A Pap smear should not be painful, but some patients experience an uncomfortable sensation often described as a soft pinch. The sensation lasts only for a few seconds when the cells are being collected from the cervix. It is common for women to experience that uncomfortable sensation, especially upon the first Pap smear examination because the body is not used to the sensation.
While almost every woman will have to get a Pap smear regularly after the age of 21, there are ways to make the appointment less stressful:
- It is recommended to attend the examination on an empty bladder, as the soft pinch sensation is often caused by the pressure in the pelvic region
- Ask your doctor to explain every step of the procedure
- Take someone with you to the appointment
- Try to relax your pelvic muscles
- Notify your practitioner when you experience any discomfort
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