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To be scared of smear test

(25 Posts)
Beaverfeaver Thu 20-Oct-11 13:09:31

I have never had one before.

I have had the letter inviting me for one for just over a year.

I know I need to book this and I have to have one.

But I am so scared. Scared of who does it, what's ivolved, what it will be like after, if there is anything wrong and I am even scared of what I need to ask for or say when I book it.

Please reassure me sad

Tortington Thu 20-Oct-11 13:10:54

wear a skirt

it takes three minutes

make sure your appt is with female nurse

it takes three minutes

it could save your life

it takes three minutes

seriously no sooner have you whipped off your kecks than your putting them on

ScaredTEECat Thu 20-Oct-11 13:12:54

What Custy said.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 20-Oct-11 13:14:09

I too was terrified, OP. After a very bad experience ten years ago, I didn't go to any other appointments. I recently went to one with a nice nurse at our surgery (who I'd been to for something else) and she was very good. It makes all the difference if you can go to somebody you're comfortable with. Just do it, the anticipation is worse than the procedure.

Notinmykitchen Thu 20-Oct-11 13:14:10

YANBU to be scared of it, its not pleasant. YABU not to get it done though, the alternative, if you did have something wrong and it was not picked up early, is far scarier! It is, as Hellmouth said, 3 minutes, of mild unpleasantness, not worth potentially dying over!

ArtyFartyPants Thu 20-Oct-11 13:15:52

I had my first one 2 weeks ago and I thought they'd be down there for ages! It took less then 3 mins and didn't hurt, a little uncomfortable, but that's all. Received my results this morning I'm all clear for another 3years! grin

hiddenhome Thu 20-Oct-11 13:16:47

It's okay, you just phone up the surgery and ask for a smear test appoitment with the nurse.

When you go into the nurses room, she'll sit you down and check your details then show you to the couch. You remove your trousers/skirt and knickers then lie down on couch with a blanket to cover you.

The nurse will get the stuff ready then you need to lie back and try to relax - take deep breaths. She'll insert the (lubricated) speculum which is usually plastic these days so shouldn't feel cold smile You'll need to make sure your bottom is raised up a bit so she can gain access. Once she's adjusted the speculum she'll take the smear which you can hardly feel tbh. She'll then remove the speculum and that's it.

The hardest bit is the speculum going in because if you tense it can be a bit uncomfortable. You just need to relax 'down there' and tell yourself it'll be over in a second. The metal specs were worse because they'd be cold which would make you tense up, but the plastic ones are fine. The nurse will do hundreds of these a month, so will be more than used to doing it quickly and efficiently.

It takes a couple of weeks for you to get the results.

The whole experience is marginally less stressful than doing the shopping and far less stressful than seeing the dentist grin

Good Luck smile

jollymollie Thu 20-Oct-11 13:16:50

a friend of mine recently had her life saved because she went for a smear.

I was the same as you and put mine off for over 5 years. I had severely abnormal cells when someone finally forced me to go. Had simple treatment and have been fine for ages now....could have been so different if I hadn't eventually gone for smear. I am a big baby about everything but they are so so quick and painless...you will wonder what you were worrying about. Just remember the nurse has done LOADS of these and will think nothing of it!

Disputandum Thu 20-Oct-11 13:19:14

Phone your doctors surgery and ask for a smear test with a female nurse.

On the day you will be asked to take off your clothes, well bottom half anyway, but given a sheet to wrap around yourself.

You will lie on a bed while the nurse pokes around for a couple of minutes - it doesn't hurt but the instrument can feel chilly and it is a bit undignified.

The nurse does this ten billion times a week and won't bat an eyelid. She will probably chat to you, and my nurse always has a poster on the ceiling for comedy purposes (last time Johnny Depp at mine).

Nobody likes them, but it saved my life so am certainly an advocate. I have to have them every six months now, imagine that!

picnicbasketcase Thu 20-Oct-11 13:20:00

I know exactly how you feel OP, I put it off for a few years because I was really scared, but the thought of getting ill/dying/leaving my children behind scared me more. So I stopped putting it off and got it over and done with.

Phone your GP and say 'I have had a letter asking me to make a smear appointment.' They will then book the right length appointment with the practice nurse for you. Make sure it's in the middle of your cycle so you won't have to cancel due to period. What the posters above have said is true. It's over so quickly, you will go home feeling proud of yourself for doing it and wondering why you were so worried.

I will be due to go again next year and won't put it off anymore because whatever you're picturing, it simply isn't anywhere near that bad.

Disputandum Thu 20-Oct-11 13:20:22

Ah lots of people posted while I was laboriously typing...

Greatdomestic Thu 20-Oct-11 13:22:18

OP, it will not be be most fun few mins you have ever had, nor will it be the worst.

When you go, explain your fears - I did after a negative experience a few years ago, and they have been absolutley fine since.

But please don't put it off for fear of slight discomfort. Most GPS arrange for the results to be sent out to you within 6 weeks. Discuss the course of action needed if further action is required with the person carrying out the exam.

As other posters have already said, this could save your life. Please make the appointment today.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Thu 20-Oct-11 13:22:51

What everyone else said. It doesn't hurt, takes a minute, nurses do it a million times a year, it's all in a day's work for them. I would rather have a dozen smears than go to the dentist.

crazynannawitchbitch Thu 20-Oct-11 13:25:13

I am having my 1st one in 10 yrs on the 7th November blush

BupcakesandHaunting Thu 20-Oct-11 13:31:52

I've had mine this morning! Honestly it's fine. And I say this as an utter wuss. The plastic funnel thing broke in my fanjo blush We had a little chuckle about it and I was out of there in five minutes flat.

Please, please get it done. It could be a life-saver.

duvetdayplease Thu 20-Oct-11 13:36:10

I've finally booked mine. I'm always terrified, absolutely hate it. But the anticipation is much worse than the reality. It really doesn't hurt, but I think it's fairly common to be a bit anxious.

scotchmeg Thu 20-Oct-11 13:41:04

Definitely wear a skirt, a long one with lots of material. You won't feel in the least bit exposed.
It's as common for the nurse who is doing it as it is for you or I to blow our nose.

I had a phobia of this for years after a seriously bad termination (won't go in to detail but needed councelling) and it took 2 large glasses of sauvignon to get me through the door. But the second time I was sober and it was fine. Really, it was fine.

cuteboots Thu 20-Oct-11 13:41:43

duvetdayplease- have to agree 100% there, its the thought of it thats the worst bit

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 20-Oct-11 13:42:04

crazynannawitchbitch... a fellow-slacker... blush. I had my results a couple of weeks after, all clear.

It's something that I found was weighing on my mind, all these years, and it needn't have. Key for me was finding a good nurse who I was comfortable with.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 20-Oct-11 13:42:12

It's fine. The thought of it is worse than the reality, honestly.

As others have said it is over very quickly and normally painless.

I would almost certainly be dead now if it weren't for the smear test. I had cervical cancer 6 years ago and had major surgery and the chance of anymore children removed. Thankfully I had 2 dses at that point, but I still have to live with other consequences and have had many more intrusive examinations since than I ever had before.

Please don't worry, it will be fine.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 20-Oct-11 13:42:57

Goodness, Bupcakes.... kudos to you on your er... Kegels. grin

crazynannawitchbitch Thu 20-Oct-11 13:48:29

blush

ellmum Thu 20-Oct-11 13:56:33

Wear a longish top, then you feel a bit less unclothed. I had my first in many years recently. It took 3 mins, I had a weird nurse doing mine (kept chanting 'not nice, not nice, not nice, not nice' as she did it. Not really sure if it was to reassure me or if my fanjo is just spectacularly unpleasant sad. I didn't like to ask.) and even with her adding to the stress of it all, it was still fine. Honestly, the amount of time I wasted worrying about it, and it was over and done with in minutes.

Snowboarder Thu 20-Oct-11 14:09:22

Seriously, just suck it up OP and go! Having a smear saved my life and my fertility. I don't mean to scare you but I did have cervical cancer at just 26 YO and not ignoring my smear letter meant that they caught it very early and I got away with minimal treatment. Having a smear was possibly the best use I've ever made of 3 brief minutes of my life.

I'm in remission now and have just had a baby - I thank my lucky stars every day that I went when I did.

eurochick Thu 20-Oct-11 14:24:35

shock at "not nice not nice"!

I had a letter from the gynae to my GP after my first ever internal the other day saying my pelvis was unremarkable. Harrumph. I think it's pretty bloody special down there frankly.

I join the others in encouraging you to go. It's a bit undiginified but that's a small price to pay for the peace of mind it gives you. As others have said, if you wear a skirt you might not even need to get undressed. Otherwise you usually get a sheet to put over you anyway.

You lie on the bed, lightly spread your bent legs, the speculum goes in and then the nurse takes a sample of the cervix cells. It's not at all painful. I guess it feels like if you got one of those little plastic tea stirrers and rubbed it lightly against the inside of your cheek. Then the speculum comes out, you are usually given some tissues to wipe away any lube they have used and then you get your knickers back on. Done. It really is no biggie.

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