Procedure for screening

Hello. I went for my screening today, it’s been 3 years since my last. Is it normal for the nurse to feel for the cervix with her fingers before she inserts the speculum? It’s never happened before and it didn’t seem normal. Might be that the procedure has changed since my last screening. Thanks

Hi Jsand

I’m not an expert but can share my views,

I guess all smear takers will vary in their technique. Judging from several digital examinations I’ve had (admittedly mostly since my cervical cancer treatment) I think a practiotioner can get quite a bit of information by feel alone. I would take the view that the person who did your smear was being very thorough and by feelinjg first could maybe decide on the best speculum (they come in different sizes) and exactly how to insert the speculum to ensure a good sample and reduce possible discomfort. Some women have a tilted cervix which can make smear tests difficult so maybe your practitioner was checking for that.

I suppose it might have been better if you had been informed beforehand that a digital examination would precede the speculum; I’ve always been told but I think that’s partly because my medical team know how incredibly painful it is for me to have a speculum inserted so thay’re being kind as they know I’m OK with digital examinations.


Thanks Jazza, I did tell her I have a tilted uterus and she was surprised about where my cervix was, so that makes sense. Your response had reassured me, thank you x

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