I went for my smear test today, I was actually really happy about being called to go. Not because of the procedure, but because it can save your life. Cancer testing is so important to me.
I think it’s absolutely awful that us women have to wait until we are almost 25 to receive a smear on the NHS, cervical cancer can hit anybody at any time!
They say the risk is lower in women under 30 and that may be so, but look at Jade Goodey for example. She was just 27 years old when she died of cervical cancer.
I have been talking to a few lovely ladies today who had things picked up on a smear, which is completely heartbreaking. But as they said to me despite all the treatments, operations and tests that smear has probably saved their life and given them time with their children!
Cervical cancer is cancer of the women’s cervix (the entrance to the womb).
One of the reasons it is so incredibly important to get your smear done is because; often in the early stages, there are no symptoms! Meaning you could have it and be completely unaware.. The only way of knowing would be a smear test.
Let me tell you cancer waits for no one. Cancer doesn’t care if you have children, or if you are planning to start a family, if you’re getting married, or if you are buying your first house.
I hate to sound harsh and blunt I really do, but I just can’t stress enough how bloody important this one simple 5 minute test really is.
Women between the ages of 25 and 49 are invited for a smear every 3 years, and women aged between 50 and 64 every 5 years.
It really is such a quick and easy procedure.
I won’t lie I got anxious about it, I thought about cancelling.. But I knew I couldn’t!
No its not pleasant taking your bottoms and underwear off and exposing yourself to a stranger, it’s a little uncomfortable as they pop the speculum into you. It’s simply a plastic instrument used to open you up abit so they gain better access to your cervix.
The speculum and the swab
To be honest I think the only reason it is a little uncomfortable is because we tense ourselves, when she was swabbing the cells it actually tickled.
A swab is used to take some cells from your cervix which are then sent off to be tested. They are checking for HPV (human papilloma virus), the virus that can cause abnormal cells.
The nurses are usually so lovely and really do understand our fears and worries about it all, they will do their best to make you feel at ease.
As my nurse was doing it today she started talking about how every women looks different because I was worried about not having a shave, she reassured me she had seen it all.
She went deep into conversation about the human anatomy, and how no women’s bits are they same. She also mentioned in 2 weeks time she’s got a whole day of cervical smears, which she is more than happy to take on!
I can assure you they don’t care what you look like down there, they would rather save your life. Preventing you from possible intrusive tests and operations, which could later lead you to infertility.
HPV is the cause of almost all cervical cancer cases, HPV is sexually transmitted.. So if you’re sexually active you are at risk!
Sometimes abnormal changes to the cells of the cervix can later lead to cervical cancer too.
If your cervical smear was to come back that you had the HPV cells, I know I would freak out! But it doesn’t always mean the C word. Every women at some point is likely to have had these cells, and rest assured they are treatable, especially having that smear and catching them early.
You would be so monitored and cared for.
Cervical cancer is also treatable, with a lesser risk of spreading if picked up early enough by that smear!
Results take as little as 2 weeks.
Even if you have
Had the HPV vaccine at school
Have only had 1 sexual partner
Had one partner for a very long time
You are a lesbian or bisexual
Are a trans man with a cervix
Or you have only had a partial hysterectomy
YOU ARE STILL AT RISK!!
It is a choice to go for your smear, it is your choice to save your life!
For me it’s a no brainer, I would not let my anxiety beat me on this! As a mother with 3 young children, I’d be pretty stupid not to go.
Even if you don’t have children think of your Friends, Family, your partner! If you’re scared take someone with you, have someone hold your hand.
I’ve come across a few who are petrified.
If I could I’d come with you all and hold all your hands.
Just prepare yourself before you go, go in there, close your eyes, relax and it’ll be over within minutes.
2 minutes of discomfort for your life, is worth it I promise!
If you are due your smear please please, pick up your phone and book it in now!
All my love
See you in my next Blog