If you hate having a pap smear done, then you need to follow these simple guidelines to a more pleasant probe and learn to love yor pap smear.

I waited until I was 23 to have my first pap smear. I have now gone through 10 years of dreading that annual exam. Sometimes I have been nervous for several days beforehand. Even after delivering two babies, I still dreaded that anal, I mean annual, check….until recently. I finally had what I might refer to as a “pleasant pap”. I told the PA that it was the best pap I ever had. I think I know why. If you hate those yearly exams, follow these simple guidelines and learn to love your pap.

How to love your pap smear: ask for a female gynaecologist

First of all, I asked for a female doctor. Go to a practice that has either female doctors or female physician’s assistants.To me, having a male doctor sticking his hands in that very private area made the visit that much more nerve-racking. It probably didn’t help that my OBGYN happens to be 6’6. One of those hands could hold a small child.

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I now always schedule with the PA, a petit lady with petit hands. She’s a woman and she’s small. That’s a big plus for me, someone who almost faints when putting in a tampon.

Secondly, wear socks. For many years, I was told to relax when lying on that crackly paper on that cold doctor’s bed in a freezing cold room. It’s hard to relax when there is a metal or plastic object in your vagina and it is not foreplay. Try adding a temperature that’s several degrees below your comfort level. Simply wearing socks helps warm up your entire body and you can relax a little more.

How to love your pap smear: keep THOSE muscles warm

Third, wear a jacket or take a blanket. I know I looked a little ridiculous walking into the GYNO with a sweater and socks in summer. Just take a backpack. For the same reasons you wear socks, wearing a jacket or keeping warm with a blanket will help your muscles relax and there are a lot of muscles “down there.”

Fourth, eat chocolate. A little bit of chocolate a few minutes beforehand helps release those happy chemicals. Studies have shown that chocolate prompts your brain to release serotonin, a chemical that helps you be happier and more relaxed. Happiness is relaxing and that is a big key to having a happy pap.

How to love your pap smear: make small talk with your OBGYN

Fifth, talk to your doctor. Making jokes about my “ridiculous” fear of doctors helps me relax. Talking about your weekend plans or a book you are reading can really take your mind off the procedure. Usually a quiet person, I tend to talk the ears off of my PA. It really works.

Finally, take something to read. There is nothing worse than sitting half naked in a waiting room on crinkly paper with nothing to do but stare at the strange looking instruments the doctor will be putting in your vagina while your legs are spread into an uncomfortable split. If you have something to read, the time will fly by and you can keep yourself from looking around and thinking about the probing to come.

I recommend that all OBGYNs keep chocolate, robes, slippers and a variety of reading material in their examination rooms. I am surprised this has not been done. The ladies would be lining up at the door to get a pap at that office. Until then, follow my steps and take the necessities and you will be telling your doctor- or PA- that you loved your pap.

About the Author

Cherie holds a BA in education and an MA in Literacy. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida with her family. You can contact Cherie at cfletkd@yahoo.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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