“Here are a few ways I’ve made a Pap less uncomfortable:

– Did you know speculums come in different shapes & sizes? A clinician may have a preference, but you can ask for them to try a smaller one to start if you’re feeling unsure about the size and fit.

– Some speculum drawers are heated, so if avoiding the chill of a cold speculum is important to you, you can ask about it when making your appointment.

– Take some ibuprofen prior to your exam (& don’t forget to pee, too).

– Bring a treat with you (& maybe a hot pad just to be extra fancy!) & leave it in the car for when you’re done. My go-to reward for post-Pap screenings is doughnuts.

This is the kind of self care we don’t always talk about, but need the most.”