I wanted to share my experience with HPV. I knew about HPV before, but wasn’t aware of the actual emotional and physical consequences before I got HPV. I got the HPV vaccine when I was 17. At that time I had had 2 sexual partners, both of whom were virgins. That’s why I was shocked when my gynecologist fist told me I had an abnormal pap smear showing LSIL (low grade precancer cells). Since getting the shot, I had quite a few more sexual partners but I was still unprepared for the news of having HPV. I scheduled a colposcopy and the results were consistent with LSIL. I learned about HPV extensively in my medical school classes, so I felt fine when my doctor told me to just come back in 6 months to redo a pap, since your body can usually clear HPV itself. When I came back in 6 months, my doctor told me my pap smear showed high-grade dysplasia. This is when my heart sank. Her recommendation was to do a LEEP where she wouldn’t be too aggressive since I am 23 and concerned about being able to have kids in the future. I felt ashamed that I had an STD and couldn’t talk about my fears of getting a LEEP with anyone. I thought back on all my sexual encounters and regretted not being more mindful of my sexual health. For the entire week I felt depressed and just dirty.
I scheduled the LEEP a week after getting my HSIL results. I went in super nervous, because really, who wants to have an electrical loop burn out precancer cells from your cervix? But I have to say, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I would say that my colposcopies were more uncomfortable than the LEEP.
First my gynecologist put the speculum in, which in my opinion, was the only uncomfortable thing during the procedure. This could have been because it felt like she opened it wider than when she normally does for paps. Then she injected Lidocaine slowly to make sure I wasn’t having any side effects during the injection. It didn’t hurt and I couldn’t even feel when the needle went in. I didn’t experience any dizziness or heart racing as others have said. My doctor turned on a loud machine and started the actual LEEP procedure. I felt no pain or pressure besides having the speculum in, and it took about 2 minutes before she was done removing the cervix sample. The whole time I was pretty much holding my breath, trying hard not to move. The rest of the time was spent cauterizing the area and putting some gel in my cervix to help stop the bleeding. The whole procedure, from the time the speculum went in to the time it was taken out, took about 10 min (the majority of it being to stop the bleeding after the actual LEEP).
I had dull cramping from time to time right after the procedure, but nothing unbearable. All in all the procedure was a little uncomfortable (as a lot of gyn procedures tend to be :/) but painless- at least for me.
I started with wearing panty liners for the discharge but they soaked right through. I switched to pads, which I’m still using now. About 5 days after my LEEP, the discharge started smelling DISGUSTING. I mean, I’ve had a yeast infection before, but this smell… is on a whole other level. The only way I can describe it is standing in turbid water mixed with sulfur and rotting garbage. It’s not really bloody, more of a yellowish color but the smell- OMG I can hardly sit down with my legs uncrossed because it’s just RANCID. It’s been 2 weeks so far and my gyno told me that the discharge could go on for 6 weeks -.- Thank god I’m not seeing anyone right now because I’m pretty sure I’d knock them out with my vagina smells.