Let’s Talk Smear Tests

This is going to be a bit of a girly chat kind of post so I want you to feel as comfortable as possible. Perhaps read this while your in the bath with a face mask or siting down with a cuppa and some biscuits on a Sunday morning.

Everybody worries about their health. It’s a well-known fact. After dealing with Laryngitis and Tonsillitis many times, I’ve become a bit of a worrier. I know that it’s all in my head but then sometimes it’s okay to be worried when it comes to your health.

I don’t tend to speak about periods and girly things to anyone that much. I still don’t feel 100% comfortable about going for a bra fitting in M&S every couple of months. Anyway, I’m rambling a bit, of course when I got that letter inviting you for your first smear test you could only imagine where my head was at. The first thing that popped into my head is how am I going to feel comfortable when I get anxious about going to a regular doctors appointment? The second was what if the results came back abnormal and I needed more tests.

Back in July, I went for my first ever smear test. Everybody told me the procedure is fine and over within seconds. It felt slightly uncomfortable but nothing that you should feel worried about. However, I’m not going to lie to you and say that I didn’t feel anxious and filled with fear. You are going to feel like this especially for your first smear test because it’s the unknown. I’ve had 6 tattoos in total so I can deal with pain and discomfort but no one is particularly going to enjoy whipping out their downstairs garden for someone you don’t meet on the regular. The procedure was fine! Under recommendation from friends who’ve also had to deal with the awkward situation, I wore a light weight dress so I could cover my dignity up a little bit. It was over pretty quickly and it definitely didn’t hurt.

They explained that the results usually come back after a week or two of waiting. It seems like forever during the time frame but life goes on. You keep yourself busy by doing the usual things like working and socialising so you are likely to forget about them until the letter comes through. Don’t just assume that if you haven’t heard by now everything will be okay, and a prime example would be Alicia’s experience. Sure enough my results came back and I was invited for a Colposcopy appointment because they had found abnormal cells. There could be many reasons for this which could include: abnormal cells like myself which usually go away on their own, an infection called human papillomavirus (HPV) which means the cells are less likely to go away, after several screening tests that were unable to give any result and the nurse/doctor thinks your cervix doesn’t look healthy.

I waited about two weeks for the appointment and I was secretly a nervous wreck. The name made me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. I didn’t know what to expect and kept asking myself whether I should be worried or not. I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it which kind of made it worse.

My appointment was on the 2nd of August. I was 100% dreading the date but with me being so busy recently, it helped take my mind of it just a little. On the day of the appointment, I arrived a little bit early which probably wasn’t the best thing because I sat there panicking. The doctor sat me down and carefully explained the procedure to me.

I had a Punch Biopsy done which, in short, is a tiny skin sample taken from the surface of your cervix. I was extremely uncomfortable no matter how many times the doctor said relax, I would constantly tense up but looking back over the experience it really wasn’t that bad at all. It just felt like a nipping sensation as if you were to get a tattoo but the pain was not half as intense. It was more awkward rather than anything but that might be because I was seeing a male doctor which had me on edge already. He gave me a leaflet explaining that they may be some discharge or bleeding and to not have sex for 2-3 days. The results came back confirming that there was no evidence of cancer and that they would like a further smear test done in 12 months time to just monitor it.

So girls, what have I learnt from this experience? I’ve learnt that smear tests aren’t scary at all. They are there to help detect something that could be life threatening but as long as with have our screenings it will be fine. These screenings will prevent you from potentially getting cancer and that’s why they are so so important.

As soon as you receive your letter inviting you for your screening just book it there and then, it might even save your life. Don’t leave it, JUST GO FOR YOUR SCREENING. If you are worried about yours or want to ask me any questions, feel free to message me on any of my social media platforms or email me! It’s all on my contact page.

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