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Mary asked...

Uncomfortable cervical screening.

Tags: cancer

I have been told by a Doctor I am small and go back a long way, I've never had children. 60 and fit. Last time I had smear test the nurse had problems so the Doctor did it.

Over the last 5 years I have got fitter, will it be even more difficult with stronger muscles? And is there anything a Doctor could use to help avoid problems taking the test?

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The answer

Some smaller people do struggle with smear tests, especially if they have not had children. As a fit 60 year old who has not been through childbirth, your muscles may well be strong and, with the lack of Oestrogen after the Menopause, vaginal secretions reduce and the area may become dry. This can make the insertion of a speculum (the instrument used to open the vaginal canal and visualise the cervix) more difficult. However, if this is the case, the doctor may prescribe a topical oestrogen cream to help lubricate the area and ease the process of taking a smear.

In the UK the last smear is taken at about the age of 65, after which no further smears should be required.

I hope this answers your question.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.

 

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