Getting a Pap smear is sort of nerve-wrecking. While I felt very comfortable with my doctor and his doctor-in-training (who was female), there is something very weird and vulnerable about being so “open,” pun intended!
Now, I’m usually an open person – ask me anything, and I’ll tell you – but for some reason, when my physician-in-training asked me detailed questions about my sex life, I blushed!
The good thing about having informative doctors is that they tell you everything.Every woman after a certain age gets a pelvic exam and gets tested for HPV (human papilloma virus). I learned that if your HPV is negative – which should be if you took the Gardisil shot – then you don’t have to have an annual pap. You only have to schedule an appointment every three years instead.
Everything was explained to me; what to expect, what they’re looking for, and what’s going to happen next, but without warning I became nervous. Here I was, in a quiet doctor’s office, alone with my thoughts on “What if they find something wrong?”
This is why I don’t like going to the doctor. I could be perfectly fine with a routine appointment until the doctors and nurses start explaining to me what is going on. I worry for absolutely no reason.
Let me tell you about my experience: First off, you have to get naked, which if you’re not shy, shouldn’t be a problem. Then you have to scoot your bum to the edge of the exam table, almost to the end where you feel like you’re about to fall off. Then the doctor will have you place your feet in these stirrup-like handles and spread your legs apart. Here’s the fun part, some doctors like plastic instruments while others like metal. Lucky me. I got metal.
The great thing about getting my first pap is that I didn’t have a clue what to expect, so I didn’t feel any pain. My doctor checked my cervix and felt around and that was the end of it, aside from checking my ovaries. I just stared at the ceiling until it was over.
I half-expected it to be a painful, horror show of an ordeal. Yes, it’s very awkward, but I didn’t have a problem. It helps to have a physician that knows their stuff and make sure that nothing is uncomfortable. All-in-all, it was a pleasant first time!
[Photo cred: Pinterest]