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Waaah, first smear tomorrow (poss TMI thread)

(23 Posts)
notjustme Mon 17-Oct-11 22:09:08

Never had one before (obviously) and I'm 27, so really should have had one before now but in my defence it hasn't actually been that long since the docs sent a letter about it.

Don't really feel that bad about the process - I've had a vaginal swab taken before in my teens and the process seems similar - i.e. speculum, swab etc, but that it's got the chance of hurting like a bitch sad I'm pretty laid back about this kind of thing but paranoid now that it's going to be agonising!

Worst bit about it atm is that I had an...ahem...tidy up down there a couple of days ago but made the drastic mistake of shaving the old bikini line and christ, it's like the apocalypse happened down there and I'm covered in a horrid looking shaving rash...that's way more mortifying than the actual smear!!

Very tempted to cancel it and rearrange for next month and don't do the tidy up next time, I know they have seen a lot of variety but, god, no one needs to see this!

Doesn't help that DP was meant to be having one at the same time in solidarity but can't as she's come on hmm

cardamomginger Mon 17-Oct-11 23:45:43

Oh dear! If I were you, I think I'd just go and have it done on the grounds that this is a first smear test and that makes it pretty important. I know the whole shaving/waxing rash is embarrassing and I do feel for you! How long have you got before the smear? There's this stuff called Tend Skin that works MIRACLES on shaving/waxing rash. It's awesome stuff and works really quickly. You can get it on Amazon. BTW - shouldn't really hurt. They use a small nylon brush these days that is so much gentler than the old school wooden scraper. Good luck and well done for booking the test!

CMOTdibbler Tue 18-Oct-11 09:15:44

Believe me, they'll have seen a lot, lot worse than shaving rash. So don't put it off for that

And it shouldn't hurt - mildly uncomfortable as they do the speculum bit (remember to breathe deeply as its tensing that causes pain), but that should be the worst bit

ameliagrey Tue 18-Oct-11 10:14:54

Just go.

Many nurses/drs give you a modesty sheet- disposable or a blanket- which covers the pubic area except for the bits they need to get to.

With your knees up- sorry!- they are not going to see your rash much anyway- and if they- what the heck?

You'll be asked to lie on your back, knees up, flop legs apart- and 1 minute later, all done!

Really, nothing to worry about at all.

I had an ovarian cyst a while back and had to get used to being scanned internally with a probe every 3-4 months, so have become a bit blase about these things now.

But really- it's nothing.

notjustme Tue 18-Oct-11 10:52:42

Moved the time forward as app was at 3.15 and I'd have died of nervous exhaustion if I'd had to wait that long - leaving in ten mins, hope it's as easy as you make out!

notjustme Tue 18-Oct-11 11:58:49

All done, can't say it was my favourite past time, and it ended up being purely voluntary as she said I didn't technically need one (due to never having had het sex), but decided to go for it anyway since I was there and felt strong about it! Really not keen on the sensation of someone plumbing my undercarriage with a mascara wand, especially as the once wasn't enough it seems, she had to do it twice! Wasn't painful though, more bizarre!

ClaimedByMe Tue 18-Oct-11 12:05:02

Well done! When i had mine one the dr had a a good rumage about talking to my cervix while trying to find it, most bizzare, i couldnt believe how easy it was and there was no pain..............until the evening and the cramps started, i had never felt pain like it!!

notjustme Tue 18-Oct-11 13:12:42

No one mentioned there'd be cramps later!!!! sad

ameliagrey Tue 18-Oct-11 13:54:26

well done- but cramps are unusual. never had that- bit of a sting for a few minutes afterwards maybe but that's all.

If you have never had sex with a man, you do not need smear tests.

it is related to HPV so you will not be at risk.

cardamomginger Tue 18-Oct-11 13:54:26

I've never had cramps after a smear. But paracetemol/neurofen shoudl do the trick if you do get any discomfort.

BelaLugosidreamsofzombiesheep Tue 18-Oct-11 14:40:13

Actually ameliagrey (and the smear taker too) that is not true about not being at risk.
HPV is transmitted by non penetrative sex - by skin to skin contact. If any partner you have intimate contact with has had HPV then you could get it.
You might be at lower risk but you can't say no risk without knowing a complete history of your partner/previous partners and their partners (and so on).

Please have a look on the screening programme website for more info.

OP: well done for attending and please consider going in future or having fully informed counselling if you decide not too.

ButterP Tue 18-Oct-11 14:43:42

Eek, I really need to have one too, but anything like that brings back memories of a traumatic birth, so I might leave it a bit.

notjustme Tue 18-Oct-11 15:43:14

Yes, actually I am at risk (albeit a tiny risk) because I have had penetrative sex (though obviously not penile) with female partners who have had previous relationships with men - fluids can be spread by fingers (and shared sex toys) which means that if my DP or any other partners acquired the HPV virus in their past, I could pick it up from them.

Needless to say, I know the risk is very small personally (not a prude but I haven't had a very vigorous 'shared' sex life historically, certainly no major crossover of fluids!), but any risk is a risk, and since the plan is to be an egg donor in the future for SIL, I wanted to make sure that there were no issues there.

Does anyone know, if I have a smear now, and it all comes back clear, and I haven't had any other sexual partners than DP for 10 years, do I need to have another one? Would I have picked up the virus by now if she had got it from her previous relationships, or is it the kind of thing that I could not pick up for 20 years and then get it?

Really hope there's no cramps coming, I did kind of think it would happen pretty soon afterwards if it was going to - have got a bit of a background ache but nothing major AND i'm mid cycle so it could just be ovulation pain, that was a killer last month.

CMOTdibbler Tue 18-Oct-11 17:46:30

You still do need to have regular smear tests - not all cervical cancer is related to HPV for a start quite apart from the cells can be infected and not show any signs (the virus gets into the DNA and blocks a particular path of cell repair, so cells need to get their dna damaged and not repaired by that pathway and lots of other things before they would look abnormal). I've personally met ladies with cervical cancer who have never had any intimacy that could have infected them and did not have hpv.
So a few minutes of your time every 3 years is well worth it

CoteDAzur Tue 18-Oct-11 19:34:53

"since the plan is to be an egg donor in the future for SIL"

Sorry to digress, but assuming the sperm donor for SIL's baby will be your brother: Have you considered doing a DNA profile on both of you to find out if there could be unpleasant surprises in the offspring?

CoteDAzur Tue 18-Oct-11 19:41:15

"if I have a smear now, and it all comes back clear, and I haven't had any other sexual partners than DP for 10 years, do I need to have another one?"

Practically all cases of cervical cancer are due to HPV. That is actually how HPV was discover - someone noticed that nuns never had cervical cancer, anywhere.

If and only if you are sure that neither you nor DP have cheated nor ever will you might alternate - you do one now, she does one in three years, then you do one three years later smile

BelaLugosidreamsofzombiesheep Tue 18-Oct-11 20:44:13

In the future (approx 10 yearish) the screening programme may go over to primary screening with HPV testing. You could choose to have high risk HPV screening now, which would indicate a low risk as well but this is not routinely offered on the NHS.
The natural history of HPV infections is not terribly well understood so dormancy and activation (as is seen with shingles) I haven't seen much written about.
The key here I think is to discuss it with a professional who is well informed about risk factors and current thinking to get a better idea of how 'low a risk' you may have, how best to assess it and what the implications are for the future. The person who did your test today possibly could do with an update.

notjustme Tue 18-Oct-11 21:14:22

"Sorry to digress, but assuming the sperm donor for SIL's baby will be your brother: Have you considered doing a DNA profile on both of you to find out if there could be unpleasant surprises in the offspring?"

No, SIL is my DP's sister (therefore unrelated), and her husband is completely unrelated to me. He's not my brother smile

To be honest, I'll probably just have the smears anyway, rather than take any risk smile

notjustme Tue 18-Oct-11 21:16:41

CoteDAzur, maybe I should have given more info with that...DP's sister has a genetic syndrome which means she has no ovaries, therefore would never, in any reality, be able to conceive her own child. DP is way past the age they would consider for an egg donor. All other family members are either too old, too young or unsuitable for other reasons. Her husband is (theoretically) fine although not had a sperm count yet.

ameliagrey Tue 18-Oct-11 21:17:47

Bel I know that you are some kind of medical professional from your previous posts- so just for my own information, can you explain how HPV can be caried on the skin- presumably we are talking vulval skin, hands and mouths maybe- and can be transmitted between gay women?

OP the other poster is right- if you intend to have your egg fertilised in vitro by your brother then you need genetic counselling and advice, as biologically the child would be the same as if incest had occured. has this been considered?

ameliagrey Tue 18-Oct-11 21:19:33

ahhh- I see now- when you say your sister in law you don't mean that in the conventional sense of your brother's wife- you mean the sister of your female partner?

notjustme Tue 18-Oct-11 21:22:32

Yep, that's the one ameliagrey smile

BelaLugosidreamsofzombiesheep Tue 18-Oct-11 22:27:24

BelaLugosi
Background: I'm a biomedical scientist, specialising in cervical screening.
Disclaimer: My posts are in a personal rather than professional capacity.

amelia HPV can be carried in epithelial cells, which are shed with virus particles. Immediate transmission can occur through thinner epithelium and abrasions. The transformation zone of the cervix has particularly thin epithelium, well supplied with blood vessels and is a very active area of cell division. This is the area of the cervix that most of the pre-cancerous lesions tend to develop - it is also the most vulnerable to virus infection.
If anyone has been infected with HPV previously then yes the genital area can transmit HPV; this is why condom use can cut down but not prevent transmission. There is also emerging work that high risk HPV types may be associated with oropharynx, and head/neck squamous cancers.

NHS CSP leaflet about screening partic ref same sex partners
WHO summary
HPV cdc site
HPV factsheet
Aetiology of cervical cancer >> lengthy read that one!

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