Firstly this is not my usual topic of choice for a blog and it may not be a pleasant idea for some people. However, it is an important one. This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. I put off having my Cervical Screening Test, otherwise known as the delightful smear test, for a year. The day I received my letter inviting me to go to my GP to have potentially the most embarrassing procedure done was not my idea of fun.
As it is I don't particularly enjoy situations in which I have no idea what may happen. I actively avoid the unknown. Anxiety changes the way you view the world. There is something inside screaming that whatever it is you may be doing is dangerous. Saying that though, I knew full well that the possibility of something much worse was not worth the stress.
Fast forward a year, I overcame my fear, had the test done and had the results all within 2 weeks. Honestly, the smear test is nothing to worry about. The year of panicking was so much worse than the 10 minute appointment. Yes, it's not pleasant but definitely not painful and really not worth the stress I put on myself. My main source of anxiety was the idea of some random nurse doing God knows what in places she wasn't welcome. I forced myself to realise that she had seen it all before, and most definitely worse! I'd say the worst bit about the entire appointment was the waiting in the reception area of the doctor's surgery.
There is a lot of misconceptions about the test;
- They don't use metal speculums
- It isn't painful, at least not usually. You're told to tell the nurse if you feel any pain
- There are different size speculums available, it's not a one size fits all (so to speak)
There are a number of sources that provide details about the test and the huge importance so I won't repeat them as I probably couldn't word it as well as they can. However I can say, putting the test off is not worth the risk of possible cervical cancer. I know what I would rather, 10 minutes of discomfort or the unthinkable.
Thankfully my results came back as normal.
The amount of women completing the test is at an all time low. Ultimately this means there will be an increase in cervical cancer which could be prevented! Putting the test off is not worth the risk.