Painful smear test and need to go back!

(5 Posts)

Sorry if this seems ranty but I had a smear test last week was dreading it because of my suspected vaginismus (the smear test was for it, irony haha)

After the pain and struggle of a finger up there she continued and next was the dreaded speculum!

now I did try to relax as much as I could but it was so painful and my muscles were basically pushing her out but all I got was "just relax!" after a while of begging for it to end and telling her to stop she did and the hell was over.
But, I got a call yesterday asking if I could come back for another because she tried to swab me but there was nothing on it and she didn't get a good look so they're asking if I'll please book another, I'm do terrified I don't know what to do sad

OP’s posts: |
BelaLug0si Sun 01-Jul-18 22:18:35

Hi
Can I ask you a few questions? I work in a screening lab.
1. Why were they doing a smear test for vaginismus? It's not a test that for that, it's a screening test to help prevent cervical abnormalities
2. If you asked the person to stop and they didn't, then that is poor practice, as it sounds like you withdrew your consent and I would suggest you at least complain to the practice manager.
3. What did she actually do, because a swab isn't a smear test, it's used for picking up infections (amongst other things). It's a different sampling device and preservative for a smear test, they're not interchangeable.
4. If the person did actually manage to do a smear test, and have either heard back from the lab there's nothing in the sample or realised from looking at the sample device then they probably shouldn't be trying again for 3 calendar months (national guidelines on repeating samples).
5. Personally I would be asking to see someone else when you do feel up to another attempt as that experience sounds horrible.

I would be interested to know what @Sidge thinks of this?

MarthaArthur Sun 01-Jul-18 22:23:27

Vaginismus isnt diagnosed by smear test and the treatment is psychosexual therapy and dialators. You can buy them online with a very good book and an online community so thats worth checking out.

That sounds horrendous and you should make a complaint if you asked her to stop or were in obvious discomfort and were ignored. Sorry you had to deal with that.

ObiJuanKenobi Sun 01-Jul-18 22:24:44

I also didn't think Vaginismus was diagnosed using smear?

Sidge Sun 01-Jul-18 22:49:17

Thanks Bela, will try and help!

I’m a little confused by your post, Banoffee - a smear test is done to examine the cells of the cervix as part of a routine screening programme. Nothing at all to do with vaginismus. If a doctor suspects vaginismus she may do a PV exam (vaginal examination) and use fingers, and possibly a speculum to observe the vagina and cervix. This isn’t usually done by a nurse, unless a specialist nurse at a gynaecology clinic. A practice nurse wouldn’t be doing this. They do smear tests though.

A swab would be done to check for bacterial or viral infections. It’s like a long cotton bud and is put into a vial. A smear sample is taken with a cervical brush, it has a long handle and the end is like a shaped brush.

Smear samples usually take between 2 and 4 weeks to come back, so to hear within a week that the sample is inadequate is unusual. A swab result would be quicker, so it may be that you had swabs taken and not a smear.

If it WAS a smear and it was inadequate (ie not enough cells, or the cells weren’t of a good enough quality) then you should wait at least 3 months before trying again.

I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. I’m a practice nurse and do hundreds of smears a year; I’ve had many women who find it uncomfortable and some who have more significant difficulties but I always listen to her, and if she says stop I stop. It’s her body, she’s in charge. I very rarely have to abandon the procedure though, most women cope with it if we take our time, talk through it and breathe!

I would ask to speak to the GP, and discuss what was actually done and what went wrong.

Hope it’s better for you next time. 💐

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