to think this shouldn't happen following a smear test

(139 Posts)
YBR Sat 10-Nov-12 19:44:11

Basically since my smear test I've been weeing myself blush. It's when I sneeze and sometimes just can't get to the loo quick enough. It seems the process has wrecked my Pelvic floor.
My DD is nearly a year old and since her birth [and a saga following episiotomy stitches unraveling] I'd managed to get control back IYSWIM but this has taken it back to square one.

Is this normal? I don't recall it happening following previous smears.

keriatthetate Sat 10-Nov-12 19:50:21

I would go back and have a chat with your GP.

moleskin Sat 10-Nov-12 20:33:40

I would def go back to gp not normal I don't think

EuroShagmore Sat 10-Nov-12 20:34:29

No, that's not normal. Definitely go back to the dr.

HappySeven Sat 10-Nov-12 20:39:24

I think it's unlikely it has wrecked your pelvic floor (if it had I think it would be very painful at the time) but it may does sound like you could do with seeing your GP. If you can find Nankypeevy on here she might give you some good advice. She was on this thread a little while ago.

lovelyladuree Sat 10-Nov-12 22:09:46

Quite possibly may have bruised your bladder, like rough sex can. I reckon by the time you get to see your GP it will all be back to normal. Good luck.

MixedBerries Sat 10-Nov-12 22:30:16

That's really very unlikely to have anything to do with the smear test. Sounds awful all the same. Go to the GP and explain the problem. Let me tell you, be very very proud that you had the smear at all. It really is a life saving procedure.
I'm sure you'll all be sighing with predictability but I'm one of those who who had a smear and it turned out to be dodgy. I had LLETZ and the next one (6 months later) still showed abnormal cells. That's bad news but better than having cancer in my opinion. At least they can keep an eye on me now.
Good luck and do speak to the GP. Let us know how you get on. Remember that a smear test isn't just something that the authorities dictate to demean womenfolk. They're there for a reason.

YBR Sun 11-Nov-12 15:11:00

None the less, the authorities, including that GP don't seem to take account of how demeaning it is, nor how painful in can be.

Thanks to everyone for their answers. I'll try and get an appointment with, and an explanation from, a GP this week.

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:21:21

Well done for having the smear, wish I had the nerve to go blush

Go to your GP and seek help

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 15:22:28

I doubt it has anything to do with the smear, I mean how can it? confused

The smear involves a tiny scrape of the cervix with a tiny instrument - that can't wreck your pelvic floor. Bruised is much more likely or possible a water infection. See your GP.

Meglet Sun 11-Nov-12 15:24:03

<<stern (but friendly) look at McChristmaspants>>

When was your last smear test?

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:27:36

Over 6 years ago maybe more

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 15:28:10


nightowlmostly Sun 11-Nov-12 15:28:51

For anyone reading this who hasn't had a smear yet, I went the other day and it was over in under a minute and I didn't feel a thing. Honestly, some people might find it uncomfortable and a few may find it painful, but I believe that usually it's quick and painless.

OP I feel for you, but can't understand how the smear could have been the cause. Go back to your GP and get checked out.

Is there some reason that you are avoiding having one McChristmasPants2012 ?

LadyMaryCrawley Sun 11-Nov-12 15:30:22

Please McChristmasPants, please please please go and get it done. It's over in a flash and it's not that bad. Really it isn't. The tiny scrapy thing is plastic, you get a modesty blanket, the nurse will make you feel as comfy as possible and it really can save your life. Please go and get it done.

puds11 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:31:38

Oh god!!! Ive just had my letter to have my first smear, and this has put me right off. Now im scared.

LadyMaryCrawley Sun 11-Nov-12 15:32:00

Also meant to say, OP this sounds like one for your GP. Hope you get it sorted soon!

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 15:33:03

puds just go, it's over in 5 seconds, I was in and out of the surgery in 5 minutes last time.

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:33:40

I felt so degraded last time, but don't let my little comment take over op thread

Equally stern (but friendly) look at McChristmasPants

I went last month (October) after having the letter since July 2011 shock - yes 15 months blush

Luckily everything went ok and result good. But the nurse was running 20 minutes late and I had to sit on my hands to stop myself saying "Oh, look, I'll make another appointment"

Inspired by my bravery, I made a dentist appointment (I decided not to go back to my local one but that's another issue)
Going to have a couple of crowns done ( ££ and shock ) .

Huuuuuuggggeee relief (well it will be after aforemention ££ appointmemt)

Do It. Make the call Pants2012.

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 15:35:31

People that are say degraded - do you mean you felt embarrassed and/or shy?

ArthurPewty Sun 11-Nov-12 15:36:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyMaryCrawley Sun 11-Nov-12 15:36:34

^ what valium said. Just go. It's nothing to worry about.

ArthurPewty Sun 11-Nov-12 15:37:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:37:54

Felt embarrassed

puds11 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:38:16

Oh they are 3 years apart? I thought it was yearly. I'm worried about the whole metal in my fanjo thing and that we have a history of cancer in my family (not cervical) so im really nervous about what the results would be.

ArthurPewty Sun 11-Nov-12 15:39:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 15:39:54

puds I don't even feel the metal thing and I had a c section.

ArthurPewty Sun 11-Nov-12 15:40:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Meglet Sun 11-Nov-12 15:42:55

McChristmaspants please make an appointment. I understand it's not the most fun way to spend 5 mins, but if you put it off the alternative can be far far worse.

You could ask the receptionist if any GP's specialise in gynea procedures and see if they can do your one. Take a friend, promise yourself a treat afterwards, anything that takes the edge off. But don't keep putting it off!

I ran the whole gauntlet of gynea procedures, regular smears, then colposcopies when one showed dodgy cells, LLETZ and eventually a hysterectomy. Luckily I didn't quite get cancer but something wasn't right and I would rather have a hundred smear tests than get cancer.

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 15:43:12

I think ours does too - don't feel it anyway and a nice nurse warms it up first in her hands grin

OxfordBags Sun 11-Nov-12 15:45:23

Y'know what? I find smears agonising and bleed for days afterwards (I have a sensitive and retrograde cervix; is just tough luck) but I never miss a smear because, well, they are incomparably better than dying of cancer or having cancer treatment. Uncomfortable internal scraping for a few mins or death? No-brainer.

OP, I wonder if the smear has triggered off some unconscious anxious feelings about having stuff done to you 'down there' and the incontinence is a psychosomatic response. I think a chat with your GP has to be a must. I suffered incontinence probs for a while after birth, so I understand what it's like.

puds11 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:47:26

Oh god no i hate those things! The thought makes me feel sick. After i had my DD i had a bad after birth which meant a lot of faffing around by Dr's at that end. Shortly after that i went to have a coil fitted and had to have a speculum in twice. I think all of that in a small space of time has really scared me.

I know i should go, its just the thought makes me sick. I was also supposed to go for a coil check 3years ago and never went. I don't like being touched down there by anyone.

OxfordBags Sun 11-Nov-12 15:48:51

Puds, you'd be touched a damn sight more down there if you got cervical cancer...

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 15:49:18

True oxford

puds11 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:50:25

That is very true oxford i know im being silly, its just one of those squirmy things that ive built up in my mind to be much worse than it is.

SmoothOperandus Sun 11-Nov-12 15:53:08

McChristmasPants and puds11. I'm on the same boat. If you go I'll go. Come one. Let's book the appointment tomorrow.

puds11 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:54:28

Ok smooth that sounds like a deal! Safety in numbers! I may need someone in RL with a knife to my back to get me there.

SmoothOperandus Sun 11-Nov-12 15:56:51

Let's just book the appointment tomorrow and see what happens. I had my last one almost 4 years ago and I've been finding excuses not to go. Thank you to everyone here for reminding us how important this is.

SmoothOperandus Sun 11-Nov-12 15:57:39

McChristmaspants, are you in???

BadgerFace Sun 11-Nov-12 16:01:18

Oh yes, please go ladies. I put mine off for over 5 years [embarrassed] and only had my first one at about 30 and had a abnormal result. I ended up with a LEETZ procedure for dodgy cells which wasn't pleasant but all is clear now and I hate to think what it might have turned into if I'd left it any longer.

It's not nice, but it is essential. And it's a few minutes each year.

I know you can all do it!! And afterwards you'll be so chuffed with yourselves for having ticked it off your list of things to do. grin

Books those appointments! 5 minutes of embarrassment could save your life. The drs/nurses do loads, nothing special about it to them!

puds11 Sun 11-Nov-12 16:03:10

Thanks for posting Badger thats exactly the kind of push i need.

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 16:05:35

Ok I am in, will book tomorrow

puds11 Sun 11-Nov-12 16:08:56

Hurray for the communal MN smear!!!!

MrsDeVere Sun 11-Nov-12 16:15:11

Please go.
I do.
I have PTSD related to medical stuff. Its so bad it made me have my babies at home (which was lovely but it was the medical phobia thing that made me decided).

I have to write in my diary when to phone the GP to make an appt to get my anxiety meds. Even making an appt makes me panic. Actually, ,just writing about making an appointment is making my pulse race.

So what I am saying is... I am really awful in medical environments.

But I am like this because my darling girl got cancer and after two years of being ill she died. So I have horrible memories and flashbacks and its all just really awful.

So I go for the smears because how can I not do something that would help prevent cancer when my DD didnt have that chance? Because there is no screening for the cancer that killed her.

I take half a valium and I go and its all over in a few minutes. It doesn't hurt and by the time I come out I am wondering yet again why I get into such a bloody state.

I spent a long time encouraging a very phobic friend to get one done. How she managed to have babies at all is a mystery to me. She finds anything to do with 'down there' excruciating both physically and mentally.

She got it done, she had cancer, they treated it, she is fine.

SmoothOperandus Sun 11-Nov-12 16:34:05

I'll report back tomorrow as soon as I've booked my appointment. If you ladies haven't reported back by 5pm, I'll be pestering you.

Blatherskite Sun 11-Nov-12 16:43:32

I'd have a smear once a week if it meant I didn't die like my Grandma did sad

As it is, I have to have them annually as I had a dodgy result and a loop excision in 2005. I hate it but I'd never not go. My surgery often forgets to send me an appointment and I badger them for one.

Please go

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 16:48:25

Mrsdevere, I will be making that appointment tomorrow.

Infact I have written it on the Calendar, once DH see it I know he will nag at me (he knows what I am like with doctors appointments)

RevoltingPeasant Sun 11-Nov-12 16:51:24

Guys, you should totally go and you should find someone you're comfortable with to do it.

Personally, I hate the whole 'modesty blanket' thing - THAT makes me feel degraded. Last time I had to have a vag exam the nurse handed me one, pursed her lips and said 'Cover yourself with that please'. I honestly felt like saying 'Naff off lady, I'm not displaying myself for fun!!'

So when I get smear tests done I go to a woman GP who is totally unembarrassable and shouts in a firm tenor voice 'Oh my, you've got a retroverted cervix haven't you' grin I really like that she treats it as though it's totally normal and it makes me feel much, much better. Although her approach is probably not up everyone's street!

sillymillyb Sun 11-Nov-12 16:58:08

Another one here saying please go, my last smear showed advanced pre-cancerous cells, and I can say hand on heart I was terrified. It had only been a year since my last normal smear so had developed really quickly. I dread to think what would have happened if I had left it.

Mrsdevere, you are a brave lady. Everyone go get your smears!!

Blatherskite Sun 11-Nov-12 17:03:23

I never have got the point of the modesty blanket.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 11-Nov-12 17:08:34

Blather - God, I know!! What's that about? They are obviously looking at your vadge, and you know they are, but you can't see yourself being seen - it's like some bizarre postmodern mindfuck! Always reminds me of The Handmaid's Tale where there is a curtain between the woman's head and the dr so he can only see her torso


addictedisback Sun 11-Nov-12 17:50:25

Can i join with the collective smear test? My mum keeps having dreems where I die from cervical cancer hmm I have 2children and in July got my letter to book my appointment.

My problem is I was sexually abused when I was young and hate having examinations. I did it when I was pg as it was for the dc amd important, but I just feel sick at the thought of just making the appointment.

Blatherskite Sun 11-Nov-12 17:59:45

But this is important too addicted. What if something is wrong and it doesn't get spotted early enough? Those DC need their Mummy.

addictedisback Sun 11-Nov-12 18:20:15

Blather without going into detail when I was 2 I had to be examined it was that (female) dr who abused me. being pg, its a mw who examins you and she's looking at the baby not you (or at least that's what I told myself) this is putting myself back in that postion with a Dr.
But I need to do it, I know I do. I'm just scared sad

Blatherskite Sun 11-Nov-12 18:25:59

If it helps addicted, I've never (except during treatment for pre-cancerous cells) been examined by a doctor, it's always been the practice nurse.

Would that make a difference?

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 18:34:02

Addicted I have read online that you can have someone to be there with you.

SmoothOperandus Sun 11-Nov-12 18:46:27

addicted yes, usually it's the practice nurse plus you can have a chaperone with you. So tomorrow, ok?

blueballoon79 Sun 11-Nov-12 18:55:15

I was abused as a child too addicted and had put off having a smear for 12 years. Just the mere thought of it made me feel sick and anxious.

However I have two DC and the thought of leaving them without a mother if anything were wrong made me feel far worse.

I booked an appointment and went in July this year. It was actually far easier than I thought and I left feeling so proud of myself that I'd managed to go.

I got my results back saying I was fine and it was such a relief. I'm still dreading the next one though, but I KNOW I can do it and so can all of you!

MrsDeVere Sun 11-Nov-12 19:03:48

Yes! The feeling afterwards of pride that you got through it and relief that it's over.

It must be an awful thing to contemplate if you have been abused sad

But it's so important and how terrible if those abusers were to be the cause of yet more suffering. That's how I feel about that fucking leukemia. I am not going to let it kill me as well by preventing me from getting my check ups dammit!

Good for all of you who are making appointments and for those getting nearer to picking up the phone.

I know it's hard, I really do.

blueballoon79 Sun 11-Nov-12 19:07:59

That's exactly what I told myself MrsDeVere, I'd suffered enough at the hands of my abuser and I didn't deserve to suffer anymore nor do my children.

I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter and I totally understand your fear of hospital appointments and medical situations. I'm the same but for different reasons- abuse, two dreadful traumatic births and two disabled children who are constantly being operated on.

However the fear of my children not having a mother is far greater than anything else.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 11-Nov-12 19:11:33

It makes me feel very vulnerable and it takes me back to the pain of childbirth, so I think psychologically it is a bigger deal for some than others. I won't see one of the nurses at our Practice because she is brusque, not in a matter-of-fact way, but in a stop-being-so-silly way.

But I so agree with others on here. It has to be done.

OP I do wonder if OxfordBags is right.

Concentrateonthegood Sun 11-Nov-12 19:12:40

Regardless of anyone's feelings about smears, please don't let anyone be put off going to get it done. They are life savers. Lost my dsis at the young age of 42 to cervical cancer and my own daughter is under treatment for abnormal cells for several years now and we are hopeful that she will be kept cancer free.

OP, it may be possible that you smear has given you a bit of a bladder infection which can also make you slightly incontinent. Hope you get sorted soon.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sun 11-Nov-12 19:23:51

Oxfordbags is exactly right, I have had more indignities and internal examinations bestowed upon me since I got diagnosed with cervical cancer than ever before or probably would have had in my whole life had I not had cancer iyswim.

Really, a cervical smear every few years is a small price to pay for your health.

I'm not wishing to belittle people's anxieties aboutit but I've had blood painful examinations since having cancer, there really is no getting away from it. The pain and discomfort generally doesn't happen though and when it does it doesn't last long.

I was lucky, I'm still here and fit and well 7 years down the line. I count my lucky stars every time I look at my gorgeous boys. Many women aren't so lucky.

addictedisback Sun 11-Nov-12 19:33:37

Smooth I'm going to ring tomorrow morning.

Coffeeformeplease Sun 11-Nov-12 19:45:35

OP, please go back to your GP and to all those you haven't been for smears in years, please, please GO!

To those abused: don't let the abusers control you any longer. They have no power over you. You survived the abuse, you can get the strength together to go and have this procedure done.

I have my smears done privately and yearly now after an absolute disaster on the NHS. I got a letter this summer telling me I had an abnormal smear - a smear that was dated 3 years ago. I don't have to tell you what I went through.
I went to my practice nurse who wasn't able to get enough cells the first time, told me to come back in 3 months time (?) after putting pressure on her I got another appt in 3 weeks time where she again managed to not get enough cells and that was it for me. I went privately 3 weeks after, got my results 3 days later - all was fine!! and paid £80. The woman doctor was lovely, called me personally with the result.

puds11 Sun 11-Nov-12 21:56:05

I would just like to thank all the people who have shared their experiences, good or bad, on here. I really was just going to ignore my smear request, but having read all of the comments posted in here you have made me realize what an irrationally unwise decision that would be.

Thank you thanks

HumphreyCobbler Sun 11-Nov-12 22:09:09

my phobia of internal examinations/smear tests is extreme. But I still have smear tests, albeit with the help of valium.

If anyone are having trouble getting up the courage I strongly advise you to talk about this to the practice nurse or doctor. They can offer the help and support you need in order to get the test done.

SmoothOperandus Sun 11-Nov-12 22:14:50

Addicted and everyone else, back here tomorrow with our appointments, okay? Good night all!

Lougle Sun 11-Nov-12 22:18:27

I have a question. I was a nurse, so perhaps should know the answer, but I don't.

Cervical cancer obviously affects the cervix, but if the smear is just applied to the end of the cervix, how can they be sure that there are no changes to cells further up in the cervix?

I'm thinking along the lines of....breast cancer. They remove the cancerous area, then they check the margins of the excision to see that they've 'got it all'. So, obviously, the cancer is 'contained' in the area they've excised. If the cancer is more advanced, a woman may have mastectomy, etc.

But as I say, how do they know that those few cells they took for the smear are representative of the whole cervix?

loveschocolate Sun 11-Nov-12 22:36:46

For those worried about smear tests Consider going to a sexual health / family planning clinic. The nurses there do them daily and are very skilled. I had a bad experience at my GP's - unsympathetic nurse and painful and took me quite a few years to pluck up the courage to have it done again. The nurse at the clinic was brilliant - she didn't rush it and it wasn't sore. Will go back there in 3 years.

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 22:51:35

Would like to thank you all for the encouragement to go, told DH to remind me in the morning.

A few question if I may

1- should I refrain from sex a few days before hand/ use a condom
2- would it be best to book closer to when my period is due

Coffeeformeplease Sun 11-Nov-12 23:19:46

McPants, sex is no problem, and I would aim at middle of the cycle (the smear, not the sex grin although maybe you're ttc...), def not when you're due a period, as you can't have a smear when you're bleeding.

VirtuallyHere Sun 11-Nov-12 23:27:46

And don't be afraid of asking if you can insert the speculum. I wish I had thought of that many years ago instead of leaving bleeding or finding them extremely uncomfortable. A few years ago a nurse suggested I insert the instrument and it makes all the difference - now it's more like an inconvenience than anything else.

Wolfiefan Sun 11-Nov-12 23:28:16

I hate smears and recently had to have a repeat one. The nurse was lovely. The speculum was plastic and I'm sure they have shrunk over the years (NO bucket fanjo jokes pls!). They use a brush type thing to collect the cells and the whole thing is over soooo quickly.
I watched the reality show about Jade Goody's cancer. I'd rather have any number of smears.
Wishing you all good health.

McChristmasPants2012 Mon 12-Nov-12 09:50:58

All booked for next Monday smile

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 12-Nov-12 10:45:49

Lougle my limited understanding is that the cells mutate in the cervix to begin with and can then spread if left untreated iyswim.

When I had my radical hysterectomy they removed my cervix and tissue either side womb, Fallopian tubes and the top of my vaginashock The tissue was then tested to determine if I needed radiotherapy (I didn't) So once cancerous cells have been detected they don't take any chances, it's all whipped out!

SmoothOperandus Mon 12-Nov-12 10:51:13

McChristmasPants2012 I am booked for next Monday too!!!!!!

EuroShagmore Mon 12-Nov-12 10:57:27

Lougle the HPV virus that causes over 99% of cervical cancer starts by attacking the transformation zone at the entrance to the cervix. It has a different texture to the rest of the cervix and is vulnerable to the virus. If you purse your mouth, then it would be akin to your lips, which are not quite the same as either the skin inside or outside your mouth, iyswim. So they should be able to get to this area on a standard smear test. The brushes most places use now are sort of w shaped and go up in the middle, so they go slightly into the cervix (for people like me whose transformation zone hides up inside).

snuffaluffagus Mon 12-Nov-12 10:59:38

Well done to those that have booked!

I don't even feel it when they do mine, it's very quick, just relax and it'll be over in moments.

mamamibbo Mon 12-Nov-12 11:08:30

i had one once where they didnt wind the car jack speculum back down before removing, hurt like fuck!

Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 11:43:45

Ahhh thank you smile I had my smear two weeks ago when I had the mirena coil fitted. The mirena was grim, due to the doc's manner, but the smear was a doddle.

Ajaney Mon 12-Nov-12 14:05:53

Well done those who have booked to go!

My first smear at the age of 20 showed changes so I had a loop excision then yearly smears for 5 years. The final smear of the 5 had changes again so LLETZ then another 5. I have now graduated to 3 yearly.

Please go. I ask for the practise nurse and although it is a bit uncomfortable, it is over quickly and loads better with the plastic speculums!

Rosevase Mon 12-Nov-12 14:12:29

I have just had a smear after a LONG delay. I hated every second, but I feel better now...

I feel shattered and tender afterwards - probably the effort and stress!

YBR I have been using pelvic floor weights. If you rule out other factors, and it's still a problem, I can recommend giving them a go. Fwiw, my weak pelvic floor only became apparent a few years after giving birth.

addictedismoving Mon 12-Nov-12 14:27:45

I'm booked in for friday at 9.30 am with the nurse. really scared, but I will not cancel. it needs to be done.
well done to the others that have also booked. just need to get to the appointments and get through them now!

SmoothOperandus Mon 12-Nov-12 14:38:51

Ooh addicted, you go first! Will you come back and report?

puds hello! You there?! So when's your appointment??

Blatherskite Mon 12-Nov-12 14:45:24

McChristmasPants2012 before my last smear, I had a letter that asked if I would refrain from sex for 48 hours before the test as any semen in there can affect the smear. I can't remember if it mentioned using condoms.

The test can't be done when you're bleeding. The receptionists at my practice always ask when the middle of my cycle is and try to time it as closely as possible. Not sure if this is for an important reason or just the way they do it.

addictedismoving Mon 12-Nov-12 14:51:15

smooth I will report back!

I went in to the dr sugery to pick up a perscription for dd2 and thought I'd book the appointment at teh same time she tried to give a one at 4.30 TODAY! I politely declined saying it was all happening too quick and I needed time, so she booked me in on friday [nervous] it'll be fine I'm sure. <if I keep saying it it might be true!>

SmoothOperandus Mon 12-Nov-12 14:53:56

I rang my GP and they tried to give me an appointment for Friday but I felt that was too soon! Monday for me it is...

BartletForTeamGB Mon 12-Nov-12 16:00:52

Well done to you both for making your appointments. Tell the person doing the smear that you are feeling very nervous (you don't need to say why) and they'll take extra care to do things carefully and sensitively.

BadgerFace Mon 12-Nov-12 16:07:49

Ladies WELL DONE WELL DONE WELL DONE on booking these important appointments! I am so pleased for you all!! And it will be fine <keep saying it addicted>.

OP, I hope that you go back to your GP if your pelvic floor is still misbehaving. Sorry that your thread got highjacked but all in a good cause!!

YBR Mon 12-Nov-12 16:44:39

Stop saying it's painless and over in seconds. It's not like that for everyone.
It took a (relatively) long time, which felt sooo much longer, for this GP to get at the right place, She kept telling me to wriggle and was shaking that torture instrument inside me. The speculum made me bleed. Now I get the impression I'm not a very convenient shape and the whole process should be much easier for most women, but ...
When it's (relatively) fine for you, or you've had worse procedures done, please remember there are others for whom it is painful and traumatic. Don't knock their experiences.

valiumredhead Mon 12-Nov-12 17:51:02

Tbh I'd rather that than cancer - and I am an odd shape too so takes a bit of time to find my cervix. And I bleed for a week after. It still only takes a very short amount of time compared to cancer treatment, no one is knocking anyone's experience and tbh OP what you are saying could well put people off having a life saving procedure.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 12-Nov-12 17:54:26

I think there is a line between giving people the worst case and telling them it is 'nothing'.

It doesn't feel like nothing to me, both emotionally and physically, but with expert help I manage to get through the process.

valiumredhead Mon 12-Nov-12 17:56:14

But you did it right humphrey because it's a necessary evil, and sometimes we just have to grit our teeth and with support we do it - because the alternative is awful.

MrsDeVere Mon 12-Nov-12 18:11:59

Its a bit tricky for me too.
I have to sit on my fists, apparently that helps positioning.

Its not pleasant, not for anyone. For some people it hurts.

Its more likely to hurt if you are tense and worried. I find the techniques I learned for hypnobirthing help a lot. They are really useful.

I always explain to the HCP that I am very nervous and why. I tell them about my DD and my issues. Not in great length but so they get an idea of what they are dealing with. It helps me because I feel ashamed that I am so wussy and I want them to understand why.

I think about my DD. Because I had to sit and watch her go through such horrors I dare myself to moan about it. Jesus what that kid endured.

I am pretty hard on myself, I know that, but its the way it is.

I have utmost sympathy for women who are frightened of having a smear but we mustn't let that fear kill us.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 12-Nov-12 18:21:26

I know it's not comfortable but I've had cervical cancer, that was no walk in park!

At the age of 31 with very young children I got told I had cancer, not knowing at that stage if I would live or die. Then I had to spend a week in hospital and many months recovering from major surgery, not to mention the emotional scars which have taken years to heal.

And yes, since then I've had some very painful experiences during smears which I still had to have until recently!

But I'm still here! No amount of pain and discomfort can take away on the hard reality that cervical cancer kills!

I'm sorry if I come across as snotty but cervical cancer is some people's reality and its not something I would wish on anyone. I know smears are not a walk in the park for everyone, I really do, but by god, being told you have cancer and wondering whether you will see your children grow up is not preferable!

Blatherskite Mon 12-Nov-12 18:30:03

My cervix is tilted and can be hard to find. Sometimes it's a breeze, other times, I've ended up with my arse hanging over the side of the couch in desperate search of it.

Sometimes, it's painless, sometimes it hurts a bit.

Even in the worst case scenario it's better than cervical cancer!

It can hurt but it doesn't always hurt in my experience.

Are you trying to put people off op?

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 12-Nov-12 18:46:32

This thread reminds me to stop ignoring that letter from the doctors saying my smear is due....

Will phone tomorrow for an appointment (and I really should know better, having had loop diathermy for abnormal cells 15 years ago....)

Coffeeformeplease Mon 12-Nov-12 22:50:18

Oh, sorry if I spread wrong information about sex being ok.
And I wasn't in the least making little of horrible smear test experiences, but try to make those who avoid smears face the reality:smear tests save lives. And they should be offered yearly. In other European countries it is done 6 monthly for over 40s.
WELL DONE for booking your appointments!

These threads always make me worry, despite having children I'm not yet old enough apparently for routine smears, not that its something I want but I'm an anxious person and prefer the idea of a smear than the alternative, I'm 24 when should I expect to get a letter about it?

McChristmasPants2012 Tue 13-Nov-12 00:15:03

if you are in england it is 25

puds11 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:47:33

Morning all! Hi smooth, slightly embarrassing, but i haven't booked yet as i think i may have thrush. Ive ordered the treatment for the thrush and once that's done, i'm going to book promise. I will come back and recount t n all its gory details grin

SmoothOperandus Tue 13-Nov-12 11:11:03

Well puds isn't that just convenient???? gringrin
We'll be checking on you, don't think you're off the hook....

Thanks pants another few months to wait then.

puds11 Tue 13-Nov-12 15:14:57

grin smooth i swear this isn't a cheap ploy.

YBR Tue 13-Nov-12 15:19:02

Am I trying to put people off? No. Notice I've been for a smear test, and I am no disenting voice against the general encouragement.

I don't think it is honest to be saying "go, it's quick and painless" to women. I'm sure it is for some, perhaps most. I think it is more honest to say it might be a bad experience, then women can prepare themselves. This is how I feel.

CheerfulYank Wed 14-Nov-12 16:11:50

I so feel for some of you on this thread!

I was raped at 19 and had my first smear a few months after. It was much, much too soon and the doctor far too impatient. It was traumatizing.

I've despised them ever since, and I'm American so supposed to go every year. It's every 2 now if the last one you had was fine, thank God.

I had to have one on Monday as part of my prenatal appointment. I was terrified but took the time to explain my issues to the doctor and she could not have been nicer or more understanding, she talked to me really calmly through the whole thing (about my cute shoes grin) and used a plastic speculum which was much better than the alternative. Also, the previous time I'd had it done another dr had explained to me that my cervix is hard to find, so to make sure anyone doing it from there on out knows to use the long skinny speculum so as to save a lot of fumbling around.

I can honestly say this is the first smear I've had since I was 19 that was tolerable. I felt so good afterward because it wasn't terrible, and I know I can do it from here on out. Going to request Lovely Doctor every time! smile

It is so important, please please get it done.

valiumredhead Wed 14-Nov-12 16:15:38

Oh God yanky sad

We don't have pre natal smears here in the UK or post birth - just every 3 years.

TheLightPassenger Wed 14-Nov-12 18:40:39

I have had three smears, two of which were dismal, one was great by comparison. The "good" one was by a sympathetic GP who did an internal first to locate my cervix before even attempting the smear.

CheerfulYank Wed 14-Nov-12 19:33:47

We don't have them post birth either, which is good; I can't imagine!

I understand the need for them, as obviously it's good to catch cervical cancer as early as possible. Also the doctor usually feels for suspicious breast lumps and asks questions about your home life (generally feeling for victims of domestic violence). Quite glad I'm good for two years now, though!

I wish I hadn't clicked on this thread. I finally booked a smear test a couple of weeks ago and it will be on Tuesday. I wasn't scared a bit when I booked but I am now! My last one was in 2005 - I moved house twice since and it took them a while to catch up with me, and then I was pregnant twice in quick succession. I have been putting it off a bit, though. Here in Scotland it's either from 21 or when you become sexually active, whichever comes first. My mum recently had a slightly abnormal smear - she had a polyp removed from her cervix, which spurred me into action.

My GP receptionist didn't ask at all about my cycle - as it happens I'm bf 8 mo DD and my periods haven't returned yet. Does anyone know if it's ok to have a smear test when bf? I meant to ask when I booked it, but I forgot. Oh bugger, it has just occurred to me that I'll have to take DD with me.

addictedismoving Wed 14-Nov-12 20:12:40

Too I'll be taking my just 2year old and my 9 month old! :s
Getting really scared now, had to sit on my hands to stop myself canceling.

Addicted, you have much more reason than I do to be scared! I'm just a wuss in general. Good luck, you can do it!

addictedismoving Fri 16-Nov-12 09:19:59

I'm sat in the waiting room, really scared. someone remind me why this is a good idea.

Blatherskite Fri 16-Nov-12 09:26:53

Because it will take seconds but could save your life

valiumredhead Fri 16-Nov-12 10:43:46

It's a good idea because we live in a world where this is available and it can SAVE YOUR LIFE.

It'll be fine xxx

addictedismoving Fri 16-Nov-12 11:32:09

It's done its over and now I'm back home.
I explained why i was so nervous and she was really lovely. it was obviously uncomfortable and when I got back in my car I cried blush partly through relief, partly because I'd done it and partly because it bought back alot of feelings. but thats something to discuss with my theripist.

But its done and if I can do it, anyone can. grin now I can live guilt free for the next 3 years grin

MrsDeVere Fri 16-Nov-12 11:36:41

Well done!

valiumredhead Fri 16-Nov-12 11:53:42

Well done you!!!! thanksxxx

McChristmasPants2012 Fri 16-Nov-12 11:54:56

Well done addicted smile

I am getting a little nervous now, but I will not cancel.

SmoothOperandus Fri 16-Nov-12 12:18:20

Same here!thanks

CheerfulYank Fri 16-Nov-12 14:36:15

Good for you! I usually cry too. blush Didn't at the one on Monday, but that was a first. It is such a relief isn't it???

whizmum Fri 16-Nov-12 14:59:40

The best thing is that you will not get another letter for 3 years. smile

Enjoy it thanks

whizmum Fri 16-Nov-12 15:02:13

YBR - did you get any help with the pelvic floor?

I have problems before my period is due, so hormonal! Also, a strong cup of instant coffee I had the other day at someone's house caused problems all afternoon. I will stick to proper coffee in future!

McChristmasPants2012 Sat 17-Nov-12 01:46:18

Just woken up from a nightmare, which went like this. The nurse is doing the smear and invites a lot of people in and they all start laughing.

Why am I so scared sad that I am having nightmares

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sat 17-Nov-12 02:15:24

McPants sad My smear is very very over due by several years, I will book mine when you report back to say you have had yours done. Deal?

I hate it because of my weight & because it hurts me, quite a lot. Something to do with my tiltled pelvis apparently hmm My very first smear (overseas) was when I was a teenager, it was done at a family planning clinic, by an old cow nurse with very cold hands who clearly thought 18 years olds shouldn't be having sex - she was rough and it really hurt and they have pretty much always hurt since (some worse than others).

However, MrsDV if you can go and get yours done after everything you went through with Billie and how it makes you feel, I can damn well stop acting like a pathetic wimp and go and get mine done can't I blush

MrsDeVere Sat 17-Nov-12 09:09:49

Chipping please go soon.
I am sorry it hurts.
The nurse gets be to make fists and then put my hands under my bum ( fists upright)
This helps apparently.

It also helps if you voice your worries. I have found the HCPs much more helpful if they understand. If you have a physical issue it's important they are prepared too.

Valium is also a boon in these situations wink

Chipping - I have a tilted uterus and also found smears painful, until the last time.

I mentioned the pain to the nurse, and asked if it had anything to do with my uterus being tilted (after reading something on here, I think).

She did a quick exam, then used a longer speculum! I had no idea they came in different sizes, but she showed me the diffence in lengths. It was a revelation, and the first time I ever had a smear that didn't make me want to climb the walls.

Please talk to someone so that you can get one done, and have it done properly.

TheWheelies Sat 17-Nov-12 17:35:34

I hate smears - I put off going for months and months. Recently I finally made the appointment and had it done, and it was as grim as I usually find it. A few days later the nurse cheerily phones to let me know the lab refused to test the sample as she had incorrectly labelled it. Oh and that I can't get another done for 3 months as the cells have to build up again. I just didn't know what to say to her...

CheerfulYank Sun 18-Nov-12 15:08:58

Oh no wheelies. That's my worst fear.

Browneyes my experience was the same! This time I told the dr that I had a hard to find cervix (i.e. tilted uterus apparently) and to please use the long skinny speculum. It was definitely the easiest smear I've ever had.

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:13:26

Good luck all who has the smear tomorrow.

McChristmasPants2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 18:55:50

Well I went and it wasn't as bad as I thought smile

addictedismoving Mon 19-Nov-12 18:57:47

well done McChristmas smile

valiumredhead Mon 19-Nov-12 18:58:23

Well done thanks

GentlyGentlyOhDear Mon 19-Nov-12 19:47:23

Well done!
I went for mine last Friday - I was bricking it as I had a 3rd degree tear sixth months ago and haven't been particularly active in the bedroom department since blush But the nurse was lovely and I explained my fears and it wasn't as painful as I'd anticipated - more uncomfortable.

OP I hope you managed to see the doctor about the pelvic floor issues and it's down to an infection or bruising rather than something more serious, iykwim

Well done <applauds>

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