Let's talk; Cervical screening

This weeks let's talk post is about cervical screen and its importance. 

Let me just note this at the start, this post is to help others who were/are in the same position as I was when I got my first letter of cervical screening. I was scared, didn't know what was going on and I couldn't find any posts to help me understand it more. I want young women, well of any age to know how important it is to have a cervical screening test done. I am in no way, shape or form a Dr, I will only give you my opinions and thoughts, I am not giving you any medical advice. If you have any questions you want answered, please consult a profession on them. 

Ok now onto my post.

When it comes to anything to do with my down stairs I freak out and I'm not comfortable about anyone being down there in any way, shape or form and when I got told that I would have to start getting annual screenings each year until I was 30 at the age of 18 due to it being a major risk in my family as my great great gran had it, my great great gran, my great gran and my gran all had cervical cancer, made me even more scared at getting one. What if i got bad news? What if they told me I had cancer like the women in my family before me. I was petrified when I got my first letter and really didn't know what to expect so naturally I took to the Internet to find out other people's experiences and I was left with nothing but things from the professionals, there were no posts from regular everyday woman and that got me worried, why wasn't there anything? Is what's happening to me abnormal? I didn't know what to think so I tried to push it to the back of my mind and stop thinking about all the negatives. I was 18 when I got my first one and I really felt like I was too young to be getting one, although now that I know better, I completely get why I had to have it.

My story 

When it came to the day I was having my smear done I went with my gran for some support as it was playing on my mind a bit about what the results would say, We were waiting in the Drs waiting area and I shaking a little so my gran took my hand and assured me that everything would be ok no sooner did she say that than my regular nurse shouted me into the room, so off I went. When I got in the room she sat me down and explained what was going to happen. When she was talking to me I was feeling more at ease about the whole thing because she was very patient and reassuring. She instantly made me feel relaxed. I went behind a curtain for privacy and had to take all my clothes on my bottom half off then sit up on the bed, there was a towel sitting in it and the nurse had told me to put it over my private parts and tell her when I was ready. The nurse came behind the curtain with a tray filled with instruments that completely put the fear of god into me but the nurse explained what all of them were and what they used them for. When she started the smear I was actually pleasantly surprised, it was uncomfortable and I didn't like someone down there looking at me but it didn't hurt like I thought it would and it was done within seconds. I felt rather silly afterwards because of how scared and panicked I was about the whole situation but I guess that's to be expected with things like that. My results came back all clear that time and I was incredibly relieved but I wasn't so lucky on my 3rd time. 

I was 20 when I had my 3rd smear done, by this time I felt like a pro, I went in, got it done and didn't even care about the results. But a few weeks later I got a letter in the post saying some major changes had taken place and that I had to go and see my Dr. I.Was.Mortified. I couldn't believe what I had read. I picked up the phone straight away and phones for an emergency appointment. My receptionist is one of the most loveliest women you could meet and she fitted me  in within the hour to see the Dr. I got to the surgery, got into the Drs room and told him. He brought my file up and told me that there were major changes detected and that I would have to go into the hospital and see a specialist about it. He explained that it didn't necessarily mean cancer. So he made an appointment for me for the following day and I attended. I got into the place, got an examination done and the woman talked me through everything. She said that basically I had pelvic inflammatory disease and that there was A LOT of scar tissue. I got given antibiotics for it to see how that would go then I went back in two weeks. She told me that I was lucky to have found this when I did because if it was any worse then I could have serious irreversible damage. I was confused about having this and the woman told me that a lot of woman don't actually know they have it as you don't always experience symptoms with it which is scary to know. When I went back to see the Dr, the inflammation was gone but the scar tissue is something I will always have. I got told that my chance to have children was decreased by this and to not be surprised if I found it difficult to conceive. I was torn up by this and none of my friends actually know about this. It took me a few month to come to terms with but I did with support and help. I was scared in case I couldn't conceive at all. But sure enough in the May of 2013 I found out I was pregnant and all my dreams had came through. I was ecstatic. 

That's my experience with smears and I still get them annually but I'm glad I do get them as they found out about my pelvic inflammatory disease. I caught it in time and I'm able to still have children. I really don't know what would have happened if I didn't he smears, I don't know if I would have even caught it at all if I didn't experience symptoms. Smears saved me in a way because I can still have children and there isn't too much damage. 

My advice is to always attend your cervical screening. Do not miss it, you don't know how much it could save you.

  • If you are scared about it ask another female you know about it, ask them when they had theirs and how they dealt with it. 

  • If you have questions for your nurse or doctor then don't be afraid to ask them, don't just keep them to yourself as it can just make you more worried and you will never know the answer if you don't ask. 

  • You don't need to be embarrassed of the nurse seeing your downstairs, the nurse has probably seen a thousand vaginas and knows how to make you feel comfortable about the whole experience. 

Cervical screenings save lives, they are don't for a reason so remember that. 

Do you remember Jade Goody? If you don't know who she is or her story then you should watch this. She had cervical cancer and in the months leading up to her death she campaigned for women of all ages to get smears and get checked for cancer. She wanted to make women aware of this as she was just a young 27 when she died of cervical cancer. 

Who can get smears? 
Those at a high risk of cervical cancer/cancer from the age of 18. 
Women ages 25 - 49 every three years. You will be sent a letter about your smear for you to make an appointment. 

Who performs a smear? 
A registered nurse or Dr at your Drs surgery. 

Here are some websites with information for you to look at. 

And remember, always attend your cervical screening appointment, it may just save your life.

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  1. It is so important to get checked when you get called for it. And you can get them at request now as well which I think is fantastic. I'm lucky I got my caught when I did and that I survived cervical cancer. Always keep your appointments and if you need help it will be there for you. Great post angel, I'm proud of you for touching on such an important subject. X

  2. Hello Lovely, thank you for sharing your story and visiting www.igaberry.com

    I am glad I've visited you as your story is definitely a proof how important is talking about cervical screenings and health. I don't think some of the girls are comfortable enough to speak about it with their parents so this post is definitely something that can be a great start for a conversation or google search.

    Love, Iga x

  3. This is really good advice and a great post. It is so important that this is talked about so that other women can take note. Thank you for sharing. #BloggerClubUK

  4. It's funny how we can all still feel a bit awkward about these things but as you say, these people are professionals and they have seen it all before. They are genuinely more concerned with your health than about your pants or your wobbly thighs. I developed CIN level 3 about 15 years ago, detected through my standard smear. I went on to have Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) for abnormal cervical cancer and all had been ok since. But I had no pain, no symptoms, so it's incredibly important to have the tests regularly as they can save your life! #bloggerclubuk