Very worried - anyone any experience of gynae procedures?

Posted , 11 users are following.


I have been reading (and posting) on here for a couple weeks or more and had become very reassured by others' experiences.

I am now, however, shaking like a leaf because I have just been to see my GP - expecting him to reassure me also that it's nothing to worry about at this stage - and he looked extremely worried and has referred me to a gynae, saying that it will need looking into within the next two weeks.

In short: I hadn't had a period since 28th June 2011 until about  3-4 weeks ago when I had the preamble - clear discharge followed a few days later by sore breasts, followed a week later by a couple days of very slight pinkish bleeding. Before the one in 2011, I hadn't had a period for a year. Before which time, they had been extremely heavy for a few years.

What has freaked me out is that the doctor seemed to think this was very urgent, and says "in these cases" they would want to see me within two weeks. He is referring me today to the gynae and says that they may want to have me into hospital to do tests under anaesthetic!

I asked him if this would be general or local, and he said I would need to discuss this with the gynae.

I am almost in tears :''(  I am terrified. I have never in my life spent time in hospital and I have never before had a general anaesthetic and am terrified of this. When I was 8, I had a lot of teeth out under gas and ever since I am terrified of being put to sleep.

Does anyone have any experiences of gynae involvement and what tests they might do, and how invasive they are? both in terms of literally invasive and of types of anaesthetic hat can be used.

I do know/feel sure that I have fibroids but have never actually had this diagnosed, because of the same fear of hospital procedures - as soon as I knew that it would involve putting on a hospital gown and being poked around in some way, I didn't pursue investigating this via the doctor.

Another thing I haven't yet mentioned on this forum - and had to mention to the doctor, which might be why he freaked out and treated this so severely - is that I have never in my life had a successful smear test. Every time they attempted one on me, years ago, I would tense completely and seize up (it's psychological, not physical) and they were unable to get deep enough to get a good scraping. The only time they managed to get any scraping, they came back to me with the result that it wasn't enough sample to get a good testing and they would need to repeat the smear test. And I bottled out of course at that point, having pushed myself beyond my limit to try to relax enough for them to get that sample. It was like I had made my supreme effort and it still wasn't enough...

The doctor today said that in view of this history of being unable to relax in order to have a successful smear test, this is why he is referring me forthwith to the gynae and why he said they might recommend going into hospital and having anaesthetic!!!!

I had hoped that he might have a better solution as to how I could be relaxed enough for them to do a smear, but such a solution was not forthcoming today.

I don't know what to do because I simply cannot bottle out this time, as he seemed to think it was urgent as it might possibly be serious (he said it "might be a problem with the cervix") but I can't explain how terrified I am about the hospital involvement of this.

I don't have any option but to go ahead and see this gynae. But does anyone have similar experiences who can tell me more of what I might expect to happen next? or suggest what I might ask the gynae to do or not do, in the way of tests etc?

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40 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi marie

    that is maybe worst case scenario.

    my gyno looks at my ovaries and uterus with a transvaginal camera, doesnt hurt and done in ten mins.

    and all is seen, an ultra sound shows things too, had plenty of those too.

    try not to worry, i have had all types of problems and never been put to sleep until an operation was required 

    Remember some GPs are abit stupid with their info, they are not specialists in womens health at all 

    jay x

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    • Posted


      every year i see my gyno and have what they call a well woman check.

      thats a transvaginal camera to check uterus, ovaries, uterine thickness, check no cysts, or cancer etc .

      ( some do an ultra sound scan) all painless..

      also a magnifying light is used to check cells in vagina and cervix all pain free..

      smears are done, and also a 3D breast scan..

      simple errosions on cervix that are common can cause spotting, so try not to worry, the Gyno doesnt do an op willy nilly, he can see everything without it..

      jay x

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  • Posted

    Hi Marie. I had a hysteroscopy to investigate a post meno bleed last month under general. Honestly, it was so easy. Took 10 mins and home two hours later. I too was taken by surprise by the swift referral and investigations, but fortunately I got a clean bill of health, well, gynae health at least! Please try not to worry too much about the procedure itself. There were six ladies on my list and we were looked after so well. We all moaned about gynae issues and had a bit of a laugh. Had I known in advance how straight forward and painless it was going to be, Id have saved myself a lot of grief. Take care and good luck.
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    • Posted

      Hi Debbie 

      i had a hysteroscopy a few years ago, but didnt have general, that was when i lived in UK, i remember being full of water and it pouring out after, i even saw my insids on screen then too . Had to sit for half an hour after before i could go home, i hadno anesthetic for that, it didnt hurt either.

      it was vaginal camera that went through the cervix and into the womb, general was never even offered for me, i just relaxed and off they went doing the visuals .. 

      I had a laperoscopy  that was under general when they go inside to treat what ever needs sorting,  two small incisions in the abdomen, i had endometriosis in my thirties and lots of laser surgery, they wanted to skip that and just give me a hysterectomy, but i refused i wanted laser, and was fine after it never returned, so i would of had a hysterectomy for nothing if i had gone with their quick option. 

      Jay x


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    • Posted


      I put you right up there with my (next in age) sister as you have her same philosophical approach to all-things gynae as her!!

      Also, your procedures seem the same as those she had, resulting in her not needing a hysterectomy either.

      Really like reading yours and debbie03785's posts:  very reassuring. Thanks x


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    • Posted

      Hi Shaz 

      Thanks for kind words..

      think i am just past caring, 😃 i dont really worry about procedures that need doing, i just get on with it, ' have a high pain threshold anyway' just make sure i relax and think of something soothing while they crack on ..😃

      we are all different arent we, thats what makes the world go round..

      Dentists never bother me either ... just get it done... 

      My other half thinks i am ' hard ' hahahahaha ( he hates any pain) good job he hasnt had my 3 bulging back discs and shingles think he would never have got up.. 😉

      have a good evening shaznay 

      jay x

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  • Posted

    Awww thank you, both of you...I feel a bit better and kind of more in control of what I might be able to ask for or discuss having. In other words, you have shown me some possible options/scenarios - which was exactly what I need right now.

    Jay, yes the GP was a bit um not sure how to put it. Offputting is the best word I can think of. I would have preferred a female doctor but there wasn't one available to see at a time I can get to an appointment. This one didn't even want to know about the other issue I had gone for which is more ongoing than this recent one and involves having had a swollen painful finger joint for about a year, and just recently found out that there is a family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis. he kind of totally disregarded that and said it was more urgent to deal with the 'period' issue...and rom what you say, and now having had time to think a bit more detached about it, I maybe ought to have demanded to see a gynae almost before even contacting that doctor about this! - only, I didn't know that this is something a gynae would deal with. (I haven't had much experience of doctors as I've never been ill, never had need for anything like surgery or whatever, and when I used to have my smears attempted it was at my GP surgery done eother by a female GP or by a practice nurse.)

    Since I posted, I've also googled "cervix problems and period after menopause" and came up with a site all about the many types of problems in the cervix. Polyps seems to be a possible, from comparing my symptom with what the site said. If that's the case, it's certainly way far from the worst case scenario I could be dreading! I guess too that if I've got to this age (nearly 55) without ever having to have any hospital or surgical procedures, I'm one of a very small minority of people and haven't done so bad!!

    I am still terrified of a general anaesthetic. Having never had one (except the gas) how would I know if I am one of those rare people who is allergic to it? (Am currently re-reading a Peter James novel where one of the characters dies due to being allergic to anaesthetic - only read that yesterday so of course when anaesthetic was mentioned today it doubly freaked me out! as I had forgotten that this is even possible.) I am hoping, from your reassurances, that the gynae will indeed find an alternative way to enable the tests they might need to do. Btw, are gynaes men or women or can they be either?

    Oh and this might make you smile: this is how little I know about these things...I asked the GP if I would have to pay for the gynae/did I have to go private to see one? and he gave me an even stranger look than when I'd been talking about this odd 'period', and said, no it is on the NHS. I guess I've read too many fiction books where people go to see their gynae and it's private medicine!!!!

    Anyway, thank you again for  your reassurances and I do feel a bit less scared already. I'm not going to let them put me under if I can discuss a different option with them!

    I've already decided (being on my own) that if I feel or know there might be some dire procedure pending, I am going to ask my lovely next door neighbour if she will come with me to the hospital. She is a lovely lady and whilst we don't see each other from one week to the next, if anyone has a problem she is such a comfort as she listens, is understanding and caring, and like a kind of favourite auntie. I am normally pretty good at standing on my own two feet but this is one of those rare occasions when I wish I had family around me. However, Margaret is exactly that sort of person in anyone's crisis or similar.

    Thanks again. I won't bottle out and will take the initial consultation as a chance to discuss options. I presume this is what they will do the first time they see you?


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    • Posted

      Hi Marie 

      no please dont worry yourself, could be much about nothing, its good your doctor has dealt with it quickly and referred you, but a GP is just that ' general practitioner' doesnt have any specialality just general ..

      thats why they refer to speacialists ..

      so wait and see what happens, it must be checked ..

      also it could be as simple as dryness post meno, the vaginal walls etc dry out and cause irratation and sometimes crack and bleed or and may spot..

      thats my only problem post meno, i never took HRT, but at my last Gyno check he said i had Vaginal Atrophy ( dryness ) it feels annoying, dry abit painful, and thats when problems can occur aswell, i now use a local HRT ovestin Vaginal Ovule and Estriol cream to keep all outer skin supple and soft and not dried out, also helps bladder issues that feel scratchy inside plus i have a very mild uterine prolapse so helps rehydrate that area too, it doesnt enter blood stream or help with other meno symptoms, just helps the dryness..

      dont worry hun, get a check and find out what it can be..

      big hugs Jay xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jay. However, I am still latched onto this fact that I didn't have just "spotting" but the whole whammy of a period. Tender (very tender - and if it hadn't involved both, I would have been running off for a breast scan, never mind gynae!) - just like they were pre-period when I was in my 20s before I started taking B6 regularly. And the clear discharge which is the lubrication that comes midway between the bleed part of the cycle. This wasn't just some blood but was a whole mini-menstrual cycle (well- over about 4 weeks and the breast pain wasn't mini!) - can something like a cervical polyp or even vaginal dryness/cracking, actually cause the other symptoms of a period such as the PMT-type ones?
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  • Posted

    Scaremongering GP`s ! why oh why do you put yourself through this ? You do have options and those options are the opposite to what you want to put yourself through ..

    Believe me i am talking through experience, gp,s, specialist doctors, professors i could go on they are not god and you are just a piece of meat in their  hands someone to experiment on ..They earn a big fat salary so they can afford their big fat mansion and their big fat fancy holidays and big fat cars..

    Let me put it this way and i always say this the day you find yourself not able to eat or drink anything is the day you know you are seriously ill and in need of medical intervention if you choose to want it..   

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    • Posted

      Hi lulu,

      Your last paragraph about sums me up. Yes, this is what I am generally like! However, I didn't know until that GP mentioned gynae, that I even had that option! but now, as I said above, I wish I could somehow have gone straight there and bypassed this GP. On the other hand, even if I'd known about going to a gynae, I would probably still have assumed I'd need a referral from my GP. And I have always thought gynaes were only available in private practice, you see! (Never had cause to use them...worst I've ever really been to any GP for in my life was a virus or to diagnose hayfever, and I don't knoiw much at all about medical options)

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    • Posted

      Hi marie 

      dont be nervous, gyno there to help you, mine is wonderful ..

      explains everything and is so understanding..

      dont put it off, get it done and dusted then you can relax about it all


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  • Posted

    Hi Marie,

    Sounds like you might be having a colposcopy by your description of needing a smear and possible issue with cervix. I had that done and honestly it's a bit more involved than a regular pap test and usually they give you what they call a "twlight sleep" (US) and that's enough just to put you to sleep so you don't move during procedure.

    Actually, mine was done in the doctor's office and I didn't get the "twilight". I recall putting the legs up in the stirrups and having the doctor insert the speculum. Marie, I only remember a bit of cramping and that's about it. I lasted about 20 minutes or so and I was able to go home. I was advised to take it easy for rest of day as I think I may have had some additional spotting afterward, but nothing too terrible.

    I know it is scary being told we need certain tests and being concerned about the results. I know it is easier said than done, but try and not fret too much over this. I'm glad they would rather get it done quickly than make you wait several weeks in limbo-that would really be unnerving.

    Hoping for the best outcome for you.

    Annie xx

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    • Posted

      Annie, I can almost guarantee that if I had to wait several weeks, I would bottle out of even going to the gynae! As it is, I will probably get that far now I feel a bit more reassured.

      Do you think they will do tests like this on the first visit? or will I get some warning?

      I had the twilight sleep at the dentist one time many years least i think it was that. It was when I had to have three crowns fitted. It was really quite nice as it was all over before I even realised, and yet it had taken an hour! seemed like two minutes! They used valium and I had to have someone go with me to the dental surgery as I wasn't allowed to walk home on my own afterwards.

      Unfortunately nobody ever suggested to me that I could have that done when I went for a smear test. If i had, I'm sure i wouldn't have had any problems with my smears.

      The GP only put me up on the couch and asked if I had any pain or discomfort anywhere in my abdomen area (no) and prodded and tapped me about there. I described this 'period' to him (from start to finish, including the tender breasts, the clear discharge beforehand which was almost normal to me mid-cycle, and the subsequent pinkish discharge, so pale it almost couldn't be classed as a bleed and certainly not what I would have called 'spotting') and he latched onto the bleed part at once; seemed to disregard the fact it mimicked a full monthly cycle as I used to have them...and I wondered and still wonder how he can think it is a 'problem with the cervix' when I would have assumed that this would in ONLY some bleeding? Not the full monty. Can a cervical problem actually throw you into a full menstrual cycle? rather than just abnormal bleeding? (My former manager at work, a couple years older than I am, had post-menopausal bleeding but hers was only bleeding and not a full monthly cycle as mine was, and the bleeding was definitely red blood and lasted longer. She ended up having some kinds of invasive tests involving hospital gowns, and was finally told that it was nothing that required any treatment.)

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    • Posted

      Hi Marie, 

      I, like some other ladies here have had several different types of tests in the past. Seriously not sure how things are done in the UK. You may be going for a consultation instead of actual procedure first visit, not sure. But in any case, from the colposcopy to the  endometrial biopsy and several d and c's that I have had, looking back, none were worth the stress I put myself under prior to actual exam.

      And like your former manager, with all the tests I had, I was told the same thing. Nothing to worry about. But I am sitting here looking back, you are full of concern as this is all new too you, hasn't been properly explained to you by GP so hopefully your GYN will be more comforting with information and put your mind to ease.

      As to your question can cervical issues put you into full menstrual cycle, I am not sure. I know they like to look at everything to rule out any potential problems. Hopefully you will have your results quickly and can put this out of your mind.

      Again, easier said than done, please don't let this overwhelm you. 

      Annie xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Jay!

      Overall, doing good. Newly dx'd with hypothyroidism, but it's ok, onward and upward as they say!

      The one I'm referring to isn't an annual thing (at least I hope not! lol!) This is the one past the pap smear which would have come back with abnormal cells (in my case) for the cervix. This is a little more involved where if I understood right, this time the doctor uses vinegar of all things, to highlight the abnormal areas to be biopsied. Took a little longer than the regular pap, but again, was no big deal after the fact. 

      I was bit angered at the doctor the following year (I switched docs and brought my paperwork with me) to only find out by new doc, that beyond that colposcopy I did have what they call a LEEP procedure (here in US) that was totally unnecessary.  

      Wow, I was furious. This was the first time my pap supposably was "abnormal", which started the change of events and I started to think bad things about my husband......haha! Poor fellow had nothing to do with this whole unnecessary drama anway! 

      Hope all is well with you in sunny Spain!

      Annie xx

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    • Posted

      Hi annie 

      years ago i had a smear that came back abit curious, they explained the results as a ladder and i was only one rung down the ladder, nothing bad but a slight change, and had another six months later and all was fine again.

      then i had one annually for the next three years as a precaution ( this was while in UK) just to keep an eye on it.

      now i have annual well woman checks anyway full works, the colposcopy they put a solution on cervix it stings abit for few seconds, i remember that now you mentioned it, remember the Gyno saying what he was doing and it would sting a little.

      i pay private for mine here, its quite the norm to have them annual here, especialy over age of 50.. Its not expensive and its the full works, so will always do it ..

      not sunny in spain, we have very heavy rain 😫

      jay xx


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