Failed screening - feeling ridiculous

I was meant to have my second ever cervical screening appointment this morning. I went, knowing I would hate it, as I did last time. All the nurse did was put in the smaller speculum and I had to ask her to take it out as it was so painful. I feel like I’ve failed.

The nurse booked an appointment for me to see a GP as I know it’s not normal for insertion to feel so painful.

Not really sure what I’m looking for - a hand hold? I feel so stupid!

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That sounds like a tough experience - I’m so sorry. You’re absolutely not ridiculous. There are lots of things the GP can do to help, and make this easier for you. There’s a bit of information on Jo’s trust about the different reasons it might be painful, but the GP will help you work it out. You did amazingly just in going when you were worried so give yourself tonnes of credit for doing that and chat to your GP. You’ve got this!


Hi kissymissy and welcome

No way have you failed. You’ve gained some experience about how you body copes with the smear test, albeit it may have more about the technique of the nurse that did the smear than you.

It’s good that you’ve been referred to the GP. Also I know of women who struggle with smears and they are referred to the colposcopy clinic where the staff are gynae specialists and where there is more equipment to facilitate gynae procedures.

As Hope22 mentions there is information on this website about painful smear tests; see following link:

You will learn from this experience and will know better what to do next next time. Onwards and upwards.



I had the same experience with my smear too but have always struggled with painful sex which I did tell the doctor beforehand. It does make you feel absolutely rubbish after like you say. All my friends seem to be fine and no pain at all. It’s just really annoying!

I’ve been referred to colposcopy for ‘difficult smear’ so maybe you could ask to go there? Mine is tomorrow, I might have a drink beforehand (it’s at 10am) :joy::joy::joy:

Not ridiculous at all. I had another colposcopy recently (3rd), but after the Lletz, I am useless, more psychological than physical, so had to be rebooked in and have it under a General Anaesthetic. Tbh, I will request GA next time, I just can’t stand it, I just find it traumatic. Still waiting on results (5 weeks now). Good luck x

I’ve just had an unsuccessful smear and been referred to the hospital for this as well, now really anxious this will be just as painful. If you don’t mind sharing, how did it go?

hey holly it was still uncomfortable but sooo much easier than at the gp. The scraping the cells part didn’t hurt at all either just uncomfortable but for me the issue has always just been getting the speculum in. The pain was still there but it seems to get past a point and then is less painful don’t know if that makes sense. The nurse that did it was so lovely and there were two other nurses in the room I was holding both their hands :joy: good luck though let us know how it goes!


Thank you so much for the insight! I had the same issue of just not being able to get the speculum, not even bothered about the scraping bit! Encouraging to know you had an easier time of it! x