The big thing, though, is that I'm scheduled to have a hymenectomy and a D+C on Wednesday, and I was wondering if any of you who have had these procedures could tell me about your experiences.
Some background: I'm 32, have PCOS, and have had irregular periods (average of 3-4 a year) since I first started my period at age 13. Normally, I have a period in, say, January, then another in April, then another in October, with absolutely nothing going on in the months in between. This past year, though, for the first time in my life, I've had experiences of spotting for 2-3 weeks between my periods. So, for example, I had a normal (for me) period in mid-November, I spotted from around December 6 to December 18, and then had a normal period the first week in January. I had "spotting months" in May, September, and December.
Back in May, I freaked out when I saw the spotting, because my mother has metastatic uterine cancer and her only symptom before she was diagnosed was spotting. (However, she was post-menopausal, so her spotting was a Big Goddamn Deal, whereas for someone my age, there are many benign conditions that could cause spotting, so I know our contexts are very different.)
I made an appointment in May with my then-PCP, had a (sort of) pelvic exam, pap smear, and tests for BV and yeast infections. (I have an intact and thick hymen/vulvodynia, so penetration is extremely painful, and my pelvic exam was not at all thorough because my doctor couldn't open the speculum wide enough to see inside me. So if I had a condition like cervical polyps which can cause spotting, my doctor was unable to see my cervix to confirm or rule them out.) Anyway, all the tests we were able to do came back negative, so my doctor said the spotting could have been caused by hormonal fluctuations, which would be likely given my PCOS.
When I started spotting again in September, I had just moved to another state and didn't have a PCP or good insurance. Luckily, when I started spotting again in December, I had a new job, new insurance, and a new doctor, so I made an appointment and got blood tests done and a referral to an OB/GYN. Blood work showed normal hormone levels and no other issues (thyroid, etc.), and my new OB/GYN suggested I have a hymenectomy to deal with that painful problem (which I had already discussed with past doctors several times, but I've never had good insurance until now), and since I would be in the OR already, to have a D+C done to check the lining of my uterus and rule out uterine cancer, given my family history.
I should mention here: Watching my mother go through chemo, radiation, more chemo, radiation on the cancer that has spread to her lungs, surgery on the tumors that have spread to her brain, more radiation, more chemo....cancer scares the shit out of me, y'all. I know, as a 32-y-o, my chances of this spotting being a sign of cancer are very slim, but...still.
(I kind of suspect I have fibroids -- just a vague intuition -- so if any of you have fibroids and wouldn't mind sharing your experiences/symptoms, that would be very welcome! My only abnormal symptom is that 2-3 week spotting spree in the months that I don't have a period. My periods themselves are the same as always -- they last less than a week, relatively heavy for the first 2-3 days then tapering off, minor cramping in the first 1-3 days then tapering off. The spotting starts very very light for a week, then actual pink/light red blood for 1-2 weeks (heavy enough that pantyliners need to be changed several times a day, but light enough that one regular sanitary pad is good for all day), then one day the spotting is gone). Does this sound like your experience?
EDIT: I am also not on any form of HBC, not sexually active, no chance of being pregnant. The blood work I had done on December 23 (less than a week after I had stopped spotting) indicated I was currently in mid-cycle and sure enough, I started my period about 2 weeks later.
SO! Thank you for reading this far. :) Onto my questions!
I'm going to be given IV sedation (not general anesthesia), which I've never had before. What is that like? Will I fall asleep? Will I be aware of my surroundings?
Will I be able to return to work that day, or should I take the whole day off?
Should I buy a little doughnut pillow to sit on for the week after the procedure? (I have a desk job and am seated all day.)
Will I have cramping after the D+C?
How soon do I have to wait before trying penetration with my fingers/objects?
Is there anything else I should know about? Anything you wish you had known before-hand?