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I'm really embarrassed by this but i've never had a pap smear done in my life.. i got really close
Diet & Health / 8:31 PM - Tuesday April 13, 2010

i'm really embarrassed by this but i've never had a pap smear done in my life.. i got really close

to getting one done once but I made the doctor stop because it was really uncomfortable and i'm generally very squeamish about being examined there. i finally made another appointment to get one done in a couple of weeks but i'm really dreading it and wondering if i'm going to end up backing out of this one too...

i'm mostly afraid of the pain when they take a sample by scraping your cervix with a toothbrush like instrument - the thought of it just makes me want to vomit.

how do most of you women get through this??

:(


Update: April 27, 2010.
I finally did it! I got my very first PAP smear done today! It was really uncomfortable and took forever!.. I was lucky enough to have a female physician who was incredibly patient with me and because I was her last patient for the day, she said she was willing to take however long we needed to take to get it done. Interestingly, I didn't feel the actual "scraping" part - I think by that point, I was sufficiently traumatized and distracted by the discomfort and pain of the speculum that I just didn't notice the sampling portion of the exam... After the pap, we tried to do a bimanual pelvic exam, but I was so tense and anxious from the whole pap smear ordeal (my leg and butt muscles were clenched almost the entire time) that it was too much for me to handle. So I ended up declining that part of the visit... :( I'm a total wuss, I know. I'm incredibly embarrassed by this - but I'm still really proud of myself for finally getting the pap done :) Thanks to everyone again for sharing all of your experiences! I figured, if millions of women have been able to get through this (and worse things), I really should be able to do it too...!

- Asked by Female, 29-35

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I felt just like you. I kept putting it off which is horrible for me to do considering my family history. Well when I got pregnant I couldn't put it off anymore. It didn't hurt me at all. My doc was super cool and quick about it. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I hate to have anyone up in my goodies..I don't even like sex with the lights on. Believe me I know how you feel. Just do it and get it over with. It will be unpleasant but it's over with so quick.

- Response by misskitty420, A Cool Mom, Female, 29-35, Student

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Giving birth is 1,000,0000,000,000,000, 000,000,000 times worse than a pap smear.

It did it twice with NO drugs-not even a tylenol.

Remember that, and it will be easy to get through.


- Response by myndseye711, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Vladivostok, Technical

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I can relate....but you must relax your body, for when you 'tighten' up, you only make the pain worse...
It would be great if the doctor played comforting music.
But, but, but ....you have channelled me, and because of this...you must allow your mind to go to a comforting place, a peaceful place when the test is being done ... cheer up, it is over very quickly.

- Response by kismet331, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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Doesn't hurt.

honestly, I wouldn't lie to you. I've been getting them since I was 19 years old and now I'm almost 49.

Trust me. I'm not lying to you.

The worst part is putting in the speculum. If you managed to get past that? The rest is nothing.

I'm serious. You won't even FEEL IT. And MY gyn uses a really long "Q-Tip" to get the sample, not a "brush."

Seriously honey. You won't even FEEL IT. I PROMISE.

- Response by hnygrl, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Managerial

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I had no choice but to get it done--mother made me, lol!

It IS incredibly uncomfortable, especially the more uh... manual examination. :\ Just gotta relax and get it over with. I personally find other visits more closely resembling hell (especially MRIs). Maybe it's the GYN you had? The more comfortable you are with the doctor, I'm sure the more comfortable you'll be with the whole thing.

- Response by frankemix, An Alternative Girl, Female, 22-25, Student

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It's not that bad... honestly.

To me, the worst part is having the speculum put inside you. Once you get past that point, the rest isn't so bad. Really.

Just take a deep breath and think about something else. It will be over in no time. But you NEED to get this done in order to keep yourself healthy. You can do it. :)

- Response by piscesrising, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Boston, Internet / New Media

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NEWS FLASH: The CERVIX has NO nerve endings and therefore you WON'T FEEL IT!!!

Plus, it take only 10 seconds, if that, for your doctor to "swab" the cervix. It is NOT a "toothbrush"-like instrument. I've had these done for over 35 years with NO issues.

The cervix will cause pain when it expands, which is when you have a baby; when a large blood clot passes through; or is dilated for another medical reason. A Pap Smear doesn't do this. And given your fear, guess you won't be having any children, eh?

- Response by msadvise, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Transportation

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Make sure your doctor knows BEFORE YOU ARE ON THE TABLE that you are frightened, so that s/he can take that into consideration during your exam.

I would suggest you take an experienced friend with you, to hold your hand and encourage you to relax. Or ask the nurse to help you stay calm.

Getting all tensed up is what CAUSES the speculum to be uncomfortable. It's not a "tooth brush" used to do the exam, but more like a really long Q-tip. It's over in seconds.

You'll be okay. I promise.

- Response by buffalothighs88, A Hippie Chick, Female, 56-65, Other Profession

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Omigosh.....I have had one every year for the past 27 years!!

It's uncomfortable but not painful. What IS painful is the biopsy I had from NOT having a good pap smear result...all the more reason to GET a pap smear and make sure things are okay.

I guess what I am trying to say is it's better to have that little bit of being uncomfortable to make sure you are healthy.

- Response by scooper, A Sportif, Female, 46-55, Dallas, Who Cares?

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I don't like having this done either but in all honesty the worst part of the exam is being in the stirrups and exposing yourself in that manner. I've never found the exam painful, as a matter of fact most times I didn't feel anything at all. I put off going and never had one done before I absolutely had to when I discovered I was pregnant for the first time but it's really important to have these done to detect cancer in it's earliest stages. The most important thing to remember is to relax, if you tense up it could make it uncomfortable and thus make the whole thing even more traumatizing for you. Also be sure to let your doctor know it's the first time you're having one done so he/she will go slow and explain everything which will help put you at ease.

Good Luck!

- Response by houseworkmakesyaugly, A Married Girl, Female, 36-45

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It really doesn't hurt if at all. And if you tell your doctor in advance perhaps he/she can make you feel more comfortable. It's over and done with before you know it and if you keep a conversation going with your doctor, maybe it will distract. Talk about the weather or what you've been up to lately.

- Response by hulagirl55, A Sportif, Female, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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I recommend you do it if you have had sex before.

- Response by cristyquartz, A Creative, Female, 22-25, Managerial

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hon it doesnt hurt at all is a bit weird? yeah but its for ur own good i promise ull be fine and the best part its over fast

- Response by mindgames, A Thinker, Female, 26-28, Student

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IMO its more uncomfortable than pain and it doesnt even last 5 mins. To get me thru it I make sure to take deep breaths or if the doc is askin u questions answering them helps take my mind off of it. Ad the scrapping part I honestly think they shuld call it something else because it feels far from any scrapping, more like a light rubbing or touching. Just remember to take deep breaths and to think about other things,as soon as it is done i always think it isnt as ba as i always think it will be. Good luck and you CAN do it!!!.

- Response by db3auty, A Thinker, Female, 22-25

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Sorry girlfriend, have you considered the pain of cancer treatment? Of having a baby? You need to have pap smears every year to protect your health. No question. Its not that bad and it only lasts a second.

- Response by friendofkarma, An Alternative Girl, Female, 46-55, Artist / Musician / Writer

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I don't. Too embarrassing.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Financial / Banking

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