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Yearly pap and check-up

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  • Yearly pap and check-up

    For many years now I have had a PAP and the yearly exam, mamogram, the whole nine yards. My Family Doctors does it. He is a very good Doctor but of course does not understand I.C. All he knows is that it is painful and has to do with my bladder. After the PAP he does an exam running his fingers all over private places to see if I have a lump or something abnormal. I am due to have my yearly on the 5th of July. I don't want anything even close to my bladder. The pap thing nor his fingers poking around down there. I just could not stand it!!! I am fearful he will be mad at me or worse, drop me. Am I just being a big baby ? How have others handled this problem? I thought I might tell him to check my breasts and I'll have all else done next year. My bladder just can not take poking around! Please don't tell me to suffer through it. My tiny dog jumped into my lap when I was not ready and nearly killed me with pain to my bladder. HELP Please, Ziggy

  • #2
    Hi Ziggy,
    No, you are not being silly. Pelvic exams & pap tests are no fun for anyone & can be downright unpleasant & painful for those of us with IC.

    Here is an article on making pelvic exams easier for women with IC.
    You could print it out & take it to the doctor or you could summarize the "highlights" for him.

    I usually just explain that my bladder is very sensitive, ask the doctor to use one finger not 2, to use a pediatric speculum, & to open the blades of it from side-to-side so as not to push on my bladder. That usually gets me through the exam. If still uncomfortable afterwards, pyridium & ice pack. (Can't do it before because it can mess up the pap test)

    If your doctor is "mad at you" or "drops you" over this, you definitely need a new doctor. Anyone with basic common sense should understand what you are saying, if you say you have a bladder condition that causes pain.

    I refuse to see my gynecologist's nurse practitioner because she won't do what I ask my gynecologist to do & I leave upset, sore & sometimes bleeding. So, I don't make any appts with her & if my gynecologist has had to leave to deliver a baby & they try to substitute the NP, I politely say "No thank you, I prefer to reschedule with my doctor."

    Hope that helps.

    I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

    New favorite quote: "God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass" ~Author Unknown
    Source - Pinterest

    Current treatments:
    -IC diet
    -Elavil 50mg at night
    -Continuous use birth control pills (4-5 periods/year)
    -Heparin/Marcaine/Sodium Bicarb home instills at night 3-4x per week, more often if needed
    -Pyridium if needed,
    -Pain medicine at bedtime daily, as needed during the day several times per week
    -Antibiotic when doing an instillation to prevent UTI
    -Colace & SmartFiber to treat chronic constipation from meds, Fleet enema as needed
    -Dye Free Benadryl 50 mg at bedtime
    -"Your Pace Yoga: Relieving Pelvic Pain" dvd, walking, treadmill at gym
    -Managing stress= VERY important!
    -Fur therapy: Hugging the cat!


    • #3
      I know you don't want us to tell you just to grin and bear it. I will, however, say that it's SO important to get that yearly checkup. Not only is the doctor checking for cervical cancer with the pap, but when he presses on your abdomen, with a finger or two inside your vagina he can feel your uterus and palpate your ovaries. He can tell if there is a mass there that shouldn't be there, and if there is a mass, it would need to be checked sooner than later.

      I don't enjoy my yearly visits either. They always leave me cramping and flaring, but I wouldn't miss one for anything....just to be on the safe side.

      Kadi gave you a great resource and I hope it will help you decide to keep your appointment.

      We women have to go through so much don't we?
      *IC-- Summer 2004; PFD--October 2005
      *Fibro--Fall 2000; CFS-- Fall 2000
      *MPS--Fall 2000; Crohn's disease-- 1997*IBS,GERD, *Migraines, hypothyroidism, GYN problems *Degenerative Disc Disease/scoliosis

      Total Abdominal Hysterectomy--adenomyosis--9\08

      04/17/09 Crohn's disease almost killed me with a combo of extreme constipation from pain medications. My bowel ruptured, I almost died from peritonitis and spent several days in the ICU then more in a private room on the floor. If you have any questions about severe constipation from pain meds please don't hesitate to send me a message.


      • #4
        Ziggy, I went to a ob/gyn about a week ago for a pap smear and stuff. I was absolutely afraid, it was about 6 years or more since I have seen one. Well, at times, it was uncomfortable and at times somewhat painful, but not as much as I thought it would hurt. I was expecting crying all the way home with pain and was very nervous about it, but I was fine coming home.

        Maybe if you expect the worse bring a ice pack with you and a cold wash rag. And maybe have some kind of pains pills with you. Hopefully you will not need it. Hope the Best.

        Take care, Trishann


        • #5
          I just had my pap last week and an exam, I was so terrified to go because I have been in so much pain for months now. I haven't had a pap in 3 years and I knew I really needed one. Before I went I took my pain medicine and told the doctor when I got there how nervous I was about the exam because I was already in so much pain and just couldn't imagine him giving me one. I had to though because they wanted to make sure nothing else was going on with me with the pain. He tried to be as gentle as possible but when he was pushing down on my stomach with his hand in "there", I saw stars.....The pap though was really ok, it didn't bother me too much and was quick. So I know the fear you are feeling, I was dreading it for days before, but I have to say, I'm so glad I did it and that it's over with. If you have pain meds, take one before you go and just remember, it's only for a few minutes and could really save your life if anything else were wrong. I wish you luck.


          I'm 47 years old, married 27 years. I have two wonderful boys and two wonderful grandchildren. I was diagnosed in 1994. Life has certainly thrown me many many surprises, all of which I'm trying to stay positive and hopeful, and I try to think about my blessings not my misfortunes, when possible. Stay Strong!


          • #6
            I truly understand about the pap test. I have canceled mine three times in the last month. I know I need to have it done and I am a stickler about doing it once a year along with a mammo. I believe in prevention. But, having had the hydro on the 15th and the chronic and constant urgency not yet under control, I have had to cancel. That worries me, but I can't possibly bear for him to push down on my bladder. I wouldn't be surprised if I leaked on him if he did that anyway. This is a frustrating time, but perhaps wait until you feel a bit easier and then make the appt. Don't skip it, just give yourself more time to perhaps feel a bit easier. Maybe that will help. I am going to reschedule as soon as I think I could bear it and then I will talk to him first.