My Smear Test | Pulling My Knickers Down For A Stranger

3rd July 2018

Never have I felt like more of an adult than when my letter from the doctors arrived informing me I was ‘of age’. I hadn’t even had my birthday but the time had finally arrived for me start my smear test journey. Not exactly as good as turning 11 and plodding off to Hogwarts, but que sera sera.

I booked my appointment with the nurse for the middle of my cycle (the best time so they say) and thought nothing more of it. Flash forward to me sitting in the waiting room the morning of and oh ma gad, the sweating begins.

What if I’m nervous and tense up? What if the equipment is too big and scary? Oh Jesus what kind of situation have I left down there? What if the nurse is disgusted and whispers about me to her nurse friends?

Mid freak out my name was called and I slowly creeped into the examining room. My nurse introduced herself and was clearly trying to put me at ease, bless her. She told me to forget everything I had heard before about the test, and actually congratulated me on coming in as not many young women come to their first invitation.

We had a little chat and then the phrase ‘right, if you’d like to pop your underwear off and lay on the bed’ was thrown out there. And the weirdness set in. I had a skirt on luckily so there was no awkwardly sitting naked from the waist down, but once I laid on the bed all bets were off.

‘Now if you bring your feet onto the bed, knees up and just let your legs fall to the sides’. There was absolutely no hiding my dignity now as I laid there like a humiliated frog, and then the spotlight was moved and shone right … there. And my nurse the sweetie was trying to make small talk with me, asking what I had got up to at the weekend and whatnot. All the while knowing she was about to put the plastic cone in my hoo-hah.

The plastic cone is what they use to ‘open you up’ as it were, to get a swab in there and collect a decent sample from your cervix. As the swab will pick up all cells in there and detect whether they’re; normal (which we want) or abnormal (the cells that can potentially turn cancerous).

The cone itself being put in your lady business wasn’t a day at the beach let’s put it that way. It was slightly uncomfortable, a little tender but was over in less than 1 minute. And that’s it. That’s the entire test. I spent longer in the waiting room than actually having it done.

Once it was over and I swiftly and discretely whipped my knickers back on, all that was left to do is wait for the results in around 3 weeks time via the post. For 5 minutes of awkwardness I don’t have to be tested again for 3 years, I’ve taken my health into my own hands and it’s so important to spread awareness.

Since 2016 there have been 854 deaths due to cervical cancer, with symptoms such as; bleeding after sex or in between periods, lower back or pelvis pain. All of which are common side effects of a woman’s monthly cycle, and thus go unnoticed. 99.8% of cases are actually completely preventable.

If you are of age and have been avoiding going for whatever reason, this is your formal kick up the butt to book an appointment. As long as you have your health, everything else is a bonus. Make sure for the sake of 5 minutes of awkwardness you’re treating yourself and your body with the respect it deserves.


6 responses to “My Smear Test | Pulling My Knickers Down For A Stranger”

  1. Yes girl!! Girl power! Haha. I’m yet to go for mine, my doctors is a pain in the butt, but you’ve just given me a little reminder I need to just get it over and done with. X

  2. New Lune says:

    I loved reading this post! It’s definitely informative and funny at the same time haha! I’m kinda nervous about mine (not gonna lie), I still have a few years to go but reading your experience reassured me. Fab post x

  3. m4gical says:

    I love how casual this is! I’m yet to be invited to one but hearing others talk about theres, I feel like it’s one of those situations I’m just going to have to pretend it’s not happening, while it’s happening hahaa x x

  4. Caroline Martin says:

    Love this. I was one of those that were too scared. I was pregnant, no signs, just a funny feeling that something might be wrong and 14 years after I was first called (They did it from 16 back then). At my 6 week check after having my boy, I had the test, wondered what I was so worried about, it was so quick and like you said the nurses are lovely. I got a letter a couple of weeks later and was recalled. Many people were at the time as it was around the time of the Jade Goodie news. I sat in the waiting room expecting to be retested. When the doc called me in he explained that my results were ‘abnormal’, I felt my legs go and I was guided to a chair. He wrote on a pink piece of paper I, II, III, C and then indicated that I was past III. I could hardly breathe! Without delay I was whipped through to a surgical team all gowned and masked up and ready to remove the cells. My little boy, just a few months old was called in with his Dad. They couldn’t remove the cells and booked me in for surgery the following week’. Its a simple procedure but I was convinced I wouldn’t wake up and got myself into a bit of a pickle. Of course, thereafter, I have been fine, I am lucky. I had regular smears every 6 months for several years and all has been clear (I had to get used to lots of strangers looking at my bits the hard way). So ladies, please don’t be scared! Be your own best friend and go when you are called. Don’t delay! They see so many bits that you really needn’t worry. If I hadn’t gone perhaps I may not have been here to tell the tale. xxx

  5. Abbie says:

    I absolutely love this post, I turned 25 in September and got forced by my family and friends to go for my smear appointment (after ignoring 2 of my letters, naughty I know)

    We need to raise awareness for all women as I have been diagnosed with 3 different types of pre-cancer, my first ever smear!! All of this was detected from that one smear. I am receiving a plan going forward but just imagine if I didn’t go, maybe I would just be another statistic to the smear test, everyone be smart and just get checked! Health over 5 minutes of lost dignity I say!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: