Scary (But Safe) Medical Exams

Doctor in hospital using a digital tablet

Let’s face it; some medical exams are uncomfortable or unpleasant and some are downright scary. However, some of the scariest exams you can take at a hospital are actually safe.

Injections and Blood Tests

Blood tests and transfusions from some countries come with a risk of contracting highly-communicable diseases. However, if you’re staying in a developed or well-off country like the U.S. or the UK, your chances of getting an infection through an injection, blood test, or transfusion stand at less than .015 percent. Reputable hospitals can lower those numbers even further.

If the needles are the ones you’re scared of, then you can opt for alternative delivery methods such as an inhaled nasal spray (for flu shots). Better yet, just distract yourself and don’t look.


Close to 5 percent of the population is claustrophobic and some of them don’t even know they are. The noises, lights, and posture you need to maintain while inside a magnetic resonance imaging machine or MRI machine can trigger panic attacks if you’re the least bit claustrophobic. In London and most parts of Europe and the U.S., you can opt to have your exam using a high-quality open MRI scanner.

These scanners are open on one side, preventing the feeling of being confined. If your fear of the MRI comes from internet horror stories, then rest assured that MRI exams are perfectly safe as long as you follow the instructions and get tested in a reputable facility or hospital.



For women, getting diagnosed with breast cancer can be devastating. Mammograms are the most effective screening methods to detect breast cancer at all stages, but they can be unpleasant, invasive (to your privacy), and even painful. Mammograms don’t take much of your time, often only taking a few minutes. The fear of taking a mammogram lies in the fear of finding a positive result.

However, even a positive result can be good — at least the cancer was detected early and you can go on with treatment immediately. Try to schedule your mammogram after your period. Your busts can be swollen and sensitive before and after your period, making mammograms more painful.


Worse than prostate exams, colonoscopies can have people flinching at the very thought of it. Colonoscopy is a procedure that evaluates gastrointestinal symptoms and tests for signs of colon cancer. It is very invasive, figuratively and literally. A camera-equipped tube is inserted into the rectum and forced into the colon. The procedure is painful and scary at the same time.

Prepping for the procedure includes ingesting a laxative that has powerful results. If you’re scheduled for a colonoscopy, avoid eating anything heavy or spicy. During the procedure, don’t hesitate to ask for pain medication or maybe a mild sedative.

Medical exams can be scary, but not undergoing them can have scarier consequences. Overcome your fear and bear the pain; it’ll be over in just a few moments anyway. In addition, your doctor will orient you about the procedure and tell you what you can expect during and after.


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