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22nd January 2021

Why may someone find their smear test uncomfortable or painful?

This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and we sat down with Consultant Gynaecologist & Gynaecological Oncologist Mr Saurabh Phadnis who reveals the conditions and likely causes that could lead to an uncomfortable or painful smear.

Mr Phadnis shares tips on how this can be made more comfortable during your appointment if experiening  any of the following conditions/causes:


You may benefit from vaginal oestrogen for 2 weeks prior to the appointment.


Ask for a smaller speculum or you could ask to insert the speculum yourself.

Retroverted uterus

Try having the smear with your fists behind your lower back, adjust position on couch for comfort.

Too little lubricant used during exam

You can ask for some more lubricant.

History of FGM

To allay anxiety you can ask to be in charge of the exam with support provided by the clinician.


If you have any concerns or are worried about any symptoms, please always speak to your GP or gynaecologist.

Make an appointment:

We are continuing to see patients as normal during the third lockdown and offer routine cervical screening along with colposcopy procedures.

If you would like to book a consultation with Mr Saurabh Phadnis or any other member of the London Gynaecology team, please call 0207 10 11 700 or email [email protected]

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