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To be embarrased about smear test?

(68 Posts)
AwkwardAnna Wed 08-Feb-17 15:03:42

Went for my first smear test on Monday. I wasn't really that nervous because I'd already heard that it doesn't hurt and only takes a few minutes. I was expecting it to be over and done with quickly.

Except the nurse couldn't get the speculum in blush. Every time she tried to put it in it would start really hurting and I was crying out. She tried a smaller speculum but after the fourth attempt we had to admit defeat and I made another appointment for a fortnight's time to try again.

I feel like the nurse thinks I'm a complete numpty and I'm so worried that the same thing will happen next time blush. Has this ever happened to anyone else or is this just me?

RestlessTraveller Wed 08-Feb-17 15:08:11

Make an appointment with your nearest sexual health clinic. Explain what happened. The nurses there will be much more experienced and have a wider range of speculum available. Good luck.

BilboBagg1 Wed 08-Feb-17 15:09:24

You will not be the only person this has happened to. Nurses have seen it all and then some!

Christmasmice Wed 08-Feb-17 15:10:28

The nurse will have seen everything you can imagine. Please don't worry. She won't think anything more of it.

TheElephantofSurprise Wed 08-Feb-17 15:11:21

Your GP could prescribe something to help you relax.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 08-Feb-17 15:13:33

I agree with going to your local GUM clinic instead.
They are much better at it.
No idea why - but they are.

sillygoof Wed 08-Feb-17 15:21:07

I hated having a smear, until I had my kids - I've been examined so many times down there I don't care any more 😂. I don't know if that's why, that I'm more relaxed about it, or if it's just a bit, you know, looser.....

Please don't give up on having it done, it's really important.

I found that, before, I needed to properly focus on relaxing. I lay back and did some deep breathing, and thought of something nice (I've got to say it, although it's too much info - I thought about sex!). Getting the speculum in is the worst bit, it's nothing after that.

Astoria7974 Wed 08-Feb-17 15:25:49

Same thing happened to me before my first smear. It had to be abandoned because all the trying made me bleed. Nurse told me to knock back a couple of shots of whiskey before the next one - did that & it worked nicely.

sunbird17 Wed 08-Feb-17 15:32:11

I've had 5 smear tests, and like you, I find it really painful. I think that it's really important to relax, and my doc also asks me to cough just before which apparently relaxes the muscles.

The 5th test I had, the doc was confused as to why it hurt so much and realised that there was some irritation somewhere near my cervix, apparently a side effect of being on the pill (it also was sore to DTD).

SapphireStrange Wed 08-Feb-17 15:32:22

This has happened to me. The nurse was impatient and unprofessional about it, IMO. Did eventually manage to get the smear but I left feeling wobbly and vulnerable and burst into tears at home.

I'd second the sexual health clinic suggestions. I did this for my next one and the nurse was AMAZING. Totally cool, calm, very pleasant and professional. It was over in what seemed like seconds and I hardly felt it.

maddiemookins16mum Wed 08-Feb-17 15:38:21

I've experienced that too, plus they can never find my cervix so I have to have a pillow under my bum to tilt me.

user1484578224 Wed 08-Feb-17 15:39:24

I was totally traumatized by a similar thing and havent been back since

MrDacresEUSubsidy Wed 08-Feb-17 15:41:08

I hate having smears. I find them very painful and I usually bleed afterwards as well.

Definitely go to your local contraception/sexual health clinic. They are much more experienced at doing them and as a PP has said, they will have a wider range of speculums available.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Wed 08-Feb-17 15:41:23

My last smear, the speculum sanpped inside me.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Wed 08-Feb-17 15:41:32

*snapped.

KungFuPandaWorksOut16 Wed 08-Feb-17 15:42:23

The speculum didn't bother me it was the brush thing that they use to get the sample that made me nearly vomit!

edwinbear Wed 08-Feb-17 15:43:41

Yes, I have had this happen many times. In fact after one, I was so traumatised I vomited in the nurses sink! I take a painkiller now before I have them, maybe it's psychosomatic but it helps. Please do persist with them though and the Nurse really will have seen it all so won't have batted an eyelid.

HeyRoly Wed 08-Feb-17 15:44:03

My last smear was incredibly painful. It was all I could do not to yell. So, massive sympathy here. If you have issues with being cranked open with a speculum (and plenty of women do) it's agony.

likeacrow Wed 08-Feb-17 15:44:11

I hate smears. I find them humiliating and really uncomfortable and they often make me bleed a little. Fucking horrible.

terrythetrex Wed 08-Feb-17 15:45:08

I agree go to a clinic, my first one legs up, speculum in and nurse felt it a good time to lecture me about being overweight, was mortified and remember asking then dp if I had a fat fanny blush. I don't apparently although I am a little overweight. She was awful though it was painful and the whole experience was horrendous.

The last few have all been done in a clinic and were so much better, quicker and painless.

BipBippadotta Wed 08-Feb-17 15:45:16

Please don't be embarrased, OP. Lots of people experience this, and some nurses / GPs can be horrifically unsympathetic. Look up 'vaginismus' - sometimes women have involuntary muscle spasms that make smear tests and other types of penetration difficult to impossible. Sometimes it just takes a gentler person doing the exam, sometimes it needs a bit of physio to resolve, or light sedation during exams. But it's worth looking into and talking to your GP about.

edwinbear Wed 08-Feb-17 15:46:31

Tali has just reminded me of the one where the nurse left the speculum inside whilst she faffed about with the sample, washing her hands etc. I could feel the damn thing working its way out and it was a close call whether it was going to ping across the room by itself.

DorcasthePuffin Wed 08-Feb-17 15:49:40

I've been having smear tests for nearly 40 years and still get the odd awful one. Huge sympathies. I agree with others that it is usually about operator skills - the GUM clinic is a good idea. Last time I had a horrific time I got referred to the colposcopy unit at the hospital where they were fantastic.

IME many practice nurses use only two sizes of speculum - one for women who haven't had children, one for women who have. But there are lots of different speculum sizes. My practice nurse used to like 'The Winterton' - long but very slim! But my main advice would definitely be to cut your losses and find someone who is really skilled at this (and that means someone who does smears all day every day - GUM or colposcopy).

TaliZorahVasNormandy Wed 08-Feb-17 15:52:22

Edwin Oh lord, How did she not realise?

Screwinthetuna Wed 08-Feb-17 15:57:33

I think it's because you were told it doesn't hurt. It hurts me, every time. Feels like something very sharp scraping my inside and when they open it I have to literally dig my nails into my thighs. Pretty sure this is because I'm so tense but once it's in it's over very quickly.

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