How It Is Done continued...
If you are due for a Pap test, your health professional
will use a small brush or a wooden spatula to gently collect a sample of
cervical cells. You may have some staining or bleeding after the sample is
taken. A sample of the cervical mucus may also be obtained with a cotton swab
and tested for sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.
This exam is usually done as part of
a pelvic exam. Your health professional will insert one or two gloved fingers
of one hand into your vagina while placing the other hand on your lower
abdomen. By pressing down on the abdomen and moving the fingers around inside
your vagina, your health professional can locate and determine the size, shape,
and consistency of the uterus and ovaries. Any unusual growths, tenderness, or
pain can also be identified.
For this exam, your health
professional will insert one finger into your
rectum and one into your vagina. This helps your
health professional evaluate your ovaries and uterus ligaments. This exam is
not always done as part of a pelvic exam.
the exam is finished, you will be given a washcloth or tissue to wipe your
vaginal area to remove any discharge resulting from the exam. Then you will get dressed. Some test results may be available immediately, but results from the Pap
test may take from several days to a couple of weeks.
How It Feels
A pelvic exam is more comfortable if you
and the health professional are relaxed during the procedure. Breathing deeply
and having a light conversation with your health professional may help you
relax. Try not to hold your breath or tense your muscles.
feel some pressure or mild discomfort when the
speculum is inserted into your vagina. Try to relax
your legs and hips as much as you can. You may experience pain or irritation,
especially if you have a vaginal infection. If a metal speculum is used, the
metal may feel cold and hard. The speculum may be warmed with water or
lubricated with a vaginal lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly, before being inserted
into the vagina.