So a little background, I am a 27 year old autistic woman who has never had a smear test done yet. Obviously I keep being invited and I keep ignoring it. My step-sister was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer very very early so she needed almost no treatment which was lucky. Obviously her smear test was the reason this was caught.
Here's the issue, I cannot let someone near my vagina with a weird object. I just can't. I had to get an ultrasound done of my ovaries and it was so painful I was just about in full meltdown from the pain and stress. It was pretty much as sore as when I dislocated my knee. Not only that I felt horribly violated. I felt like my body had been assaulted and I realise that it was a nurse so it was completely professional but it didn't feel that way, I am honestly still horrified by that whole event. My mum is a midwife so keeps pushing for me to get my smear test done, and I realise I should get it done but the idea is so horrific that I just can't do it.
I was wondering if there were any options to get it done in a way that might work for me? I mean ideally I need to be unconscious. I'm pretty sure if I'm conscious at all I'll meltdown and probably kick the nurse/doctor (this may sound like an exaggeration but I did accidentally anesthetise my dentist once because the needle hurt too much so I slapped their hand away). Websites and leaflets suggest family but I also don't want my family around that part of my body. The only person I would actually be comfortable going with me is my partner but he lives in Switzerland so that is obviously not an option.
One option is HPV self sampling; kits can be bought on line - you can find them by googling on 'HPV self sampling'. If you test negative for HPV then you don't need a smear test but if you test positive then you will, but you can cross that bridge if you come to it.
Hopefully, at some time in the future, the NHS will offer HPV self testing particularly to help those of us who find it difficult to cope with having smears in a clinical setting (I started to avoid mine as I got older - with very sad consequences as you can see in my back story).
See following link for further information: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/about-us/news-and-blog/blog/what-hpv-self-sampling
I asked for entenox ( gas and air) for my upcoming Lletz as although I don't worry too much about smears etc I am quite jumpy as have had trauma and didn't want to move during the procedure
it just makes you a little drunk feeling and relaxed.
saying that, the self testing could be the better option ?
i find internal examination very painful and violating too and something else that you should consider is that cervical cancer is very rare (only affects 1% of women in their lives) so the pressure you are getting from the NHS and your mom to having it done is out of proportion. it is an optional medical test that you should under no circonstances feel pressured or fearmongered into having.
if you still want to have the test i would suggest using self test as suggested above. it is bassicaly a Qtip that you rub on the walls of your vagina so should not be painful as it is very narow and soft, you can do it yourself and in your home (or where ver is most convenient/confortable for you).
There were various factors that influenced me to stop going for smear tests when I was 50y. One of these factors was the stats e.g. only affects 1% of women in their lives which led me to a having a false sense of security (1% doesn't mean it won't happen to you). I also developed quite a combative attitude when my smear reminder letters kept arriving through my letterbox. Well I've had to eat a lot of humble pie since then. One thing I absolutely know is that the cervical cancer treatment and its side effects are incalculably worse than any smear test - so why take the risk? I'm willing to bet that any smear test avoider/refuser would change their minds if they were to experience just 5 minutes of my post diagnosis life. Don't get me wrong; I know from personal experience how traumatic smear tests can be for some but I can't tell you how much I wish I'd perservered in finding a way to get myself checked.