What have been your biggest worries about getting a smear test?

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chelseadagg3r
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Did you know that cervical cancer can be prevented? Alongside getting the HPV vaccination and knowing the symptoms, attending your cervical screening when invited can hugely reduce your risk of being one of the 9 women a day diagnosed with cervical cancer.

75% of cervical cancer cases can be prevented with a cervical screening, also known as a smear test or a pap smear. It's easy to see how important they are in the prevention of cancer and the early detection of abnormalities, but many women still don't attend when invited for many reasons.

What are your biggest worries about it? Maybe someone who has been through it can help put your worries to rest!
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Anonymous #1
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From viewing some responses on a different social media site, it seems to be a common theme that women who suffer with sexual disorders which cause them pain, or women who have suffered sexual violence/trauma, struggle with attending their smear teat appointments.

A lot of nurses in GP surgeries simply aren’t trained to deal with these problems. They don’t always know the best way to respond or how to guide these women through their tests comfortably.

Not all nurses know about some sexual disorders such as Vulvodynia/Vaginismus and so don’t really understand how sufferers feel.

The campaigns for smear teats tend to push the idea that smear tests are quick and painless and that women only avoid them out of embarrassment but it’s not always the case.
Many women simply cannot bear having them done because of the pain or trauma they cause.

(This was just me giving 2 of the reasons why some women don’t attend their appointments)

My personal reasons for wanting to avoid is that my first and only test was very stressful. The nurse used a speculum that was way too big for me and when she inserted it, I was in pain and begged her to remove it. She wouldn’t do it and kept saying “2 minutes 2 minutes I’m almost done”. It felt violating and I was very distressed but when I ended up crying and telling her I had issues down there because of past trauma she simply looked at me and shifted about awkwardly, not knowing what to say. She asked if I wanted to see a GP to get referred for counselling but when I attended that appointment, the GP was dismissive and said “oh you’re probably too dry. Just use lube” and didn’t listen to anything that I said.

That experience makes me dread my next test. I’ve only had 1 done so far and my next is due later this year.
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Amy06
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I'm not yet at the age of having
them routinely(i definitely will have to when it comes as I never got the hpv vaccine) But I've had one ironically to diagnose my pain I felt during intercourse.

like anon 1 said the fears were pain, breaking down(hate crying in front of people) and not being treated very respectfully.
my fears the first time were quite rightly valid.
She seseemed heartless to my situation, didn't say much to my explanations. Just happily inserted a way too big speculum that I begged her to take out as I sobbed in fear.
I was just met with "its fine" "you just need to relax!" after a while she eventually looked at me awkward and we stopped.
That was a fail, haha.
My second one was great so much better.
It really depends on the person.
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StrawberryDreams
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I think a lot of fears about smear tests can be around the pain, I know for a lot of people I know that was the first thing they asked about. Pain is totally subjective, and for some of my friends it didn't hurt at all, some felt a weird scratchy sensations and other said it was like someone scraping at your skin. It only takes about 2-3 minutes to do the smear test fully, so it's super quick though - it's over in no time at all.

Othertimes it's about being embarrased, taking time out your day to go and do something that sounds unpleasent, inconvienant with work/education, etc. There are lots of reasons to put it off, but when you think that 2-3 minutes of feeling a little awkward can save a life, it's so important
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