Post # 1
Ok. So, I have two things to ask, both slightly personal so I didn’t want to ask people I knew.
I’m going in for my first pap smear in March, and while I know what the procedure involves, I’m wondering how uncomfortable/painful it really is. Everyone I’ve ever talked to has talked about them like they’re the worst thing to happen to women since labor pains. Are they really that bad?
And secondly, I’m wondering how much NuvaRing costs. I’m currently on the pill (Amethia- generic of Seasonique, the 3-month pill) and without insurance it would be around $250 every 90 days. I want to switch to the ring so I won’t have to take a pill every day (all other such options are too expensive or something I’d never be able to do with my fear of needles, such as the shot, the implant, or an IUD), but the deciding factor will be cost. So how much did it cost you without insurance?
Post # 3
@ForeverBirds: I don’t know anything about the NuvaRing cost, but the pap smears really aren’t that bad. I started having them done yearly when I was 17. It’s not the most comfortable thing ever, but it doesn’t last long either. I can’t imagine that it would be anything near what labor pains would be.
Post # 4
On BCBS it was about $55 for 3 month’s of NuvaRing. On Aetna its $47 a MONTH. I am about to switch to HAP, so we’ll see. It’s generally more expensive than the pill. When I was OFF insurance, it cost me $300 for 3 month’s of NuvaRing.
Paps suck – ask her to warm the tools before she goes in. I think that helps. A bad period hurts WAY worse. As long as you relax, you’ll be fine.
Post # 5
Pap smears are not bad AT ALL…they last maybe a minute and if anything it just feels weird, it’s not painful. When I was on Nuva Ring with my insurance it was usually around $40/month…which is why I switched back to the pill 🙂
Post # 6
Pap smears are no problem for me. It IS a little uncomfortable when they have to expand the speculum, but it’s only for a few seconds and you cannot feel them swabbing for cells. Honestly, I think that they’re overstating the pain.
The ring was $20 a month for me on a sliding scale, but I paid out of pocket (no insurance costs) at a clinic. OTC with a script it was crazy expensive so I went to the clinic instead.
Post # 7
If a pap smear equals labor pains then I’m suddenly not terrified of giving birth! They can seem scary the first time, but try to relax. I was nervous the first time and told the doctor, so she helpfully explained exactly what she was doing as she was doing it and gave me a heads up before she did anything so I knew to be prepared to feel something. Can’t help you with the cost of the nuva ring, but pap smears are nothing to be afraid of! It can be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s over quickly.
Post # 8
@ForeverBirds: Paps aren’t that bad. I’ve been getting them since I was 18. They’re slightly uncomfortable, and the first one is scary because of the unknown, I guess. Once I got over them seeing me naked (they see girlie bits every day, no big deal), it was ok. It’s pretty quick and I don’t think I’ve ever had pain afterwards.
Kinda Too Much Information, but I suggest wiping off the lube when they leave the office before you get dressed or it feels wet and gross after you get dressed! There’s always tissues and a garbage can in the room I think lol.
Post # 9
I think with no insurance the ring is 85 or 90 actually. The pap is no big deal at all! I normally dont even feel it. They always tell me i might have some light bleeding and I had a pap while i was pregnant and they basically guaranteed i would have light bleeding but I never have. Maybe i have a vagina of steel.
Post # 10
@ForeverBirds: This is going to sound disgusting, and I apologize in advance. But the best way I have found to describe how a pap smear feels is like pulling out a really dry tampon that you haven’t had in for very long, and at the very end of your period when it’s really “light”. It’s uncomfortable, but doesn’t really hurt, and it only lasts for a second. Sorry for the Too Much Information lol, but I just know before I had my first one, I wanted to know more of what to expect than “it’s not that bad.”
Also, I’m surprised that a doctor put you on BC without first doing a pap smear! Most doctors make you do a yearly pap in order to renew your script.
Post # 11
The speculum is uncomfortable, but there is no PAIN from a pap. Just a little pressure.
Post # 12
To me Pap smears aren’t that bad. Uncomfortable YES painful not really. I will say this go to an OB/GYN. unfortunatemines GYN quit her practice about two years ago so I’ve been getting my pap from my primary physician and she sucks. Much more unpleasant. There’s something to be said for it being a specialty.
Cant help on pricing my insurance covers almost all of my prescriptions.
Oh and as counterintuitive as it is… Relaxing really does help. It’s hard but actually focus on relaxing your muscles down there.
Post # 13
Paps aren’t very comfortable but they don’t really hurt. Just try to relax, the less tense you are the better it will be.
I don’t have personal experience paying for NuvaRing but I had a friend who was looking into it and decided against it because it was going to cost more than twice what she paid for the pill.
Post # 14
Thank you for all of the helpful and encouraging responses! I definitely feel whole lot better than I did when I made the appointment!!!
@deetroitwhat: I also have BCBS which will actually pay 80% of all my prescriptions. I just specified “without insurance” because different insurance coversdifferent things and I didn’t want to get confused with a whole huge range of numbers!! $55 is the average of what I actually pay every 3 months, but it fluctuates widely for some reason- I’ll go in one time and it’ll be $50 and another and it’ll be $75.
@sealevels: I may have to consider going to a clinic…. I really want to get on something besides the pill but can’t afford much else. I’m in a strange situation- my dad pays for my meds, and since I originally go on BC for medical reasons, he still pays for it, but he won’t pay for me to switch unless it’s a medical reason so I have to find something I can afford.
@canarydiamond: I actually talked my best friend into coming in with me and holding my hand. I’m such a wuss. My SO would do it in a heartbeat, but he works nightshift, and even though he’s seen my lady parts, it’s wierd for him to see them in a medical situation for some reason lol. And thanks for the tip- when my doctor walked me through the procedure she never actually mentioned lube so I hadn’t even thought of that.
@LilliePad: Thanks! Like you, everyone’s telling me something very vague- except instead of “it’s not that bad,” it’s “it hurts like hell.” I’d ask my best friend, but the only time she had one was when she had a really bad cyst so she was in horrible pain anyways. And there are a couple of reasons I didn’t have a pap smear before getting in BC- one was that I had a really crappy doctor (who I have since switched from to the one I have- and love-now) who basically wrote me the prescription and shooed me out of her office. Only time I ever saw her the entire year or so I was her patient. The second was that I was getting on it to slow my periods down, not because I was sexually active- I was still a virgin at the time.
@luvmesumhim: Going to a stranger would just make me really tense and nervous. My doctor is a general practitioner, but I love her and couldn’t imagine going to anyone else. I definitely feel much more comfortable with her than any of my other doctors. While there is something to be said for being a specialist, there is also a lot to be said for being comfortable with your doctor. Especially for someone like me- I was terrified of doctor’s offices and doctors before I found her, but she definitely makes an effort to relax her patients and make sure they are totally comfortable.
Post # 15
@ForeverBirds: ok well see if she has metal instruments. My general dr uses plastic disposable ones and I think that’s part of the problem.
Post # 16
@luvmesumhim: She showed hers to me when she explained the procedure (yet another reason I love her- she doesn’t give some vague explanation about “scraping cells from the cervix”- she went above and beyond to make sure I knew what to expect and make me feel better) and they were metal, I believe. I could double check, though.