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  1. #1
    Registered User tradertif's Avatar
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    Default Very painful pap smears??

    Please, tell me I'm not the only person out there who finds pap smears very painful?

    I haven't had one for a long time (yes, I know I'm overdue!!) But when I went for my last one, it was so painful the doctor wouldn't even do it! He tried to put that speculum (is that the right name for it? that thing that holds you open down there??) in, but that really HURTS! My first GYN just jammed it in anyway and said "this shouldn't be hurting you" and "this really doesn't hurt you know". But this second guy kept trying to put it in, and could see that it obviously hurt, so he said "Well, this really doesn't hurt you know. But, I can see that you're too upset to go through with this." And he didn't do anything. (Geez, that was so EMBARRASSING!!)

    Are pap smears supposed to be so painful? I know that some of my other doctors have floated the idea of a transvaginal ultrasound......but I'm absolutely terrified at the idea!! Sticking anything "down there" HURTS!!

  2. #2
    JosieFB JosieFB's Avatar
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    I always tell them to use a narrow speculum because otherwise it hurts too much. The last time the doctor said I require a long and narrow one. She said a pediatric speculum was too short for me.

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    Documentarian Navi's Avatar
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    Mine are usually painful, but I just grin and bear it and nap for the rest of the day afterwards. Anxiety and expecting pain can make you clench up against the speculum even more since your body is trying to keep it out. (DBF thinks I have psychological issues with sex from abuse type trauma, so I assume if that's true my brain is probably hardwired against pap smears as well.)

    Though, I had a transvaginal u/s in August and it didn't hurt at all. I think the difference is that a speculum has some very sharp edges (if you've ever seen one) and the u/s wand is smooth and plastic. It gets uncomfortable when they start moving it around and applying pressure, but it's no way near as painful as a pap.

  4. #4
    Honorary SoulCyster Mireille's Avatar
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    I'm also way overdue for a pap smear- partly because last time, it hurt to sit for about two days. -.-

    I think part of your problem is that you're nervous and scared. And your doctors are idiots. Never let anyone tell you it doesn't hurt, if it actually does. They can say it *shouldn't* hurt, but I've had people tell me that it *doesn't* hurt and every time I feel like telling them, 'yeah, well I'm not *****ing about it to hear my own voice'.

    It seems like the stupidest advice, but you really do have to relax. And if it hurts, tell them, and ask them to use a smaller speculum. I think that was the problem when I went, the thing was just too big. Stare at the ceiling, take a deep breath, and relax all your muscles. Let the tension go out of your shoulders and neck, and start counting speckles on the ceiling tiles or something. Sometimes thinking about other stuff helps. The more you concentrate on what's making you nervous, the more tense you're going to be, and the more tense you are, the more it'll hurt.

    (I've had a transvaginal ultrasound, and it was... not comfortable- these things never are, but on top of that I'm very small, and a virgin, so there was a bit of a mess and mental trauma besides- but it didn't hurt much at all. They use lots of lube, and once it's in you only really feel pressure.)

    Pap smears aren't supposed to be painful, but they're definitely not comfortable. There's only one thing that's supposed to be jammed up there, and it ain't a swab.

  5. #5
    TTC #1 brokenbabymachine's Avatar
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    my are always painful--paps, vaginal ultrasounds, etc last time the doc told me that i had a yeast infection and was irritated. we have also found that i'm allergic to latex. since then i treat for a yeast infection a few days before and make sure they use non-latex gloves, etc. i am careful to treat for the yeast infection about a week in advance when i'm having a pap so it won't mess up the test!
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    Registered User indianagal's Avatar
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    Mine are always painful as well and for some reason I always get dizzy afterwards. And I always spot for a day as well. I have them use the small one but the pain is still there. It is incredibly uncomfortable.

  7. #7
    Registered User dc3886's Avatar
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    Its always horrible, my Dr. had to go through 3 spectrums last year to find one small enough. I have to go in November again and I'm not looking forward to it. Now I know why people neglect going to the Dr. I never understood why until I had to have some real unpleasant experiences, I'm sure we all have.

  8. #8
    Registered User LadyInWaiting's Avatar
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    Usually very, very painful. But it CAN be done without all the pain. I found a sweet, gentle, experienced FEMALE gynecologist who would never say what so many others did, "This doesn't hurt". Um, yes, it does. It's not in my head, and I am trying to relax! But I finally saw a gyno this past January who knew what she was doing. I was actually giddy afterwards, because I couldn't believe it. Yes it was uncomfortable, but not the excruciating pain that I'm used to. It stung, but I did not feel like I was being torn apart.

    Unfortunately, she sent me to get a vaginal ultrasound, and that was completely unsuccessful. Now I don't know what to do, because I can't move forward in my treatment without a vaginal ultrasound, and I really tried, I swear.

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    TTC #1 brokenbabymachine's Avatar
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    ladyinwaiting--did they use a latex condom on the ultrasound wand? if they did have them use a latex free one. it may help!
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  10. #10
    Registered User februarystar's Avatar
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    Mine was painful but apparently my cervix doesnt sit on the same angle as most women. But it was only painful for the procedure, not afterwards.
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  11. #11
    Gigi spunky_chic_420's Avatar
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    Default Pap

    It shouldn't really. but when ever they do the test i know it hurts a little

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    Registered User Sarrah's Avatar
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    Mine doesn't hurt at all and to be honest its not even uncomfortable. I chat to the doc and can't even feel it much.
    Same experience when i was younger at my very first one in early 20's.

    They should be more understanding. When a patient says "it hurts" It HURTS.
    Doctors are very strange sometimes......

  13. #13
    Pain is a Killjoy Betwixt's Avatar
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    My doctor gyno should be given an award- AND HE'S A MAN. He CLEARLY saw that the one speculum was too big, so he used a narrow long one instead. I KNEW it was gonna hurt if he tried to force it.

    If my doctor would have pulled that "oh, you stop, it doesn't hurt" crap with me, I'd of jumped off the table, walked out the door, cussing about suing his ass for having such a crappy bedside manner. That's just not acceptable to me. But I tend to be a little more aggressive sometimes anyways.

    Now I'll tell you a story. When I was in San Diego, my female nurse practitioner knew I was due for a pap smear and exam. She saw me visible freak at the mention of it. She then prescribed .50mg of Xanax to me, to take the day of the ultrasound. (Since I was going to have to go that route too.) IMO, this not only helps with the anxiety of the exam, but can also help relax you so you can relax "other" muscles. If you are clenching your kegels, that's just gonna make it hurt more too. I strongly suggest you find someone to go with you if only to drive you to appt and back, and hit up the Xanax. It's something to consider and try if you are up to it.

    /huuuuugs- I hate the exams too. My last one here hurt like hell. So I do hope this all helps.

  14. #14
    Registered User LadyInWaiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenbabymachine View Post
    ladyinwaiting--did they use a latex condom on the ultrasound wand? if they did have them use a latex free one. it may help!
    You know what, I have no idea. You've just inspired me to try again, thank you!

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    TTC #1 brokenbabymachine's Avatar
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    ladyinwaiting...after we discovered that was my problem, i had to bring my own--i would buy the lambskin condoms--they are pricey but worth it! also make sure your doc uses latex free gloves!
    Brandi

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    7/07: DH's SA: WE'VE GOT SWIMMIES!
    8/24/07: My HSG: WE GOT THE ALL CLEAR!
    trying to get some weight off...
    4-21-09- 38.5 pds off!

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