I’m a gynecologist and here are 10 ways you can make your smear test possible

YOU will be motivated to find someone to look forward to on their smear test.

For some people, the test can uncomfortable or a little painful – but it only takes a few minutes.

The smear test usually takes less than five minutes. Leave enough time so you don't feel rushed and can relax properly


The smear test usually takes less than five minutes. Leave enough time so you don’t feel rushed and can relax properly

For others, they barely notice the procedure has happened before it’s finished.

The most important thing is if you have a cervix, you go for yours smear test when invited.

January marks the month for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (17-23), which aims to raise awareness about the importance of regular smear tests.

Smears helps prevent cervical cancer, which is diagnosed 3,000 times a year and catastrophically claims the lives of 850 people.

The test looks for changes in the cells of the cervix and human papillomavirus (HPV).

By detecting any abnormalities, doctors can stop the cancer from growing.

All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should be invited by mail to have their smears taken, and should try not to delay making their appointment.

There are many reasons why people might ignore their smear, including being busy, not taking it seriously, or being afraid of pain.

The pandemic has resulted in fewer people showing up to their appointments, which can have a life-changing impact.

To encourage people to get a Pap smear, gynecologist, Dr Shree Datta, works with intimate wellbeing brand INTIMINA, shares her top tips on how to make applying the pill more comfortable.

And if you have any symptoms of cervical cancer, such as unusual bleeding, bloody urine, pain during sex, lower back pain, or weight loss, see your GP.

1. Time your appointment around your time

Try and match your smear test around the time of your cycle, so you don’t bleed when it’s time.

Dr Shree says: “If you have pain or heavy periods, a smear test during your period can be more uncomfortable, so you should consider scheduling your test before your period is due.

“Also, heavy bleeding can affect your smear test results and we may not be able to see your cervix clearly, so you may have to have a repeat smear test. ”

There may be some blood after you apply the blood, this is normal.

But Dr Shree says “if you have bleeding after sex or between periods, tell your doctor” – as this needs investigation.

2. Make sure you feel comfortable with your doctor

If you are worried about your smear test, talk to your doctor first.

Dr Shree says: “Remember that your doctor has done many applications before so you don’t need to feel embarrassed or worried about the type of underwear you’re wearing.

“As a gynecologist, I don’t care if you shave your legs or not, I’m simply glad you took part in the smear test because it’s such an important health check-up.”

3. Don’t rush

Dr. Shree says make sure you leave enough time for your appointment.

“Make sure you’re not in a hurry, as this can make you feel more stressed,” she says.

4. Wearing skirts

For your stain, you will be asked to undress from the waist down behind a curtain before lying on the examination table.

“It’s more convenient when you wear a skirt or dress, because you can just take off your underwear and you can feel less self-conscious,” says Dr. Shree.

5. Ask for a small speculum

A speculum is a clear plastic instrument that is inserted into the vagina to keep it open.

Shree says you may require a small speculum (and lubricant) to relieve “an uncomfortable feeling of tension.”

“However, be aware that we may need to resize the speculum if we cannot clearly see your cervix using a small speculum as this may affect the quality of the speculum. of the smear obtained and you may need to redo it.” Dr. Shree said.

“Seeing your cervix clearly at the time of the smear allows us to examine the cervix as well as obtain a complete smear sample so we can visualize any abnormalities.”

6. Change your location

When you receive a smear, you will usually lie on an examination table. Your leg is bent, with the foot and knee apart.

Dr Shree said: “Some people find lying on their backs very uncomfortable and we don’t always get good views.

“An alternative position might be sitting on the gynecologist’s couch or holding hands under the buttocks to tilt the cervix forward.

“If your doctor has problems visualizing or obtaining a smear sample before, let your smear collector know this, so we can prepare accordingly.”

7. Focus on your breath

Dr Shree says: “Using deep breathing during the smear test to relax the pelvic muscles so we can get a full smear.

Breathing while applying the medicine will help disperse your focus elsewhere, as well as relax your muscles for the test.

If you are relaxed, it will be easier for your doctor to remove the gauze.

8. Empty Your Bladder

The last thing you want when lying in a compromise position is a sudden urge to go to the bathroom.

“Going to the bathroom to empty your bladder before your appointment can also be helpful to help you feel more relaxed,” says Dr.

9. Consider pain relievers

If you’re really worried about the pain, there’s nothing wrong with taking some pain medication beforehand.

“Consider taking a pain reliever half an hour to an hour before the smear test if you feel discomfort,” says Dr.

10. Bring someone with you

Some people find it easier to check for dirt if they have someone there to distract or comfort them.

Dr Shree said: “In the past you may have brought a friend to an appointment to talk to you while you have a stain done, check if you can do so but please note. that this option may not be available due to the current Covid -19 situation. ”

The myth of cervical cancer is busted

Here, Imogen Pinnell, director of medical information at Jo’s Certified Cancer Trust, opens up some of the most common myths.

1. Rare HPV: False

HPV is actually very common! In fact, 4 out of 5 people (80%) will contract the virus at some point in their lives.

In many cases, our immune system will get rid of HPV without us even knowing we had it.

That’s why it’s so important to remove the stigma against the virus.

2. Only promiscuous people get HPV: False

You can get HPV the first time you have sex, so it doesn’t matter how many people you’ve had.

The virus can also lie dormant in your body for years – even decades – so you can still contract the virus if you’ve been with the same person for a long time.

3. The mucus test is a test for cervical cancer: False

The smear test looks for changes (abnormalities) to the cells in the cervix in the early stages, before they develop into cervical cancer.

So it actually stops 75% of cervical cancers from growing.

4. Lubrication tests will hurt: False

The smear test should not hurt. For most people, the smear test can be slightly uncomfortable but not painful.

But we know it’s not always an easy test, so if you’re feeling pain or anxious, there are things that can help.

Talk to your nurse about ways to make the smear test better for you.

5. Only young people get cervical cancer: False

Cervical cancer affects women of all ages, which is why it’s important to take the smear test when you’re invited – attending helps reduce your risk of developing the disease.

6. If you have had the HPV vaccine, you do not need to take the smear test: False

If you’ve had the HPV vaccine, you’ll be protected against at least 70% of cases of cervical cancer.

However, you are not fully protected against all cervical cancers, so it is still important to get a smear test when offered.

So if you are over 25 then make sure you have completed your smear tests.

If you’re under 25, try to make sure you’re fully aware of what’s happening to your body and seek emergency medical attention if any of the above start to happen. .

Remember, doctors have seen and heard it all – there’s absolutely no shame in talking about your gynecological health.

In fact, doing so could save your life

Steph McGovern has a live smear test on her show, which isn’t ‘horrific and embarrassing’ and just ‘feels weird’ but could save your life I’m a gynecologist and here are 10 ways you can make your smear test possible

Fry Electronics Team

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