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Are Pap tests supposed to be painful?
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Are Pap tests supposed to be painful?

I had my first pap test and felt a lot of pain and discomfort during the procedure? Is that normal? I use tampons and haven't had pain before. Does that mean sex will be painful too?
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24 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
It is pretty uncomfortable, but not painful.  You may have been tensing up a bit, which could have made it worse.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the answers. I did feel that pinching feeling, but I wasn't expecting so much pain throughout the whole thing. My test came back abnormal and I have to be re-tested in a few months and now I'm worried about it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was told I had CIN-I, but HPV negative. Can test results be affected by using tampons the day before the pap test or if your period just ended?
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Avatar_n_tn
hi, i am 28 and i don not think i have ever had a normal pap in my life! it always comes back abnormal, but after further investigation, the doctor normally finds that i had a bacterial vaginosis that caused the abnormal reading. apperently i keep the bv pretty constantly, but that is all it is. she is right though, if they were overly concerned they would not wait that long to check again. hang in there, i know it is scary, but it is probably nothing:)
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Avatar_n_tn
Hmm...That must be really stressful.  I've never had an abnormal pap so I wouldn't know what to expect.  I'm sure I would be a ball of nerves too.  I'm sure you can ask your DR if you have questions.  It doesn't sound too bad if they are having you wait a few months before seeing you again.  I do hope everything turns out OK for you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Pap tests are VERY UNCOMFORTABLE especially if it's your first one. It does hurt, the Jaws Of Life dont feel too good.. They feel sharp going in, they put alot of pressure on the walls, and the swabs are kind of uncomfortable. It hurts me everytime.
(I had my cervix checked at my last preggo appt, and IT HURT SO BAD!)
You shouldnt feel anymore pain by like 10 min afterwards. I feel a bit irritated down there until I leave the office, and then it's okay. If you still feel discomfort even after you left, call the docor and ask them why. See what they say.
:-)
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had abnormal paps. I hate pap smears.  I would rather have a mammogram as opposed to having the pap smear, but I am faithful and get them every year. Ten years ago(I was 21), I had a pap  come back abnormal and they did it again.  I ended up having CIN II-III(severe dysplasia) and had to have my cervix frozen.  You could have some kind of cervix inflammation causing you to be uncomfortable with your pap and it could also cause your pap to be abnormal.  Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
i am also HPV negative.  I don't know about the tampon issue. Sex, a bath instead of a shower right before,etc.  can cause an abnormal result.  CIN I is not so bad.  I am sure it is nothing serious, but keep a check on it.
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Avatar_n_tn
i am not positive, but i do believe i have heard that you should be off of your period for a few days before you do the pap. you might ask your doc. about that, or just call the nurse.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just wanted to say that I agree that if they were really worried, then they wouldn't be waiting months to recheck. You could always go to a different doctor if you are really worried though. Maybe call and ask why they are waiting so long to recheck and let them know that you are really worried.
Good Luck--J
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Avatar_n_tn
Xray>>I had Class III, cervical biopsy and then Cyrosurgery. I was 24 and it hurt worse than giving birth!
Just wanted to empathize with you for a moment. That is a memory I WISH I could forget.
Poster>> Sounds like something very minor and I know that it scared the c*r*a*p outta you being your very first Pap, but as you can see by all the ladies that have posted, it is really not uncommon to have an abnormal Pap and everything turn out just fine.
Good Luck and try not to worry.
--J
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Avatar_f_tn
Cramping is completely normal throughout the pap. I have had some where I have experienced NO pain and others where I have experienced a lot of pain. There is no direct correlation between the pap and sex, though, so a painful pap does not directly mean painful sex.
I am only 25, and the far majority of my paps have been abnormal. It is not uncommon at all to get an abnormal result. If you have even mild dysplasia, you will have to go in 3-6 months after your pap for a repeat one to ensure that it hasn't risen to moderate or high dysplasia. I have only had high dysplasia twice, and I had to have difference procedures to get it removed ... uncomfortable because you are in a cold, sterile room, but not painful at all. Dysplasia is simply PRE-cancer cells ... it is NOT cancer, and most abnormal paps aren't even dysplasia. It is definitely not something to be concerned about to get called back for a repeat pap because of abnormal results. You had to have been mild at most on your pap, or they would have made you come back earlier to make sure everything is okay. Although it is incredibly difficult, if you can relax while the pap is being performed, it lessens the discomfort. It should be a relatively quick procedure, though ... just a couple of minutes to get it, take a sample, and get out. If you experience severe pain at any point during the procedure, be sure to notify your OB or MidWife who is performing the procedure, they need to know if it is painful. Good luck ... just think, only how many more years of these things!?
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks all for the help. :)
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Avatar_n_tn
When I first read my results I was so scared because I typed the name of what it said I had into a search engine and the sites that came up all mentioned cancer. I guess I just have to wait 6 months until my next one and hope it turns out better. I know part of the pain because I was so nervous and tensing up, but I didn't expect that amount of pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
It definitely shouldn't have been THAT painful, and if it is the next time, I definitely would recommending speaking up. Seriously, take solice in the fact that you don't need to go back for six months; I had to go every three months for two years, and that sucked! Even though it isn't fun going, it is really important for your body! Good luck next time; hopefully it won't be as painful ... for me, it varies ... sometimes it makes me cramp more than other times, but I have never had a REALLY painful one. Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
I got a pap smear done today and it was also very painful. My GP told me something was not right, that the cervix should not the way it is. and has asked me to go in next week for my test results. She also said I should see a specialist. Thats all she said.I'm quite worried now.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi i had my paps exam and it was REALLY PAINFUL..the doc cudnt do it..as twice she tried and i said it was painful so she stopped..she has asked me to get a sedatice Vallim 30 min prior to test so tht i am relaxed !...i hope its not anything serious
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Avatar_n_tn
Did you go back and get the pap test after taking the medication? I have had the same issue. My GYNO started my sex life and sex does not hurt to me. I did stress up because I hate doctor's offices. She told me the same thing and get a tranquilizer before I come back.
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Avatar_f_tn
most of my PAPs are really uncomfortable & slightly painful due to my "tight" nature but only once was it extremely painful. i don't know wth that doc did but i almost started crying it hurt so much & i hurt most of the day after that! and oddly enough my results came back abnormal too. so i went to a diff doc 2months later & the PAP didnt hurt & my results came back normal. so im chalking it up to either i had an infection i didnt know about or he did something wrong. he wasnt very nice or gentle
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm a dinosour in her sixties, and I've had my share of paps during my lifetime!  I just recall one that hurt; a pinching feeling.  But you know, the one thing that I'd like to stress here is that when paps are uncomfortable perhaps we ladies should not be blaming ourselfs, saying that we are too tense or that there is an infrection involved or something like that.  Just maybe we should be putting the blame, or at least some of the blame, on doctors performing the paps.  I think we women are so prone to take responsibility for things that go "wrong" in our lives, an"it's all my fault" type thinking.  Yeah baloney...let's stop doing that to ourselves.  As I said, sometimes a painful test is the doctor's fault!    
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Avatar_f_tn
Idk if they hurt or not , but i just found out im pregnant 2 days ago. & im going to my first baby doctor appointment today and i heard they were gonna do a bunch of test and stuff on me & im so nervous .... someone please give me some advice !
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Avatar_m_tn
I just had my first experience with the speculums today. It wasn't a pap smear but they did a very similar test where they took samples of the inside of me to test for more serious yeast infections. When she put in the speculum it felt SO painful. I asked her if it was supposed to hurt and her only answer to me was that it would because I am a virgin. Now I am super scared to get the actual pap smear and in a way I feel extremely violated. I don't know if that is a normal feeling or not.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just had one done today. The ones I had before were uncomfortable, with little pain. This one was done by a nurse! and though she was very kind, it was the most painful one I ever had!
I think some docs, or nurses just don;t give a damn or don't know how to perform a test properly. Damn it, why we women, should cope with crappy practices?
I believe if it was done properly it should have a minimal pain or none!
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Avatar_f_tn
Learnt the hard way, never trust anyone, but a professional who knows what she's doing. The nurse I've jut seen obviously had no proper experience. It was so painful, if I had a gun, I would have shot her in the middle of the test!
It made me so depressed I can't do anything now. It shouldn't have happened!
And stupid me, I believed to the GP, who sent me to the nurse at the first place, claiming that she's very experienced! My fault, I should have seen the GP I used to, and who done the pap test before, but at the time I though it was too painful that's why I went to see someone else. But it was nothing like this one today! OMG! How shameful medical practices! They all disgusting butchers!
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