OK, this post covers serious stuff. Smear tests!!
Ladies – if you’re overdue on your smear, I’m going to get a tad stroppy with you (only a little bit cos I love you all really!!). It’s just it’s SUCH an important topic.
Yes, we all know that smear tests aren’t the most dazzling of experiences but guess what …?
• It doesn’t hurt!! OK, maybe a tiny bit uncomfortable but that’s as bad as it gets.
• It takes literally a couple of minutes.
• The nurses have seen SO many vaginas, SO many pubic hair variations, so many unshaved legs – simple smear tests will not faze them!
The most important thing to know is that early detection of abnormal cells on the cervix can prevent cervical cancer. In fact, 99.8% of cases are preventable. With around 3,200 new cases in the UK every year, it’s really worth getting checked out.
So what’s the deal?
The smear test is offered to all women over the age of 25. Tests are repeated every 3 – 5 years depending on your age. It’s not compulsory but it’s strongly advised that you get booked in.
A quick collection of some cells from the cervix will allow experts back at the laboratory to determine whether or not the cells are normal. If abnormal cells are found, don’t worry!! This doesn’t mean it will lead to cervical cancer – it just means they need to investigate a little further.
When booking your appointment, try to pick a date mid-cycle (so about 14 days from the start of your last period). If there was some blood present whilst taking the cell sample, it could get contaminated so that’s why around Day 14 is suggested.
Long story short, there’s no need to be afraid of smear tests, ladies! It’s a part and parcel of your health.
So it doesn’t sound too bad right? Don’t take any risks girls. It’s a couple of less-than-amazing minutes but it’s only once every 3 – 5 years. You’ll be so glad you’ve done it!! And I will be super proud of you too!