Smears… Why are we so scared of them? Is it because there’s a stranger between our legs? Is it a feeling of embarrassment? Will it hurt? Will the nurse judge my vulva? I tell you something the only thing scary about a smear is not getting one!
My 25th Birthday was on the horizon, and I knew I would be expecting a letter from my GP inviting me to my first smear. Fortunately, my Mother was always honest with me about “vagina” things so I never built up fear over the unknown. Late October 2018 my smear invitation arrived, 2 months before my 25th birthday. I put it off until the new year as I didn’t want to panic about results over the Christmas period.
January 2019 – I booked my first smear on the 28th, now I started to get nervous! I was hoping I would get a nice nurse… what if I got a male? I did not tell the receptionist that I wanted a female to carry out my screening… I pushed all these worries to the back of my head, focussing on the fact that I’m so lucky to live in a country that gives these tests for free.
January 28th Smear day – I had, had minimal sleep as I was already panicking about my results (thanks anxiety). My boyfriend was lovely enough to keep me company during my appointment which put me at ease. When I entered the room the nurse double checked my information and talked me through the procedure, she then asked me to undress from the waist down. This is where I would advise you to wear a dress or skirt as it’s a little easier to get your bits out without feeling too naked. She showed me the plastic speculum (which wasn’t as big as I thought). I was asked to put my heels together and drop my knees. She gently inserted the speculum and opened it up, which I honestly didn’t hurt it just felt “full”. When the “brush” was inserted, it felt strange, kind of a dry feeling but not painful. She removed the speculum, and it was all over and done with! It took me longer to get dressed than it did for her to complete the procedure. I was told to expect my results in 2-4weeks. I felt some very mild cramping after my appointment, but they only lasted around 30 minutes.
I left my appointment beaming I was so proud of myself, it was so much easier than I expected!
It is so important to go to these screenings. They are so useful at detecting even minor changes in your cervix which could potentially be life-saving! There is NO excuse for not attending your screenings. It takes 5 minutes, you do not need a freshly waxed vagina or a bleached bum hole all you need to do is bring your vagina! #CervicalScreeningSavesLives
My smear story is not over. Look out for my next post where I talk about anxiety, results and a trip to the hospital.