My doctor says I need to get a pap smear, and I am terrified. I've put it off for as long as possible because I have extremely severe medical anxiety, and have a very low pain tolerance. I'm worried it will turn out like it always does when I get injections or my blood drawn, with a severe panic attack. Does anyone have tips for overcoming this anxiety?

Anxiety (Including GAD)

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  • shrinkydink


    Let your doctor know that you are anxious about it, bring a support person if allowed/comfortable, take deep breaths before during and after :)

  • HayHay021


    I do the same thing! I keep putting off my pap smear because of my anxiety disorder 😞

  • PeachyPixie


    I'm usually comfortable with most medical procedures like blood draws but the concept of getting a pap smear sucked. I cried the entire time even though the procedure itself wasn't that bad I just hated it. I had a panic attack after because I had no one with me. It's honestly not as bad as it seems. Also be prepared because you will most likely bleed afterward some.

  • Cece7


    I always try to get as comfortable as possible beforehand and take lots of deep breaths. My doctor before told me I was hyperventilating and that I was dizzy because of that so needed to work on that. Thankfully the procedure itself is very fast. It’s definitely uncomfortable but remind yourself that you are in control. You can always tell them to stop if needed. You might even want to distract yourself with a fidget toy or something on your phone. I always tell my doctor that I’m prone to being anxious with my health at the beginning of my appointments so they know what to expect. You can also do some research on the procedure itself, maybe it’ll be less scary when you know how little they will need to do. Also might help to ask them to tell you what they are doing before they do it so it doesn’t take you by surprise. Just know the whole thing takes only a minute or two and it’ll be uncomfortable for sure but will definitely be worth it. Pain subsides instantly once it’s over although I typically have cramps (less severe than my period ones) for up to 24 hours following my appointments.

  • AmeliaRivers


    I am sorry you are feeling this way, I took have medical anxiety and have a dental appointment tomorrow :( The anticipation and anxiety you are feeling is far worse than the actual pap smear procedure. My biggest advice is just keep your muscles relaxed because it helps to make it leas uncomfortable. They are not painful, just very briefly uncomfortable for less than 5 seconds as if you had a really full bladder. Sending good thoughts your way!

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

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