Endometriosis UK
36,085 members32,051 posts

Smear test

Tried to have one today unsuccessfully as too painful to continue. The leaflet that came with the letter telling me a smear test was due was all about needing a smear when sexually active. I have not been in over 10 years due to being single and the endometriosis. I’m now seriously considering not trying again as it was too painful. They suggested I use the ovestin cream to plump up the cells. This is an oestrogen cream an as we all know oestrogen dominance causes endometriosis. Just wondered what others have done about smear tests. Thanks

18 Replies
oldestnewest

Just to say, even women who have never been sexually active can have precancerous changes detected so it’s important that you try to get past this as you can’t say “I’ve been inactive so I don’t need a smear”. Have you chatted to your GP about the issue? Good luck with getting sorted.

Reply

They are aware of my problems which is why they say use the cream. But even then it’s too painful.

Reply

Oh bless you. If the cream doesn’t work, is there an option of having sedation for it?

Reply

No. Plus I don’t respond well to conventional medicine, it causes more problems or worsening of other symptoms.

Reply

So difficult. Jo’s cervical cancer trust have a helpline, I don’t know if they might be able to help at all? Might be worth a try? You can find them easily if you google. Once again, good luck, hopefully someone will help you x

Reply

As stupid as this sounds I’m dreading when I have to start having them done, saw a lady on the tv say “if you can tolerate sex you can tolerate a smear test” which I can’t! I remember so vividly the pain I had when I had my pelvic swans done, I’m so scared of having smears done, not scared of a lot but I’m dead scared of speculums 😭😭

1 like
Reply

Hi! I had this problem very recently. My gyno took me off the smear test list because he knew I physically couldn’t have it done and was going to complete it when I next have a surgery.

I’m 27 and got referred to someone in Birmingham who basically did it without my consent. She asked to do it, I said no as it would be too painful. She put a virgin speculum in and I’ve never screamed so loud from pain. The speculum was so painful but she didn’t care.

I ended up being in pain for about a week and I’ve totally lost my confidence in all drs, haven’t gone back to physio, or my specialist as I’m now terrified of being lied to again.

I am glad it’s been done of course but I would 100% say, if it’s too painful then don’t try and push through the pain.

Also I made a post asking how others dealt with it with endo and there were some really idiotic people telling me to take some ibuprofen before 🙈🙈 as if! Hahh

You only know yourself what you can cope with and as you said, you aren’t sexually active and maybe ask your gyno if they can do it the next time you have surgery. I didn’t have any surgeries planned and he was happy to wait since I first got my letter. :)

Reply

You should definitely make a formal complaint about that practitioner in Birmingham if you feel you can (and haven’t done so already), they might do it to other people too. That’s a serious issue and I’m really sorry it happened to you.

Reply

You need to complain as this is assault and go to the police. It’s the same as if they give you medication when you have said no.

Reply

I think when consulting with my mum she made a complaint as I was in bits for weeks... but Yeah, I’m ok now :) it is serious and I won’t be going back to her that’s for sure.

Reply

I thought it's only when your sexy active..... (Had it once it was horrible felt every movement. Then they invited me for another which I spoke to the gp. Now I moved gonna see if I can speak to the gp again and see if there is another way round it than being in pain.... As I can't keep still at all!

Reply

I have a very empathetic practice nurse who is aware of my history. She also appreciates that as much as I am in excruciating pain, I just want to be in/out without any fuss; and she gets on with it.

She uses a paediatric speculum, which helps.. make sure you're being sized appropriately. Also there is a product called Instillagel, which I use for catheterising at times.. basically a topical anaesthetic. It's suitable for the vaginal mucosa and although I've never heard/used it for a smear, it wouldn't hurt to ask. It won't improve the internal, scraping pain but it will ease the sensation of the speculum being inserted, which may help relax you. Prophylactic pain relief in advance may be beneficial, but you probably don't want anything that's too heady so you can be in control and make decisions that are best for you. I also find it easier if someone is explaining their next move (ie. just going to get a quick swab, just going to lock it into place etc.)

Psychologically I take myself somewhere else, become very conscious of my breathing and force myself to relax all my muscles. It's not easy, but the smear is very triggering so if I didn't I would be in a dark place. I suppose, because I've had a non-consensual, violent sexual history, I force myself into it because the thought of them taking something else from my life is unbearable. (ie. in this instance, the right to diagnose and treat cancer in its early stages.)

Good luck, it is flippant to say you will be fine, there is no easy answer.

Reply

The speculum he used was actually too small she said even though it’s the size that’s always been used as I’m short. It would be even mor painful if they try to use the next size up.

Reply

Hello. Oh god I know what you mean..have just posted on the other thread about smears but in short have a look at this

gynaehealthuk.com

I use this now instead of having smears at doctors and they said that's fine it is NHS endorsed x

1 like
Reply

Thanks but I cant afford it as on benefits

Reply

It’s shame it’s only for hpv as that isn’t the only cause of cervical cancer otherwise it would be perfect 😫 x

Reply

It is expensive. Maybe talk to your GP and see if they can offer it?

Reply

Could also be vaginismus? Especially if the fear of pain makes you not want to try again and then that leads to the cycle thinking it will hurt and making it hurt etc. When I was first diagnosed I could barely fit a cotton bud in and now after 4 years of dilators and therapy and what not I'm finally onto the bigger dilators x

Reply

You may also like...