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Author Topic: Ocassional Post menopausal Spotting and Discharge  (Read 4711 times)

Lesley Joy

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Ocassional Post menopausal Spotting and Discharge
« on: January 19, 2017, 02:13:57 AM »

Hi, this is my first post and am very scared of some symptoms I've had. I'm 60, am post menopausal and had my last period 9 years ago. I do use Ovestin vaginal cream.

In May 2014 my smear came back CIN1 with HPV. My gynecologist did a colposcopy which showed a few red areas but being postmenopausal he couldn't see into the canal. He suggested doing a LETZ loop proceedure. The biopsy revealed no CIN or dysplasia just chronic cervicitis (benign inflammation)! It healed well but left me with cervical stenosis with a pin hole cervix. This makes getting pap smears more difficult. I'm really upset about this and told him. I had a normal smear 2015 and also 2016. He also gave me the new HVP test which was negative. He also does a vaginal ultrasound scan every year.

A few months after in April this I noticed 3 small brown spots in my knickers, then nothing else. This was after a day of bad IBS where I was on the toilet most of the day. The brown spots were not from there. After this everything was fine until Nov when I had more brown discharge, then nothing more (again after a bout of IBS). I immediately rang for an appointment, but my gynae was unavailable as had broken wrist but ordered a pelvic ultrasound. This was all good. Then early Dec I started getting small amounts of a clear, watery vaginal discharge, especially in the morning after walking. I have an appointment to see my gynae next Tues 24 Jan. I have had no more spotting/blood, just the small amount of yellowy/clear watery discharge.

I'm now petrified that I may have cervical cancer, as the symptoms match. I feel that I should have gone back to my gynae after the first bit of spotting (but it was a 1 off and nothing more till  8 months after). I'm wondering if the smears he took were inaccurate so I haven't been covered in 2 and 1/2 years/ I've been reading all sorts of things and have scared myself terribly. I'm panicky and anxious and loosing sleep.

Sorry that this post is so long but wanted to give you some background.
Thanks, Lesley Joy x


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Re: Ocassional Post menopausal Spotting and Discharge
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 11:15:30 AM »

Hi and welcome to MM Lesley Joy
You have not done a long post - it's far easier for us to support you if we have a full picture of what is going on.
I am no expert but here are my thoughts.
What a tough time you have had - not surprised you are anxious.  You've had everything tested in recent years so I doubt there is anything sinister.  You had a smear in 2016 and I believe cervical cancer takes a number of years to develop.  Your symptoms are far more likely to be to do with vaginal atrophy.
My immediate thought, when reading your post, was that you possibly had a bacterial infection which is very common with urogenital atrophy. Bacterial vaginitis will often result in discharge - this is often quite smelly (fishy smell) and sometimes clear or browny. The Ovestin will be helping to maintain a healthier vaginal flora but, in my experience, local oestrogen is not enough to keep things comfortable.  Hopefully when you see the gynae he/she will do a swob and have this discharge tested for infection.  I once had a discharge tested and it came back as a bacterial infection - however they simply said this was common and should clear on it's own.  Treating these types of infection with ABs can make things worse as it kills the good bacteria in our gut (lack of good gut bacteria is bad for IBS) and often creates an environment that will make more infections take hold around our ‘lady bits'.
You say you suffer with IBS and if your stools are very loose then the chance of bad bacteria from your bowel getting to your vagina is very likely and this will cause thrush and BV - really clean well after opening your bowels.
My strategy for maintaining a healthy vaginal flora is to use SYLK vaginal moisturiser daily after showering (don't take baths or use anything scented on ‘lady bits') and I also use Multi Gyn Actigel 2-3 times a week to prevent any infection taking hold. If I think there is something brewing ( more discharge, itchy or sore) I use the Multi Gyn a couple of times a day, for a  few days, to really clear things up. Do eat plenty of yogurt and anything that encourages a healthy gut - cutting out as much sugar as possible is a very good idea.
I think your IBS may be behind a lot of this.  I believe staying calm and concentrating on a good routine with diet and exercise is the key to controlling IBS.
If you want to try the SYLK and Multi Gyn Actigel then you can get these online. Don't use these at the same time as the Ovestin local oestrogen or they may stop the oestrogen absorbing.  You could switch from Ovestin to Vagifem oestrogen pessaries which are easier to use and less likely to encourage infections.
Hope that helps.  DG x


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Re: Ocassional Post menopausal Spotting and Discharge
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 12:09:05 PM »

Hi Lesley Joy

 :welcomemm: from me too!

Just to add that it sounds like you have done all the right things re getting checked out and you have had your cervical smears up to date with your last one in 2016. I don't think anyone in your position would have worried about the few brown spots if they only occurred on one day and were very slight so do not beat yourself up about that!

You are now awaiting you appointment next week so try to keep calm and have plenty of things to do to keep your mind off it until then - and stay away from Google! There is no reason to suppose that all your smears were wrong!! Are you in US by any chance as you talk about pap smears?

Anyway do let us know the outcome of your appointment but in the meantime try not to worry :)

Hurdity x

Lesley Joy

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Re: Ocassional Post menopausal Spotting and Discharge
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 07:35:23 PM »

Hi ladies,
  Thank you very much for your replies, I live in New Zealand, so the smears I have are thin prep smears. I have an IBS attack about 3 or 4 times a year as I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which flares things up. I'm very particular about my hygiene as IBS produces lots of gas too!!

2 times I had the IBS (and when noticed the dark brown discharge), it was a few hours after the IBS had stopped so I wondered whether I  may have strained myself inside? What's also weird is there wasn't any discharge residue in my vagina afterwards. I used the Ovestin Cream that evening and it came away just white the next day!

I've read a bit about vaginal atrophy and it's interesting to hear that it sometimes isn't enough, to halt the symptoms, I will mention this to my gynae on Tues. I have been feeling rather dry and sore in my vaginal area on days when I don't use the Ovestin.

The smear accuracy is an ongoing fear of mine since I had the Letz treatment. It was complete over kill on his part as it now makes collecting the endocervical cells nigh in impossible. He should have left things for 6 months as my system would have cleared the virus itself and the cells would have returned to normal. He did reassure me that the new HrHVP test is very sensitive. It tests for high risk HPV viruses, which are believed to be a precursor to cervical cell changes.

I do feel reassured that the 2 bleeds were many months apart and that if there was anything really serious going on then the bleeding would have continued. Yes Dr Google is really bad for me and I'm terrified of the big C.

Am trying to calm down, it's difficult as I'm prone to anxiety as well. On the bright side it's Summer down here in NZ so lots to do outside. I fast walk every day, try to eat healthy and maintain a good weight :)

Lesley Joy xx