Lube and smear tests

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    Hi there,

    I have just talked to a nurse about my upcoming (first!) smear test. I explained about coming in for the appointment with a dilator already in place, but she was wary about the use of lubricants for this (normally I use the YesYes oil based lube with the dilators) and said the lab only allows a small amount ky jelly on the speculum, so as not to interefere with results.

    I was just wondering what other people have done in this situation?

    Just to complicate things further, the doctor may not do the exam anyway as I had a miscarriage about a month ago and apparently my cervix won’t be back to normal yet, so I’m going to go to the appointment anyway, without knowing whether or not they’ll do the exam!

    Thanks for your help,

    Arose xx


    Hi Arose, I have been using lidocaine and lubricant for every pelvic/pap smear exam for the last several years. Just a few months ago I had my annual and used lidocaine, surgi-lube as I went in with a dilator in and then my nurse practioner used KY as well. My nurse practioner has worked with me all these years and was very kind and understanding as she knew of my Vaginismus. The only way my body would allow for her to examine me was if I used Lidocaine, lots of lube, took Lorazapan and used my inflatable dialtor. As well as lots of patience and tears. What a huge blessing it was this year to have an exam and actually be able to use a normal size speculum but I did use my three Ls (Lidocaine, Lorazapan and Lube). This time I had happy tears instead of sad, humiliated tears. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for your upcoming exam.


    Hi Arose. I am so, so sorry to hear of your miscarriage. Please know that we are all here to support you in any and every way. In regards to your first smear test, I can only speak to what I have done in the past with my own exams and I hope so much it helps you. Post-procedure, and following my first ob/gyn exam, I had to have an internal ultrasound. Prior to this, I dilated for a very long time (2+ hours) with one of the larger pure romance dilators which was lubricated. By doing this, physically, I felt adequately stretched out and that I was lubricated from dilating. Mentally, I felt like if I had the very large dilator inside of me for this long amount of time, then I would be ok with something smaller. This worked well for me and I had a pain-free exam. If I were in a similar situation as you with my first smear test, I wonder if it may help me to switch to KY Jelly for a few days/week prior to this appointment with both intercourse and dilation. Then, on the day of the exam, I may coat one of the dilators with KY Jelly and dilate for a considerable length of time in advance of my appointment. Everyone’s situation is very unique to them but these are just some thoughts that I wanted to share and I hope it helps. Sending you big hugs.


    Thanks Nakitalab and Heather,

    When I saw the doctor this week, she said I needed to have used nothing for five days! (She uses a small amount of KY on the swab, but apparently that is all that is allowed)… perhaps the labs are much stricter in the UK?! Anyway, as I managed the internal ultrasound with no prior dilating for a similar period, it isn’t a total impossibility in my mind that I can manage this too (though clearly not ideal). My heart was pounding in the waiting room even this time!

    Fortunately, I had chosen to see a doctor in my practice who is known to be the better one for gyno things – it was so nice to mention vaginismus and not have to explain what it is! She understood immediately that if I had had this then of course exams will have been a nightmare.

    She postponed the smear test because of the lube issue (I had dilated the previous night), and the pregnancy – next test booked for a couple of months (and if I’m pregnant again by then I get out of it a second time!).

    The good news was that as myself and my husband had not had any prior sexual partners, the risk of cervical cancer was very low.

    Arose xx

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