Couldn't go through with first smear test...

After dodging the test for… well I’m 30 now, I finally went to get my smear test done with the encouragement of a friend.

Spoke with the nurse, but couldn’t go through with it as I found the entire thing unbearably painful. She told me to take deep breaths and I tried to but couldn’t regain control and now I never want to go back :(.

This is after trying the smallest…whatever its called. My muscles remained tense regardless. I do have anxiety disorder, but… there’s no way for me to calm down… the only other time I’ve panicked fully before is when I had to have some dental work done and they had to put me to sleep because I wouldn’t even let the dentist near me.

So yeah I’ve no idea if I’m going to try again, I want to for peace of mind I just don’t want to go through the pain/ anxiety and embarrassment all over again just for another failure.

The nurse seemed lovely, and I don’t think it was anything on her part, just my anxiety is far too high. I’ve just never experienced anything so bad Dl. Even through typing this I’m trembling and I’m still feeling off from when she tried.

Is there any advice for someone with severe anxiety? I’ve had it for that long I don’t even know when my body’s tensing up or not, and the only thing that calms me down is being on my own…which I obviously cant be during an examination…

Thanks in advance!


One possibility is to try doing a test at home using an HPV self testing kit which can be ordered on line.  There are a few brands available and I would suggest researching them to check for user friendliness, the range of HPV types tested for and quality of customer support.  If you test negative for high risk HPV you are highly unlikely to be at risk for cervical cancer.  Self testing does not require a speculum, which is what you had trouble with during your test. 

Maybe you are suffering from vaginismus which is the involuntary contraction of muscles round the opening of the vagina.  You might want to consider asking your GP to refer you to a women's health physiotherapist for this. 

You could work on becoming more familiar with your body, possibly using a small vibrator (a good quality silicone one plus lubricant) or looking at/touching your vulva using a mirror.  Doing this should help you feel more relaxed bout this part of your body.  It might feel daunting to begin with but take it in small steps, at your own pace.

If you decide the next step is trying another smear test, then you could take a painkiller an hour before the appointment.  Or you ask your GP for a one off prescription for a tranquilizer.

I developed severe anxiety around smear tests when I reached menopause.  So my suggestions are what I think may have helped me to continue to attend for smear tests (I stopped attending when I developed menopausal related anxiety). 


a GA for a smear is very rare but not unhered of you could ask volume of GAS and air do you have other pain because you could have endometriosis