Advice/Resources needed: Autism and Smear Tests

Hi,

I am autistic and had my first smear test today after putting it off for a while. It was awful. I found it really painful and went into a sensory overload pretty much straight away. The nurse who did the test was very nice and tried her best to talk me through it but it was too much. She said she thinks she got enough cells in the test, but I may have to come back if the lab says there wasn’t enough. She also ran through what would happen if there were abnormal results.

I don’t think I can do it again but I know it’s important. I have been trying to research ways to make future appointments easier but haven’t found anything that fits with the struggles I was experiencing.

Does anyone have advice or can point me in the direction of places of resources to check out, please?

Thank you in advance

Firstly, well done for going to an appointment you knew you might find difficult, that plenty of people who aren’t autistic are anxious about. I hope that at least having done it takes away some of the hard parts of going into an unknown situation. Having said that if you found it harder than you’d expected that can cause anxiety. If you can, try not to keep playing it over in your mind until you know exactly what you’re dealing with. You may not have to go back for a very long time. But if you are called back perhaps you could explain at the GP you’re autistic and what options they might have for supporting you through it, they may be able to help (a longer appointment, a nurse experienced with patients who have sensory needs, a smaller speculum - I don’t know but there must be ways they can help). Or perhaps you could take someone with you, or listen to music - or whatever might usually give you some comfort during an intense situation. The key is not to build this one experience up in your mind. You have done the best thing you could for your health and now you know what you are dealing with in terms of the process itself so hopefully you can explore ways to make it easier next time whenever that may be. :heartpulse: X

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