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I just wanted to share my journey so far. I have used the forum for information and reassurance a lot over the last few months and would like to add my own experience in the hope that it will help in some way.
I am 30 years old, I have no children. My smear tests have always come back clear. Last year I went for my routine smear (it was around 9 months late as I had moved house and let life get in the way). I got a letter to say that 'minor changes' had been found and that I should go back for another smear in 6 months. When I went back for my second smear test, the nurse said that quite often minor changes can go back to normal on their own but also not to panic if I get a letter through asking me to attend a Colposcopy.
Around 3 weeks later I got the letter with the Colposcopy appointment. The letter didn't detail what changes had been found which is what caused me the most stress. I think it's differs from area to area on what information they provide you (I live in Glasgow). The Colposcopy was in 2 weeks time which caused me further anxiety as I knew that this had probably been an urgent referral.
I went to my Colposcopy appointment with my partner. The doctor explained that she wouldn't know anything until she took a look. The Colposcooy itself only took a few minutes and the Nurse chatted to me the whole time. I didn't feel pain, just discomfort from the pressure on my cervix. Afterwards, the doctor told me that she could see cell changes and inflammation and had taken 5 biopsies. She also said that she hadn't seen anything that concerned her, so asked me not to go home worrying. She said that the irregular cells covered quite a large area so I may have to have treatment over two appointments, she wanted to avoid an operation as I haven't had any children yet.
Around 3/4 weeks later I got my results which showed CIN3. I was given an outpatient appointment for 2 weeks time. The letter included a leaflet for the loop treatment as well as cold coagulation.
I had my treatment done yesterday. The doctor did the Cold Coagulation procedure as she said it would avoid taking away a large part of my cervix. I was on my period and it was quite heavy however they said that this was no problem at all. I was very surprised at how quick and painless the procedure was. I had been most worried about the local anesthetic going in but I barely felt it. The procedure was over within 5 minutes. Again the nurse talked away to me. The doctor said that she was happy that she had reached all of the irregular cells. I have to go for a smear test at my GP in six months time. In the meantime she advised me to eat as healthily as possible to boost my immune system. If my next smear comes back normal then I will go back to the routine smear tests, if not then I know that I will be closely monitored. I am so very greatful that the treatment went ahead yesterday given what is going on right now with Covid-19.
I hope my experience can reassure someone like all of the other posts reassured me. Just remember that it's ok to feel anxious, just try not to fall down an internet hole as most websites only talk about the worse case scenarios. This is the best place to be.