I'm not going to lie but before going I was really nervous and didn't really know what to expect! I was invited to a smear 1 month before I fell pregnant with bubs so therefore couldn't go and after having him I totally forgot about it and if I'm being honest, put it off a bit. When I finally joined up to my new go surgery (after almost 2 years of staying at my old one which was about 25 mins away) I asked when I went in for my gp health check induction thing if I could have a smear test and they were more than happy to get the appointment booked for me.
So.. Appointment day comes and off I trotted to see the nurse. I felt so nervous but couldn't really work out why. I wasn't worried about the actual "procedure" as I had had something like it done when I needed an internal examination when pregnant and it was fine. I kept telling myself that the nurse sees women's bit every day and when I was having bubba there were so many people that saw my vajaja or had a feel around that I actually lost count so I don't think it was that I was worried about either. I think it was just a general nervousness about the words "smear test" and actually having one done. I may also be fear of the results as I have known a couple of people to have had to have treatment after a smear but then I just kept telling myself well if there is anything wrong then at least we will know and we can get it sorted.
Back to the appointment, the nurse I saw was so lovely. She made me feel so relaxed and at ease and told me all about what was going to happen. She explained that she would take a swab from my cervix and that it was be sent off for testing. If it came back as "abnormal" then it might not necessarily be something to worry about. She stressed to me that a cervical screening test is NOT A TEST FOR CANCER, even though everyone hears to word smear and automatically associates it with cancer. If there were abnormal cells then they would just do some more tests to see why they were abnormal and then sometimes they sort themselves out on their own but in some cases they could be PRE cancerous and may need to be removed. She explained it so well to be and really helped me understand what the purpose of the test actually was as to be fair, I didn't have a clue :)
Once she had gone through everything and asked me a couple of questions like when my last period was it was then time for me to pop into the bed... This next section may be a little too much information but I feel it's important to talk about for anyone that is feeling nervous or apprehensive about a smear test.
To be totally honest, when the time came to get down to the actual test I became a clumsy, nervous, giggly muppet!! The nurse told me to take my underwear off then just roll up my dress so she could "get access" as such! I suddenly became very conscious and started to worry if I should have "mowed the lawn" a little more and thinking about if I was totally spotless and shiny down there. Then it dawned on me.. She isn't looking at my lady garden. She probably wouldn't notice if I plaited my lady rug as all she was doing was concentrating on the test. She asked me to lay with my feet together and then to let my knees drop down, then to lay back and think about being on holiday somewhere! :) she very quickly and painlessly popped on the speculum which was like a clear plastic clamp thing which she then wound open very quickly to open up the walls. She then quickly swabbed my cervix and it was all done. It honestly lasted about 30 seconds and was not painful at all! It wasn't the most pleasant thing in the world and was a little uncomfortable but it was over so quickly that it really didn't matter. She then explained it would be sent off and I was hear soon if there was any issues. And that was that. First smear test done!
Now so of you out there might be wondering why I have blogged about this? The answer to that is to encourage all women to take that leap and go get a smear done. It really isn't scary, just a little uncomfortable but that 30 seconds of discomfort could save your life. Having a smear test done can prevent around 45% of cervical cancer cases in women in their 30s, rising with age to 75% in women in their 50s and 60s, who attend regularly. Research also shows that the survival rate in women diagnosed at a younger age is higher than those diagnosed later in life so the sooner you get checked the better.
Please don't be scared or nervous like I was. Don't put it off as chances are the test will be totally fine and come back clear but just don't take the chance!! If you are due a test or haven't been before then go getting booking now!!! :)
For more information about cervical cancer screening please visit:
There are also many support charities out there too. Such as:
Jos trust- https://twitter.com/JoTrust
The Eve Appel - https://twitter.com/TheEveAppeal
Cancer research UK - http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/cervical-cancer/
As always if you ever have any concerns about your health or wellbeing then please visit your local GP or health clinic.