ask: The last time I visited my doctor, she was unable to take a pap smear because the specula couldn't be inserted. It's become increasingly painful over the past 5 years to have the test. What do you recommend?

By chai January 14, 2011 - 6:36pm
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Alison Beaver

I would like to know more about what your doctor has said. There are different sizes of speculum, and I would think your doctor would be helping you find treatment if s/he is unable to perform medical exams. Can you tell us how old you are?

Is your doctor helping you with this? Have you ruled out possible medical conditions for pain? Do you experience pain with any other medical procedures? Do you have pain on your vulva, or is it located only in your vagina (upon insertion)? Do you have anxiety about the speculum being inserted (before it became painful)?

January 16, 2011 - 12:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for helping me understand better, chai. It appears that you may be experiencing vaginal dryness which is common with age.
Natural remedies such as:
Not using vaginal products (sprays, deodorant soaps)
Taking a natural supplement such as estrogen

There are also prescription medications that can be beneficial but you would have to go back to your physician. Estrogen is the most important part in the vaginal dryness process. We actually have a video from a Physician about this specific question, please visit this link

I hope this helps. Please let us know if you need additional help.

January 16, 2011 - 11:12am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Chai,
Have you been unable to have sex also? What is the pain that you are experiencing and what has your physician explained to you about the pain?
Thanks for the additional information.

January 15, 2011 - 10:07am
chai (reply to Anonymous)

I haven't been sexually active for many years, so looking for natural solutions (herbal or otherwise) to keep vagina lubricated.

January 16, 2011 - 11:00am
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