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Just started being sexually active with my long-time partner (safely with LOLA condoms!). Looking to go to the GYNO to get my first pap smear. Should I expect discomfort or pain my first time going in? I've put off going due to fear of embarrassment or pain (as well as the pandemic).
There is often a lot of fear and stigma around the pelvic examination, however I assure you that you can have a lot control over the experience. During this exam, you’ll be screened for cervical cancer. It is also an opportunity to get tested for STDs, ask questions about your sexual health, and learn more about your body. As for the exam itself, you may experience a bit of pressure, but no pain. You can also set an ambience of relaxation for your exam. Bring relaxing music to play, take deep cleansing breaths during the exam, and ask your doctor to talk you though the process. If you have been the victim of sexual assault in the past, and feel it may prohibit you from seeking a Pap smear, be sure to let your doctor know. They can make the appropriate referrals to help you work through this issue. Apart from that, the exam is very quick — it will be over before you can say Kalamazoo!