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Women's question (better label it 'adult' I suppose))

curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users
I went for my routine smear/pap yesterday morning. The nurse used a new stick thingy to do the test (if not seen one like it before) but it's like a brush and a fork and the middle part goes into the hole of the cervix. Anyway I noticed blood on the swab thing after and she said that's normal with this new stick. Because of this blood I expected to see some in my knickers yesterday but today I've noticed some brown discharge. It doesn't look like spotting and has stopped.

Is this normal after one of these more invasive smears/paps? Is it normal to have little bleeding the day after the test?
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Comments

  • iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
    Brown is old blood so it sounds like you are just spotting from the irritation of the test.

    Does the new test give more accurate results or something?
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  • curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users
    iris427 wrote: »
    Brown is old blood so it sounds like you are just spotting from the irritation of the test.

    Does the new test give more accurate results or something?

    Apparently so, there are less call backs for inaccurate readings/samples. The nurse put the head of the brush thing into a solution that according to her, destroys all the cells that aren't cervical cells. Pretty cool.

    The speculum was still as cold as ever.
    Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
  • SpunkyCurlsSpunkyCurls Posts: 1,523Registered Users
    Heh, that's funny. I've never had a call back with the previous test but since the new one, I've had 3 inconclusive tests that turned out to be nothing.

    While I'm glad they are thorough, it's becoming tedious.
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  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users
    I've been hearing about these new brush things, and some people have said they are quite painful. I wonder if you can request the good ole q-tip.
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  • SpunkyCurlsSpunkyCurls Posts: 1,523Registered Users
    Eh, it's not any worse than the old one. It's uncomfortable for about a second.
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  • sariroosariroo Posts: 1,958Registered Users
    I have had the brush used on me during my pap. It is a slight bit more noticeable when they actually do the swab but nothing superpainful. I don't remember having any blood or discharge after the fact but everyone's body may react differently and it could be that nurse's technique also.
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  • lauraloolauraloo Posts: 2,121Registered Users
    I've only been going for paps for a few years (started when I was 18, am 21 now) so I don't know if my gyn uses the "new" stuff or not; one thing is like a baby bottle brush and the other is a mini spatula-looking thing. :sad8: Anyways, I normally have brownish discharge for a day or two or three after my annual exam.
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  • Jess2316Jess2316 Posts: 617Registered Users
    I am a cytotechnologist which means basically that I screen samples of cells from all over the body to look for abnormalities etc. I would say that 90% of my workload is pap smears and I can explain exactly what these new collection devices are for if anyone is interested!


    Basically to get a satisfactory pap smear there are certain kinds of cells that must be present. They are from an area of the cervix called the transformation zone which is where the cells change from one type to another. This is the area where most abnormal cells start/grow so it is necessary to have a representation of these cells in a pap so we know the physician sampled the correct area. If these cells are not present we sign out the case as not completely satisfactory and usually the physician will repeat the pap.

    These new brushes are designed to sample the whole cervix, both the inside where the transformation zone is usually found (which is what the point on the brush is for) and then the outside of the cervix as well. I have had a couple paps using these brushes and have found them to be slightly more uncomfortable but definately managable.

    The solution that one poster mentioned is probably a solution of alcohol. I'm guessing her lab uses a "liquid-based" preparation for their paps as we do at the lab I work in. There are two kinds, SurePath and ThinPrep. The collection device is either swished in the solution or the whole device is placed in the bottle and that bottle is sent to the lab where it is processed on a machine. This provides us with a thin uniform layer of cells to screen, it also gets rid of a lot of the blood and inflammation that can obsure the cells and make it hard to see them.

    The solution doesn't destroy the cells that aren't cervical in origin as one doctor apparently thinks (from a previous post) but it's more the processing technique that gets rid of those non-cervical cells.

    The reason doctors are using these new brushes is A) they work better by getting a better sample and B) these brushes are the FDA approved collection device for a liquid based pap smear so they basically have to use them
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  • curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users
    Thanks for the info Jess, it was interesting. Hmm, maybe the nurse understood it as to destroy the non-cervial cells or thought that was the easiest way to explain it. Anyway now I know!

    The brush my nurse used was the one at the bottom of the picture. The white bit comes off and goes into the liquid.
    Cervical_Brush_Cyto_Brush.jpg

    I still have spotting and cramps today. :thumbdown:
    Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
  • Jess2316Jess2316 Posts: 617Registered Users
    Yes that is the exact brush we send out to physicians in our clinics..we have the SurePath system. Although now I see you are in the UK and I'm not sure if SurePath is used there..but still, same brush!

    Anyway, I don't know much about the actual post-appt. complications from this brush so I'm wondering if you should maybe just call your dr's nurse tomorrow if it's still happening, just to see what they think.

    I remember when we got those brushes in at work and I thought oh man those look like they could be very uncomfortable!!! Maybe your dr/nurse just applied too much pressure and caused the bleeding. I'm not sure what could have caused cramping though.
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  • iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
    Ohhh my doctor has a little display of that in the exam room.
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  • rociobutterflyrociobutterfly Posts: 57Registered Users
    This happened to my friend and me once also. She had hers done one day and we went shopping after. We had to leave early because she said she was bleeding. I told her it could not have been from the pap smear cause I had never heard of that happening before but she said it was.

    Fast forward a couple of months and I ended up being seen by the same nurse (military hospital). A couple hours after my appointment I started to bleed, more than just a little spotting. It lasted about 4 days. This was probably my 4th or 5th smear and I had never experienced this. I have had one since and this did not happen either. I do think she used that same brush as the one she used on curlylaura!:sad3:

  • Jess2316Jess2316 Posts: 617Registered Users
    They have an even newer version of that brush now. I looked at the picture again and that is the brush some of our doctors use but there is another one that looks pretty much the same except that the "point" in the middle is a brush that looks like a mascara brush. I felt that one when we got them in and those bristles are much sharper and stiffer so I'm wondering if that is the one that is causing the bleeding. Only some of our physicians have gone to using that new brush.

    We get lots of paps with blood in them from women who aren't menstruating so I would guess this is a common occurence.
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    I love CK and B&A gel...I like HETT Mousse
  • M2LRM2LR Posts: 8,630Registered Users
    My doctor has been using that brush thing for a LONG time. Never had any problems with it.
    :rambo:
  • SnarlsSnarls Posts: 2,537Registered Users
    I swear, I am living in the dark ages here. It's still the q-tip for me. I would gladly endure momentary discomfort if it means more accurate lab testing.

    It would not surprise me at all if my test results came back inconclusive or unable to process, and my doctor would say it was fine and not retest. It's happened before. I found out when another doctor (seen for a different reason) reviewed the results. I much prefer getting the test results than an interpretation, although both would be nice.

    All this reminds me, I need to schedule my mammogram.
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  • Jess2316Jess2316 Posts: 617Registered Users
    Castella wrote: »
    I swear, I am living in the dark ages here. It's still the q-tip for me. I would gladly endure momentary discomfort if it means more accurate lab testing.

    It would not surprise me at all if my test results came back inconclusive or unable to process, and my doctor would say it was fine and not retest. It's happened before. I found out when another doctor (seen for a different reason) reviewed the results. I much prefer getting the test results than an interpretation, although both would be nice.

    All this reminds me, I need to schedule my mammogram.

    They must still be doing a conventional pap at you place, which means they take the sample and smear it directly on a slide and send the slide to be screened. We did those for a long time. I'm surprised they're still using a "Q-tip" as even with conventional paps there are better collection devices available. Or for you the area that needs to be sampled, the transformation zone, may be higher up and therefore harder to reach.
    3a fine hair (I think)

    CoN poo and Biolage Conditioning Balm
    I love CK and B&A gel...I like HETT Mousse