Why many women dread going for their Pap/Cervical smear test

Sharing a little known secret that could change that!

Is this you before going for that all important Pap smear test? Don’t worry many women feel exactly the same. So we ask ourselves: Why should a relatively simple and quick procedure create such anxiety within so many of us?

Simple Answer:   It can be very uncomfortable or even painful!

If you’re  thinking “Yes, ok that’s me just tell me the secret” then absolutely scroll down to the end. I am going to stay a little longer and talk about both the importance of Pap smears and some of the reasons why they can be uncomfortable.

Pap Smear secret

Pap smear testing has been responsible for a dramatic reduction in cervical cancer deaths. That’s a powerful statement. 

A little refresher for us all:

A Pap/Cervical smear test examines the cervix for signs of cancerous cells. A speculum is inserted into the vagina to remove cells from the cervix. The cells from your cervix are sent to a laboratory for testing. The test can detect the presence of HPV (Human Papillomavirus), which is sometimes, but not always a precursor to cervical cancer.

There are 100 types of HPV, of which 14 are cancer causing (also known as high risk) Human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer

Pain free Pap Smear

Pap smears shouldn’t technically hurt BUT it’s very common for the process to be physically uncomfortable.

Ok so we have followed the pre test instructions: (These recommendations were from my Doctor’s Office)

Avoided using any vaginal medicines, spermicidal foams, creams or jellies for 2 days prior.

Avoided douching. (Please refer to my first post on painful sex which includes douching)

Have not scheduled our appointment during our menstrual period. 

Avoided sex for 24 hrs prior to the test.

Have not taken a bath (showers are fine) or used Tampons 1 day prior to the test.

Please excuse me for bringing a little humor to the table here!

We have showered like we have never showered in our lives as the thought of the slightest odor fills us with embarrassment and horror! We jump in the car with the deserving title “Cleanest Woman in the World”. Arrive at the Doctor’s Office and it is at this point many of us have already lost it. Our brains ask us “Is this going to hurt”at which point many of us have already decided it will!!! We tell ourselves ”We are intelligent strong women we are not going to let a simple Pap smear test ruin our day!!“

On a more serious note:

Some of the reasons a Pap smear test can hurt:

The vagina suddenly tightens as you put something into it (Vaginismus)


Cervical erosion (Cervical Ectropion)

Female genital mutilation

Sexual violence

Other gynecological issues

The level of discomfort if any is different for each of us.

The little known secret is simple : WIGGLE AND CLENCH YOUR TOES during the procedure!

Why Pap smears hurt

Our body is a complex framework of nerves. They are like rivers that become tributaries that flow to their final resting places in our muscles. So when we wiggle and clench our toes it appears to help relax the virginal muscles. This was explained to me by my doctor only a few years ago. The result was little short of amazing! My first pain free Pap smear! 

How I wish I had known this little secret years ago! 

Let’s spread this little secret to as many women as possible so it’s no longer a secret! 

Good Luck Ladies! Please share and comment and let us know if this has helped you. 


Quote for this Post:  It’s no coincidence that 4 of the 6 letters in HEALTH are HEAL. (Ed Northstrum)

August 6th is National Wiggle Your Toes day! How fun is that !

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