Post # 1
I have PCOS.
Yes I know it’s not impossible to conceive it’s just harder. Started taking calcium pills, Folic Acid and Royal Jelly. First period after stopping the pill was on time, maybe the vitamins worked. 2 years ago when I stopped the pill, period didn’t come for 4mos, then I went for a really scary gynocologist check up and was told I have PCOS.
Went for my 1st pap smear this year, done by a nurse. Result came back negative for HPV, so yes very happy. But during the check, nurse commented that something looked abnormal in there. I was already crying because the test was very very uncomfortable for me. I was breaking into tears and cold sweat already. And she was using the smallest speculum she has and she said my muscles are tightening so much that it made it really hard for her to ‘enter’. Anyways, the nurse was being as gentle and kind as she can be, but it’s still not a walk in the park for me. Even typing this now, I am feeling some imaginary pain in my lower abdomen.
Anyways, nurse had strongly encouraged that I get my GP to look at me down there. My GP wasn’t around that day, so she made an appointment for me. Seeing how shaken up I was, nurse kept assuring me that “it’s probably nothing, everyone is made slightly different, it could be leftover of your hymen…. etc.” But honestly her comforting did not calm me down at all. Went home and googled all kinds of abnormal looking, of course CANCER keeps popping up. Luckily I still had wedding planning to distract myself. And guess what, I was so coward I cancelled my appointment the day before because I just couldn’t couldn’t couldn’t bring myself to go through that again so soon. I told myself I need some time to recuperate mentally and I will be fine.
Fast forward 6 mos later, wedding’s over and now we are TTC and have gone off the pill, SO suggests I go back to get checked out. But I am just so scared. I am scared of the procedure, of the speculum, of things entering me, scared of what will the outcome be?
I need advise, need encouragement. Anyone else who is just as afraid of these checks as I am?
Post # 3
I hate them too. I normally just keep my eyes up on the ceiling and talk as much as I can to the doctor. I find it distracts me!
Post # 4
Aww Hunny that fear must be awful. I’ve had to have an ovary removed in an emergency procedure earlier this year due to an 11cm cyst that developed into a torqued ovary. Most intense pain ever. In any case, they did a lot of poking and prodding, internal exams, speculums, internal ultrasounds, I’m pretty sure I suffered it all in the space of about 6 hours, before being cut open from hip to hip to have the monster, along with my left ovary, removed. After all that, I have a friend who has just discovered she has Polycystic Ovaries, and she’s in the same boat as you, absolutely terrified of the accompanying docotrs visit.
I’ll be honest with you, after everything I went through just a few weeks before, my initial response was to tell her to toughen up haha. Because it could be worse! I know from experience. But also you need to remember, the more wound up you are, the more uncomfortable you’re going to be! It probably sounds weird, but I found it was really helpful to hum to myself haha, the Doctors probably thought I was nuts, but it honestly helped me take my mind off it. Try humming “The Bumblebee” for a prolonged period of time, it’ll take your mind of anything!!
Hope it all works out for you lady, just remember its never as bad as you imagine it to be!
Post # 5
I was petrified of going for a PAP test, but not as bad as you seem to be. Maybe it would be good for you to visit your GP, explain your fears and hat happened in the last PAP test, and enquire about techniques that could help you to relax. IF these don’t work, look into therapy (it could be seeing a therapist, or maybe even hypnotherapy). Your sexual health and reproductive system is to important a subject for you not to take control of. Especially if you’re TTC, it’s important that you find a way to get over the fear, because checks are going to be part and parcel of pregnancy.
Post # 6
@Cariad: Well said! 🙂 Not to mention actually getting the baby out. lol
@Destinationwedding101: Why haven’t you had a pap smear before? You’re supposed to have them every year starting at puberty. It just goes with the territory of being a woman, just like your period or wearing a bra. I remember my first one was terrible. Just as bad as yours, but I didn’t have the reaction you did. It’s always the worst on your first visit, it will get better over time. As PP have said, try to relax. When you get yourself all worked up and scared your muscles will tighten (as the nurse noted) and that will make it hurt even worse. I think asking your GP for some ideas that would help you relax is a very good idea. Also, explain your concerns and make sure they’re using lube. I had one doctor that didn’t use lube, and I didn’t know they were supposed to until much later and I’ll tell ya what, it makes a huge difference as far as comfort goes. You could also try taking a couple of advil before you go.
I would strongly reccommend that you put all plans of TTC on hold until you get to a doctor. Not only because you need to make sure you’re healthy before you TTC, but because you should get yourself used to the process of a gyno exam before you become pregnant. When you’re pregnant there’s no way you can put it off for 6 months because you’re afraid of the speculum.
Look on the bright side though, if the worst thing you ever have to experience in life is a pap smear then you’re an incredibly lucky lady! 🙂
Post # 7
@AllTheGoodUsernamesAreTaken: Guidlines here state that women should get pap smears at age 21, or three years after the onset of sexual activity. The onset of puberty would be very early here to get a pap smear; that would be around 11-13.
OP: Have you discussed these fears with your doctor? Some times, escpecially if you are cancelling appointments, they will prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to make the appointment easier. I hate pap smears as well. For me, the best thing is plan something fun afterwards that I wouldn’t normally do as a reward. I end up looking forward to the pap smear day because I get to go shopping, or get my nails done.
Post # 8
@Follydust321: Interesting, I’ve never heard of differing recomendations. I got my first period at 12 and had my first pap smear when I was 14 and my doctor gave me a hard time for waiting too long. My daughter is 9 and her doctor has recomended she get her first pap smear no later than 13 years of age. I’ve always been told to get them annually, and that’s what everyone I know does too. Either way, they’re still a regular part of women’s health and shouldn’t be ignored or postponed.
ETA: Do doctors there suggest you get them every year though and it’s just the starting age that’s different? Or is the frequency different too?
Post # 9
Thanks for your sharing, bees. I have found a hypnotherapist in my area and made an appointment for this Friday.
I have also just made the call to my GP for an appointmenr 2 weeks from today. SO knows my fears and he also suggested we plan smthg fun afterwards.
Growing up in an Asian family, it’s a taboo to be having sex before marriage. Honestly, everyone does it anyways. But the suppression resulted in our school not educating about pap smear and moms not really thinking about it either. Wasn’t till I went to uni in America that I was asked to do a pap smear because I wanted to start the pill (mainly to control breakouts), I always manage to avoid the test by canceling it though. I know I’m such a chicken when it comes to that ;(
And yes, I really want babies but have been unrealistically avoiding the thoughts of ‘How’ he/she will be delivered. My best friend invited me to one of her checks when she was 7mos preggers, and when doctor started discussing Pain Management, ooooh how I squirmed in my seat!!!
Thks everyone for sharing. I feel really useless & petty because everyday people go through tough medical conditions and here I am chickening about a simple screening test. I will definitely work on it & hopefully will have positve updates after!
Thks again bees.
Post # 10
@Destinationwedding101: While I do think you should get used to the idea and think more realistically before you try to get pregnant, I don’t think you’re being a baby about the pap smears. Nobody likes them. Just try to get the help you need to make yourself comfortable with the idea. Once you’ve tackled that and pap smears don’t make you so uncomfortable, then you can start thinking more realistically about having a baby. I would suggest becoming comfortable with a pap smear first though. Once you’ve done that, then I would suggest you talk to friends who have had babies before, talk to your doctor about what to expect, and read books on the subject to get more information. Then, once you understand all that and are ok with everything that comes with pregnancy, delivery, pre-natal, and post-natal care you can start TTC again. Try not to be too hard on yourself about it, just be realistic and educate yourself. Remember, nobody enjoys it, but you do need to do it. 🙂
ETA: If you would like some perspecitve, to hopefully make it easier for you to deal with the discomfort of things… I have had 4 back surgeries (1 with only anesthesia, no pain medication), and 10 hours of labor and delivery also with no pain medication (keep in mind that was after all the back surgeries so it hurt more for me than for most women). I currently have two broken vertabrae and the pain is a constant, chronic, every day, all day thing for me. Now, I don’t want you to feel bad for me, and I’m not saying pap smears are enjoyable, they’re certainly not. I am however, trying to give you an example of how much worse it could be since that has always helped me when I’m facing what I think will be hard to bear pain. I can think of a few examples of pain that are far worse than what I’ve had to deal with too. I’m hoping that will work for you and help future pap smears be less painful for you, but by all means, if it’s not working feel free to completely ignore it and put it out of your mind. Do whatever works for you 🙂
Post # 11
I thought that a smear can only be done after the loss of the woman’s virginity? I’m a bit confused as to why a 14 year old would have to go through it?
Anyway I had a really horrible experience the very first time I went, the doctor didn’t even get a ful examination I just got off the bed and pulled up my trousers and ran! But the second time onwards I just thought of other things and every single time I go the doc is always commenting on my extremely small cervix (this I never worried about until now as I’m pregnant and it is going to have to stretch A LOT)!
Unfortunately smears are a part of life and 20-30 minutes with someone poking around down there is never pleasant but it’s necessary and now that you are ttc when you get pregnant you Will have to put up with all sorts of things like sweeps and blood tests and at the end of the pregnancy you will have a baby pushing through so getting used to having a smear or pap test or whatever they are called isn’t as bad as the thought of a midwife sticking forceps up there and a baby’s head coming through. Sorry to be blunt but it’s going to get a whole lot worse and it’s best to get used to it now.
Post # 12
@AllTheGoodUsernamesAreTaken: Thank you 😉 Honestly I’m so glad I found weddingbee.
Post # 13
@Destinationwedding101: Good for you for confronting your fears about it!
The other thing that might help is starting to do Kegel exercises. It helps you gain more control over the muscles in your vagina and pelvic floor, so that you are better able to loosen them when you need to for the pap. See: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kegel-exercises/WO00119
@AllTheGoodUsernamesAreTaken: Until recently, the guidelines in the US were to get a pap every year once you were sexually active. But recent research has suggested that if a pap is normal, it’s not necessary to do it so often. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/new-guidelines-advise-less-frequent-pap-smears/
Post # 14
Thank you for sharing yr story. I’m sorry you have to go through that procedure, and I hope you are totally out of the woods now.
Post # 15
Ooh I will try that!! Thks!
Post # 16
Ok really stupid question here, and probably a stupid idea but it might help. How are you with getting your bikini area waxed? I’m wondering if you go have that done a few times before your next test might it help you relax a bit? Just wondering. Also I’m thinking if it would help to bring a iPod and put your earphones in and listen to some of your favourite songs this might relax you a bit?