I do not recommend….

….getting a pap smear while you are pregnant.

I haven’t had one since April ’09 (eek) so they wanted to do one yesterday. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of anyone digging around up there, you know, because I want it to be mellow for the babies, but I figured they would only do it if it was crucial. (Is it? Geez.) Anyway, due to my weeks and weeks of progesterone suppositories, there was a lot of “build-up” that made it difficult to find my cervix. Let’s just say it took both the nurse practitioner AND my doctor some serious digging in their effort to get their sample.

My doctor told me that I might spot or bleed afterward and not to freak out if that happens. (She uses the words Don’t freak out a lot, which is funny, since that’s pretty much my M.O.)

And now I am borderline freaking out. Yep, woke up today and I’ve got tons of little pink tinged bits of Crinone coming out on my toilet paper along with a red/brown tinged background color every time I wipe. UGH!

I’m such a rookie, I should’ve said NFW to the pap. Is it worth it to put a woman through the scary aftermath? But there I was, first time having a real pregnancy appointment, and I just followed orders like a lemming.

So my wonderful high has fizzled a bit, as I fearfully (even more fearfully than usual) make my trips to the bathroom. And I’m afraid to exercise because I don’t want it to get worse. Oh how I hope it stops soon. I have been so lucky to not have any spotting or blood until now (save the little bit here or there on the end of my Crinone applicator each night).

Okay, sorry for the incredibly gross update. Anyone else had a pap that resulted in spotting and brown/pink residue? As you can imagine, when you Google this, the results are all over the scary map. Yuck.

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31 Comments

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31 responses to “I do not recommend….

  1. oy. i hear you on the stresses of cervical bleeding. i really, really, really hear you.

    as far as i can tell, a pap at your first OB appt (or in my case, at the first freak out emergency holy shit i’m spotting OB appt) is SOP. and i guess i get that they want to be sure you don’t have anything going on, infection-wise, that could threaten the pregnancy or a vaginally-delivered baby. but yeah. i always spot after paps — i get double ones, too, lucky me! — but it was still freaky. (not as freaky as the next month of spotting, but i didn’t know about that yet.)

    i do recommend taking it easy. exercise, even stupidly little exercise, did seem to irritate my cervices and make them bleed more and more. eventually the nurse just ordered me to stop doing everything. and at least i didn’t have any red after that.

  2. I spot light pink after paps. Keep an eye on it, but try not to worry too much. You have a reason for why this is happening (and in fact your doctor predicted you would).

    Just a little while to go with first tri, Egg. You can do it!

  3. Jin

    I had one after my first OB appointment too. The spotting goes away after a day or so. It’s just that all the tissues up there are crazy swollen and full of blood and anything can cause irritation and bleeding. Be careful with sex too – it’ll do the same thing.

    On a lighter note – the one that you had will be the most comfortable one the entire pregnancy. The internal exams during 3rd tri hurt.

  4. Tarah

    After I got my BFP I spotted every time I had a bowel movement, had sex or a pelvic exam. I too had a PAP during my first visit. My doctor said it’s because I have a sensitive cervix and with all the new blood vessels being formed down there – it’s very likely to see blood during those instances.

    When I reached about 9-10 weeks I stopped spotting from any of those events.

  5. Sounds scary, but genuinely nothing to worry about. I mean, you know why it’s happening, you were told it was gonna happen, your babies are FINE! They’re great! The OB appointment sounds so completely thrilling. I hope you can get back to that melty state!

  6. There’s nothing worse that having to confront some bloody toilet paper. But I agree with Bunny – this is normal and you and your babes are doing GREAT!

  7. My one spotting event (a few weeks ago) was from sex– it was so freaking scary, because I spotted in both of my other pregnancies, and both of those times it was because I was having a miscarriage (this is NOT why you are spotting). So when I saw red this time, I knew I was doomed. It was horrible. Of course, everything was fine, and my OB just told me not to have sex for a week. Well… 3 weeks later and we still haven’t. It’s awful. We want to, but it just isn’t worth the trauma of seeing that red on the t.p.!! I don’t know what we’re going to do. At least you don’t WANT another pap! So frustrating that this has to be caused by sex!!!

  8. a) Crinone is, yes, the most disgusting thing ever. When I was taking my progesterone supps, I was originally taking Endometrin (which has a more, uh, melty effect), but the manufacturer took a brief hiatus, and of course that happened right when I needed to refill my script. Soooo, I was switched temporarily to Crinone and I H.A.T.E.D it. Every couple of days I’d have to do a little, er, sweep, if you will. I know you know what I mean. I can only imagine your doctor trying to get through that crud for a pap. Ugh. Poor you! So gross, for sure. (See, now we’re even. We’ve offically traded gross vag tales!)

    b)Your spotting is totally normal, Egg. TOTALLY, no if ands or buts about it, girl. It is a freaky site, yes, but isn’t a worry.

    Zen, my friend. Zen.

  9. I had my pap at my 12 week appointment. They were like “well, you’re due and you’re here, let’s do this.” I am paranoid about paps (had 3 aunts die of either uterine or ovarian cancer) so there was NO WAY I was going to miss one while pregnant. Honestly, I don’t think anyone should miss one ever. So I did it. And, yes, there was some spotting, but it happens when they’re digging around in there. Don’t worry about it, lady! The benefits of getting a regular pap FAR outweigh the worry from some spotting after.

    xoxo

  10. You’re so funny, Egg. I love the TMI posts b/c you talk about what everyone else is thinking! And I love your line about following like a lemming. Hell, I’d have done the pap myself. Hoping your poppyseeds are growing wonderfully in there :). xo

  11. AL

    Ugh, I am so sorry for the spotting, even if it’s expected it still is never something you want to see while pregnant. Hope it stops STAT.

  12. Hah, I love when drs say things like don’t freak out, or don’t worry if. My RE was like that, oh don’t worry is you spot a little, and don’t worry if you have cramps, etc. HELLO, who’s really not going to worry when they see blood when pregnant…I mean really, is there somebody out there who would just brush it off?!? Anyways, I do think the spotting is 100% from the pap…so I’m just going to hope it goes away soon so you can be assured thats exactly what it was. And I’m with you, is it reallly necessary to go scraping around in there when preggo…i hated getting mine and was nervous for like 4 days afterwards! Hang in there egg!!

  13. I always spot after a pap, and you KNOW that’s the reason you’re spotting and you KNOW your babies are growing and happy and healthy and nestled in. I totally understand how disconcerting the spotting is, but I bet it will be gone in a day or two. Hang in there and I’m sure you can always stop in to see Dr. Zen or give her a call if you need some extra reassurance.

  14. Being a labor and delivery nurse..here is my two cents:) Paps are done in early pregnancy to rule out HPV or any other abnormalities. They just want to know what they are dealing with under all circumstances. It is my impression that it is very safe and most women get one in the first trimester if they haven’t had one in the last year. Please don’t fret about the pinkish discharge and spotting. Any aggravation of your cervix(cervical exams, sterile speculum exams ie paps, and sometimes even sex) can and usually will result in some spotting. Some women get cervix’s that become even more prone to bleeding during pregnancy. It’s normal to be nervous but I hope you find some comfort that your spotting is normal. Pay attention to the quantity and if you’re having cramping with it. If the flow and cramping increase just head into the ER to be sure you and your two little loves are okay. If anything it will ease your mind. I’ll be praying for you that it goes away ASAP. You’re doing awesome, don’t let some spotting steal your sunshine:)

  15. I’m so sorry you had to endure that and now the spotting. Try not to fret, I know, easier said than done. Your babies are doing wonderfully and I hope that trend continues!

  16. Hey Egg,
    I actually started spotting brown for two days after my ultrasound and the Dr. said it was fine- just a sensitive cervix. I started spotting again today for no apparent reason but I am trying to be “ZEN” about it and not worry. Everything I am reading says not to worry about a little bit of spotting. So be zen about the spotting Egg- you and your little ones are all good!

  17. Digging? YEEOUCH! I always bleed from a pap, so when I did during my first OB appt I didn’t think much of it. And, yeah, like other people said, the little paddle was no where near your babies.

  18. Gah. I don’t know why they made you do that when you are nervy enough with your first pregnancy you worked so hard to get. I think all the spotting is probably just the pap and the fact that they had to work to do it. I hope it goes away soon.

  19. Totally scary and totally normal! I had a pap at my “graduation” appointment with the ob/gyn.

  20. Rosie

    De-lurking here to second everyone’s “it’s normal” emotions. Shortly after my first trimester pap, I started spotting, and continued to spot constantly from weeks 9 to 12.5. And as scary and crying-jag-inducing as it was (and it WAS), I eventually came to believe my doctor when he said that pink or brown spotting, unaccompanied by severe pain, is not worrisome. He had a “this happens to some women” attitude, and eventually told me he no longer cared why I was spotting because the ultrasounds were showing everything to be good, and that’s what matters. So happy burrowing to your two beans!

  21. Rosie

    P.S. I’m 24.5 weeks along now 🙂

  22. Owie. Remember the “do not freak out” comment. I had another HSG done and have been spotting from that, so I’m sure that’s what this is. I have a friend that had spotting for the first 6 weeks when she was pregnant with twins (of course, I know one case-study is not “scientific” at all). What are you thinking with the job stuff??

  23. Em

    My doctor had that same conversation with me when I had a pap at 5 weeks. And yep, I did spot and it did freak me out, but at least she told me it would happen. Totally not worth the stress, though…

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