Slow and steady creates comfort
MANY women anxious about cervical smears tend to tense their muscles, making speculum insertion painful. Dr Danielle Esler, from Newcastle, NSW, always stops doing the smear if it hurts the patient, even if this takes extra time.
If the woman complains of pain, Dr Esler withdraws the speculum a centimetre or two and leaves it there for up to a minute, giving the muscles time to relax. She then advances the blades a few more centimetres, occasionally having to repeat the same cycle before seeing the cervix and continuing with the smear test.
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