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To ask for your experiences of a smear?

(76 Posts)
PumpkinPie2016 Fri 09-Feb-18 19:43:09

Sorry, I know it's a bit personal! I am 31 and I have never had a smear test - had many invitations but never been. When I had my son, I found internal examinations excruitiating - not just a bit uncomfortable, I mean excrutiating even with gas and air. He was born by c-section eventually so I haven't given birth naturally.

After my experience during labour 4 years ago, I haven't had a smear due to being terrified of it being as painful.

However, I have made an appointment for next week and I am so worried. I can't take ibuprofen due to an allergy so can't take that before hand.

I'm honestly petrified of goingblush

Can anyone reassure me?

LolitaLempicka Fri 09-Feb-18 19:44:26

It is better than the treatment for cervical cancer would be. By far. Just keep telling yourself that.

hooliodancer Fri 09-Feb-18 19:46:56

Get a valium prescription. Take it about an hour before.

It really has made a huge difference to me. I figure that 2 valium once every 4 years won't do me any harm.

afromom Fri 09-Feb-18 19:46:56

I've had 3. Never had a problem with them. It only takes a couple of minutes, they 'open you up' (not sure how else to describe it,) 😳 quickly swab and then it's over. It's a slightly uncomfortable feeling when they swab, but i didn't find it painful. If you relax (I know easy to say!) it will be better. Can you take paracetamol instead of ibuprofen if you are worried about pain?

student26 Fri 09-Feb-18 19:47:28

For me it was only mildly uncomfortable. It might ache a little when they put the speculum in and open it as wide as it needs to go. The little brush thing you might feel slightly, just an ache on your cervix again. You may have a few drops of blood afterwards but that's totally normal. I know a lot of women hate them and the experience differs for everyone. Make sure to tell the nurse how nervous you are and they should take that into account and explain what they are doing for every step. smile

Valentinesfart Fri 09-Feb-18 19:47:59

It's really not bad at all if you aren't afraid. And nothing like the pain that comes with with an internal while pregnant.

Two second swab no problem. Tell the nurses you are nervous and they'll chat through it

humblesims Fri 09-Feb-18 19:48:34

Its ok. Its not fun or pleasant but if you can relax it is not painful. I think a lot depends on the nurse or doctor and how patient they are. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable and sometimes theyve done it before you know it. It takes about 30 seconds. Please go. It is nowhere near as bad as you think.

Bambamber Fri 09-Feb-18 19:48:34

It's really important to stay relaxed, if you tense up then all your muscles down there tense up which makes it more likely to be uncomfortable. But honestly, I had my first smear at 16 and had to have them every 6 months for 3 years after that, Then progressively less as time went on, and have never had a painful smear. The anticipation is much worse than it actually is

ShimmerAndShite Fri 09-Feb-18 19:48:59

I now have to have my smears at the hospital with 3 people looking, my insides broadcast on a tv screen next to my head and an extra type of smear that goes even further up than normal ones and I barely even flinch.

It's nothing like having an internal when you're pregnant, mild discomfort at most.

Please get it booked in, I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for my smear tests.

Trashboat Fri 09-Feb-18 19:49:50

My experiences have honestly been fine.

Over in a jiffy and what you imagine in your head, it is NEVER as bad that.

carringtonm Fri 09-Feb-18 19:51:07

They can be uncomfortable, but generally not too painful. I've only ever had one painful one but it was over in a couple of minutes. I wouldn't have thought it would be as painful as recovering from your c-section would have been at times.

They'll basically lube up a contraption and put it inside. It'll be cold but not painful. Then the contraption opens you up and the nurse will take a quick swab. It's a bit of a sweeping motion and then everything comes out and it's done for three years!

It's such an important thing to have done, so good for you for going for it even though you're worried.

Thingsthatgo Fri 09-Feb-18 19:51:40

I’ve had loads, 12 or more. Twice I’ve needed further investigation (colposcopy), but it was fine. Today I got a letter saying my recent smear was normal (I’m celebrating with some fizz!)
I’ve never had pain, just mild discomfort. It is less painful than stubbing a toe!

Waitingonasmile Fri 09-Feb-18 19:52:44

It's not fun but I don't find it painful. It's over so quickly as well.

steff13 Fri 09-Feb-18 19:52:54

I've had one every year since I was 18 (22 tests, I guess). They're a little uncomfortable. I find that the speculum presses on my bladder and makes me feel like I have to pee for a few seconds, but that's it.

foxyloxy78 Fri 09-Feb-18 19:53:21

You can request a small size speculum which should be less painful than a larger one.. It will be fine.

Cocobing29 Fri 09-Feb-18 19:53:26

Please go its so important I'm also 31 bad had had 2 smears its more uncomfortable knowing where to leave your underwear than the actual procedure its self and all they are inretested in is your cervix and that your comfortable not looking at choice underwear if your shaved it not. Please please go so important

SundaySalon Fri 09-Feb-18 19:53:33

I honestly don’t think they are like the internal examinations you get through pregnancy. I get mine done religiously because a few of my female family member have died from it.
My first one I was nervous, but I just chatted away the whole time and it was done before I finished my day plans. They use loads of lubricant and if you’re relaxed it’s just pressure not pain. My cervix sits very high and I have to put two fists under my bum for them to find it, but even this embarrassing position is far better than the alternative. Do it for your little one OP, they have seen a million vaginas!!

jigsawpiece Fri 09-Feb-18 19:54:14

Sorry to say I've had the same excruciating experience. They even used a child's speculum and it was still awful. Not talking about discomfort I almost screamed it was agonising. I suspect have vaginismus though.

Chirpychop Fri 09-Feb-18 19:54:33

Book one via your GP surgery. Tell them you are worried. Ask them to be as gentle as they can be. Ask them to use a small speculum if possible (may not be possible if your cervix is a long way away or you are a larger lady.)
If you cannot manage this (I.e. You try but can't get it done because you find it so difficult) then ask to be referred to your local colposcopy lead at your hospital and they will find a way of doing it for you.
It is really worth doing if at all possible.

PumpkinPie2016 Fri 09-Feb-18 19:54:34

Thank you so much for the responses and reassurance so far!

I have made the appointment and I just need to push myself to go and not back out. The nurses at my practice are generally lovely so if I explain I am.nervous I'm sure they will be sympathetic.

I8toys Fri 09-Feb-18 19:54:38

I've had a few and nothing to worry about. My first was when I was 18 and I didn't know I was having it done. I had gone to the sexual health clinic for contraception and the doctor just did it. It was a shock and uncomfortable I think because I wasn't prepared. After that they have been fine. My last one a few weeks ago I hardly felt anything. The plastic speculums they use now are so much better than the steel ones and the lolly stick scrappers they used to have.

UpstartCrow Fri 09-Feb-18 19:54:53

If you are terrified, phone your GO tomorrow, tell them you are so scared its put you off in the past, and ask for a valium to take beforehand. It helps relax your muscles, and reduce your fear. They should allow more time for the exam.

If a male gives the exam there should be a female nurse to chaperone. If you aren't comfortable with male staff, ask for a female in advance.
You take off your jeans and pants, and lie on your back or side on a couch.
They use a gadget called a speculum and KY jelly. My lovely GP warms it up first.
They slide in the speculum, and when its inserted they turn a screw to widen it. They have to do this bit, as the swab cant touch the walls of your vagina.
When they can see your cervix, they take a swab. That can feel a bit funny. Then they remove the speculum, and give you a tissue to wipe off any jelly.
You get dressed and you can sit for a minute in the waiting room if you need to.

RaidTheCupboards Fri 09-Feb-18 19:54:59

I’ve had loads and it doesn’t hurt one bit.

Also the practice nurses do about 8 a day, 7 days a week, 46 weeks a year. A vag to them is like looking at a door handle.

It is over incredibly quickly.

My last one failed and I had to go for a colposcopy which is slightly embarrassing but again was over quickly and the women who do it do it all day long.

Go and get it over with and you’ll be glad you did. Maybe buy yourself a treat after it.

DorotheaHomeAlone Fri 09-Feb-18 19:55:16

Uncomfortable rather than painful and over very quickly. Not even close to the intervals I had during labour.

MrsDilber Fri 09-Feb-18 19:55:30

Please go. You don't need a valium prescription, it's not painful enough to warrant that. It can be uncomfortable for some, I've had many over the years and not had any pain myself and I have a tilted womb.

Please don't delay, have your smears.

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