Speculum pain

I’ve had 3 smears now and every time the nurse has had to use the small speculum because the middle one is too painful.
I’ve got to go for a Colposcopy this week due to Hpv and I’m terrified because of the pain as I don’t think they will be able to use the small speculum.
Has anyone been for a colposcopy and had the small speculum used?

Hello S, I’ve always needed the smaller speculums, and the last smear was much more difficult now that I’m older ( vaginal atrophy of all things). However the colposcopy was really easy by comparison. I explained to the colposcopist, before I got my kit off, that the last smear has been pretty grim - and she couldn’t have been nicer about it - she said that for colposcopy she could use as much lubricant gel and anaesthetic cream as she liked, which they can’t for the smears - and I think she says she used a smaller size too - so the upshot was it was fine.
So talk to your colposcopist first about your concerns is my tip - hope it helps.

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I also get pain with speculum. Talk to the person performing it and explain that you’ve generally found you need the small speculum. I also find that because you’re in a proper gynae chair not just a bed it’s much more comfortable anyway. But if you’re really struggling speak up and talk to them. They’ve always been really lovely to me! And once I was even offered gas and air to deal with the speculum. They can also stop at any time off you need to, that’s really important to remember, if you need to you can stop at any point


Hi, I have had pain with standard sized speculums during smears before. The last time my GP used a small one which was fine. She found a polyp and I was sent for a colposcopy to have it removed. I can confirm they also used a small speculum and lots of lubricant. She was very nice and helped me feel at ease.

Just to add, i find speculums very painful and at my last colposcopy they used the smallest. At one of my smears years ago, a rather unkind nurse laughed at me and said patronisingly “thats for virgins darling” before having to retreat and use the small one after i nearly squeezed it out to the other side of the room :rofl:
I have vaginismus, so it can be very difficult for me. My top tip is concentrate on your breathing, push your bottom down and try relaxing your other muscles as much as possible.