Endometriosis UK
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Speculum Pain and Fear

While I was in A&E (for pain relating to a newly inserted coil) I had to get a speculum exam for the first time. I'm a virgin so nothing's been up there before. I did have a D&C and hysteroscopy with the coil inserted while I was under so I was none the wiser.

When the doctor told me to relax, I knew I had to relax the muscles to make it less uncomfortable. I wasn't nervous, probably a bit too relaxed because when she inserted it pain shot through my vagina and through my abdomen. A burning feeling was there too. I was shocked at first but thought it was normal and tried to relax agin but the pain just kept getting worse and I had to tell her to stop. The pain around that area was still raw even 1 hour after it.

So two weeks later I'm back in A&E with worse pain than before and again this doctor wanted to do a speculum test too. So I told her what happened the last time and so she used the smallest one. Again same thing happened, I was sweating all over from the pain and had to tell her to stop. I can't even stay long enough for them to check anything.

I've to go for a transvaginal ultrasound soon and I'm terrified it will happen again. Is this normal? Am I over reacting?

I have not been diagnosed with endometriosis but I seem to have all the symptoms. The transvaginal ultrasound is the next step towards a laparoscopy to finally see what's going on but I'm terrified of going ahead with it.

Is there anything I can ask for? Or can they do something else? I don't think I can sit through it.

12 Replies
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Honestly I have the exact same thing with speculums, they're agony for me and have completely put me off having the coil! I had them both done on the same day, the transvaginal ultrasound in the morning and the speculum done in the afternoon, I thought I'd be fine because the transvaginal ultrasound felt like a pinch and then like something was just being rested in me, I was uncomfortable yes but mostly because the jelly was freezing!!! But I was fine talking to the ultrasound tech and just breathing through it, but nothing could've prepared me for the speculum! I was screaming my head off, it was traumatic to say the least ☹️ You might be fine though like me with the transvaginal ultrasound! Might be worth asking your gp for some muscle relaxers if it really makes you that nervous xx

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Thank you so much it calms me down a bit now that you didn't have as much of a problem with the transvaginal. Hope I'm the same 😄 I'll definitely ask for relaxers haha thanks for your reply xx

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I am surprised A&E did another after you explained what happened the first time.

I suppose you have already had abdominal ultrasounds so this is the next step.

Make sure you explain to the woman doing the Transvaginal Ultrasound what happened in A&E, twice. It would be a good idea to see your GP for some Diazepam beforehand. You could phone radiology Dept and ask about this. They may tell you what to ask GP for and you may have to have someone with you as you wouldn't be allowed to drive home. With or without any relaxant/mild sedation I don't think you will find the Internal scan as bad as the speculum. But don't be afraid to say, immediately, if you feel any discomfort or pain.

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Thank you I'll definitely get in contact with my GP, I didn't think of that thanks! X

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Hey I’ve had the speculum and it is a little uncomfortable because it hurts me to have sex etc. The doctor did use the smallest one for me which wasn’t too bad. It’s a strange feeling not gonna lie but if you feel uncomfortable just speak up 💕

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Thank you 💞 I definitely will speak up haha there probably sick of me at this point 😄

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Hi, the spectulum isnt great for me, i am sexually active but my cervix is short. It doesnt hurt to aak, my be some diazepam, just make sure someone takes you as you cant drive. Also some painkillers an hr before will help. X

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I never thought of painkillers that's actually probably a good idea! I'll definitely do that, anything to help. Thank you so much! 😊 x

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I wouldn’t worry too much as that will make you tense up and make it worse. I was in the exact same place as you, I’ve now had the ultrasound and waiting for a laparoscopy. When I had the transvaginal ultrasound it was very uncomfortable but bearable and when I had the speculum I was like you, it was awful and he used the smallest one because I told him the ultrasound was very uncomfortable. I know it’s silly to say but try to relax and do ask your Doctors for something to take to relax you just in case. Good luck xx

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Thank you, I'll definitely try to get relaxers haha 😄 thank god there's other people like this I was so afraid it was just me and it was gonna be worse with this exam, thank you so much for the reply it helped a lot xx

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I struggle a lot with speculum exams but have no difficulty with internal ultrasound. I don’t find internal ultrasound uncomfortable or painful, but I’ve had to stop speculum exams like you due to the pain. I think it’s a very different feeling between the two so please try not to worry xxx

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Thank you I'll try haha, it's great hearing other women have more of a problem with the speculum. Really puts me at ease that it won't hurt as much, thank you! Xx

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