Went to my dr. yesterday because I've been having spotting between periods for the last month. She said she didn't think it was anything to worry about but wanted to do an endometrial biopsy just in case. I asked her if it'd hurt. She said yes, there's cramping involved. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? It felt like she doused a chain saw with acid & rammed it up inside me. "Cramping" seems to be code in doctor world for unbearable, searing agony.
She also wants me to have a transvaginal ultrasound. I've never had one & would like to know if it's as gut-wrenchingly, excruciatingly painful as the biopsy. If so, I'm not going through with it. I'd much rather die....though that seems unlikely since she thinks there's "nothing to worry about" anyway.
The biopsy hurts because they are actually snipping a little tissue, which causes that excrutiating pain. I don't know of many women that have had biopsies down there that said it didn't hurt.
But the transvaginal u/s isn't that bad. I've had it a few times. They basically have you lie in stirrup position (which sucks, I know) and they thread a small catheter through your cervix into the uterus. That part, to me, is a little painful and very uncomfortable. But it's manageable. If I can handle it and I'm the biggest crybaby about everything in the universe, then I'm sure you will be ok. Once they get the catheter in there, they fill your uterus with water so they can expand it and see better whether you have fibroids or polyps. It will show up really well once they get the water in there. Then once they're done, they let the water out and you sit up and it's all good. It feels a little weird when you first stand up because some water might still come out. And make sure you wear a pad for the rest of the day, just in case you expel any more water afterwards.
The biopsy I can see why you freaked, I hate those! I've never had one that didn't hurt! But I've had close to 6 transvaginal ultrasounds and it's really not a big deal in comparison. They're not snipping off any tissue and they're not even sticking you with any needles. The catheter placement is uncomfortable and a little painful but not totally unbearable. I think you will be ok.
Thank you very much for your reply. I had no idea the ultrasound involved ramming something up inside my uterus again. It'll be over my dead body that they'll do anything like that to me again. I'll call right now & cancel the appt.
Yikes, I've had many, many t/v ultrasounds, and no one ever threaded anything into my uterus.
I, too, have had midcycle spotting and ovarian cysts, so my doctor does a t/v ultrasound as part of my yearly exam and pap, and it's absolutely nothing. The pap is more uncomfortable than the ultrasound. All he uses is a large tampon-looking thing, inserts it and moves it from side to side to look at my ovaries, egg and stuff. It's always been the easiest part of the appointment. And kind of cool, as I can watch the screen, too, as he explains what everything is.
Last edited by StenoLady1; 02-24-2010 at 01:59 PM.
it was just a regular vaginal ultrasound (or pelvic ultrasound), not sure of the proper terminology....because of sporadic bleeding which was caused by uterine fibroids. The water was to see with the bladder full...they did the scan on the outside of the stomach (I'm guessing like they would with a pregnant lady?), then I was allowed to empty my bladder and they did the probe thing inside. It was not painful, not in the least....I would not put this off due to fear.....once you have it done, you'll say.....that was nothing! I worried about that??
See I got the ultrasound because I was terrified of the endometric biopsy.....
you survived that.....the ultrasound will be a piece of cake!
Lol, you guys are too funny! Ok, here's the deal, listen up MyCatsMom.....
The transvaginal ultrasound is just when they stick this wand inside your vagina and move it from side to side to view your ovaries and uterus. It does not involve threading anything through anything. They put a condom on a wand type thing that frankly looks like a vibrator, stick it in, and move it around a little. It's no big deal at all! I've had to do this tons of times because I keep having polyps. It's seriously the least painful and easiest thing I've ever had to do at the gyne! I'd rather do that a ton of times than a pap smear!
The thing with threading through the cervix is when you get a saline ultrasound. My gyne does that when she wants to verify what was seen on the regular transvaginal ultrasound. Since the transvaginal only shows a thickening of the lining of the uterus, she always wants to verify (at least in my case) whether there's a polyp causing the thickened appearance of the uterus.
I'm as much of an expert on this as Estria because I've been through this three thousand times. I can tell you without any reservations that if all you're getting done is a plain old transvaginal ultrasound, it's easy as can be. If you end up having to do the saline ultrasound, yes it's slightly more uncomfortable, however, I would rather personally do it again and know for sure there's a polyp than to not know.
I totally get that you don't want to do anything else that might be painful. But I'm telling you that the ultrasound is the best diagnostic tool available in a gyne's office to find out what's going on. And speaking as someone who has had polyps removed FOUR times, I can tell you that it was better to know for sure what was going on rather than to sit there and wonder what was going on. It's way worse not knowing.
Thank you all for your input. Personally, I don't ever intend to go anywhere NEAR a gynecologist, or any of their lab people, as long as I live. Maybe I'll just avoid all doctors. You know, once bitten twice shy....well, I've been bitten a few too many times. Any trust I may have once had in the medical industry is long gone. But good luck to the rest of you. Really, I wish you a LOT of luck.
[QUOTE=mycatsmom;4192348]Thank you all for your input. Personally, I don't ever intend to go anywhere NEAR a gynecologist, or any of their lab people, as long as I live. Maybe I'll just avoid all doctors. You know, once bitten twice shy....well, I've been bitten a few too many times. Any trust I may have once had in the medical industry is long gone. But good luck to the rest of you. Really, I wish you a LOT of luck.[/QUOTE}
find a different one if you don't like your current doctor. get a referral from a friend or something....please please please go for this ultrasound. I promise you it's sooo easy! Don't take chances on your health please...this is so simple and I'm the biggest chicken out there.
You asked if a biopsy is supposed to be painful: Absolutely.
You asked if a transvaginal ultrasound is painful: No
There's no reason for you not to do it. I do think you should find a new doctor. It's weird that she would do a biopsy before an ultrasound. To me that doesn't make any sense. Why do a biopsy when you haven't even looked to see what's happening with an ultrasound?
I had a lot of spotting between periods which ended up being the polyps. Look at the posts about removal of polyps, I'm sure I've posted my story in most of them. If it's a polyp, it's a simple procedure to get it snipped off, all done under anesthesia. I was really afraid before the first time I had it done. It was not a big deal. Second time I was still a little scared but it wasn't that bad. The third time I was like ok whatever. Fourth time I was like ok, let's get this overwith because I'm over it. I'm not a doctor but I do know what my experience has been and I'm telling you the first tell-tale sign I had of the polyps was spotting between periods. Then it was overly heavy periods and more painful cramps. So, now when my periods get overly heavy, I go in for an ultrasound and find a polyp and get it removed. My gyne told me that it's rare for women to have them grow back after they have been removed. I just happen to be one of the lucky ones who keeps getting them.
I realize you're scared because of previous experience, but you need to take my word for it. The ultrasound is nothing. It's nothing worse than you putting in a tampon except it's just bigger. That's it. No needles, no snipping anything no incisions of any kind. I'm sure you've used tampons in the past, you know what that feels like. It's no worse than that. For you to not go just because you're scared is really silly. There's nothing to be afraid of! I wish you would have come here first before the biopsy so people here could have told you to expect the biopsy to hurt. Your doctor was wrong to tell you it wouldn't. You need to find a new doctor and get this checked out.
Polyps are rarely if ever cancerous in pre-menopausal women. But they are truly annoying and they need to be removed anyway. You're better off finding out if that's what you've got and get it taken care of sooner rather than later. Do you want to put up with spotting from now til eternity? It's going to put a damper on your life if you do. All because you didn't want to get a simple ultrasound done. Don't be like that. There's absolutely no reason for you not to get it. I can't think of any reason why it would be painful because they are no needles involved and no removal of tissue at all.
transvaginal ultrasounds are not painful at all. The worse part, like someone wrote, is having the legs up in those dang stirrups. The technician keeps you covered and looks at the screen the whole time. No biggie at all.
Ultrasounds with a full bladder can be annoying because you have to feel like you have to go so badly and you have to wait. If you have something going on, like I did, A dermoid cyst, it was uncomfortable.
Yes I remember going through my biopsy and it was not pleasant. My doctor had to use a clamp to keep the cervix open and this is what hurt the most. Felt like an extremely sharp needle being inserted into my skin. The tighter the cervix (ie. if you have not had children) the more painful the biopsy. Before I went for mine, I read up on the procedure and took 2 ibuprofen one hour before so as to negate the cramping. Doctors should suggest this to patients but they don't. I had absolutely no cramping after the procedure whatsoever ... just spotting for a few days. Of course my poor cervix felt like someone had stretched it out of shape and this took a few hours to feel normal again. All that said, the biopsy is very important so as to rule out the possibility of endometrial hyperplasia or even uterine cancer.
As for the ultrasound, are you having an external ultrasound or an internal one ? The external one is just having some jelly put on your pelvis and a wand slid across it. For the internal one, the wand is placed in the vagina .. it is a small wand and when I had mine, it was painless. For the external, you have to drink 32 ounces of water an hour before the procedure and not go to the bathroom. For the internal, you have to empty your bladder beforehand (ie. the opposite). The ultrasounds are nothing compared to the biopsy so I don't think you need to worry.
The ultrasound will look at the thickness of your endometrial lining to see if perhaps a very thick lining is causing your spotting. If you have a choice, try to go for the US around the time of your period (if external) or a few days after the start of your period (after most of the bleeding is done if internal). This will reduce the risk of them seeing ovarian cysts on the US. Ovarian follicles (or cysts) are completely normal things that come and go with your cycle. During your menses is when you are the least likely to see them as this is when your body withdraws hormones in order to clean out your uterus (ie. your period).
Just go for the ultrasound. Yeah the spotting is probably not life threatening but you still want to find out why it is happening. Thickened uterine linings over a long period of time can turn into endometrial hyperplasia and then possibly cancer. Simply cleaning out a thickened lining (either by taking progesterone or with a D & C) can prevent all of that. If this is what you have, you could possibly be preventing a future serious problem from occuring.
Hope this helps ... oh and after the ultrasound, be sure to clean out your bellybutton from the vaseline (if an external one).
I've had two transvaginal ultrasounds and they have not been painful at all. Awkward and uncomfortable, but not painful.
ar1642, I've also heard pap smears described as "uncomfortable". To me they are "excruciating". Anyway, it's a pointless discussion now since I've already canceled the appointment. But thanks to all those who took the time to write.
I don't know who told you that a pap is merely uncomfortable but I'm telling you I've never had a pap smear that didn't hurt. It caused pain. Maybe some women have a higher threshold for pain but not me. I can't handle pain, not at all. But somehow I managed to live through a tonsillectomy at 32 yrs old, a kidney stone attack at 33 and a gall bladder removal at 34, not to mention 4 separate polypectomy/D&C's. All of these surgeries happened since 2006. And I lived to tell about it.
The ultrasound does not hurt. Not at all. I think you're overreacting to cancel that appointment. If you were getting a biopsy or a pap smear I'd be totally honest and say that yes it hurts, you should expect some pain. But an ultrasound?? I'm telling you there's no pain involved. What are you so afraid of? Why are you so afraid of something that feels no different than you sticking in a tampon? I'm telling you you're totally overreacting. If it was painful I would tell you flat out because I'm not in the business of lying to people about stuff like that.
I got a tattoo a year ago. Me, the person who is so terrified of needles that I get a full blown panic attack while waiting to get in IV put in. But I went and got a tattoo because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Did it hurt? Hell Yeah it totally did! Anyone who says it doesn't hurt is totally lying to you! By the same token, I'm telling you right now that there are certain procedures that hurt and certain ones that don't. And the ultrasound does not hurt.
I don't understand this. I can't understand why someone would rather live with having daily spotting ongoing for who knows how long having who knows what going on in the uterus causing it, rather than to go in for a simple test that doesn't even hurt to figure out what's wrong. That makes no sense to me. Sometimes in life we have to submit ourselves to tests that we don't necessarily want but that will help diagnose our problems. Without the proper diagnostic tests, no treatment can be given. I can't believe you would rather not know what's wrong than to go get this simple test done. It makes no sense to me.
Pap smears are excruciating for me as well so I completely understand how you feel. The reason for mine being so painful is that my cervix is retroverted (faces up rather than directly at the physician when they are looking) so it is much more difficult to perform the pap. I have to say that when a gyne does it (raher than my GP), it is much less painful but nevertheless. I have found that if I place my hands under the small of my back so that my pelvis rotates downwards, it makes the pap a lot less painful because the cervix becomes more visible (this is a trick a doctor gave me once and it works!).
I would urge you to have the ultrasound done. If you are nervous about it being invasive then ask for an external ultrasound instead of a transvaginal one. The external ultrasound is completely noninvasive and all they do is to put some vaseline on your tummy and run a wand across it. That's it ! It does not hurt AT ALL.
For the transvaginal one, they do insert the wand into your vagina but there is no saline solution involved as was previously described (this is called a hysteroscopy and it is used for certain procedures where they have to inflate the uterus in order to see better .. the uterus is folded in on itself when at rest .. the transvaginal ultrasound only involves the wand in the vagina .. that's it!). But even if you consider this too invasive then ask for the external ultrasound.
As I mentioned before, by having the ultrasound, you may be preventing a future problem from occurring. I completely understand your attitude and I too have that opinion about physicians .. that they tend to poo poo procedures, saying that they are minor or not painful or non invasive when we consider them to be the exact opposite. HOWEVER, you should not let this prevent you from getting the appropriate health care that you deserve. In my case, I have decided to take charge and I know EXACTLY what is going to be done to me and why. I also have to be in agreement with the procedure and with its necessity. It is a lot of reading and work but well worth my health. Medical procedures are sometimes necessary and I agree that they should be the least invasive possible.
An external ultrasound will still give your physician the information she requires and it is completely non invasive (there is also no radiation like other scans .. it uses sound waves). Don't let your stupid doctor (underplaying the "discomfort" of an endo biopsy is really stupid in my opinion ... look at how it compromised your trust) prevent you from getting the correct health care. If you don't like her, dump her ! You are the boss.
For the transvaginal one, they do insert the wand into your vagina but there is no saline solution involved as was previously described (this is called a hysteroscopy and it is used for certain procedures where they have to inflate the uterus in order to see better .. the uterus is folded in on itself when at rest .. the transvaginal ultrasound only involves the wand in the vagina .. that's it!).
No, the saline ultrasound is called a sonohysterogram. That's when they fill the uterus with water to expand it to allow for better viewing of it. It still uses sound waves to view the uterus the way a regular ultrasound does, just with water in the uterus.
The hystroscopy is the procedure that is done with a hysteroscope, which is a type of telescope that they use to view the inside of the uterus to remove polyps. It's like looking at something under a magnifying glass or a microscope.
All this to say that a regular transvaginal ultrasound does not involve filling up the uterus with water so mycatsmom does not need to worry about this as she would not have to go through this other procedure. I have a feeling that when she heard this, it scared her off from going in for the ultrasound when what she was scheduled for was a much simpler test.
Yeah, I have to agree here. I have my own GYN problems and sometimes feel like they should just "take everything out" and be done with it so I dont have to go back.....but in the end, I go back and do whatever they tell me because too many women in my family have died from undiagnosed Cancers of female parts.
The transvaginal Ultrasound is aboslutely nothing. It takes ten minutes and its over, and its EXACTLY like most of the posters said. A wand like thing, covered in a sheathe (like a condom) which is inserted into you- by the way, they cover you with a sheet and you actually can insert it yourself....then the tech wiggles it around and you can see on the screen exactly what the wand is seeing and they click a mouse and snap a picture. NO PAIN and NO BIG DEAL. iVe also had the saline one- which does cause alittle cramping, I have had 7 biopsies in the past 4 years and every single one of them hurt. Whoever says they dont, is lying.....at least your doctor didnt lie and say it wouldnt, right? Im at the point now where Ive had ablation, a tubal and 3 removals of cysts and now Im seriously considering the whole hysterectomy- nothing they have done so far has alliviated my pain or bleeding....even the ablation, which they SWORE would make a differnce! At this point, everything they have done so far has been inconclusive- therefore I think I can solve the whole dilemma by removing the anatomy in question!
Go back to the doctor, get the ultrasound done. See what it shows and make decisions from there. Chances are it will be normal and your journey will end here....but in case it does show something- do you really want to risk your health and live with something that might have been curable if it was detected earlier?
Do it. Dont overthink it, just do it!
Not all ultrasounds to look at the female parts involve inserting the wand into you. The external ultrasound does NOT insert anything into the vagina. I spend almost two years having external ultrasounds to look at my uterus and ovaries and at no point in time was anything inserted into my vagina. I have also had a transvaginal ultrasound and for this procedure they do insert the wand into the vagina. Two different types of ultrasounds which look at the same thing but from different angles.
If "mycatsmom" is afraid of having an invasive procedure, the external is the best way to go as they only run the wand over your tummy, that's it, that's all !
MSNik, I am sorry to hear about all of the trouble you are going through and the fact that you are STILL having bleeding even after endometrial ablation. I guess this means that the lining grew back ? I have also heard that after the ablation they can no longer perform the biopsy because of all the scar tissue. I am not convinced that this is the panacea that they claim it is. As for the cysts, this is awful too. I lost my left ovary and tube to a very large cyst last year and I know how unnerving these things can be. Hang in there and keep beeing vigilant. It is indeed a pain having to book your doctor into your schedule so many times during the year and I was starting to get "doctorophobia" for a while there. In the end though I am happy that I did not stop going because the anxiety of not knowing would have been much much worse than any test I went through. The test is over at some point while the anxiety is ongoing. I still have a problem (side effect from the surgery) which is slowly going away with treatment but at least I don't have to see my doctor every other month, thank goodness.