Smear test painful : Hi so just had a smear... - Women's Health

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Smear test painful

Emsky profile image

Hi so just had a smear test today this was my 2nd one and it was even more painful than last time I don't understand how it's not supposed to hurt? I seen the instrument after and it was bloody and I can feel blood running out, so stingy like I'm being cut, anyone else get that feeling? :(

14 Replies

When the smear test, you may feel very strange and feel uncomfortable, but without feeling pain, the nurse will take a sample of cells from your cervix with a very soft brush.

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Rosie233

Many women find it extremely painful, there can be undiagnosed problems which make the procedure difficult and painful.

Emsky profile image
Emsky in reply to Rosie233

It's not a soft brush, it's like sharp plastic and I could feel every bit of it when she was twisting it and it was like getting cut :(

I find this test very painful and the pain lasts for a few hours after the test. Next time I go, I'm taking some pain killers.

Emsky profile image
Emsky in reply to

I just wanted to know it wasn't just me, I always find things painful that people say don't hurt, was feeling really uncomfortable the whole day and last night was having nightmares about it 😭

I am afraid I have the same problem, I am now so afraid of having a smear I cant bring myself to, but it is wrong, talk to a nurse/well woman clinic and see what they say. All the best.


Emsky profile image
Emsky in reply to dawnbirduk

I did tell the nurse it was painful and she seemed surprised she was like you can feel that... I don't understand how I'm not supposed to feel it?! I could feel every movement and was literally having nightmares last night

There are 2 tools - the first is a spectrum, which looks like a clear or metal clamp. That's used to hold you open.

The second tool is the brush, which I've never actually seen myself, but it has a cotton bud on top which is sealed in a plastic envelope as soon as they're done collecting the sample.

Was it the clamp that had the blood on it?

There shouldn't be blood, and to be honest, there shouldn't be a need to "twist" it about either. I don't know why she did that!

In future, you should tell them you suffer vaginal pain, and that you can't tolerate the clamp being opened too wide - agree with the nurse that you will tell her when it's open as wide as you can handle (they may ask to open it a little wider, but this means they open it the minimum amount they need to). This should also prevent them from "twisting" the clamp. I've had a GP to that to me, and I can sympathise how sore it is!

Emsky profile image
Emsky in reply to Cooper27

No its not the speculem it was the actual brush it wasn't a cotton bud to me, it was the brush that was bloody I would post a picture of the thing I mean but unsure how to, last time i don't remember twisting but this time she said she had to twist it 10 times and I felt every bit, when i look up about it being painful it's the speculem they talk about and not the brush

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Emsky

It's not unusual for the smear to cause a bit of bleeding and it's not unusual for it to be painful.

Emsky profile image
Emsky in reply to bantam12

Just horrible how painful it is, I know it could potentially save my life which is why I go to them but just wish there was another way they could do it

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27 in reply to Emsky

I think your level of pain sounds unusual, I wonder if she pressed too hard.

Next time you go in, I'd just mention it beforehand.

It could also make a difference where you are in your cycle. Our cervix changes after ovulation, so if this appointment was in the latter half of your cycle, try going in the first couple of weeks :)

I have a severely retroverted uterus and endometriosis which causes my examinations to be very painful. Have you ever had any other examinations done?

Might be worth chatting to your GP or OBGYN (not sure where you live!) about the fact you have painful examinations. And I would make very clear at the start of any future examinations that you find them very very painful, and they should be more patient. If at any time it is too unbearable make sure you tell them!

You’re right, they can save lives, and I’ll make sure I get all of mine in the future even though they are very painful for me too!

Also next time maybe ask for a different nurse, she may not have been very good at it? I’ve had two colposcopies and one took 45 minutes and the other 10/15 minutes, both extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant but at least the 10/15 minute one was over with quicker!

I had a laproscopy last year and nothing was found and when I Google it they talk about the speculem hurting but that doesn't hurt its the brush, I said to the nurse it was painful last time, the pain is over in 30 seconds but I've been having horrible thoughts and dreams about it since then, it's the plastic brush which hurts like mad 😭

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