There’s no denying that Pap smears play a key role in the prevention of cervical cancer and the detection of sexually transmitted infections, but it doesn’t mean we have to like ’em. We present the seven emotional stages of getting a Pap smear.
Your two years are up. You know this because the people at the Pap smear register keep sending you letters in the mail.
2. Extreme Procrastination/Despair.
Look, you’re really busy. You have so MUCH stuff to do that you put off making the appointment, you then put off setting a reminder in your phone to make the appointment. You get another letter…reality sets in, you know you have to do this.
3. Mild Panic.
You’re in the waiting room and SHIT! it’s only now you realise you haven’t maintained your pubic hair… for most of autumn…wait, for most of 2014. And your nail polish is chipped…and you haven’t shaved your legs.
You tell yourself ‘Pfft, as if the doctor even cares,’ and ‘They’ve probably seen thousands of vags/hairy legs before,’ but you can’t help thinking the doctor will do this:
4. Irrational Fear.
Even though you’ve had the same partner for years, always use a condom, and haven’t been indulging in wild Dionysiac orgys, you start weighing up how likely it is that you could have contracted syphilis or chlamydia. You become convinced in the waiting room that you have ALL of the diseases.
(FYI, this is definitely an irrational fear, as pap tests only look for abnormal cells changes to the cervix, not syphilis or chlamydia. Still, it’s a good time to have general STI check!)
Sure, this is something both you and the doctor have done before, but there’s no denying the awkward dance around the curtain while you strip down and curse yourself for wearing the most complicated of outfits (like spanx or pantyhose) on this day of ALL days.
6. Next Level Anxiety.
The doctor mumbles something about cold hands and then OH GOD that plastic speculum is coming towards you and it may as well be the toothy open mouth of killer great white Jaws, for all the pain you imagine you’re about to experience.
It’s done, your pants are ON and you’re outta there.
On a serious note, thirty-eight and a half Australian women out of every hundred don’t have a Pap test, or Pap smear, every two years as recommended. So make like Emma Watson above and make that appointment today.
How do you prepare for a Pap smear? And do you have one every two years?