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Old 10-12-2010, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 20,131,405 times
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I am 55 and have been having pap smears done with some regularity all my life. Never was painful. The last 2 or 3 times, however, I noticed that they hurt somewhat. Same gynecologist I've had for years so nothing new about that. I'm not talking about discomfort during the insertion of the speculum but when they actually collect the cells. Yesterday, it hurt so badly I actually jumped.

Is this unusual? Have you ever had ones that were painful?
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:59 AM
 
Location: In the real world!
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I have found that they scrape harder than they use to and in more places..
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura707 View Post
I have found that they scrape harder than they use to and in more places..
Perhaps this is the case. As I mentioned, I have used the same gyno for probably 15 years or longer, but maybe they are being instructed to do this now. Who knows? I wondered if it could be something with me? Inflammation or something?
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
22,244 posts, read 27,221,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaykay View Post
I am 55 and have been having pap smears done with some regularity all my life. Never was painful. The last 2 or 3 times, however, I noticed that they hurt somewhat. Same gynecologist I've had for years so nothing new about that. I'm not talking about discomfort during the insertion of the speculum but when they actually collect the cells. Yesterday, it hurt so badly I actually jumped.

Is this unusual? Have you ever had ones that were painful?
If you are postmenopausal and not on estrogen, the opening in the cervix may have decreased in diameter, making it tighter.

Or, the gynecologist may be using a different collection device. Sometimes the lab reading the smear provides the collection kit, and s/he may be using a different lab or kit.

It's also possible you have some inflammation of the cervix.

Did you ask the gyn why it seemed to cause more pain than before? Don't be afraid to ask questions!
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 20,131,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
If you are postmenopausal and not on estrogen, the opening in the cervix may have decreased in diameter, making it tighter.

Or, the gynecologist may be using a different collection device. Sometimes the lab reading the smear provides the collection kit, and s/he may be using a different lab or kit.

It's also possible you have some inflammation of the cervix.

Did you ask the gyn why it seemed to cause more pain than before? Don't be afraid to ask questions!
I am not post-menopausal yet, but I'm probably very close. So perhaps this would make a difference. Also, thinking could be inflammation. The last pap came back "unreadable." That's why I'm having to have another one so quickly. From what I understand, "inflammation" is one possible cause of an "unreadable pap smear."

At the end of it, he apologized for hurting me, and I said something like, "don't know why I've gotten so sensitive. The last two have hurt." He didn't comment. So I didn't press the issue, but I likely will in the future.

Last edited by kaykay; 10-12-2010 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 20,131,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
If you are postmenopausal and not on estrogen, the opening in the cervix may have decreased in diameter, making it tighter.

Or, the gynecologist may be using a different collection device. Sometimes the lab reading the smear provides the collection kit, and s/he may be using a different lab or kit.

It's also possible you have some inflammation of the cervix.

Did you ask the gyn why it seemed to cause more pain than before? Don't be afraid to ask questions!
I am not post-menopausal yet, but I'm probably very close. So perhaps this would make a difference. Also, thinking could be inflammation. The last pap came back "unreadable." That's why I'm having to have another one so quickly. From what I understand, "inflammation" is one possible cause of an "unreadable pap smear."
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
22,244 posts, read 27,221,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaykay View Post
I am not post-menopausal yet, but I'm probably very close. So perhaps this would make a difference. Also, thinking could be inflammation. The last pap came back "unreadable." That's why I'm having to have another one so quickly. From what I understand, "inflammation" is one possible cause of an "unreadable pap smear."

At the end of it, he apologized for hurting me, and I said something like, "don't know why I've gotten so sensitive. The last two have hurt." He didn't comment. So I didn't press the issue, but I likely will in the future.
If it was unreadadable, it sounds as if there were not enough cells to evaluate. Your doc was mining for gold, I think, to make sure he got an adequate sample this time!

The Pap smear works by using a spatula, a brush, or both to obtain cells from what is known as the transformation zone, TZ for short. This is the area where the smooth, pink covering of the outer cervix, which is composed of cells similar to skin cells (squamous epithelium) meets the mucous producing cells of the inner cervix (glandular epithelium.) The TZ is where cervical cancer and its precursors develop.

To be adequate for evaluation, the Pap must include cells from the TZ. In younger women, the TZ is often visible when the cervix is viewed through the speculum. As estrogen levels decline, the TZ often becomes hidden inside the cervix, and the brush (which looks sort of like a small mascara brush) has to be inserted further inside the cervix. Since the cervix is sensitive to being stretched, this can cause pain.

So here's hoping the last sample was adequate and normal!
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
1,881 posts, read 3,089,496 times
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I'm not sure why it would happen all of a sudden, but mine have hurt for years. Ever since they started using that wirey looking brush thing instead of the long q tip looking thing.

Did he change what he was using recently?
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
22,244 posts, read 27,221,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggi07 View Post
I'm not sure why it would happen all of a sudden, but mine have hurt for years. Ever since they started using that wirey looking brush thing instead of the long q tip looking thing.

Did he change what he was using recently?
See my post above this one. The switch to the brush was in order to get a better cell sample.

Most Pap smears are actually collected in a liquid preservative now rather than being smeared on a slide at the time of collection. The brush is swished in the liquid, and more cells will be rinsed off the brush than off of a cotton swab.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 20,131,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
If it was unreadadable, it sounds as if there were not enough cells to evaluate. Your doc was mining for gold, I think, to make sure he got an adequate sample this time!

The Pap smear works by using a spatula, a brush, or both to obtain cells from what is known as the transformation zone, TZ for short. This is the area where the smooth, pink covering of the outer cervix, which is composed of cells similar to skin cells (squamous epithelium) meets the mucous producing cells of the inner cervix (glandular epithelium.) The TZ is where cervical cancer and its precursors develop.

To be adequate for evaluation, the Pap must include cells from the TZ. In younger women, the TZ is often visible when the cervix is viewed through the speculum. As estrogen levels decline, the TZ often becomes hidden inside the cervix, and the brush (which looks sort of like a small mascara brush) has to be inserted further inside the cervix. Since the cervix is sensitive to being stretched, this can cause pain.

So here's hoping the last sample was adequate and normal!
Yes, let's hope this was it....for a loooooong time! And yes, he may indeed have been trying extra hard to get an adequate sample this time, but it hurt the last time too. Worse this time though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggi07 View Post
I'm not sure why it would happen all of a sudden, but mine have hurt for years. Ever since they started using that wirey looking brush thing instead of the long q tip looking thing.

Did he change what he was using recently?
I don't know, Maggi. Sounds like that's a possibility from what you and Suzy said.
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