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Worrying about letter from GP re swabs. Any advice?

(24 Posts)
TwentiethCenturyGirl Sat 04-May-13 12:46:42

I had some swabs taken by the GP last week because I've been experiencing some abnormal vaginal bleeding. The doctor also referred me for a pelvic scan which was fine and ruled out anything sinister.

I've just had a letter from the GP saying that they've had results back and asking me to make a routine appointment with the nurse to have them repeated. I'm not even sure what they were swabbing for, but assume it was infections. I'm pretty confident that neither DH or I have an STI.

Any idea why they'd be asking for me to have the swabs repeated? I know I shouldn't rely on internet advice but I can't ring the surgery until after the bank holiday weekend. I know it's going to be praying on my mind until then and will ruin my weekend sad

Does anybody have any experience of this or any advice?

DorisShutt Sat 04-May-13 12:47:41

Insufficient cells.

I had this a few times.

TwentiethCenturyGirl Sat 04-May-13 13:25:15

Aah, ok - thanks.

That sounds reassuring. I knew a smear could come back with insufficient cells but didn't realise a swab could. Fingers crossed that's what it is.

Sparklingbrook Sat 04-May-13 13:37:14

Yes, I would imagine they didn't do it right or insufficient cells. Or possible they forgot to send them off?

TwentiethCenturyGirl Sat 04-May-13 13:44:08

That's what DH reckons! He thinks they'd be asking me to make an urgent appointment if it was anything too worrying.

I'm the worst person in the world to receive a letter like that this. I worry about everything.

Sparklingbrook Sat 04-May-13 13:48:36

Surely they would ring if anything to worry about too, not send a letter?

TwentiethCenturyGirl Sat 04-May-13 13:52:38

Thank you - I feel sufficiently reassured! I'm going to stop stressing about it until I can ring the surgery and find out for sure on Tuesday.

Sparklingbrook Sat 04-May-13 13:53:15

Good plan. x

BelaLug0si Sat 04-May-13 20:09:56

Sometimes they can't culture anything from the sample when it's processed in the microbiology lab so will ask for a repeat.
Have you been referred or had a colposcopy as well as the scan?
The investigations for vaginal bleeding should include a visual speculum inspection at least of the cervix.

TwentiethCenturyGirl Sat 04-May-13 21:57:38

Thanks for your response. The GP referred me to hospital under the two week wait rule. I'd imagined it was for a colposcopy as I've had these following smears in the past, but I actually had an internal ultrasound instead. Apparently this was clear.

The GP did a quick internal when she did the swabs. She said there wasn't anything obvious but that she wanted me to be referred anyway.

Fingers crossed it is just an issue with the quality of the culture. I just wish the letter from the surgery had been clearer...

Sparklingbrook Sat 04-May-13 22:00:57

Ooh I have had an internal ultrasound. Bit bizarre aren't they?

TwentiethCenturyGirl Sat 04-May-13 22:05:04

Yes, very bizarre. Particularly as the sonographer took great pleasure in talking me through exactly what was on the screen!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 04-May-13 22:07:51

I had this. They check for STIs and group B Strep.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 04-May-13 22:09:35

Dildo Cam! grin if you think that's bad, have a colposcopy. You get to see your own cervix on a screen in more vivid than life technicolour, and get a guided tour as well! confused

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 04-May-13 22:11:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CheeseAndMushroomToastie Sat 04-May-13 22:15:22

I had to have some blood tests repeated once as the doctor requesting the tests hadn't specified what to test for confused

Probably a technical/admin issue. Try not to worry.

aftermay Sat 04-May-13 22:16:53

Incorrectly labelled so it wasn't processed?

Try not to worry, you'd have had a call if anything more serious.

TwentiethCenturyGirl Sat 04-May-13 22:25:11

Thanks everyone. Glad to know I'm not alone.

Unfortunately I have also had the dubious pleasure of a colposcopy (or five) in the past. I don't seem to have much luck with my nether regions!

I definitely wasn't expecting the technicolor images. Must admit that I'm not sure I'd have known it was my cervix if they hadn't told me though!

Luvvies Sat 04-May-13 22:25:41

I had to repeat a blood test recently just because the nurse taking the blood had forgotten to add a tiny squiggle of initials onto the printed label on the test tube.
As if they have a record of anyone qualified to take blood across the whole county and compare the squiggles with that database!
Ridiculous waste of everyone's time.

BelaLug0si Sun 05-May-13 00:55:24

Thanks for replying, sorry to hear you've had colposcopy in the past due to smear results. Did you have any treatment such as Lletz, diathermy or cauterisation. Did anyone mention cervicitis or ectropian?
I'd suggest asking for a colposcopy referral as well, as the other investigations. How old are you, is there any chance it could be hormonal disturbances?

BelaLug0si Sun 05-May-13 00:58:14

Luvvies, there are requirements for chain of custody and verification of patient details which are supposed to be followed to ensure there are no ix ups of patients samples. I appreciate you shouldn't have had to have a second test but it is for safety purposes. If the lab have sample acceptance and rejection criteria then they have to stick to them when samples are received which don't met them.

TwentiethCenturyGirl Sun 05-May-13 09:19:51

Bela both the GP and the sonographer mentioned the possibility of cervical erosion. Nobody has mentioned cervicitis though.

I'm in my early 30's and although I've had several colposcopies, I've never needed any treatment. I'm due a smear in a couple of months as I'm now back on the 3 yearly check as my last few colposcopies/smears were normal.

BelaLug0si Sun 05-May-13 16:36:21

Ok, I'd suggest asking for a colposcopy referral when you ask about/go into have the swabs repeated. I wouldn't wait to have your next due smear.
An erosion can be common source of bleeding, which can be treated with cautery at colposcopy. It's a very thin part of the cervical skin(epithelium) which gets inflamed and infected easily.

Hope you can relax over the weekend and get some helpful info from the practice on Tuesday.

TwentiethCenturyGirl Sun 05-May-13 20:07:37

Brilliant - thanks for the advice. I'll do that smile

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