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Does a Pap Smear Hurt If You're a Virgin?

"Does a Pap Smear Hurt If You're a Virgin?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our community. Add your advice in the comments!

I'm 17 and looking to get birth control. According to my doctor, I need to get a pap smear/vaginal exam before I can get a prescription. Now, I'm kind of inclined to worry, and I hate doctor appointments to begin with, so I would be worried about a pap smear anyway. Except there's one thing that really worries me: I'm still a virgin. (In fact, the bc is to regulate my period. I have no intention of becoming sexually active for awhile.) Apparently when they do pap smears they check your uterus — I have a feeling that the whole breaking my hymen with a metal speculum is going to hurt. (Just a feeling, of course . . . ) Does anyone have any advice/wisdom/warnings to calm my nerves before the dreaded exam?

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bigone10 bigone10 2 years
You should expect at least some discomfort. My girlfriend told me that when we have sex it feels like mouth is held open a bit too wide but with an object in it. And although I have read that the cervix is not sensitive, she can feel when the head of my penis bumps it (i try not to bump it but sometimes on orgasm it happens - I can also feel when my penis touches it).
nbnb nbnb 5 years
In response to last question... Your sexual history is part of your medical record, it does not get release to your parents unless you consent to it. i found this online, it helps explain: www.mcms.org/contents/Resources/.../confidentiallity_brochure.pdf
karlotta karlotta 5 years
1. DO get the Gardasil vaccine. 2. They have speculums for virgins. Even after I lost my virginity my OB-GYN kept using it because I'm a bit tight. There are two things that are uncomfortable about a pap smear : - the speculum insertion; but it's not painful so much as weird. It's cold and it feels a bit like when you're at the dentist and your mouth is open a bit too wide. - the swabbing (the actual pap is a swab of your cervics, and it bleeds a tiny bit). For me it hurts, but my gyno told me that was pretty rare and 90% of women do not feel their cervics at all. So, being the exception, I can tell you that the pain is nothing (like a quick pinch), and you probably won't even feel it at all if you're like most women. No worries - this is actually a good thing; keep your vagina healthy, girl :D
karlotta karlotta 5 years
1. DO get the Gardasil vaccine. 2. They have speculums for virgins. Even after I lost my virginity my OB-GYN kept using it because I'm a bit tight. There are two things that are uncomfortable about a pap smear :- the speculum insertion; but it's not painful so much as weird. It's cold and it feels a bit like when you're at the dentist and your mouth is open a bit too wide. - the swabbing (the actual pap is a swab of your cervics, and it bleeds a tiny bit). For me it hurts, but my gyno told me that was pretty rare and 90% of women do not feel their cervics at all. So, being the exception, I can tell you that the pain is nothing (like a quick pinch), and you probably won't even feel it at all if you're like most women. No worries - this is actually a good thing; keep your vagina healthy, girl :D
TheEnchantedOne TheEnchantedOne 5 years
If you're really uncomfortable with the procedure, talk about it with your doctor. Maybe it's possible to prescribe birth control without doing pap smear. And if the doctor still insists and you're still feeling uneasy about it, I agree with the poster who said that you should get a second opinion (from a different doctor, of course).
TheEnchantedOne TheEnchantedOne 5 years
If you're really uncomfortable with the procedure, talk about it with your doctor. Maybe it's possible to prescribe birth control without doing pap smear. And if the doctor still insists and you're still feeling uneasy about it, I agree with the poster who said that you should get a second opinion (from a different doctor, of course).
Ashleysh22 Ashleysh22 5 years
I was also a virgin when I started taking birth control and had my first PAP smear. I was terrified. But to be honest, I don't remember it hurting. It was absolutely uncomfortable, and awkward, but that was probably because I was totally unaccustomed to anybody touching me in that area of my body. But it did not hurt. As long as the doctor is careful and uses a small tool, you will be fine. I found this article on a hospital website about it, if you want to hear it from the doctors! http://www.pamf.org/teen/health/femalehealth/hymen.html
Ashleysh22 Ashleysh22 5 years
I was also a virgin when I started taking birth control and had my first PAP smear. I was terrified. But to be honest, I don't remember it hurting. It was absolutely uncomfortable, and awkward, but that was probably because I was totally unaccustomed to anybody touching me in that area of my body. But it did not hurt. As long as the doctor is careful and uses a small tool, you will be fine. I found this article on a hospital website about it, if you want to hear it from the doctors!http://www.pamf.org/teen/health/femalehealth/hymen.html
Pistil Pistil 5 years
I had an exam done at 19 prior to my birth control prescription and I was a virgin. A good doctor will explain everything to you to put you at ease. It's uncomfortable, but it's something you'll have to do eventually.
le-romantique le-romantique 5 years
Are you sure your doctor doesn't just want to give you a pelvic exam? A pap smear isn't required if you aren't sexually active until you're 21 (and even then, it isn't "really" required.) I started at 15 on the pill because of endometreosis and ovarian/uterine cysts and have been poked and pulled many times at the gyno, unfortunately, and attempted my first pap smear last November (still a virgin at 22) and it was the most painful experience of my life. Because of my health issues, it may have been worse than it "should" be, but I was screaming so loud I made the doctor stop. Pelvic exams are a little uncomfortable at first, makes you feel like you're about to pee on your doctors hand, but they aren't too bad if you are a virgin and use tampons during your periods, that kinda helps I guess.
le-romantique le-romantique 5 years
Are you sure your doctor doesn't just want to give you a pelvic exam? A pap smear isn't required if you aren't sexually active until you're 21 (and even then, it isn't "really" required.) I started at 15 on the pill because of endometreosis and ovarian/uterine cysts and have been poked and pulled many times at the gyno, unfortunately, and attempted my first pap smear last November (still a virgin at 22) and it was the most painful experience of my life. Because of my health issues, it may have been worse than it "should" be, but I was screaming so loud I made the doctor stop. Pelvic exams are a little uncomfortable at first, makes you feel like you're about to pee on your doctors hand, but they aren't too bad if you are a virgin and use tampons during your periods, that kinda helps I guess.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 5 years
I started taking the pill at 13 because of period issues. Anyway, no doctor even suggested I should get a pap smear. I think I would have about died if they did! I only started getting them when I became sexually active. If I were you I would talk about this with my doctor, and if they absolutely insisted on giving you a pap smear, although you're a virgin and it might be very uncomfortable, I would request a second opinion from another doc, because I swear, any doctor I had did not require it prior to sexual activity.
pax4pax pax4pax 5 years
Follow the above posts. All will be fine. Relax.
Rjs-baby-girl Rjs-baby-girl 5 years
I started taking the pill when I was 15, also to regulate my period, and the pap smear didn't break my hymen. Of course the Dr knew I was a virgin. If you talk to your Dr about your concerns they will be careful, they are used to deal with that. Don't worry too much about that exam, it's more uncomfortable than painful.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
Generally, they wouldn't do a uterine exam if the hymen is intact. However, even if you're a virgin you may not have an intact hymen. Medical procedures like a pap smear or cervical exam are not going to take your virginity. It's very much a non-issue and if you quit psyching yourself out & freaking out over nothing, it will be much less "traumatic". I'm not sure where you heard that the doc would have to break your hymen but that's pretty bad info.Other options include talking to your doc about temporary progesterin regimens rather than everyday birthcontrol pills. That can sometimes give your hormones the bump they need to kickstart or end a cycle that's problematic. Most young women will have wacky cycles just because the body is still adjusting to a different phase of life, so it likely won't last forever if left untreated. Dismennorhea & similar disorders are generally harmless and common and work themselves out over time. The major issues are when you bleed so much or for so long that you become anemic, or on the other hand, if you hit your 20's and have never had a period and may have some infertility issues.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
Generally, they wouldn't do a uterine exam if the hymen is intact. However, even if you're a virgin you may not have an intact hymen. Medical procedures like a pap smear or cervical exam are not going to take your virginity. It's very much a non-issue and if you quit psyching yourself out & freaking out over nothing, it will be much less "traumatic". I'm not sure where you heard that the doc would have to break your hymen but that's pretty bad info. Other options include talking to your doc about temporary progesterin regimens rather than everyday birthcontrol pills. That can sometimes give your hormones the bump they need to kickstart or end a cycle that's problematic. Most young women will have wacky cycles just because the body is still adjusting to a different phase of life, so it likely won't last forever if left untreated. Dismennorhea & similar disorders are generally harmless and common and work themselves out over time. The major issues are when you bleed so much or for so long that you become anemic, or on the other hand, if you hit your 20's and have never had a period and may have some infertility issues.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
You should tell your Dr you've never had sex and what your worries are, though if I remember correctly they have different sizes of speculums. After my kid was born the regular one hurt me so they switched it out for a tiny one (tmi right back at you!). Virgins get pap smears all the time, if they were getting their hymens ripped left and right someone would have brought the issue up by now! I don't think you have anything to worry about.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
You should tell your Dr you've never had sex and what your worries are, though if I remember correctly they have different sizes of speculums. After my kid was born the regular one hurt me so they switched it out for a tiny one (tmi right back at you!). Virgins get pap smears all the time, if they were getting their hymens ripped left and right someone would have brought the issue up by now! I don't think you have anything to worry about.
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