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Question for the ladies

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is ok to post, so if its not it can be deleted.

I was wondering how everyone got over the nervousness of getting an pap test done the first time. I am 21 and I have never got one, but I am going for my first in a few weeks.

I am really self conscious and do not want to get it done, thats why I have been putting it off for a few years. I know all about what they do and everything, I'm just terrified to let anyone look "down there"
post #2 of 26
Just think about what could happen if you don't get it done. A few minutes of embarrassment is worth it, I find going to a female Dr helps.
post #3 of 26
Frankly a doctor is a doctor, you do get embarrased but then you think of how many other people they have treated in the same day and months and years and have seen a lot worse things such as infections.

Goodluck!
post #4 of 26
They do so many of these a day so it's nothing to them.

Make it easier and quicker for you and them to relax while you get it done
post #5 of 26
Just tell the nurse you are pretty nervous about this and she will try to distract you with conversation. Its more uncomfortable then anything else.

BTW your doctor has seen thousands, its routine for him/her
post #6 of 26
Ahh yes, I know that feeling.

It only lasts a few mins, not even 5. Like fran said, the doctor has seen worse.

Just relax and breathe and it will be over quicker than you realise.
post #7 of 26
Oh dear, poor you - not having the Pap smear - but feeling so uncomfortable about it - totally agree a female doc is an excellent idea - but whatever the gender remember that this is completely impersonal for the doctor - try some deep breathing exercises and (trust me) - if you ever have a baby you will become so used to 'embarrassing' procedures you 'll wonder how you were ever worried! Good luck x Patricia
post #8 of 26
It can be akward the first time. I don't mind the pap and pelvic as much as the breast exam. Something about that, to me, is worse because they can see you. When your knees are up there isn't much eye contact. Like everyone else has said... this is about your health... and your Dr. has seen thousands of girl parts!
post #9 of 26
The first time I went, I said to the doctor, "You know, I usually at least get dinner and a movie before this!" which I'm sure he's heard a million times, but it made me feel better! It really isn't that bad, but I still get nervous going...for days before. But, it's over before you know it, and you WILL feel better that you got it done.

The nurses usually do try to keep you talking to get your mind off of it. But, there was one time I went to a clinic for the exam to get birth control, and the nurse was someone from my church and a friend of my mom's! (Mom was VERY strict catholic!). I KNOW my face went white when I saw her because she just smiled and winked and told me everything was confidential. But, then she started talking about her son (who I went to high school with)....NOT something I wanted to talk about in that position!

Good vibes heading your way . Just treat yourself to something afterwards!
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
The nurses usually do try to keep you talking to get your mind off of it. But, there was one time I went to a clinic for the exam to get birth control, and the nurse was someone from my church and a friend of my mom's! (Mom was VERY strict catholic!). I KNOW my face went white when I saw her because she just smiled and winked and told me everything was confidential. But, then she started talking about her son (who I went to high school with)....NOT something I wanted to talk about in that position!

Good vibes heading your way . Just treat yourself to something afterwards!
Thats what I am going for. I am going to a birth control clinic. I have been getting soooo many pimples since I got off the pill last summer and the only thing I have found that will clear it up is being on birth control. I am glad I wont know any of the nurses or anything, that would just make it so much worse for me.

I think the thing I am mainly nervous about is that I have never met the doctors. I was too uncomfortable with my actual doctor to go to him (which is a lot of the reason I never got it done before) he is creepy. I would prefer to have a doctor do it that I trust, but I don't like my doctor and there is no chance of getting a new one. It is impossible to find a doctor here.
post #11 of 26
Just try and relax. I know that's easier said than done... The doctor has seen so many, though, that it's no big deal to him/her. It lasts just a minute or two, and it could save your life!! Good luck. The anticipation is worse than the actual event.
post #12 of 26
Having a good Dr. helps alot. I had a guy my first one which was terrifying to me... but he made it so easy. I have to say he talked to me like a 7 year old but he made me laugh so hard. Its really fast, and if you have to put it in your head something like "yeah thats right doctor, youre lucky im giving you the privilage to be down there!" its funny but it makes you feel like you are in control
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover19 View Post
Thats what I am going for. I am going to a birth control clinic. I have been getting soooo many pimples since I got off the pill last summer and the only thing I have found that will clear it up is being on birth control. I am glad I wont know any of the nurses or anything, that would just make it so much worse for me.

I think the thing I am mainly nervous about is that I have never met the doctors. I was too uncomfortable with my actual doctor to go to him (which is a lot of the reason I never got it done before) he is creepy. I would prefer to have a doctor do it that I trust, but I don't like my doctor and there is no chance of getting a new one. It is impossible to find a doctor here.
I went through 3 different Dr.'s before I found one I was comfortable with. Now that DH and I are ready to have kids I've had to find yet another Dr. because my regular Gyno doesn't do OB work anymore. Fortunately, I've now met 2 other Dr.s from the same group and they all seem very nice... and with my recent experience (miscarriage/D&C) I think I've found an OB I really like. It is trial and error. My first Dr. was a family friend and had NO respect for the concept of confidentiality in this case. My second Dr. was in it for the money and put me through and unnecessary cervical biopsy. Both of them were women... finally I found Dr. Lewis who is a man and he was just so easy going and friendly that I found him VERY easy to talk to. That and he seemed genuinely interested in my health! I get the same feeling from Dr. Ferguson (my OB) and that's why I'm going to stick with him.

All that said I think it's important for people to find a Dr. they are comfortable with at a young age... that way if any thing urgent comes up you aren't stuck with someone you don't like or worse, scrambling to find someone. Now I need to take my own advice and find a GP for hubby and I because I can't keep seeing my pediatrician and I don't really like her anyway.
post #14 of 26
If you aren't comfortable with your doctor...find another. There are thousands of them. I didn't like my last gynie. But my mother and my sister recommended him as wonderful. I can't stand him. He has never had any patience with me. Seems he saves all his patience for his pregnant patients. So I'm trying to find someone new.
post #15 of 26
Ditto to everything everyone here has said. The anticipation and anxiety are worse than the actual exam. I talk to the nurse or I try some mental relaxation techniques -like putting my brain on a warm sunny beach somewhere... slow deep breaths... and it is over before you know it.

A woman doc is a good idea if you can get one. I personally haven't had good experiences with them. They tend to be really cold and witchy. I had one female OBGYN who was great, but her office was soooooo poorly run that you would sit there all afternoon for your appt. No can do.
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweets View Post
If you aren't comfortable with your doctor...find another. There are thousands of them. I didn't like my last gynie. But my mother and my sister recommended him as wonderful. I can't stand him. He has never had any patience with me. Seems he saves all his patience for his pregnant patients. So I'm trying to find someone new.
It is really not easy to find a doctor around here. Unless you grew up around here, you don't have a doctor.

I am sure it wont be as bad as it seems, but I will still be nervous.
post #17 of 26
Hon, a few years ago when I had cancer, my specialist was very impressed with the way I was healing after treatment. He asked if he could take pictures to show at a conference he was going to in the near future. I told him he could as long as he gave out my phone number to any cute doctors that might be interested.

So at least your examination will be quick and no record on film.
post #18 of 26
I've gone twice in the last 2 years, and I got nervous before both times. I had a female Dr. so I wasnt AS uncomfortable, but I still found it weird that someone other than Rob was even LOOKING at that area It was over and done with in less than 2 minutes, and wasn't as bad as I though. I'm sure they've seen MUCH worse, and probably see at least 10 others a day!

I actually think I was MORE uncomfortable when my MIL was harping on me to go to the ob/gyn, because she didn't know that I've already gone the last 2 years. (I surely dont tell her these things).
post #19 of 26
The first time I had one done, I let the doctor know and she told me what she was doing at every step.
(It feels a bit funny, and you might feel a bit crampy afterward.)

Even though it is difficult to relax, it will be more comfortable if you can.
(I'm usually tense and hold my breath. lol)

If you're shy about your body, don't be. As others have said, it's for your health and the doctors do see lots of lady parts on a regular basis. It takes just a few minutes, and then you don't have to do it again for a whole year.
post #20 of 26
Sorry you're feeling so nervous about it. It really isn't that bad...honest!

At least once it's over...it's over...

I work with my GYN doctor. Last February, I had my PAP & Pelvic, and then assisted him during surgery the whole next day.

Ummmm...yeah, I know he's seen hundreds of 'em...but it was MINE he saw yesterday, lol!!!
post #21 of 26
I was nervous as hell when I went for the first time about 12 years ago. I still don't enjoy the yearly visit. My doctor is male. You can request that a nurse be present for the exam if that makes you more comfortable. I know at my doctor's office, they have motivational posters on the ceiling that you can look at/read during the exam. I always tell myself just to read it from start to finish and he'll probably be done before I can finish reading. I never get to do that because he always talks to me during the exam. My guess is that he can tell I'm nervous/uncomfortable and he's just trying to put me at ease.
post #22 of 26
I know how you feel. I am 24 and I just had my first one last year. I was the same as you and put it off 'cause I didn't want to do it. But after you have it done, I am sure you will feel very relieved!! I actually had a woman docter and my husband also came in the room with me so I would feel comfortable. It was not that bad. I just did not think about it too much as I was having it done. It is completely painless and very fast. So my best advice is to just relax!! Keep in mind they do this every day for many woman. Take deep breaths and did I say RELAX?! It will be over before you know it and then you will be wondering why you were so nervous in the first place! And if you want, take someone with you that you are close to and they can stand by your head or just wait in the wiating room if you would prefer.

Sending many relaxing your way!!
post #23 of 26
I've been getting them since I was 15 (family history of cancer/tumors/cysts/etc.). I have always gone to a female doctor, and I figure they see so many "hoo-ha's" a day they can't remember one from the next anyway. It's never as big of a deal as you thought it'd be. When I was in high school the doctor was my friend from schools dad!! Could you imagine ever going over to their house to hang out after that?! So I used to see his nurse for my exams.
post #24 of 26
I was adamant I wouldn't go till I wanted BC! I always insist on seeing a female doctor though. That's how I deal with it.
post #25 of 26
some tips: if you aren't currently sexually active - TELL THEM! it makes a difference as to which size speculum is used. my 1st exam, [i think i was 18?] i didn't know to tell them, & no one asked... until the doctor couldn't even find my cervix! after quite a bit a pain, he asked how often i had sex... at that point [actually, even now, i'm proud to say] i had NEVER had sex. he immediately switched to his smallest speculum, & the problem was solved!
i now make a point to tell the nurse to get out the smallest speculum. when i was MO, i'd say, "i'm not small anywhere else - but i am there!"
i also do the deep breathing thing [learned via biofeedback, originally done to help my migraines - didn't]. & after several completely normal PAPs, i no longer have to have them. my PCP told me that very few virgins get cervical cancer.
they are more prone to ovarian cancer, so i recently had an ultrasound of my ovaries.
probably TMI, huh?
post #26 of 26
I don't have time to read the previous posts; just want to say to ask for a female doctor if you think that will help you relax.

When I was 18 I had my first pap test with my mother's doctor. He was an old guy, and while he was examining me, he said, "You look just like your mother." I was HORRIFIED. I didn't realize until later he might have mean my face, but he wasn't looking at my face while he said it!

It's really not bad, and it's over very quickly, and you get used to it. Good luck!
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