T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 32224
posted 01-19-2011 05:32 PM
My psychological issues are now under control - I'm catching up with the work, have talked to a psychiatric nurse, and am going back on the antidepressants for a while. This problem isn't at all urgent, I'm just curious.
Anyway, I'm pretty certain I have not-officially-diagnosed vaginismus. I have yet to successfully use a tampon, and experiments with penetration with other things (things designed for the purpose, I hasten to add) haven't worked either. Either it wouldn't go in at all or it went in a very short way and hurt a lot. I was doing all the usual slow-and-careful stuff sites like this advise, it just didn't work. Normally this isn't a problem at all, as I'm not sexually active, not planning to become so, and actually find the idea of penetration vaguely unpleasant (not in general, just the thought of applying it to me, if you see what I mean - I was really just testing out of curiosity). My problem is, in a few years I'm going to have to start going for cervical smears. In the UK we're not expected to start them until the age of twenty-five, but I thought I should see if I needed to try addressing the problem now. I don't think I actually need treatment for this as such because it doesn't affect my daily life at all and probably won't for the foreseeable future. I just want to know if the smear test is likely to be particularly painful or difficult to perform because of this. I don't want to get there and only then find it's a problem. This isn't a huge worry for me, it's not making me fret in my day-to-day life, and I have three or four years before I need to really worry about it unless I move to a country where you're expected to start smears earlier, which is unlikely. I really just want to know the facts.
Member # 35643
posted 01-20-2011 05:30 AM
I think that to know the facts, your first step would be to see a gyn and find out whether there is any vaginismus or other health problems causing your pain with penetration. If you are diagnosed with vaginismus, there are various treatments you can try before needing to go for smears. When women do start getting smears it's important to tell the smear-taker about any pain they have or any worries about smears. They usually can still take the smear, but they will use special precautions. For example, using a smaller speculum, having a support person for you, taking pain relief or a mild sedative beforehand. As well, if you anticipate problems with getting regular smears (or even if you don't), it's a good idea to consider the HPV vaccine. This protects against the main strains which cause genital warts and cervical cancer. However, it is advised that women who've been vaccinated still need regular smears.
Member # 32224
posted 01-20-2011 05:33 PM
Should I ask my GP about contacting a gynecologist, or should I try finding one directly? I have to talk to my GP about my mood meds anyway, so I could bring it up then.
I'm not sure if I can get the HPV vaccine here, as I've heard the NHS aren't allowed to give it to anyone who's not still in school. I'll investigate, as I might be wrong there and it couldn't hurt to get it if I can.
Member # 20094
posted 01-20-2011 05:45 PM
You may need a referral to see a gyn, so contacting your GP would probably be your best bet. You can also ask about the vaccine that way as well - it may be that you can still get it, but you may have to pay for it out of pocket.