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Old 06-20-2011, 08:32 AM   #1
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Virgin and Smear test worries... please help!

Hi everyone,

Im new here and hoping im posting in the right area......Im just really seeking some advice and other peoples experiences and thoughts on the smear test.

I will start with a little intro leading to where I am at now (sorry this maybe long)......Firstly it has come to that time again for the dreaded "smear test". Admittedly i am now 26 and I was very good as soon as i got my invite at 25, i called the doctors and booked in for an appointment with the nurse. At the time it didnt really cross my mind to question my suitability for this test as having turned 25 in the UK I've always been under the impression it was a given thing to start having regular smears. I remember being nervous in the waiting room and fortunatley i got a really lovely nurse who ive seen numerous times in the past. We chatted, i got undressed, hopped up onto the bed, relaxed my legs....etc. Then something i didnt expect, considering i was very relaxed, or atleast i thought i was. I think the nurse got the speculum half way in and my muscles just spazzed out She was lovely bless her and came and sat next to me, talked to me, made sure i was ok and suggested going to the smallest size since i am only petite. By now i was anxious and even though she managed this time to get it all the way in, she stopped and said "i wouldnt be able to bare it being opened". (Is that Worse than insertion?). She was very sweet and reassured me to take my time and when i felt ready to book in to see her again. Well i remember walking out of the room feeling really down on the verge of tears and ashamed almost, like im not a real woman for being unable to have this test done. I've since spoken to my doctor and realised, that because then (and i still am) a virgin that is probably one of the reasons for the tensing. I just wasnt expecting it. Ive always tried and failed miserably with tampon use in the past also and this really bugs me too, i hate wearing pads. I dont know if im just too tight or what? I was very sporty and active when i was younger (still am), so im hoping its less painful when she opens it?
Its now over a year and im having problems with my periods (my doctor thinks it maybe from stress of the past year - work related issues) however she has recommended i book in with the nurse to have my smear. Shes said when i feel ready to do so just call up. However, she knows i am still a virgin and has pointed out in the past the risk of HPV is lower but not unheard of, with the less number of sexual partners etc. Ive read online, posts from people that it can be quite painful for a virgin to have the smear and i guess thats my main concern and now to top it off the strange periods
I feel really silly for not being able to have this and when i look back i dont think it is as bad as i imagined and looking on the net people have had worse experiences. I just wish i could get over my fear and go, its strange as although im not the most confident of people i dont have an issue with my body, embarassment and generally i have a high pain thresh hold given some of the operations etc ive endured. It may sound odd but i really WANT to have the test. Not only because i know how Important it is, but also I think it will be a stepping stone for me as i have very low self esteem and confidence which is probably why i have not had sex yet. I dont think of myself as pretty or able to get a boyfriend that they will always look elsewhere etc. I always feel like im the one "missing the boat" so to speak. That theres something that im not quite getting. And I feel in getting my smear over and done with it will be one huge weight off, put my mind at ease over my periods and prove to me that I am a strong and able woman and can achieve anything I put my mind to.
Sorry its such a long post, im hoping some of you will be able to give me some advice. Really im just looking for any tips you can provide as a way to relax to enable the test, as i really need it doing.

Thanks for all your help ladies. Im so glad to have come across this board

Kat. x

 
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:44 PM   #2
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Re: Virgin and Smear test worries.....please help!

I haven't been a virgin for almost 20 years that I've been going to the gyno and have had multiple gyne-related surgeries and it STILL hurts me when I get a speculum put in! I don't think it has anything at all to do with being or not being a virgin. The fact is, getting a pap smear done is not a pleasant experience which no woman enjoys doing. Therefore, it's not unusual that a woman would probably be clenching those muscles down there when going to have it done.

It does not make you less of a woman or whatever you said for not being able to handle the speculum. It does hurt and it is very uncomfortable. That is a fact. I think maybe the only women who don't find it painful are those who have given birth vaginally. They have been stretched out a lot more to birth the baby, so it's probably not a big deal for them. But don't think that virgins are the only ones who have difficulty with the speculum because they are not.

 
Old 06-20-2011, 09:25 PM   #3
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Re: Virgin and Smear test worries... please help!

Speculums and PAPs are uncomfortable for all women.
Maybe the best way to deal with this is simply to accept that it will be uncomfortable, but fast.
If you can tell the doctor about your fears and ask that he just do it as quickly as possible.
It doesn't take but a few seconds; the speculum should not need to be inserted for more than a minute, probably less.

The thing is, it really is crucial you get this screening test.
It is entirely possible for a virgin to get cervical cancer, although your risk is less.
Not to mention that you're getting to an age where other reproductive health problems can arise (uterine/ endometrial problems, etc), and you are simply going to need to have routine pelvic exams (which include the insertion of a speculum), just like everyone else, if you're to remain healthy and avoid disease.

I hope I don't sound heartless or unsympathetic, but a speculum is way bigger than a penis, and it doesn't feel comfortable to anyone, regardless of whether they've had sex. Many women find it painful, actually. But we still have to do it, for our health.

I think lowering your expectations and accepting that it might be uncomfortable or even painful might actually help you; focus on getting it over with fast, rather than on "relaxing", etc, which sounds like it merely drags out the process unendurably. It's okay to be tense during a pelvic exam; most women are. It's a natural response. The exam still needs to be done. After you've had a few of them, you won't be nervous any more, it will just be routine (if disagreeable), like a man getting a prostate exam.

Best of luck.

Quote:
I think maybe the only women who don't find it painful are those who have given birth vaginally.
I've given birth vaginally twice and am currently 4 months pregnant with my third child.
Pelvic exams are still uncomfortable, and sometimes painful.

Childbirth really doesn't 'stretch out your vagina' much if at all (vaginas are pretty elastic), in fact one's vagina can actually end up tighter than it originally was, if one has an episiotomy (where they cut your vagina to enlarge it, and then stitch it back up after the birth). This intervention is fairly routine, especially when it comes to women delivering their first child.

In other cases, the vagina tears slightly during childbirth, and the doctors stitch it back up. In this case, also, the vagina is likely to end up tighter than it originally was.

Last edited by Kali333; 06-20-2011 at 09:32 PM.

 
Old 06-21-2011, 03:25 PM   #4
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Re: Virgin and Smear test worries... please help!

Hi Ladies,

Thank you so much for the replies and sharing your experiences and advice. I agree its not a pleasant thought or experience to go through and I really understand the IMPORTANCE of the test. Which is my main concern for getting it done.

Kali333 thank you for being honest regarding the speculum and how to approach the doctor about my concerns for the test. I think part of my doubts/fears is in the unknown really. After the speculum insertion the first time, which the nurse admitted was too big for me, i think fear of painful "anything" in that area kicked in. And i started panicing that when i meet the person i feel connected to and i do come to have sex that he just wont fit. Sounds silly the more i think of it and i tell myself its just the unknown. I think half the battle in these situations is over thinking it. I feel a bit better now after your description of the speculum and relation to the penis size etc. I know the test itself doesn't take more than 5 minutes and im comfortable with my body as to not be embarassed about being examined, i know the nurse will see thousands of genitals in her career, its just getting my head around the speculum and taking that first step. Friends have told me to wiggle my toes and practise deep breathing to relax. You also have a good way of approaching it, that yes, it maybe be 5 mins of pain/discomfort but its worth it over your mind being put at ease. And like you say they are a part of every womans life so its best getting used to it and attending them regularly.

I know I need to grit my teeth and get on with it so to speak. Kszan, this is what I meant through my o/p which probably didnt come across right. I feel that so many women around the world get this test done be it painful, uncomfortable or bareable and it makes me feel as though somethings wrong with me for not being able to do so.

I am going to call this week and book my smear for next month. I have been told to book mid cycle, around ovulation as this is the best time? The way I see it is having a few weeks to prepare and come around to the idea might not be a bad thing, plus i can get in with the nurse I saw last year so at least I will know and feel at ease with her. I guess thats a start......

Thanks again for your responses, I do appreciate them.

Best Wishes.

 
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