Smear tests: do I don't I?

Hi, I'm 21 years old so I'm early to have a smear test but my doctor has asked if I would like to have one just in case and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what it is like to have one? is it painful? just general things like that but I was wondering if anyone could explain to me in laymen's terms what it is that a smear test looks for I have tried looking online but got confused as different sites say different things so I was hoping someone could help me. I'm not sure whether I will have one or not yet which is why I am looking for more information before I decide whether to go ahead with it or not.

Thank you in advance

Jamie xx

6 Replies

  • Hi Jamie, as far as I know a smear test is done to check for early signs of cervical cancer. If they detect early cell changes it can normally be treated before it becomes cancerous. For most people it pretty painless but a bit uncomfortable.

  • Hi Jamie, a smear test is a bit unpleasant but it only takes a moment and then it's over. The nurse or doctor uses a small device to open your cervix and then uses a swab to take a sample of cells from your cervix wall. That is then sent away to be tested for early signs of cancer and you get the results after a couple of weeks. It takes less than a minute and feels no worse than period pain for the few seconds it takes to get the sample. You should definitely have one regularly and once you have the first your doctor will remind when it's time for the next one. I'm pretty sure it's recommended from age 21 or when you become sexually active, but either way if your doc is recommending it then you should do it. Better to be safe xx

  • Hi Jamie

    I recently had my first smear test they requested me to have mine early as well I was 23 at the time. I would definitely recommend you have it done it can catch things in the early stages. It's pretty straight forward over within a minute maximum pretty pain free just slightly uncomfortable, for the results it can find its definitely worth it, they said to me when carrying it out if your in any discomfort please say as they are there to help you not hurt you. Hope this makes sense please seriously consider going ahead with it x

  • Jamie, it's not painful but the best advice I can give is to relax. Don't clench the vaginal muscles, because then you're fighting against them but relax as much as possible and you'll be absolutely fine. It's really not something to worry about as you'll know once you've had one. So lie back and think of England, as they used to say:-))))

  • Hi, I work as a Practice Nurse and I do smears on ladies. The best website for information is to google NHS Choices then put in Cervical Screening. It tells you what they are screening for and why. Any questions please feel free to pm me. :)

  • If you are being offered it then take it. Unfortunately for women with endo it is sore and can cause pain for a couple of days after. But it is so worth it. There is no harm in it. I had a child young so I have had quite a few now. Thankfully mine had always been clear 😁.

    I personally wouldn't have it if I was having a bad flare up, I would wait until your endo pain was manageable. Not everyone gets much relief so that might not apply to you. And I take a couple of nurofen an hour before i go as I know I will get cramps after.


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