Wednesday, 18 February 2015

First things first, if you're a guy you probably don't want or need to read this...by all means read for interest but it is about lady thingssss - and not in a sexy way...

All of us girls know that when you get to the age of 25 you need to book your smear test...how many people actually do though?

There are some scary statistics floating around...

  • One in two people will now apparently have some form of cancer in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 3 women aged 25-29 do not book in for their smear test when they get their letter
  • Cervical cancer is the most common cancer for women under 35
  • 8 UK women are diagnosed everyday

And yet cervical cancer can be prevented. Abnormal cells which can be discovered via a smear test can be removed, preventing them becoming cancerous

I don't really understand why any women who reaches the age of 25... and every three years after wouldn't get a smear test.

There is a bit of taboo around the subject because obviously its something to do with your "lady parts" and men probably don't like to think about it, plus I'm sure it makes some women uncomfortable.

To be honest I was raised in a medical family (doctor daddy and nurse mummy) so if I had a medical issue I would always go straight to the doctor, but as you can see from that programme Embarrassing Bodies lots of people have problems for years and never visit the doctor....

...and then when they finally do they air it on tv...doesn't make much sense to me!

#smearforsmear is another one of those social media things like the #nomakeupselfie for Cancer Research. I'm sure lots of people jump on the bandwagon just for the social media side, but if it is a raising awareness I see absolutely no harm in it. 

You basically take a picture of yourself with smeared lipstick, hastag smearforsmear and tag @jotrust to raise awareness for cervical cancer and Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust.

I did my #smearforsmear picture on Friday after my test and have had 82 likes on it so far...I therefore hope that means that 82 people have stopped to think about Cervical Cancer when scrolling through their Instagram who maybe wouldn't have thought about it before.

Now to throw in a bit of a makeup post into this blog...I started with my new Chanel Pirate lipstick...preeeettttyyyy

And went for the smearrrr

Anyway smear tests! I thought I would do a bit of...not a review...definitely not a review...but a bit of info so that maybe even one girl will read this, read that it isn't so scary and book in to get one herself.

Then at least I've helped a tiny bit.

I didn't get a letter through the post telling me to go get a test because I'm accidentally registered at the wrong address...something which I've now sorted!

But I knew I needed to get one regardless of not getting a letter.

This does mean though that I have no idea what these letters say!

But either way, as soon as you get your letter or as soon as you are 25 call your Doctor and book in to get your test.

Don't put it off, don't think oh I'll do it next month. Just book it in and then you have to go.

I turned up at the Doctor's at ten to five on Friday and was called in to see the nurse at 5pm. 
She asked me a couple of questions:

  • Have you had a smear test before
  • Is there any possibility you could be pregnant
  • Are you taking any hormones at the moment - the pill or implant or anything

You are then taken behind a curtain to a surgical bed thingy and asked to remove your clothing from the waist down, lie on the bed and cover yourself with a big piece of that paper that they put on massage couches to keep it hygienic...you know the stuff I mean.

Then you are asked to put your feet together with your knees out like you are doing an inner thigh stretch. They literally then put some lube on a plastic thing to "open you up" (sorry can't think of a better way to say that!) and then insert a swab, scrape it around a bit and you're done.

It doesn't hurt at all. It is slightly uncomfortable because it feels like scraping but not painful. I wouldn't jump at the chance to do it again but if it prevents cancer then I would!

To be honest...this sounds awful - sorry mother...but I've had sex that was more painful than that!

Then you're literally done. I was finished in under 10 minutes.

You hear by post within about two weeks and there can be various results from normal to inadequate and abnormal.

Normal is what it sounds like, inadequate means the test didn't work and has to be redone and the abnormal can be varying levels from borderline abnormal to cancerous.

Now I haven't had my results yet and until just a second ago when I typed those lines I hadn't thought about the results really.

Just have to wait and see I guess...there is nothing I can do until then so no point worrying about it!

Oh also! I asked the nurse why in Wales the smear test age is 18 and here it is 25 and she said the reason we don't do it so young is the cells can appear abnormal when you are younger when really they aren't fully formed yet and therefore you can end up having more invasive tests etc which you don't need. She said it was a big debate about whether the odds of catching the abnormal cancerous cells young (which are much less common) overweights the risk of doing unnecessary tests and treatment.

Regardless of the age we do it, I just think we are so lucky to have the NHS that we should take advantage of it!

Also another tip. Book it in for when you aren't on your period. And if you don't know and are irregular just book it, then if that week you think you will be rearrange the smear test. You don't want to waste the nurses time by turning up and them saying they can't do it!

I hope this blog gave you a bit of information that might help. Sorry it was very word heavy when normally my blogs are more picture heavy...but what kind of pictures am I meant to use LOL!

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