I spent a lot of time at libraries. It never crossed my mind to do research about my vulva and vagina or what to avoid before a pap smear. There were probably brochures in the waiting rooms, I just never paid attention.
3. Book a short appointment:
After check-in, I thought the doctor decided how much time was needed for the appointment.
7. Come in on the heaviest day of your period:
I had irregular and sometimes long, heavy periods. I hated having to schedule an appointment for a pap smear. I once had a doctor ask me to come back in a week. After a week, I was still bleeding.
8. Put fragrance on your vagina:
Around age 35, I finally learned to stop douching and putting fragrance in that area. I mainly got tired of spending money on douches and then realized that I didn't smell when I wasn't using them.
For 48 hours before a Pap test, do not:
- Have sex
- Use tampons
- Use vaginal lubrication
- Insert creams, suppositories, or medication into the vagina
- Use vaginal sprays or powders
During my early exams, the only thing on this list that I hadn't done was use vaginal lubrication.