The vaginal speculum is an instrument, usually made of metal, which the gynecologist uses to open the vaginal walls. Using a disposable vaginal speculum, the gynecologist can visually inspect the vagina and cervix and collect the cervical cells needed for a smear test.
Why a Pap Smear?
A smear is a test to detect cervical cancer. It is usually recommended that this test be done annually, although women under the age of 21 are no longer required to have a smear. If you are over 30 and have had three regular Pap smears in a row, you can ask your doctor to reduce the number of Pap smears and have the test every five years in conjunction with HPV testing. Women over 65 years of age with a normal screening test may be exempt from the screening test.
A colposcopy is performed if you are still in the age group where a smear is recommended and the results show abnormal changes in the cervix. A colposcopy is a diagnostic test that allows the doctor to carefully examine the cervix.
What to Expect from the Smear Test
It is not about all the women who wish to have an annual visit to the gynecologists’. But in most cases, unless you suffer from chronic genital pain, none of these procedures should hurt. First, you are asked to strip from the waist down. You are given a cloth similar to a large napkin, which is placed over your waist and thighs so that they are not completely exposed. Some gynecologists’ even recommend clothes made of this paper-like material.
You are then asked to lie down on a stretcher and rest your feet on the stirrups. The stirrups can be cold, so it is recommended that you wear a pair of socks. The specialist will then ask you to move your hips to the edge of the table, bend your legs and stretch them slightly to either side.
Frequently asked questions about the disposable vaginal speculum
What is the Speculum For?
A disposable vaginal speculum or vaginal speculum is used to open the walls of the vagina. This allows the gynecologists’ to check the condition of the vagina and cervix and to perform a Pap test.
Does the Speculum Hurt?
The speculum does not have to hurt, but it can be uncomfortable. The procedure will be less painful if the blades of the endoscope are rubbed with a gel before insertion. There was a fear that using gel could alter the test results in the past, but studies have refuted these concerns.3 If you are concerned about feeling pain during the Pap test, you can ask your gynecologists’ or health care provider what steps they take to reduce pain.
A fatty speculum is then inserted into the vagina. Remember to breathe deeply and relax your muscles as much as possible. This will also help to relax the vaginal muscles, making the exam less uncomfortable. The discomfort is usually caused by overstretching the muscles.
The specialist will then take a sample of the cervical cells using a small brush or swab like a mascara. This is done by very gently rubbing the cervix with a brush or swab. Some women feel nothing, while others feel slight discomfort. After removal, the sputum is carefully removed from the vagina. For more: JimyMedical.co.uk.