Sunday, January 23, 2011

So...I asked Dr. Google

I stumbled on a recent blog post that hit home with me and outlined a condition I might have. I've followed this blog for some time, but mostly it covers conditions I likely (but don't know for sure) don't have and therefore, I don't read it very often.  For whatever reason, I decided to update myself on that blog.

The post covers cervical stenosis that typically results from scarring. It occurred to me as I was reading that I might have the condition.

Skip this next part if you don't want all the details:

In August, 2008, I described to my Gyno that I had been having pain during intercourse for some time. He indicated that I had cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix) and put me on vaginal antibiotics that sort of helped with the pain, but it never really resolved.

The following year in August, 2009 I had my first abnormal pap smear with cervical cell dysplasia. This basically means that potentially pre-cancerous cells were found. The abnormal pap was followed by a colposcopy to remove the abnormal areas found when a vinegar solution is applied to the cervix. My gyno recommended cryosurgery even though the colposcopy came out clear (no additional abnormal cells were found) cryosurgery can also be a treatment for cervicitis. This was recommended right before our wedding so we put it off for a few months. When I finally had the surgery (they apply either gaseous or liquid nitrogen directly to the cervix to freeze it), it wasn't really painful or uncomfortable during the procedure. However, the procedure is basically a burn to the cervix so it "weeps"/drains for a long time, about 2 months. ...Sorry if that was TMI. During this time, no sex and no tampons which leaves you with the general icky feeling, but I did it and the results were great, fantastic as a matter of fact. No more pain during intercourse and the cervicitis seemed to have cleared. We started TTC as soon as I was healed/about 3 months after the procedure and I had a normal pap smear in May, 2010 and again in November, 2010.

Although HIGHLY unlikely, it is possible I contracted HPV without knowing it. However, I maintain that the soaps/shampoos/tampons/pads/laundry detergent I was using (I'm not sure which) caused the irritation and have since switched entirely to organic/natural products to avoid having this problem again.

If you jumped over that last part, pick up here:

With such a great resolution to my initial medical problem, I never once thought to question potential side-effects of the cryosurgery. Of which, I now know include cervical scarring and cervical stenosis which could lead to infertility!!!!!

I can't wait for my Dr.'s appointment next week so I decided to ask Dr. Google. I'm pretty sure other people do this too...wait...hold on...

Do other people do this?

Is this just an infertile thing?

Is this just a me thing?

I have a semi-medical background and Google the shit out of any condition I think I might have. When self-diagnosing, I usually talk myself down to the least serious of the possible diagnoses. In this case, however, I really hope I stumbled upon the condition I might actually have as it seems it is rather easy to treat, you just move directly to an IUI and skip all the nonsense of hormone therapy.

The countdown is on: 7 more sleeps until my next Gyno appt.


  1. You are not alone...I google the shit out of everything too. I hope you get some answers- keep us posted!

  2. Oh no, that's not just you. I google a lot as well. Hope it goes well with good news on the next appointment.

  3. Hmm, that's interesting. I had a colposcopy a few years ago, but never thought twice about it. From your Google research, is it just cryosurgery that can cause problems, or colposcopies as well?

    Good luck at your appointment!

  4. Bridget-I'm glad to hear that others "google the shit" out of things like these, also glad that "google the shit" out of something is an acceptable phrase

    Cattiz-I hope the next appointment goes well too!

    Amanda- I was told that physical trauma can cause trouble in late pregnancy because it weakens the cervix, everything I read mainly concerned the cryosurgery or other invasive proceedures like a cone-biopsy which removes a large part of the cervix...probabbly doesn't hurt to ask your doctor though, I wasn't even informed at the time that the cryosurgery could potentially lead to fertility problems

  5. I could have written this post myself. My OB doesn't seem to think I have vaginal scarring from the cryotherapy, but it has definitely affected my CM production, since apparently the cells they froze off were the ones that produce CM. UGH. Same as you - it's HIGHLY unlikely I contracted HPV without knowing it (I was in an exclusive 3 yr relationship at the time) but it SUCKS that 10 years later, it's probably affecting my IF. *sigh*


If you can relate to this post or have an opinion about it, please leave a comment.

I do read everyone of them and look forward to hearing what you have to say.