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Was My Pap Smear Experience Normal?

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So I got my first pap smear today, and good lord was I unprepared. I assumed I was just gonna have to pull down my pants, they'd get in there with a cotton swab, and that'd be that.

I was wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

First thing that caught me off guard was the fact that they had me strip completely (even the shirt, because they also intended to examine my breasts) and put on a gown open to the front. Second was when they had me lie on the bed and put my feet in stirrups like they position women in labor. 

Finally, instead of a cotton swab, they shoved what they called a pendulum up my lady parts, and good lord was that painful. Solid 8/10 minimum. No fewer than three times I was crying out in pain and wanting it to stop. They kept emphasizing that it was painful because I was tense; yeah, kinda hard not to be in that case. To their credit, each time they asked if I really wanted to stop, and probably would have if I said yes. Each time, I took a couple seconds to compose myself and let them continue because I knew this had to be done. They also said it was worse because I wasn't sexually active. Guess that meant my vagina wasn't as loose?

When it was over, before leaving to let me get dressed, they handed me a pad and said that was in case of any spotting. Fair enough; I made sure to put it in my undies before pulling them up, just grateful that the worst was over.

On the way out, mom pointed out that not only was I not sexually active, I was "unbroken" (she grew up in the age where everyone thought the hymen was the indicator of virginity) which might have also made it worse.

Afterward, mom and I (I don't have a license, so mom still has to drive me places) went to walmart to get milk as well as a bunch of goodies to cheer me up. While I wasn't in "kill me now" levels of pain, I was in enough pain that I couldn't really walk properly; I'm pretty sure someone noticed me waddling, but it's walmart so no-one cared. 

Some hours after we got home, me still kinda in pain, I went to the bathroom as normal, and found out that the "spotting" was more like I had my period all over again.

That's what alarmed me into making this post. Was this all par for the course? Was it really so bad because I'm a nervous virgin? Is the same thing gonna happen when I go for round two in a few years or does it get easier?

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Yeah, sadly this is normal - they have to use the speculum and get you in stirrups because I don’t think they could reach that far up (they have to scrape your cervix) with just a cotton swab and lying down. The spotting is also normal if it’s your first one (and if you’re a virgin!) and the pain too - some people find it painful and some don’t, it’s just one of those things. Next time try to take some paracetamol before you go - it helps! I don’t *think* you’ll bleed next time, but again it’s just one of those things. At least it’s over, huh!

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It sounds similar to my own experience...but at the same time not. It seems normal enough that they were able to go in and preform the test at least. 
 

Mine, my doctor couldn’t go in with any of her tools...she had to use her finger and even that, caused me horrific pain and so she was only able to swab a little bit. I didn’t cry but I felt like I was dying on the inside. I didn’t bleed though, but I was told that my vagina was extremely tight and scarred which is why inserting anything in caused me double the pain. 
 

I have past sexual trauma so that’s why my Pap was hard on my end. But yeah it was a horrible experience and I wish I never had to do it again 

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What size paring device did they use? Because the first time i ever went, and while i was sexually active i still hadnt moved out to be with my partner so i only had sex every 3-4 months , when i was getting my first check they used a smaller device because not only was i brand new to this, its uncomfortable

the nurse kinda eased me into it, swabbed me, then took it out (honestly the swabbing hurt a bit more for me than the device) but she showed me the device they use on woman who have gotten those appointments done for a while now starting at the age of 21 and up (at least thats what it was in my state) and it was a thousand times bigger than what she used for mine

Next time Tell them you are brand new to getting these tests and not sexually active so ask if the nurse can use a smaller device, its still gonna hurt but shouldnt be as bad, I personally dont think being sexually active makes that much of a difference but i also havent gotten another appointment so maybe it does, it probably does have to do with looseness, but i think its gonna be uncomfortable either way

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