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First smear test booked - reassurance and tips welcome!

(68 Posts)
Pariswhenitdrizzles Thu 13-Apr-17 14:03:21

Hi everyone,

Have name-changed (promise I'm not the user who posted about tea tree oim and smear testing!)

I've got my first smear test coming up soon. I've looked up details of smear tests on other sites and on here, and heard that smear tests done at sexual health clinics can apparently be less uncomfortable than ones done in GP surgeries. Because of this, I looked into having one done at a sexual health clinic if possible, but no clinics near me seem to do smear tests unfortunately (I'm based in south London).

I've now booked the smear test at a local GP surgery next week. I know there's been a ton of threads on here about smear tests but even so, being the scaredy-cat I am, I would really appreciate any tips or advice (or general reassurance!) before the test smile

Thanks everyone!

FABpMummy Thu 13-Apr-17 14:06:20

It'll be fine. I have no tips to give because there's nothing to it. It's a bit uncomfortable and awkward (for me) but not painful and over very quickly.

tinypop4 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:08:04

It's fine. If you relax it takes less than a minute and you can be on your way. Really nothing to fret about

Cakedoesntjudge Thu 13-Apr-17 14:08:54

I put mine off for 2 years blush when I went earlier this year I couldn't believe I had - it really is nothing and it's over in minutes. If it's really stressing you out, plan something nice for afterwards so that you have something to look forward to and have a friend on hand to text while you're waiting to go in to distract you from being nervous

Darkblueskies Thu 13-Apr-17 14:09:06

Just keep breathing. I don't enjoy them because they can never find my cervix but in reality it is actually fine. You just have to relax and it doesn't take long.

Speakeasy22 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:10:19

If it's uncomfortable then ask for a pillow or something to be put under your hips. Helps if your pelvis is slightly tilted. And relax.

LittleL232 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:10:22

Wear a skirt or longish top if possible. It gives you a fraction more cover which I find makes me feel a bit more comfortable. It's obviously not a fun thing to do, but it's very quick, and the more you can relax the easier it is. It's really not that bad, and the consequences of not having them outweigh anything else. Hope it goes ok.

billybullshitterz1 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:11:41

Had one on Monday. Apart from flashing my floozy at the local nurse it was painless and super quick. Apparently I have a high cervix so no risk of prolapse grin

Morphene Thu 13-Apr-17 14:13:06

OP everybody's vagina and cervix are different, so nobody can really tell you how it will go for you. Most people find it painless, some find it uncomfortable, and some find it actively painful.

The important thing to remember is that you are in control. If you ask them to stop, or give you more time then they should respect you and do so. You don't have to put up with anything, and you shouldn't feel like your are causing trouble. It is your body and they should respect you.

I personally find these quite painful, so I always speak to the nurse first and explain that I am nervous of having it done and that I find them painful. This has always resulted in them going slowly and checking with me how it is feeling, and pausing if requested.

Hillarious Thu 13-Apr-17 14:15:14

I would also recommend a skirt/dress or long top. It's always funny when the nurse says "relax", when it's not exactly a relaxing thing to be doing. You know this, the nurse knows this. Just remember it's a routine thing for the nurse to be doing and that it will be over before you know it.

It's not as bad as when the dentist cleans your teeth and the brush catches the gums on the upper inside of your mouth. Now that makes my toes curl!

TriJo Thu 13-Apr-17 14:16:06

Relax, tell them you're nervous and to take it slowly. They can use a very small speculum if needed too.

The nurse at our GP surgery does them - she's a very nice middle aged Irish lady and that did put me quite at ease.

AliciaMayEmory Thu 13-Apr-17 14:21:24

Adding a other 'you'll be fine'. They are over so quickly (I started counting when she inserted the speculum and it was less than 10 seconds from then to the 'all done!'). They are not much fun, but certainly not anything to lose sleep over and I am a huge wimp when it comes to drs and dentists!

Hope it goes well, OP.

Fl0ellafunbags Thu 13-Apr-17 14:28:46

It's absolutely fine, very quick and practice nurses are brilliant at putting patients at ease.

SpiritedLondon Thu 13-Apr-17 14:30:24

My first one was in a sexual health clinic and it was bloody awful. I was made to undress and assume the position on the couch by a nurse. A male DR came in and did the swab and walked out and never spoke to me.... I think I was about 21 at the time. Now I use the nurses at my practice and have never had a bad time. It's a little uncomfortable for me but it's over quickly. I seem to think the last one used a lot of a lubricant which was a bit too "squishy" afterwards so I had to go to the loo to wipe it off. Yes to wearing a longer top or dress which I also usually manage to forget. Overall it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

specialsubject Thu 13-Apr-17 14:48:47

It is not done by someone who watched a youtube tutorial! Long skirt, say if uncomfortable, no sex 24 hours before and it is considerate if your feet are clean as they are the bits nearest to the person concerned.

I8toys Thu 13-Apr-17 14:54:21

I had my first smear and didn't know I was having it. Went for a check up at uni for contraception and the doctor gave me a smear there and then. I was 18 and not prepared for it at all. Didn't put me off and its just a normal process now.

Aridane Thu 13-Apr-17 15:00:38

Tell the nurse / doctor it is your first smear and you would appreciate if they can talk you through the process as they do it (though they should anyway).

Try to relax, even though your inclination will be to tense up.

Smaller speculum can be used (as another poster has mentioned).

People's experience varies. P personally find smears quite painful - sorry - though something to do with the way my cervix is positioned. So now my GP does them rather than the nurse, and she has me lie on my side for better access.

But it's all over quite quickly.

Pariswhenitdrizzles Thu 13-Apr-17 15:42:05

Thank you so much everyone for your replies so far - I really appreciate it! smile

Laiste Thu 13-Apr-17 15:47:45

Here's an old tip:

As it begins accept that it might ''pinch'' a bit. Accept it might feel a bit odd. Then it wont be a surprise if it happens.

Breath and relax your jaw and shoulders if you can. If can you relax those it's reasonably easy to then relax your pelvic muscles.

Tell them you're nervous and ask them to give you an extra couple of seconds to take a nice deep breath and do the relax down below bit. I do and they never mind.

Laiste Thu 13-Apr-17 15:51:26

Oh, and don't bend your knees up and part your legs till they are actually ready to 'go in'. Lying there waiting with your knees up and your legs parted for too long makes your thigh muscles shake and then it's hard to relax grin

StrawberryMummy90 Thu 13-Apr-17 15:52:15

Mine was awful and painful and has put me off ever going back. The thing they insert to open your vagina whilst they swab was way too big for me, I was in agony and the lady was trying to forcefully push it in it was only when I screamed at her to stop she got a smaller size insert thing and it went in a lot easier, I was in pain for a long while after and bled.

Only advice is if you feel it's very painful make sure you say something right away because as PP have said it shouldn't be too painful at all.

gingertigercat Thu 13-Apr-17 15:52:16

Speculums come in sizes. Request a small one if you are worried.

Teddy6767 Thu 13-Apr-17 15:53:06

You'll be absolutely fine. You hear horror stories about people who find them agony or bleed loads afterwards etc, but I'd say the majority of people don't really feel a thing. It's obviously a bit uncomfortable having a nurse with down near your bits fiddling around, but just remember that they have probably done hundreds or even thousands of smears and couldn't care less. I don't feel anything other than a slight tickling sensation on my cervix when she's brushing the area for cells. It literally takes like 3 seconds and you're done.
The only tip I can give is don't have sex 24 hours beforehand as sperm can skew your results. And also don't go crazy with loads of soaps and sprays etc down there beforehand to make yourself smell ultra clean as again, these can potentially skew results too.

gingertigercat Thu 13-Apr-17 15:53:11

Just saw the post directly above! I found the same so always request a small one now

StrawberryMummy90 Thu 13-Apr-17 15:55:59

ginger how strange! Lol. When I eventually have the balls to go back i will most definitely request the smallest one they have and work my way up if need be! It was awful.

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