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.