Fiona’s story



I had CIN level 2/3 which during a colposcopy appointment was removed using LLETZ.

For the following three weeks I continually bled and had severe cramps. I had extreme lower abdominal and cervical pain whilst standing, the only was to relieve the pain was to lie down. It felt like something was pulling my uterus down out of my vagina constantly and with shooting pains across my lower half and the top of my legs.

I visited my GP and gave her all of my symptoms and was eventually referred for an internal ultrasound, they found nothing unusual. I continued to feel all of those symptoms until my six month check up/smear. I was then told by the nurse that I had a ‘growth’ on my cervix. She attempted to do the smear anyways. It was extremely painful and bled heavily afterwards and for about a week after.

The results came back as unreadable because of the blood caused by the ‘growth’ being disturbed during the smear and I was told I could not have another smear for another six months. I was still experiencing lower cramping, stabbing pains, loss of libido, fatigue, dark brown spotting, very heavy and painful periods. I also developed bacterial vaginosis twice which just added to everything I was trying to live with.

I used to work 12 hour shifts with the majority of my shift standing. I was in constant pain and would spend my lunch hour on the toilet passing blood and clots on a regular basis. When I would return home the only relief I could find would be to lie flat. I would spend my days off in bed because I couldn’t face the pain and didn’t want to be too far from a bathroom in case I passed anything.

I attempted to have sex with my husband on a few occasions, it was very painful when his penis touched my cervix, like I was being stabbed internally. On one occasion I did manage to have an orgasm but it was like a load of razor blades exploding inside me.

The ongoing sexual problems I had, my inability to live my life on my days off and just my general feeling of going slowly mad led to the collapse of my marriage and sank me into a depression, which four years on I still suffer from.

I have insomnia, headaches, nausea, lower abdominal cramps, back ache, painful ovulation and many other symptoms that I never suffered before the LLETZ procedure.

I feel that despite seeking medical help throughout all the time after the procedure, I was made to feel like everything was in my head, I started to believe it. I distanced myself from everyone, I lost contact with many friends and feel like I had truly lost my way in life.

After my marriage ended I was in the darkest place I have ever been, I took voluntary redundancy from my job and moved from the uk to Ireland hoping that it would give me a fresh start. I had a smear test three years ago because I wanted to be on the Irish smear test ‘system’. The nurse told me that the results came back saying that there are changes in the cells but seeing as I didn’t have HPV then they were happy for me to wait the three years before I had another one.

I did start a new relationship last year, it was so difficult to be intimate. The painful intercourse, occasional bleeding after sex and the cramps for a few days after we’re just too much, it brought everything back and in the back of my head I just kept thinking ‘there are changes in the cells, I bet you’ve got CIN again, you’re gonna have to go through all this again’.

I drive myself crazy many many times reliving everything that happened. I feel that more awareness, support and counselling needs to be offered to women before they have the LLETZ procedure. I was still in the stirrups during my colposcopy appointment when I was told I would have to have the LLETZ. I wasn’t given any information other than there are pre cancerous cells and we have to get them out now.

It all happened so fast but nearly five years on I am still living with this. My next smear is due very soon and I am terrified of having it done because I know it will be so painful and then waiting for the results will just make my insomnia worse (if that’s possible!!)

I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for starting this group (Healing From LEEP/LLETZ), I read daily even though I don’t post but this has helped me more than anything else in just allowing me to know that I’m not crazy in all the pain and emotions that I’ve been going through.

I never thought going for a hospital appointment would lead to my marriage ending either but just with the physical pain and emotional distress I just wasn’t the person he married, I don’t blame him for anything that happened and it’s great to see the women posting within the group who are getting great support from their other half’s 🙂

But it also makes me angry and sad that there are so many women who have suffered and are continuing to suffer. You and everyone in the group are just brilliant, thank you so much once again.

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