How can I reduce the pain of pap smear tests due to dryness and menopause?
I'm a 55 year old female going through menopause. I had done a pap smear test recently and found out that due to menopause, it has caused my ovaries to shrink and vaginal dryness. Due to this, it was very painful and has caused bleeding in the process. Any advice how the whole process could be made less painful next year? Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your problems.
1) I will usually perform a pap smear for patients around the menopause age, and if it is negative, I wouldn't do any further pap smears, unless there is bleeding or new symptoms.
2) This is a hard question to answer. The pain experienced could be attributed to various factors as follows:
a) The doctor/gynae/nurse performing the procedure
b) The size of the speculum (plastic device that's inserted)
c) Use of lubricants
d) Some clinics also use lignocaine (numbing) jelly before the procedure to numb the area
e) Consider treating the vagina with premarin cream if it is really dry and painful (need to see a doctor to get)