I've written before about the importance of attending smear tests, yet here we are again with dwindling statistics on appointments being made by us women folk and it baffles me.
With all the knowledge and research available to us, we all know how important this few second test can be, how it can potentially save your life and therefore not take you away from loved ones you'd leave behind. Even though it's a few seconds of awkwardness, some would rather go for ear wax removal in London or trek to Wales for lipo than nip to the local doctors surgery for a quick test that could save your life.
Please, if you care about yourself or anyone else around you, please please please get booked in if you think you may be due a test.
Smear tests really aren't bad at all and not a patch on what you'll go through as a virtual hand puppet during pregnancy and birth, it's over in seconds and if it's all clear then you're good to go for a few years until the next time.
If it turns out there are some dodgy cells then you can soon have these removed and hopefully that then will be the end of it.
If you don't know what happens at a smear test then here it is...
- Undress from the waist down
- Lay on bed with sheet over your lower regions
- Nurse will ask you to open your legs and maybe pop your hands under your bum if you've an awkward cervix
- Nurse will insert a lubed up plastic duck beak (speculum) while you try your hardest to relax even though it's a bit weird
- Duck beak is opened (it's weird and a little uncomfortable but not painful)
- A long mini brush type swap is popped in, with a quick wipe around inside to gather some cells
- Nurse removes speculum
- Legs close
- Get dressed
The whole thing is over in less than a minute, with the 'scary' part literally being a few seconds.
You may have a bit of period type pain after, you may not. Some people find it uncomfortable, some people don't and the more relaxed you can be, the easier it will be!
Even if it's a little awkward and you'll never look at duck the same way again, isn't it worth it? I know a few ladies now that have had to have early cancerous cells removed, I also know a couple of ladies in their 20s and 30s that have died from cancer leaving their children behind. We can't think it won't happen to us, it could and it does.
So please ladies, get booked in and make sure your friends do too, let's make this the year that the statistics rise instead of fall, as we flock up half starkers ready to spread eagle for that plastic duck to get stuck in!
P.s don't rock up half naked, wait for them to tell you to undress.
P.p.s apologies to any ducks reading this, it's just a good way of explaining what it's like, I'm not trying to incite some kind of anti duck rally.