Getting my first smear test.

Friday, 23 March 2018

They don't give them out to people under 25 unless you've had a baby. Not that many people under 25 have babies and so it's more likely than not that you'll have a smear test before you have a baby. I'm doing it the other way around. 
My fanny has been through quite a rough ride. Before my first pregnancy I'd had a few internal ultrasounds for my PCOS. Then pregnancy, then birth, and a second degree internal tear. Then three more internal scans, a missed miscarriage, and surgery to deal with that (under general anaesthetic). And then pregnancy, birth, and a second degree external tear. Let’s not even begin to think about all the bleeding over the years, and the poking and prodding during ttc. Yikes.
Needless to say it feels a bit like it's been beaten up. 
When I got there the nurse asked if I had ever had encountered a speculum before. I had – when getting the internal examination after my waters broke with Ezra. She told me that this was the main part of the test that I’d feel.
I asked her if there would be any bleeding, as often internal examinations can irritate the cervix, but she said no. It was unlikely, she said, that there would be any bleeding as it was a small brush being used to gather a cell sample rather than anything else. I had, in my head, the idea of a little scraper thing, but no, small brush.
Off with the jeans and underwear, up on the table, and she was right, the speculum was the main invasion, as it were, and then the brush was a tiny scratch. I wondered for a minute if the brush was the speculum and the worst was still to come but that was it. A little discomfort and over.

As a parent (especially a single one, for me) these kinds of things are wildly important. Up on the list with checking your breasts, and keeping an eye on your skin, any moles, etcetera, because your life is responsible for another life. Why would you let a little fear stand in the way of making sure your children have a healthy mother?

After Jade Goody got cervical cancer and her illness and treatment were broadcast over the world's media there was a massive surge in women going to get themselves checked out because there was a very real image of what would happen if you didn't. However, the nurse explained to me today that this has died down significantly.
So I suggest you all pop down to your GP and get your bits out for the nurse because a minor discomfort once every three years is better than getting cervical cancer.

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