforehand as long as you have someone with you?
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
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    Default

    Its my understanding that you can take an antianxiety medication beforehand, as well as like Ibuprofen. I asked my OBGYN at Planned Parenthood about it, and she said they could give me Lorazepam if I thought I needed it, as long as I had someone to drive me home.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2012
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    462

    Default

    I would just ask them about the happy pills, I worked for a sedation dentist for a while and she was always happy to call you in something that would make you more likely to show up and have a good time... for lack of a better phrase lol


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2011
    Location
    Dutchess county, NY
    Posts
    864

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by confusedTB View Post
    And by important, I mean...is it necessary every year?

    I am in my mid 20s, have gotten bi-yearly paps since I was about 18. It seems like EVERY TIME the pap comes back irregular, and they schedule me for a colposcopy. So far (and I am very thankful for this...) they come back with no abnormalities.

    I was told that standard procedure is two irregular paps = colposcopy; however, for the last 2 years, if I have one irregular pap, they automatically send me for a colposcopy. And let me tell you, those things are NOT pleasant.

    Each time I get a colposcopy, I ask my gyno, "if everything comes back normal, do I have to get another one?" and she always responds, two irregular paps = colposcopy. But then why does she schedule me for them each time? (so I end up having one a year?)

    Ugggh. Anyone else have this problem?

    I do like my gyno, but she is difficult to get a hold of to ask questions (a nurse always calls me with results)
    I'm a Board Certified OB/GYN....there is not enough information to answer your question. The pap information would be ASCUS (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance), ASCUS - can not rule out high grade (high grade is the stuff we worry about), LGSIL (Low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion - not a concern and will generally go back to normal within 2 years but for some woman will persist) and HGSIL (high grade). Your HPV status would also guide the need for colposcopy.

    By the way, we hate being referred to as "gyno" - wouldn't you? lol



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    11,183

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dudleyc View Post

    By the way, we hate being referred to as "gyno" - wouldn't you? lol
    Um no. Not sure why it is offensive, actually. Do you just not like the abbreviation or not like it for a reason?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2009
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dudleyc View Post
    I'm a Board Certified OB/GYN....there is not enough information to answer your question. The pap information would be ASCUS (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance), ASCUS - can not rule out high grade (high grade is the stuff we worry about), LGSIL (Low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion - not a concern and will generally go back to normal within 2 years but for some woman will persist) and HGSIL (high grade). Your HPV status would also guide the need for colposcopy.

    By the way, we hate being referred to as "gyno" - wouldn't you? lol

    Hmmmm....they didnt tell me any of those. I always have a nurse call to give the results, and this past time she said I had low grade abnormal cells and I would need a colposcopy to get a "better idea" of what is going on.

    When they called with the results of the colposcopy, I was told, nothing is wrong, just repeat pap in 6 months.

    And I know it is an important exam, so I will continue to go, but I hate having to get one every year. And when it continues to come back negative, I wonder what the difference between just repeating the pap or going straight to colposcopy?

    I guess I need to ask more questions next time.

    I know that HPV is a precursor for cervical cancer, but would that automatically require you to have yearly colposcopies?



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2011
    Posts
    1,061

    Default

    My friend's dad died of colon cancer, and the docs said if they'd detected it earlier he may have survived. So I think they are pretty important! Not fun of course, but important.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    1,381

    Default

    I have had 2 colposcopies - first was in 2006 and another in 07 after a few abnormal pap smears. Boy are they FUN! I went by myself though and survived. I do have a high tolerance for pain though and didn't take anything.

    Since then my paps have come back normal and I haven't had to have another, thank god!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,204

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Personal Champ View Post
    I have had 2 colposcopies - first was in 2006 and another in 07 after a few abnormal pap smears. Boy are they FUN! I went by myself though and survived. I do have a high tolerance for pain though and didn't take anything.

    Since then my paps have come back normal and I haven't had to have another, thank god!
    I survived having a uterine polyp removed as well as 2 emergency suction abortions (they did give me some demerol) After that I declined. My Gyn did want to do a uterine biopsy before my hysterectomy but I adamantly refused.
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2008
    Posts
    321

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shiningwizard255 View Post
    My friend's dad died of colon cancer, and the docs said if they'd detected it earlier he may have survived. So I think they are pretty important! Not fun of course, but important.
    This! A different scenario than OP but MIL was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer for the same reason. MIL never goes to the gynecologist as well. They caught it because she could not go to the bathroom and we she went to after care they immediately sent her to the ER.

    A couple more months and it would have killed her. Luckily she had a fantastic doctor and is cancer free now.



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