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Anna - Interview 09

Age at interview: 34
Age at diagnosis: 33
Brief Outline: Anna was diagnosed with CIN3 in 2008, aged 33, and treated by LLETZ. She was particularly concerned about the impact of treatment for CIN3 on IVF treatment.
Background: Anna is a married solicitor Ethnic background / nationality' White British

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Anna said she had not attended regularly for cervical screening and that five years may have elapsed since she’d had a smear test. She had also moved home during those five years so may have missed appointments if invitation letters had been sent to her old address.

Several months after having a smear test, Anna received a letter asking her to make an appointment with her GP to discuss the results. Her GP told her that she had CIN3 and this came as shocking news, especially because she and her husband had planned to start IVF treatment that month. They were unable to start it until after her treatment and clear results.

Anna had a colposcopy and was treated there and then by LLETZ. She bled quite heavily afterwards but, when she looked for more information about this on the internet, she could not find anything relevant. When she visited her GP, she was prescribed medication that helped stop the bleeding and had her next period as normal. Anna said she was also concerned about the impact of treatment for CIN3 on IVF treatment.

Since her treatment for CIN3, Anna has had no further problems and attends regularly for cervical screening. Because of her own experience, she advises other women to attend.

 

The doctor could see the area that needed treatment and Anna was pleased to be treated sooner...

The doctor could see the area that needed treatment and Anna was pleased to be treated sooner...

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On the first day that I saw them I explained that we were expecting to start IVF treatment and the delay was really scary. And the doctor said if he looked and it was obvious that I would need treatment, he would do the treatment there and then.

Fortunately my husband was with me because he’d had the day off that day. And he looked and he said, “Okay well, I’m going to take a biopsy but I can see that there is definitely an abnormality. And you’re going to need to have a loop diathermy. So I’ll just do it. And so he just did it there and then. So that was, I thought that was really good of him because that, you know, that meant I could have more IVF treatment sooner and also I’d know the answer quicker. And that was a weight off my mind that he did that.

The colposcopy is kind of nothing; it’s just like an extra long smear except they use a kind of a big camera-y thing. So that was a bit of a surprise, so I didn’t really need to see a close up of that area of my body. So I looked the other way.

But the treatment itself, I don’t know because I’d had a lot of treatment in that area because I’ve had fertility treatment, so I don’t really get embarrassed so much. And I’ve certainly had treatment that was a lot less comfortable, just doing that.

But I think the worst bit was the injection. And the second worst bit after that was them taking the speculum out. And, other than that, it really wasn’t at all painful.

 

Anna says there is a stigma attached to HPV. She felt her mum thought she might have been...

Anna says there is a stigma attached to HPV. She felt her mum thought she might have been...

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I read on the internet some of the causes and the HPV virus and that sort of thing. And you kind of see it on the TV as well, and that causes it. And that was one of the things that was a bit difficult because, you know, my mum thinks that, you know, I’ve been a woman of loose morals. And that’s a really difficult thing that’s, that’s kind of a bit of a stigma about it.

And I know that another friend of mine who, a few months after me, she had a diagnosis with mild, CIN1 I think. And she moved abroad and had her mail directed to her mum, so she only found out about that from her mum telling her. And then her mum gave her a right lecture. And so it’s kind of got a bit of a stigma attached to it.

 

Anna felt anxious because she and her husband had waited three years to have IVF treatment. Her...

Anna felt anxious because she and her husband had waited three years to have IVF treatment. Her...

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I was really quite worried because it was just so close to the IVF treatment. And we’d been focusing such a lot on that happening. And then it just felt like how can something go wrong. We’ve been waiting for three years to get, to have this treatment and then it was out of their control so... That was worrying me more really you know.

So you went to talk to the GP. And he or she…?

She.

She told you that it was CIN3?

Yeah.

Had you ever heard of CIN3 before?


No.

No. So, did she explain it to you in a way that you understood and that you, you know, did you have any questions or did you feel alright?
Well I kind of understood that there were three levels that were pre-cancerous, and then after that you’re really onto cancerous cells and then the stages of cancer. So I kind of understood that, and she was very clear that it wasn’t cancer but that it needed to be treated.

 

Anna bled heavily after playing Frisbee in the park. After a few days she went to see her GP, who...

Anna bled heavily after playing Frisbee in the park. After a few days she went to see her GP, who...

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I bled quite a lot for me. Well I’m the sort of person that has very light periods, so for me anything more than a very small bleed was quite frightening. And it stopped and then I thought that everything was okay. And then I went to see my parents and my brothers, and we’re quite an active family and we went to the park and we were all running around and playing Frisbee and messing about. And then after that I started bleeding really heavily and I don’t know whether it was linked at all, but that’s what happened.

But I think what it was my period but it was a lot heavier than normal. So that, I found that quite worrying and then I looked on the internet quite a lot to see whether that was more. And it was kind of, it was a little bit frustrating because people either seemed to have bled lots and had an infection and really horrible things had happened, or nothing.

So I kind of knew that I wasn’t bleeding enough for it to be some terrible infection or something that had gone horribly wrong, but I wasn’t absolutely sure about that. So I was really quite worried for a few days, and then I decided to go and see the GP. And she couldn’t, she examined me and she couldn’t see where the bleeding was coming from. And she did a urine test that showed no infection. So she said well I think it’s probably just your period and it’s heavier than usual because of the treatment. And she gave me tablets to stop my period. And after a couple of days that worked and then my next cycle was normal.

So the tablets just stopped that particularly heavy period?

Yeah.

And then the next one was normal in terms of the time and the amount of blood?


Just the same as a normal period.

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