Going for your first or any smear test can feel a little uneasy but it really doesn't have to be an unpleasant experience. These simple tips are aimed to make your appointment as quick and as physically and emotionally comfortable as possible. The test itself takes a few minutes from start to finish and it is so important that as women we all book and go for our smear testes regularly because those few moments of awkwardness could end up saving our lives.
There is nothing more stressful than rushing when you have to be somewhere and smear test appointments are no exception to this. Try and book your appointment on a day that you have little else to do so that you can arrive in advance and feel relaxed prior to your smear. Leaving yourself plenty of time to get to the appointment will take off a great deal of pressure. If you have to travel to your appointment make sure you have checked public travel in advance for any cancellations of that you know your route and where you can park nearby. If you are feeling nervous ahead of your test, arriving in a relaxed style can make all the difference.
While for some people bringing along a friend, family member or partner may make you feel uncomfortable, for many women it can help you feel more at ease, especially if it is your first smear. Having a familiar face and someone to talk to can also provide a great distraction during the test. Any nurse will be happy for you to bring along someone to make you feel more comfortable.
There are several things you can do to prepare for your cervical smear. The nurse carrying out your test will normally ask you for the date of your last period, having this info to hand prior to your appointment will mean you don't need to stress about it and that you get it 100% correct. You can also prepare by reading up about how your test will be carried out, while the nurse will explain everything, sometimes it can be helpful to find out the information before the date of your appointment so you can ask any questions and feel confident you know exactly what will be going on down there. Finally, if you are feeling uncomfortable about stripping off down in front of a stranger, wearing a dress or a skirt that can be kept on and just pulled up during the test can make you feel a little more at ease.
Relaxing during the test will make all the difference in how comfortable you feel, it will also help the nurse to do her job and get the best sample of cells that she can. Things such as talking to the nurse or someone you have brought along for company, closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing or listening to some music can be helpful ways to relax during the test.
Any nurse will be completely aware of how you might be feeling, so if you have any questions what so ever, ask away! For many women waiting for the results may be more of a concern than the physical test itself, this is completely normal and asking the nurse about how and when your results will be received can help relieve any anxiety you may feel about them. Thinking of any questions you might have prior to your appointment is great but if you leave and feel there is something else you want to know you can call your surgery and speak to a member of staff who will be able to answer any questions you have regarding your test or the results.
Remember that it is your body and you should feel 100% comfortable throughout the appointment. You can ask the nurse to stop or re-explain something at any time and they will be happy to help with anything.