A British Lifestyle Blog

9 December 2015

What Happened When I Went For A Smear Test

Warning, a very graphic but important post.

Men, you might wanna sit this one out...

Okay, I know what you are thinking- why on earth am I writing this post. Truth be told, I am not even sure why I am writing this post. I don't like sharing too much personal stuff online and I am not doing it to be 'political'. I suppose I am just giving my voice and my opinion on something that I actually do now feel very strongly about. I mean, it's my blog- I can say what I want right?

So lets take you back a few months ago when I got a letter. It was September and I got THAT letter. That letter that gets sent to all ladies when they are about to turn 25 that tells you need to come into the doctors for a smear test. Even writing it makes me shudder- smear is such a weird word. 

I put it off. I mean I was 24 at the time (and 10 months) and the reason they don't let you have the test any younger is because your imbalance hormones might affect the results (yes I believe two months was really going to make a difference). But then another letter came and this was three week prior to my birthday. I decided to suck it up- I mean it's a simple test, what bad things have ever happened in a test?

I book the test and in true blabber- mouth- due- to- nerves style, I asked the receptionist if I needed to bring anything. With a polite giggle, she told me just myself and to relax. I fretted a lot about the prep prior to the appointment, Should I get a wax? Should I wear my nice knickers- I mean I am not trying to seduce her but I sure as hell don't want her to judge me before she has even got to the main event. In the end I decided to go with the above and had a very thorough wash (I am so sorry if this is graphic, but hey- you decided to keep reading).

 A week later I found myself sat in my GP's waiting room, dreading for when the nurse would call my name. I was incredibly lucky with the nurse that I got. Not because she was sweet, kind and mothered me to make sure I was okay. No, she was kind, but she was all business wanting to get down to it before I had a chance to freak out. The worse part of the experience is the bit before the test. How embarrassingly at 25 years old I didn't know when my last period was (in my defense I am on the progestogen only pill). I then had to recall how many sexual partners I had been with (literally died and wished for the floor to open up and swallow me whole) and before I knew it I was lying on that weird bed thing with my knees up in the air and Main Street of my nether region was in full view of the nurse. 

The test itself is nothing. I felt nothing other than a little weirdness (not painful or uncomfortable, just weird) and in the space of five minutes it was over. I cannot stress enough that absolutely, 100%, no pain was felt. Nothing. I was more embarrassed at how much I freaked out over the whole thing- because it was done and dusted within 15 minutes. I left the GP's feeling silly and rewarded myself with an Eggnog Latte and a new MAC lipstick. A week later, I got a letter telling me all was good and they would see my again in 3 years time. 

So back to why I am telling you all this. Well, whilst I was speaking to my nurse she advised me that more and more she is seeing less young ladies like myself coming in for the test. In fact, you are more likely to go for a smear test if you have already had one. Looking into the facts, less than 5% of the UK population will go to a smear test for the first time this year. 

You have probably heard the facts and the lectures about why you should go, but here are the most important ones. Firstly, this test is free. In no other country is it free. That means the NHS is using it's precious budget to offer you something at no cost to yourself that could say your life. Secondly, the test is not a cancer test. The test checks to see what is 'normal' for your cells. If you have 'abnormal' cells then there is a possibility you could have HPV. Or you could just be hormonal; many people receive abnormal results due to having the test at the beginning or at the end of their cycles when their hormones are everywhere. In fact, over 100 women a year receive abnormal results and they are actually perfectly healthy. Finally, it is no time out of your day to save your life. It's just a test but it could save your life. 

I am sorry to get heavy and very graphic and real on the blog. I love showing you guys all the dream like adventures I go on, but every now and then we have to come back down to reality and talk about the serious things. And if this post makes just one person book their screen test for the first time ever, then I know me and my blog have done our job here. 

If you need anymore information on smear tests, check out the NHS website for more information. 

Now, time to have some more advent calendar chocolate....

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