Post # 1
So this is probably going to end up being a Too Much Information post, but I didn’t know where else to pose my question. Long story short, I’m 25, a virgin, and just scheduled my first pap smear next week. I realize that I really should have done this years ago, but putting it off til next week/month/etc ended up being next year, grad school made life hectic, you get my drift. Plus, I’m scared to have it done. But after preventative screenings essentially saved the life of one of SO’s coworker’s spouses (Breast cancer), he wants to make sure I’m healthy too.
Obviously I’ve talked to my mom, but she hasn’t told me much other than her first pap smear was a little uncomfortable. Would any of you ladies be willing to share some words of encouragement or tell me more of what to expect? I know the basic gist (Insert speculum, take sample from cervix, etc.), but any first-hand experiences of “It wasn’t that bad” would help me keep the jitters under control! Thank you kindly!
P.S. Please no flames about how I’ve waited so long to do this. I’ve already slapped my hand more than once and had some well-meaning girlfriends encourage me to get it done, so I know I’m behind on the times. 🙂
Post # 2
I was scared too, and put it off for a long time. I had my first test when I was about 22, and the clinic made it so difficult for me to get my results that I ended up never going back. My second test was just three months ago, and it was not NEARLY as bad as I expected. There was zero pain, honestly. My lower abdomen felt a little weird/tight/pressured when the doctor was adjusting the speculum but there was no scraping sensation (which I had been afraid of) and no pain. Not even any blood.
I went back to work immediately after (it was in the middle of the day). I felt a little slimey down there because of residual gel, but I was completely fine and felt totally clean and normal after a sleep and a shower. No big deal at all.
Post # 3
Relax. Relax. Relax. it can be uncomfortable laying in stirrups with a doctor looking at your business, but remember this – he/she’s done it a million times before and it’s no big deal to them. While you’re laying there, they’ll usually describe what they’re doing (example: my doctor would always tell me when she’s about to touch me or insert the speculum). Try and keep your body relaxed and to not tense up. It really is no big deal, even as a virgin I would imagine it not being a big deal. I totally understand why you’d be nervous about it.. but I’ve had one done routinely since my teens & it’s less painful than a flu shot.
Post # 4
If it makes you feel any better- I prefer going to the OBGYN over the dentist!
Post # 5
It really isn’t bad! Make sure you are comfortable with your provider and the worst part will be over super fast. To me it was more weird when my doc did the breast exam part than the pap.
Post # 6
Try your best to relax. I had my first one at 30+ and it was really uncomfortable. My doctor is great, but the nature of the machine and having someone in my business didn’t allow me to relax enough for it to be remotely pleasant. Not looking forward to having them in the future, but it is essential for my health so … gotta do it! In the end, you’ll get through it though and will be happy it is done! Good luck!
Post # 7
SilvanArrow: It’s a simple test. It’s never “fun” having somewhere down there- but it’s really no sweat. I don’t think there’s a reason to be nervous for the results– when you’re not sexually active there’s a really low to none change that your pap would come back abnormal.
Post # 8
Honestly I’ve never felt them take the sample for the pap smear. I had my first exam when I was still a virgin. Make sure you tell them and they will take certain precautions like using the smallest speculum and being extra gentle. It’s a bit uncomfortable and you’ll probably feel some pressure, but overall it’s not a big deal and you’ll feel totally normal once you get your clothes back on.
Post # 9
hey, no worries! You’re doing it now and that’s what is important. I would say its uncomfortable, but not unbearable. If you think it would help you to have your doctor tell you what they are doing, ask them to do that. I know for me, its easier for me to just zone out while they are doing it And completely focus on something else. I also try to take ibuprophen A little while before hand. It helps with the discomfort. My last bit of advice is ask them if they can use a child’s speculum. For me, this has made all the difference in the world. I have a condition called vaginismus though, so penetration is uncomfortable regardless of what it is. Which should tell you, if I don’t think its so bad, it’ll be ok. Just try to relax, being tense will make it more uncomfortable. Look up kegal exercises, practicing relaxing those muscles helps me too. Ok… I think I really am out of advice now. Good luck!
Post # 10
It’s really not that bad. The exam itself literally takes like 2 minutes and you’re done.
Post # 11
Honestly, it’s not that bad! My first time was a little embarrassing but I was put at ease fairly easily by my gynecologist, it really is just work to them. And it’s never been really painful, just a little weird feeling. Definitely try to take a deep breath and relax, that will help immensely!
Post # 12
SilvanArrow: I’ve always been told that there is no point getting a smear unless you are sexually active as the main cause of cervical cancer is the HPV virus (someone correct me if I’m wrong). So in your case, I just wouldn’t bother getting a pap smear yet.
Post # 13
It is not scary or painful at all. I had my first pap at 18, when I was still a virgin, too. Being a virgin or not really doesn’t affect how it feels. They lube up the speculum, stick it in you, get their sample , and get out. The worst part is feeling awkward while your doctor states at your vagina. 🙂 but it really doesn’t hurt, virgin or not. If you can put a tampon in, you can do this.
Post # 14
I didn’t think you really needed a pap smear until you’re sexually active, however I just read that if you have a family history of cervical cancer or if you smoke, you should get checked earlier.
I waited until I was 25 and sexually active. I was DREADING it! I still do, whenever I have to go. But honestly, it’s over so fast. I just put my arm over my eyes and hum a little tune to myself. I usually have a bit of spotting afterwards, and the goo/lube excretions are kind of gross, but that’s as bad as it gets.
And the best part is that in the end, unless your results come back abnormal, you have a year before you have to worry about it again! In my case, I now only have to go every three years – woohoo! Although, I’m pregnant now so that’s kind of a moot point, lol.
Post # 15
pap smears were really painful for me when i was a virgin. they’re easier now, but still a little uncomfortable depending on the doctor. i always tell them that i have a hard time with pelvic exams and they’re usually pretty understanding. ask them to go slow and talk you through it so there are no suprises and make sure you ask the nurse/doctor to use the smallest speculum possible. unless you specifically ask, they will most likely use a “one size fits all” speculum, which could cause more discomfort. the whole thing only takes a couple of minutes, so just try to relax as much as you can and it will be over before you know it.
i visited a couple different doctors before i was able to have a “successful” pap smear, so if you have a doctor that you don’t feel at ease with or whatever, find a different one. when i was talking with my doctor about having problems with pap smears he said, “those other doctors were the problem, not you” and it really made me feel so much better!