Past Event stops me having first screen


When I was 20 I had the coil - the process of having the coil was horrific. I was in soo much pain and the nurses at the sexual health clinic treated me like I was some silly girl making a fuss. They sat there with their arms crossed whilst I just laid there and clock watching. They even let a delivery man into the same room as me lying there with a piece of paper to cover myself. The coil didn't agree with my body and I had it removed eventually but I had to be put to sleep. I get soo much anxiety that seeing the room with the arms for your legs and the speculum scares me to the point where I can't be in the room. My partner or medical staff can't use their hands near my private area. I feel so ashamed and especially hearing all you brave women having to deal with a lot worst and I can't have a simply smear test.

I got my letter for making my first appointment and reading through the pamphlet I saw the diagram. I nearly broke down and just seeing it reminded me (just talking about it now and I am already crying). 

I don't know what to do I'm torn to make sure I'm not at risk but neither can I face being in the room or having the procedure.

Please help


Hello Sian,

I am sorry about your experience. You were brave having it fitted... Anyway I think you should talk it through with someone as it seems to be affecting you a lot.

Regarding the smear test, women on this site will not tell you this (they will be screaming at me for this). The test is optional and it is up to you to decide if you want to be screened or not. Educate yourself about it and then decide. Please use also independent sources of information that contain information that you will not find in NHS resources. It is not as black and white as the NHS makes us believe.

I recommend such as Women, Smears and Manipulation, a blog of a Welsh GP or Public Health Matters website where they discuss making informed decisions in screening. There is very informative and thought-provoking discussion of smear tests. Both are googable easily.

Also there is a post on this website called Opting Out of Screening.

Hi Sian, 

Sorry to hear what you have been through with the coil.

I can say honestly The smear is very quick and mostly painless - just  a little uncomfortable.

I had my apt at 10.30am and was out and dressed by 10.40, the actual smear was 20-30 seconds. 

I would really encourage you to have the smear, they are in place for a very good reason :)

you can have someone in there with you for support if you wanted too, my mum came with me as I was a little nervous too.

I hope you do have your test and the best advice I had was relax and breath deeply it makes alot of difference if you can relax your muscles down there.

I hope this helps.



I'm new to this website but saw that there is a great deal of support here so I have decided to sign up..

I'm 26years old and when my letter came through about a smear test (3 months before I turned 25) I chose to ignore it and then was sent another three letters to try and get me to come in, all of which went in the bin.

I felt as though I was being forced to conform to screening when I thought this was a personal choice? Most of my friends have been and keep telling me to go but I just cannot bring myself to go and open my legs for all to see and have something pushed inside of me that feels so un-natural. I put it off for a year because I wasnt mentally ready and the truth is I still am not. I have always been healthy and taken very good care of my body and wouldnt hesitate to go to the GP if anything was ever wrong downstairs.

The only type of gynaecology stuff Ive ever had to have done consist of STI tests which have always been 'self kits' that you perfrom in a toilet in the clinic whereby you swab yourself, these have always been clear and I have no anxiety issues with this at all. I also never go to the GP unless im ill, which is another reason ive never built up an intolerance to anything medical as I dont get poorly very often.

Its actually not the specific procedure that im scared of or the result itself. I'm just so much better at dealing with things when there is actually a problem, rather than it being a health 'Check-up' with the fear of the unknown.

It is that damn speculum that causes most of my anxiety.  In my head im not giving full consent to having something shoved inside me so therefore it feels wrong. I know that when I am pregnant I will be prodded and poked about but in my eyes my body is then a 'shell' so to say for the baby so I dont mind what they do at that time. I am a very tense person and I just know I wont relax and i wont want to be forced to relax either. If the nurse comes up with a silly comment such as 'take a deep breath' im more likely to walk out than conform. I wish it did hurt to be honest because then I could focus on the pain and not the procedure of what is actually happening down there.

My partner thinks I should go and look at it in a way that says im healthy and ready to have a child as we plan to become parents within the next two years (hopefully before my next smear test is due).

So far I have taken the plunge and booked an appointment in three weeks time and raised my concerns with my receptionist but im still not feeling any better about it. I woudl prefer to wait until after preganacny, at least that way I would have built an intolerance to it. Any help and advice would be very much appreaciated.