Pap Smear Pain
February 23, 2007 8:50 PM Subscribe
Pain is making it impossible for me to get a Pap smear.
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (33 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
After three tries, I haven't been able to successfully get a Pap smear. My gynecologist just can't get the speculum in: it hurts, a great deal. No matter how slowly or gently she tries to do it, it feels like she's trying to poke the speculum through solid flesh. She's already using the smallest speculum, but that didn't help. She can't fit her lubricated finger in there either. Since I have no known physiological abnormalities (my periods are normal, if somewhat painful, etc.), she thinks that the vaginal muscles are just becoming very tense, making it impossible to get the speculum in. However, trying to breathe and relax doesn't help, and 5mg of Valium before the most recent attempt didn't help either.
Since I've never used tampons, penetrative sex toys, or had penetrative sex, I have no other data to help me figure out whether my problems have to do with the situation (doctor's office, speculum, etc.) or whether they're the result of more general psychological or physical problems. I'm already a few years late on starting to get the Pap smear done; I'd like to get it over with.
My current gynecologist is planning to ask her colleagues for suggestions, but I'd like more advice about whether there's anything else that I can do, either before or during the exam. If you've had similar problems, what was wrong, and what helped?