Don’t fear the smear.

Don’t fear the smear.

Today I went for my first smear test and it went swimmingly. I was in the room five minuites and carried on with my day. Here’s some reasons why you shouldn’t fear the smear.

First of all it takes seconds. Literal seconds the woman was in and out within one minute maybe even less. It doesn’t hurt, it feels odd but it doesn’t hurt. It’s not awkward, the doctors /nurses do not give a thought to whether you’ve shaved your legs or trimmed your lady garden because trust me they’ve seen worse and will see worse. You are given privacy to get undressed and dressed and something to place over your body. You are entitled to a chaperone if you’d prefer (this normally is not friends or family but another nurse). You get checked to see if you could have a type of virus that causes cancer. You could save your life going. It’s free in the uk and many other country’s have to pay.

What happens at the smear you may ask? Well it’s starts of by signing in at reception. You sit and wait to be called. Don’t worry nobody knows or cares why you’re there. The nurse or doctor will call you through. You will talk general chit chat and they will take your name, date of birth and address for the sample/results. They will explain the procedure if you would like them too. They will pull a curtain around the bed and allow you to get undressed bellow your waist and put these on the chair next to you. You will have a sheet layer out to cover your lap as you lay down. You call the nurse/doctor when your ready. They will instruct you how to position yourself and don’t be afraid to chat during. They’ll insert the speculum which can feel weird. They’ll use a long brush like a long cotton bud to scrape your cervix. Then they will take it out and put in pot and remove speculum. They leave you to get dressed and when your ready come out. And that’s it done.

My top tips for having a smear test.

  • Don’t be afraid.
  • Wear a dress or skirt so you can keep your dignity if you like me don’t want to show everything. In autumn/winter wear tights. You can obviously wear what you want but if you want it over and done with quickly and have a little bit of added dignity for yourself this is what i recommend.
  • Get childcare if you can. It’s easier for everyone if you can relax and the professional can concentrate.
  • You can choose whether you have a man or woman if you like. Only if it is asked for in advance.
  • Wear a sanitary towel. Some woman bleed after. Not because they’re injured it’s just because they do sometimes, better to be safe than sorry.
  • Do not have sex 24 hours before the test.
  • If you are on contraceptives or have had anything done or looking in your vagina tell the doctors first to see if suitable to have test. My first test was cancelled as I had to have my coil removed two weeks before my smear.
  • Nobody cares if you’ve shaved or not but if your worried about it just do it.
  • Research first if your worried about what will happen.
  • Ask questions.

My results will take 2-3 weeks and I’ll receive them in the post. Till then I remain optimistic and whatever will be will be. So don’t fear the smear I know it’s easier said than done but if 60 seconds of laying still could save your life then do at least try.

Endometriosis and me.

Endometriosis and me.

What is endometriosis? Basically the lining of your uterus grows elsewhere in your body. It can fuse to your bowels and your bladder exetera. Every month when your period comes that lining everywhere sheds. You essentially internally bleed for several days. It causes unbearable pain, problems urinating/pooping, feeling sick, feeling weak, severe mood swings and exhaustion. It can cause heavy bleeding also which is highly debilitating when you’re filling heavy flow pads every two hours. It can also cause a painful sex life.

I am under gynaecology after countless trips to doctor and a and e with the pain (it’s so severe it can feel like appendicitis). Painkillers help but don’t always fully ease the symptoms. Since having a caesarean section I have a lump of tissue which has grown at my scar line which caused me a big deal of concern finding this bobbly lump. I’ve had numerous ultrasounds and blood work and abdominal and vaginal examinations. I’m currently waiting for my smear as mine had to be cancelled due to having to have my coil removed as a emergency in hospital it will of removed some of the cells. I’ve been put on waiting list for surgery to explore the degree and burn some off and I’m not sure if i want it. I’ve heard from a lot of people who suffer too that it has come back after the surgery and I don’t want more risky surgery for no reason.

It’s that time of the month again where my periods are late some months and I’ve spent the last week thinking I’m pregnant. I’ve come on overnight which is why I always wear pads when late or my poor white sheets would of been destroyed. Being young and having severe pain every month can be very depressing. It’s gotten worse since I have had my son and I worry about my fertility being taken away from me one day even if right now I’m choosing to not have another baby just yet. One thing I’m glad about stopping work is not having to spend a ten hour shift on a busy ward feeling like my stomachs being ripped apart with an ice-cream scoop. I’m exhausted drained and have no idea what to do.

Right now I’m taking my painkillers and trying to distract myself when in pain. I’ll be completely exhausted and sleepy all day for days (I bleed so heavily due to my Von williebrands and endometriosis I get anaemia each month). I have an appointment with gynaecology again before my smear test so hopefully they can help explain the positive of the surgery and you know how to deal with chronic pain for the rest of my pre-menopausal days. I guess it could always be worse but it could sure as hell be better.