According to Cancer Research UK, in 2015, there were 3,126 new cases of cervical cancer in the UK with 854 deaths from cervical cancer in 2016.
In 2010-11 in England and Wales, 63% of women survived cervical cancer for 10 or more years.
99.8% of cervical cancer cases ARE PREVENTABLE. (2015).
You can read my story regarding cervical cancer screening here.
Today, I wanted to give you tips to help make your trip to the doctors/hospital for your smear test as easy as possible. Of course, I am not an expert on smear tests, and these are just some tips that have helped me over the years.
- Book your appointment – I know it seems silly that my first tip is to book the appointment, but this in itself can be difficult for some women. Please, don’t let this drag on. Book your appointment as soon as you get your letter through the post.
- The doctors surgery/hospital will usually give you a female doctor/nurse to do the test, however, if you want to triple check that this will be the case, you can mention it when booking your appointment that you would prefer a female doctor/nurse. I have had both male and female doctors and nurses undertake this test on me and although it doesn’t bother me, I understand it could bother some people.
- Don’t wear your fanciest thong just because your having your who-ha looked at. Get your Bridget Jones’s out and take a sanitary towel with you. On occasion, you can have a bit of bleeding after your smear test. Don’t panic if you don’t take one with you, the doctor/nurse will provide you with one, but it is something to think about.
- I know this is easier said than done but try to relax. Getting yourself worked up before you have the test done will only make it difficult for the doctor/nurse undertaking the test and more uncomfortable for yourself. The more stressed and worked up you are, the tighter you will be down there, so think about relaxing beaches, your last holiday, you next holiday, a nice glass of prosecco, or even make conversation with your doctor/nurse. Anything to keep yourself relax.
- Take deep breaths. This really helps me to calm myself down. Despite having had several of these tests over the last 5 years, I still get a bit stressed out and have to calm myself down whilst having the test done.
- Your results usually take between 4-6 weeks to come back. Please do not spend those 4-6 weeks worrying about the results because you’ll be completely miserable. Deal with the results when they come through.
- Treat yourself to a glass of wine and a great big chocolate bar when you get home. Girl, you did good!
I can’t stress how important it is that you go and have your smear tests done ladies. Get them booked. Its 5 minutes of feeling uncomfortable, BUT it could save your life. Its normal to feel nervous and scared but don’t let this prevent you from booking your test.
I hope these tips help. If you have any more please, leave them in the comments below.